Thursday, June 23, 2005

Best moment in sports

Gangsta D:

Too many to name:
1985 Finals
2000 Finals
2002 Conference Finals
1989 Miami vs Norte Dame
Wide Right I
1992 NFC Championship

Da Realist:

i have a tie for this one too.

1A. michael hitting the last second shot over byron
russell in 1998 finals. no description needed.

1B. pete sampras beating andre agassi to win his
final major championship. this really hit home with
me because of all the struggles he had gone through in
the previous years. he got drubbed by marat safin at
US OPEN 2000. this seemed to push him into this long
spiral where he wasn't really pete sampras anymore.
he was getting beat by EVERYBODY.

he got close again in 2001 by edging andre agassi in
the quarterfinals (7-6 6-7 7-6 7-6, no breaks of
serve). when he won this match i knew it was destiny.
he then beat marat safin in the semifinals and all
that stood in his way was lleyton hewitt. lleyton
beat him worse than marat safin did the year before.
this pushes him even deeper into his funk and now
people are telling him (including me) to retire
because now he was just embarrassing himself. i lost
faith. i didn't think he had it in him to win another
big match. he looked pathetic out there.

then came 2002 US OPEN. he beats the upstart andy
roddick when no one thought he could and set up the
perfect match against the perfect rival. pete sampras
vs andre agassi. everyone knew this was probably the
last time these two greats would share the final stage
together again. at the US OPEN, no less! the
championship was at stake. their egos were at stake.
their LEGACIES were at stake! no one wanted to lose
the last big time match between the two.

pete sampras came out blazing. winning the first two
sets. it felt like a dream because it seemed like
this was going to be easy. but when agassi won the
third set, i started to feel uneasy. i knew sampras
was a great player, but fitness was never his strong
point. agassi's strategy has always been tohang in
there long enough to wear him down. between the two,
3-set matches always went to sampras, 4-set matches
were a toss up and 5-set matches almost always went to
agassi. so by agassi winning the 3rd set, i started
to get so unnerved that i hit the wall in
frustration...HARD. i didn't want another situation
like the AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2000 where sampras controlled
the match until the 5th set when agassi beat him 6-1
(it didn't help that i got up at 3am to watch that 3
1/2 hour match only to be depressed AND TIRED the next
day at work). not today. not this match. sampras
just hold on a little longer...

no break of serve in the 4th set so far with score
tied 4-4. but all of a sudden, agassi has a lapse and
is trailing 0-30. okay, pete here's your chance
buddy. you don't want to go into the 5th. you are
already looking tired. give me 2 more points!

when sampras finally broke and they went to a
commercial break, i was so nervous my feet were
sweating and my hands were shaking. all i could think
about was the next day's headlines, "SAMPRAS chokes
away 4th set lead and loses title to AGASSI". when
sampras finally won that last point, i collapsed. i
felt a tear come to my eye as i saw sampras celebrate
and hug agassi at the net. i felt absolutely
EXHAUSTED! that day, that moment, i told pete from my
1-bedroom apartment in marietta to retire. retire and
allow this to be my last memory of you. just ride
away into the sunset. and that's what he did. too
bad that OTHER guy (in 1A) didn't heed my advice!

Hmmm, this is difficult but I think my favorite was

2001 Game 7 Western Conference Finals - There was
SOOO much hate during the season (and prior) about
how the Lakers would not win the title ever,
Shaq was overrated, Kobe was garbage, etc, etc,
Then when Portland locked up the series everyone
said it was over for LA. Even said it when they were
down 15 at the end of 3. But not me, just kept hoping,
a miracle would happen....It did, the middle finga to
the hatas soon followed and it jumpstarted some of the
best smack talk from myself and D. EVER!

1999 Fiesta Bowl
2002 Game 4 Western Conf Finals
2002 Game 7 Western Conf Finals
2001 Game 1 Western Conf Finals
1999 AFC Championship
1997 Western Conf Semis

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