The Most Important Moments in Sports History
We at GreaterHalf.com take a bit of a different approach to most things. We look at the world through a different lens than others do. What we think is most important is to laugh, especially now. With the spread of the coronavirus, devastating as it is, we feel that it’s important to keep a sense of humor. Although COVID-19 is having a devastating effect on the world and the United States, we think that we can all use a good laugh right now. With that, we offer the most important moments in sports history, from the GreaterHalf perspective.
Randy Johnson Blows up a Bird
During his hall of fame career, Randy Johnson was known for firing fastballs at hitters and making them look stupid. He stood 6’10” and was given the nickname “the Big Unit” by teammates. His fastball topped out at 102 mph. Seeing that man wind up and release a fastball in your direction was enough to make even the best hitters a little cautious at the plate. On March 24, 2001, Johnson was pitching in a spring training game for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the San Francisco Giants. He unleashed a fastball from his left hand and a bird streaked across the path. Bird and ball met at the same time midway between the hitter and Johnson. There was nothing left but a trail of smoke and a pile of white feathers. Everyone stood there stunned, wondering if they had really seen what had just happened.
Denny Green’s Postgame Speech
The head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Denny Green, is infamous for probably the greatest postgame speech in sports history. The Chicago Bears were in town for a Monday night game during their 2006 Super Bowl season. The Cardinals handled the Bears wonderfully and seemingly had the game won. In a span of five minutes, the Bears recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown and returned a punt for the game-winning touchdown. Coach Green was livid at the postgame press conference. He shouted at the assembled press, “The Bears are who we thought they were. We played them in the preseason and the Bears are who we thought they were! If you want to crown their ass, then crown ’em. But the Bears are who we thought they were, and we let ’em off the hook!” He only took one question during that 45-second press conference before uttering those epic words and storming out of the room.
Hack a Shaq
Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal had a reputation as a ferocious rebounder and dunker on the court. He also had a reputation as a horrible free throw shooter. His inability to make a free throw is legendary in basketball. It was widely known during his career, and every opposing coach tried to take advantage of that fact toward the end of close games. The strategy was always to foul Shaq at the end of the game so that he would have to go to the line and miss two shots. Which he almost always did. In a game against the San Antonio Spurs, Shaq was surprised when he got fouled in the game, which is no small feat. He wasn’t fouled with two seconds left in the game; he was fouled two seconds into the game. It had just started. He looked at Spurs coach Greg Popovich with a befuddled smirk on his face, and all Pop could do was give him two thumbs up.
Jose, Can You See?
Before he started writing books and became the guy who blew the lid off the steroid scandal in Major League Baseball, Jose Canseco was a serious baseball player, and a really good one. In the 1980s and early ’90s, he and Mark McGuire were the Bash Brothers, and they hit home runs—lots of home runs. Canseco was the first man in history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a single season and was a perennial All-Star. Towards the end of his career, though, Canseco became a parody of himself, a joke in the game. He was so jacked up on the juice that he couldn’t run anymore and couldn’t really play the game. He was really good at collecting huge contracts, however. That’s how he came to be in Texas, playing for the Rangers. On May 26, 1993, in a game against the Cleveland Indians, Canseco was playing right field. Carlos Martinez hit a long fly ball toward Canseco, deep into right field. Jose drew a bead on the ball and drifted further and further back. He extended his right arm to feel for the wall to avoid a collision. As the ball neared, he attempted to jump and catch the ball toward the top of the fence. Instead, he magically grew roots from his feet and was unable to jump. He had misjudged the ball, and instead of making a routine play, the ball hit him in the head and bounced over the wall for a home run. As Martinez rounded the bases, Canseco looked around for the ball, confused, unaware it had gone over the wall. A fitting end to an odd career.
The Double Doink
Another entry for the Chicago Bears. The Bears had a good season in 2018, winning twelve games. They were in a first-round playoff game against defending Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears had battled back and were lining up for a game-winning field goal that would extend their comeback season. New kicker Cody Parkey had some trouble during the season and had hit the uprights four times in one game. He lined up for the kick, booted it, and it hit the left upright. As it fell back to Earth, it miraculously hit the cross bar but still fell out into the endzone. The Bears lost in epic fashion. Commentator Kris Collinsworth made the historic call that is now known as “the Double Doink.”
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