What's your greatest sports moments?

  • Summer doldrums. Time to generate a little convo. Tell us what you got.

    What sports memories do you dwell on?

    No judging here.

    1. For me, this is a tough one, but “my NCAA championship” of 1988 ranks #1. Senior year at KU, watched most of every home game in person for 3 years. What a great memory.

    2. White Sox 2005. Yes ESPN, the Sox did win the World Series. I seriously never thought that it would happen. And we got ours before the Cubs did which made it sweeter.

    3. All of my kids sports moments collectively. I didn’t contribute much athletically to the gene pool so their accomplishments aren’t great. But A lot of games and fun times.

    4. Bears 1986. Arguably the greatest team in history…except they couldn’t figure out how to win again.

    5. KU 2008. Until the histrionics of Nova/UNC several years ago, the first buzzer beating finals 3 pointer ever, and it was us. The game was dreadful before that.

    6. 1983 White Sox division clincher. In person, stormed the field afterwards.

    7. 2012 NC game. Only on here because I was able to attend the game thanks to our old friend Brooksmd.

    8. 1st baseball game in old, old Yankee Stadium. 1972 Yanks vs. the Royals. Center field bleachers. Pure magic.

    9. KU Orange Bowl winner. See my #2 above in moments I never thought I’d see.

    Can’t really come up with a 10th since the 9th was kind of stretch, so what you got?

  • #8 was kind of like this.

  • Oh, thank goodness. I thought this was a hs/college glory days thread. Not much sadder than that.

  • @wissox

    Thanks for asking.

    Mine is an eclectic list of first and second hand experiences of sport over my life time.

    First: Learning that Head Coach John Calipari neither knew about, nor was responsible for, infractions, and resulting penalties at UMASS and Memphis.

    No question about it.

    Second: Reading “College Sports, Inc.” by the late Indiana University Professor Murray Sperber that made clear how corrupt college sports has been and for how long.

    Third: Self winning nearly 82% of his games, 14 straight conference titles, and a national title, without ever signing a single 5-start/OAD at the 1 and 5 his first 14 seasons at KU.

    Fourth: Self making it to the 2012 National Finals without a single Mickey D All-American.

    Fifth: Self reaching the Final Four in 2017-18 with a 6-10 inch guy that could barely make 50% of his free throws, could only score by dunking, and Self’s tallest player at the 1-4 positions having been Svi Mykailiuk at 6-5. PHENOMENAL!

    Sixth: The Miracle on Naismith Drive, when KU defeated MU in the last regular season contest between the two schools before MU moved to the SEC.

    Seventh: Being born into a family to a father that began taking me to KU basketball and football games at the age of 6.

    Eighth: Watching Adrian Dantley on Notre Dame stand up during a game in AFH and turn and taunt KU student fans until he was showered with at least 20-30 cups of ice and sat back down and covered up under a towel and never mouthed off again once during the game

    Ninth: The Shot by Mario Chalmers in the 2008 Finals.

    Tenth: The defeat of Roy and his EasyHeels in the 2008 Semi Finals.

    Eleventh: Watching Kirk Gibson hit the home run on one good leg pinch hitting in the bottom of the 9th to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series for the Dodgers.

    Twelfth: Seeing Gayle Sayers play 4 games at KU including the game he ran something like 98 yards for a touch down on an off tackle play.

    Thirteenth: Watching Bobby Douglas, John Riggins, Donnie Shanklin, John Zook, and so many other great players lead by Pepper Rogers change for ever what people knew was possible in KU football.

    Fourtheenth: KU’s Orange Bowl team under Mangino.

    Fifteenth: “The Pine Tar” incident with George Brett that proved Brett was so great that he would even fight the Yankees to break down the doors to lead the Royals to realize Ewing and Muriel’s dream of a World Series Champion in the only classy new stadium ever build in the major leagues.

    16th: Every Tour de France win by Lance Armstrong, who was competing on a level playing field in which every other leading rider he competed against was breaking the rules in effectively the same way, and who remains, along with Eddie Merckx, the greatest two riders that have ever lived.

    17th: Ford winning the LeMans two years in a row by defeating Ferrari at the peak of their power.

    18th: Bruce McClaren winning the Can-Am Challenge with the most awesome, dominant racing cars, in the most technologically wide open series, ever run pre-digitally controlled cars.

    19th: Tom Watson defeating Jack Niklaus in Scotland.

    20th: Denny McClain’s 1968 record setting season of 31-6 with a 1.96 ERA. I had pictures of Denny all over one wall of my bedroom that season and I awoke early all summer to run out to the front yard and get the morning KC Times see any possible box scores with the Tigers, and then again waited for the evening KC Star to be delivered again to see the box scores with anything about Denny in them. No one has won 30 since and McClain’s record appears as towering as Ted William’s being the last player to hit .406.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Which record of McClains? His baseball record or his criminal record?

    Wow, quite a list! Seeing Gale Sayers, Epic!

    The 2nd best part of Gibsons 88 homer was the announcer, scully or Jack Buck? I think, saying nothing for about a minute.

  • Denny didn’t have a big rap sheet that anyone knew about at the time. I can remember thinking he was a bit of a chunky dude, but he had the greatest pitching mechanics of anyone I had ever seen. Never dreamed he had a night clubbing, organ playing, walk on the wild side kind of life outside the ball park. Don’t recall if I even knew that he played the organ in a band that season. I just remember seeing him on a the game of the week a few times and the stories and pictures of his pitching motion in Sports Illustrated and Sport magazines. OMG! He was flawless. I had been a fan of Whitey Ford, and of Sandy Koufax. But when Denny came along he had the finesse of Whitey, but he was much stockier and stronger. He could overpower guys, or position them. Koufax was more rangy and was my favorite of all from the time I saw him uncoil and bend his curve balls half way around Chavez Ravine on TV, but I never got to see Koufax in person the way I did Whitey Ford and Denny McClain at old Municipal Stadium in KC. McClain had this amazing ability to completely square up to home plate, as he released with his arm motion actually resembling the force and motion of a pitching machine releasing it perfectly every time. I still can’t forget him. It was insane how grooved he was that season. It looked like he could put the ball anywhere he wanted it, at whatever speed he wanted, with whatever amount of curve and sink he wanted. A 1.96 ERA was insane even in the era of the high mound. He was better that season than anyone I have seen before or since. He was like Roy Hobbs, only with a rubber and a rosin bag.

    Denny McClain did a lot bad things afterwards, got in a lot of trouble, but I used to listen to his radio show many years after that he did in Detroit, and he was terrific with a mike, when he wanted to be. The guy was haunted with demons, but blessed with greatness. He rose to unimaginable heights that 1968 season. And he wasn’t on steroids. He was the real deal. A natural. He did not last long. He squandered his reputation later. But what he did, like Ted Williams .406, is for the ages. Nothing can tarnish that season. Nothing can diminish what he did that season. It didn’t matter that Lolich carried them in the Series. It doesn’t matter that he became an obese caricature of himself later.


    Its written in granite for the ages.

  • @wissox

    Sayers is the greatest, most electrifying, most beautiful athlete I ever saw in person.

    Wilt was long gone before I got to KU and I only saw him on TV as a pro.

    I have been blessed to see many, many great athletes in person in many sports.

    But to see Gale Sayers step on grass limed with a grid iron, break from a huddle, take a hand off, or a pitch, when everyone knew KU didn’t have any other weapon, and watch him take a step, change direction squirt through an opening that seemed unlikely to open, plant a foot and run out of the arms of a tackler, then jump over another, land, give a knee to a closing line backer, then pull it back and veer left, lunge in then out again, feel the pursuit and cut out of its arms and spin, then squirt ahead, then feint left and cut cross field, then turn up field and seem to shift gears, once, twice, thrice and veer off at 45 toward the goal line marker, seem to come full stop and let two guys overrun him, then take off at another 45 and crisscross the fields, then literally gallop the last ten yards and glide into the end zone as if it were the most natural thing to have just eluded EVERY man on an opposing defensive team. It was no exaggeration. Galloping Gale, the Kansas Comet, REALLY was poetry in motion. I always tell persons: Michelangelo’s David was the most sublime work of perfection in art I have ever seen. He towers over you and you cannot believe that there was ever a time in human existence that he did not exist. The David made perfection in art tangible and real. Gale Sayers did the same thing in sport. Gale made perfection of poetry in motion tangible and real. He was the David with a football.

    For many years we had board rat here that went under the alias of Kansas Comet. I have always secretly hoped it was really Gale Sayers. Why? Because it gave me chills to hope it might be him, the same kind of chills I got when I saw him run, and the same kind of chills I got when I met him many years later at Allen Field House, and got to shake his hand. The same chills I got when I saw the David.

    Gale Sayers is just a man. A decent human being of flesh and blood.

    But for some reason god granted him the gift of a demigod, when he ran with a football. I am not lying, or exaggerating. To see him run, was to witness a kind of perfection more rare and precious than any other single experience that I have felt in all of my life. He knows exactly what I am talking about, too, if he is still alive. He has felt the perfection himself first hand. I could tell it in his eyes when I met him. And he could tell I had seen it too. It is why such a deep connection forms between himself and those fans that approach him only momentarily. Persons that have expressed perfection can never escape awareness of its existence and possibility later. They stand in rooms like echoes of perfection. The echo adds a dignity to them. They move with grace ever after, after they have moved with perfection. Joe DiMaggio was this way when I used to see him in his favorite restaurant/bar in San Francisco. To attain perfection, or to witness its attainment by another, changes both the actor and the watcher, for the rest of their lives.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Nice tribute to Gale Sayers. Yes, he is alive but he is another victim of (believed to be) football-related brain injury. This article does a nice job of discussing some of the considerations–and makes the point that even if Sayers would not regret his career, the result is tragic, nonetheless.


  • @jaybate-1.0 No roids for Denny, but he did have a higher mound to pitch off of and baseball needed to bring some offense back so they lower the mound.

    For me, Tom Seaver was the best I’ve seen. He still remains my all time favorite. My grade school years were near NYC so i got to go to some Mets games.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I was born just a tad too late to have seen him even as a pro. His career cut short, possibly because of the wear and tear on the knees from all those moves you described, probably keeps his name off of some peoples all time lists. Sad to hear about his dementia as well.

  • I saw Barry Bonds strike out with the bases loaded against the cubs in the top of the 9th in Wrigley back in the early 90s when he played for Pittsburg (and before his head and neck became the size of a volkswagen). Tie game at that point. Ryne Sandberg hit a line drive homer in the bottom of the 9th to win it. That was pretty sweet.

  • My favorite sports moment witnessed live was from a hot summer day in 1976 at Royals Stadium when KC won an extra inning game over the Angels after tying it up in the 9th on a Brett home run. In the 7th, we all were chanting for Mayberry to hit a home run, and after several long foul drives that put the crowd in a frenzy, he did it. Only time I have ever witnessed an audience-demanded homer.

    Hotter than hell, sellout crowd, they ran out of ice in the 7th and beer in the 8th. Very memorable–and, oh, Halter Top day adorning my date helped, too!

  • @jaybate-1.0 I have always told my son that Barry Sanders was the closest player I have seen to Sayers and the way he moved. Truly poetry in Motion.

  • @Barney I remember sitting in the stands watching us play OSU and their headliner RB named Thurman Thomas. Their freshman 2nd stringer that day was Sanders and I remember thinking I think this guy is better than Thomas.

  • @mayjay

    Thanks for the update on the comet. I figured as much. Made me tear up. He took so many savage hits, especially in the NFL, when they were trying to prove poetry in motion could not work in the pros. He proved them wrong though. Oh how he proved them wrong.

  • @wissox

    They all had the higher mound and no one ever had a season like that in the post ww2 era.

    Tom Terrific was a great one, too. And he adapted the same mechanics. Seaver, like so many of my generation went out and tried to imitate McClain’s delivery. And Tom did it beautifully, too, and was so much more stable and enduring. But 31-6 and 1.96 ERA is, like .406, hard to argue with. At the end of the day, when all the explanations and adjustment for era are given, the numbers stand like the faces on Mt. Rushmore. Only time and weather will ever lessen them.

    We also tried to imitate Bullet Bob Gibson, who I worshipped, but he was just too idiosyncratic to pull off. Believe me, because I know 7 boys that fell off home made mounds for 3 summers trying!!!

  • Greatest sports moment - winning a Blue Ribbon at 3rd grade playday - BEFORE everybody got a medal just for participating… 😞 , or beating my daughter’s boyfriend’s 6 year old at bowling a few weeks ago. Punk.

  • @nuleafjhawk That’s a list you can be proud of! And I’m sure that 6 year old was a punk.