Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fave Five of 2009 - Sporting Events

I watched more sporting events than I can even remember in the past year. I went to a bunch of NBA games, some baseball games and even some college football games. However, none of the games I attended came close to cracking this list, of my favorite games of 2009.

Just to be clear, when I say "games", I mean "games", not "events" or "races" or "matches". And yes, I'm aware there's a significant basketball bias on my list -- that's why it's MY list.

5. Eastern Conference Finals Game 2 - Cavaliers 96, Magic 95
I almost considered leaving this game off my list because of my hatred for this series, but LeBron James's dramatic three-pointer at the buzzer was just too great to ignore. I did multiple laps around my living room when LeBron hit that shot (to be fair, I have a small living room).

4. Twins 6, Tigers 5 (12 innings)
The last game of the 2009 MLB regular season was full of twists and turns (and awful announcing, but we’ll ignore that). The Twins fell behind 3-0 in the third, then took a lead before giving up a run in the 8th. The 10th inning featured both teams scoring a single run, and might have been one of the most amazing innings I've ever seen. In the 12th, the Twins got out of a bases-loaded jam, then scored in the bottom of the inning to advance to the postseason.

3. Eastern Conference First Round Game 6 - Bulls 128, Celtics 127 (3 OT)
There's really no way to sum up this game in just a few words. It was incredibly impressive even if, like me, you disliked both teams. Ray Allen scored 51 points for the Celtics, and sent the game into a third overtime with a three-pointer near the end of double-OT. Derrick Rose had 28 points in what was his coming out party and blocked a potential game-winner by Rajon Rondo with seven seconds left. It even had Joakim Noah throwing down on Paul Pierce. Just a great game in a great series.

2. Big East Quarterfinals - Syracuse 127, UConn 117 (6 OT)
How long was this game? I didn't even turn it on until the end of regulation and I got to watch 30 minutes of basketball (that took about 90 minutes to play). I still have no idea how Syracuse was able to play a game the next day, much less win it. Jonny Flynn played 67 minutes -- or basically double the average for a normal college basketball starter. Amazingly, it all looked like it had ended in regulation, but Eric Devendorf's potential game-winner was just after the buzzer. My favorite stat from the game? Syracuse never led at any point in overtimes 1-5, but ended up winning the game.

1. Super Bowl XLIII - Steelers 27, Cardinals 23
Let's see. 100-yard interception return touchdown to end the first half? Check. Double-digit comeback from unlikely Super Bowl team, putting them in striking distance of their first title? Check. Another 350-yard passing day by Kurt Warner, who seems to do this all the time in the Super Bowl? Check. A last-minute drive by the Steelers featuring an absurd 40-yard play on 3rd down? Check. One of the best touchdown catches in Super Bowl history, with Santonio Holmes barely keeping his feet in bounds? Yeah, that's your game of the year.

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