by Zooly Juice
People and events in sports that give me the chills
|I'm just your regular average Joe. I am also very proud to say that I eat, sleep, and breath sports. I am even more proud to say that over the course of my non-illustrious sporting career, I have managed to become mediocre-to-bad at pretty much every sport that I have ever attempted to play. I never made the competitive team in hockey growing up, I am only just recently able to shoot under 100 in a round of golf, I could not jump high enough to be really good at basketball, I have played tennis with the same two friends growing up and have played close to 300 combined matches against them with a gleaming 0-300 record, I played on the high school football team and I had the ball thrown to me three times all season long (one of which was destined to be a touchdown until a player from my own team tripped me up by accident), my parents signed my up for soccer and I actually shit my pants on the pitch and I never played again, and I have recently picked up fishing as my favorite pass-time.|
That being said, I would like to dedicate the following top 10 list to my love of sports. This is not a traditional top 10 list in the sense that it is not in any particular order, so for arguments sake, lets just call it a 10 list. It should also be mentioned that at least three or four of the items on my list still give me chills or goosebumps to this day, whenever I see the highlights. I'm not exactly sure which ones give me this awesome feeling, because I have a terrible memory, and I don't see these highlights all that often since my cable was recently cut-off...
1) Joe Carter's World Series Winning Homerun: I'm not even sure how this one made the list. I don't even like baseball. I can remember being young, I would be up at my cottage for the entire summer with just my parents, and this was when the Toronto Blue Jays actually had a great team. Roberto Alomar, Devon White, Joe Carter etc. I could be mistaken, but I believe the Blue Jays had won the World Series a few years earlier against the Atlanta Braves, but the clinching play was not nearly as exciting. It was just some ground ball to the pitcher and a flip to first base that got it done. This one was the real deal though, I don't know what the pitch count was, or any of the minute details, but burned in my memory is the vision of Joe Carter rounding the bases hopping up and down like a school child, waiting to get to home plate where he would be mauled by his teammates. I can't think of a better way to win a Championship.
2) Micheal Jordan - Take Your Pick: There's really just too many to mention for this guy. The first time he did the Air Jordan dunk in the Slam Dunk Competition, the integral role he played in six championships, the reverse lay-up against the Lakers that they still use in the promo for the NBA finals, or the small push-off on Byron Russell to win the title. Any of them really, he was just a treat to watch.
3) Tony Hawk and the 720: Don't know anything about skateboarding, completely terrified of it, not even sure if he was the first one to pull this move off. Anyways, I remember that clip of him trying over and over to land the 720...and then he finally does. That shit is crazy. Nobody should be able to do that on a skateboard. In fact, I'm pretty sure that there are laws in certain states that either outlaw or ban that sort of thing. Those laws have since come to be known as the laws of physics and gravity.
4) Roger Federer (see Michael Jordan): This one really isn't about one particular play, match, or shot. Its basically just to recognize the brilliance of this guy. The thing I love the most about Roger is that win or lose, straight sets or five set grueling match, he looks like he never breaks a sweat. He barely even looks like he's trying or thinking about it. I'm pretty sure that if you could look into Rogers mind while he's dominating a tennis match, he's probably thinking about what he's going to eat for dinner, or perhaps he solves anagrams mid-shots. It's just a crazy hunch, but in my mind, it's actually quite plausible.
5) George St. Pierre: When it comes to the UFC, I am a firm believer that Anderson Silva is by far the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, but being that I am Canadian, I am more a fan of George. He's had only two losses in his career, he hasn't looked overly impressive in his last few victories, but he is still easily one of the best. He basically just makes my list because I was fortunate enough to go see him win a fight in Montreal. Wow! It was fucking bonkers, if you ever get the chance to see a sporting event in Montreal where the locals have the opportunity the cheer for a local, I highly recommend doing it. They were literally chanting for GSP from the time they entered the building, which was around 6 or 7pm, until the time when he finally got to the stage, which was at about 11pm or later. I also went to this fight with a Francophone friend of mine and just seeing how highly intoxicated he was, with a huge shit-eater grin across his face was worth the price of admission. He also won the fight.
6) Tiger Woods (See Michael Jordan and Roger Federer): Love him or hate him, this guy is fucking unreal. I should also point out that I am so addicted to golf that it's borderline sickening. I should also point out that I'm not in love with only Tiger, there's currently no less than 15 golfers right now that I have a self-admitted man-crush on. I grew up after the Jack Nicklaus era, and although Jack was by far a better man (from what I've been hearing), Tiger brings an excitement to the game that is tough to match.
7) Mike Weir Winning The Masters: I almost got fired from my job at the time for this one. I was a bartender at a local mom & pop diner, and I have no idea why I would even agree to work on the final Sunday of The Masters in the first place, but it happened. Mike makes a tough putt on 18 to force the play-off with Len Mattiace, who on the first play-off hole, I think he shanked his drive into the woods. Weir didn't play the hole great either, I think he made bogey to win the tournament. I vividly remember him hitting the tournament winning putt and I think I shouted out "Fuck Yeah!" or something else unsavory for a family diner and slammed my fist down on the bar. It was such a great moment. A Canadian won The Masters! We can only golf up here for five months a year at best, how in the fuck did that happen. It doesn't matter really, it happened.
8) My First Nickel: Every year my friends and I go on a boys-only excursion in late June to my friends parents cottage. We even make t-shirts to commemorate the annual event, we usually drive up on a Friday morning, some people just swim, some people just drink and do mind altering drugs, and some people like to basically fish the fuck out of his tiny lake. I fall into the latter species. Two years ago, I went out with two friends, and this was just as I was starting to figure out how to properly catch fish. I can remember it biting my line, I can remember the lure I used, I can remember how big this fatty was when I pulled him over the side of the boat. One of my friends, who has been fishing since he was old enough to hold his own pecker when he pee's, looked over and gave the words of approval: "Well, if you've never caught a five-pound bass in your life, you have now" I was so happy that I gave this lunker a kiss on the forehead and sent him back to his people. I would also like to point out that we have strict regulations in regards to when you can fish in Ontario, and that I am extremely jealous that you can fish year-round in the states, and catch 15+ pound bass. That's just simply unfair, and I am jealous.
9) The Ultimate Warrior: I used to love wrestling, not so much any more, but this memory still sticks out in my head. I know that I hated the Honky Tonk Man and I'm not even sure why. I don't even think I knew who the Ultimate Warrior was at this point, but Honky Tonk Man was the champion and I hated him. Anyhow, this fucking steroid raging maniac basically just runs down the isle, down into the ring, body slams the champ in what seemed like ten seconds, and runs out with the belt. It was magical. It was almost like Superwoman flew into your bedroom and fucked you before you even knew that you had just been fucked.
10) Sidney Crosby's Olympic Goal: I was at the Vancouver Olympics, I was in attendance when our female team won the gold medal, I've been to a Stanley Cup Finals before, but it was nothing even close to this. When the female team was just getting on the ice, the building felt as though it was shaking from an earthquake, it was that loud and tangible. I wished I had the chance to go see the men's finals but these tickets were not only ridiculously expensive, but they were also next to impossible to purchase even if you had the money for them. Anyhow, I flew home in just enough time to watch the gold medal game a few nights after. It was also the first time that I have watched an entire hockey game with my entire family. I can remember the game going into overtime and everyone in my house was so nervous that you could feel the tension...and then Sidney Crosby scores (sort of) a crappy little between the legs goal on Ryan Miller, and in one sweet moment, everything was right in the world again. I'm not a religious person by any stretch, but on the day and weeks after the Vancouver Olympics, if you had asked me what my religion was, I probably would have said hockey.