I haven't been around for the longest amount of time, being only 13 years of age. But in those 13 years, my sports teams have had lots of highs and lows—very deep lows.
I have compiled my top six sports moments (I picked six because five was too much, the usual ten was too many, and seven, eight, and nine don't work out as well). I'm a Wisconsin sports teams fan, so all of these moments will come from one of those teams. Keep in mind that I don't remember such events as the Packers winning the Super Bowl.
Here are my top six moments:
6. In 2004-05, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers became the Cinderella of the NCAA men's tournament. Coached by Bruce Pearl, they reached the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in program history. In fact, they won their first ever NCAA tournament game with a win over Alabama, and later won their second ever over Boston College. They were led by Alan Hanson and Boo Davis.
5. In 2005, University of Wisconsin head football coach Barry Alvarez announced that he would retire following the upcoming season. The Badgers reached the Capital One Bowl to face the Auburn Tigers, led by running backs Cedric Benson and Cadillac Williams (do those names sound familiar?). They won, 24-10, fueled by 213 rushing yards from Brian Calhoun as Alvarez walked off the field as a winner.
4. The Green Bay Packers showed that youth can be effective in 2007. With a group of young players and an old Brett Favre, they went 13-3 in the regular season. In the NFC Divisional Round game, they struggled early on, trailing 14-0 against the Seattle Seahawks. But the Pack flourished in the snow, eventually winning 42-20. Ryan Grant rushed for 201 yards and Favre threw three touchdowns as Green Bay advanced to their first NFC Championship game that I remember.
3. Dwyane Wade showed himself to the nation in 2003-04 when Marquette made a Final Four run. This moment came when Marquette defeated No. 1 seed Kentucky to advance to the Final Four. Wade had a triple-double in that game and it was the first time I remember that I was really into college basketball.
2. I was standing up, trying to find any voice left in me to scream, waving my towel, and clapping along with the other 41,101 people as Ryan Braun waited for the delivery from Raul Chavez of the Pirates. BANG! GONE! He launched the pitch into the left field bleachers for a walk-off grand slam! This was the game that boosted the Brewers' morale and gave them the jolt that propelled them into the playoffs—and I can't believe I was there!
1. 26 years is a long time. That's how long Brewers fans waited for October baseball. With a playoff berth on the line, Ryan Braun launched a go-ahead two run blast to make the score 3-1. The acquisition, CC Sabathia, took the hill for the top of the ninth to give the Brew Crew their long-awaited playoff berth. With one out and Cubs' shortstop Ryan Theriot on first, he threw the pitch to Derrek Lee. "Here's a ground ball! Durham! To Hardy! To Fielder! Brewers Win! Brewers Win!" Announcer Brian Anderson called the play of my lifetime. I ran down the street, rejoicing for October baseball, at last!