Manchester City on Survival Sunday and the Most Insane Finishes in Sports
Every once in a while, something happens that demands we jump off the couch, kick the cat and spray beer all over the living room as if it were champagne.
These are those moments. It's the reason we watch. Well, except for the obvious and undying loyalty we share for our favorite sports teams.
The rest of the time is spent hoping that the latest match, contest or game is going to end with a ridiculous conclusion.
We mutter what happens to anyone that is willing to listen for the next few weeks. Starting with the obvious, "Did you see the end to that game?"
The rest is filled with smiling and the shaking of heads as you recall something that will never be forgotten.
Here are some of the best moments that we never saw coming.
Of course, you may have your own favorites and some you feel that need to be noticed. Make your claims in the comments section below.
15. Robert Horry over Sacramento Kings
We are going for insane finishes here, and Big Shot Bob had his craziest as a member of the LA Lakers.
The ball seemed to find Horry after being batted around in the paint for a few moments.
It was tough to decide between this shot and Derek Fisher's .4-second glory. Both deserve recognition, but the Lakers losing that year sullies what would have been a perfect moment.
14. Michael Phelps vs. Milorad Cavic
The insane part of this feat is how slim of a margin Michael Phelps beat Serbian swimmer Milorad Cavic by in the 2008 Beijing Games.
Phelps finished off his seventh gold of the games by taking the 100m butterfly by 0.01 seconds. You can argue that the 4x100 relay was just as epic, but this remains a controversial finish to this day.
13. Landon Donovan's 2010 World Cup Goal
Do you remember where you were when Landy Cakes struck home the game-winning goal against Algeria to guarantee the Americans moved onto the knockout stages in the 2010 World Cup?
Yeah, I do.
I was in a room that smelled like beer and featured sighs of disgust when Clint Dempsey bounced a ball off the Algerian goalie, only to be trailed by the savior of the day, Landon Donovan.
We would watch reaction videos for weeks after.
12. Super Bowl XLII
Eli Manning may have enjoyed some late-game antics in his latest Super Bowl win, but this is still one of the best finishes in history.
Baby brother grew up in an instant to answer a late Tom Brady scoring drive. Manning would take the ball at the Giants' 17 and subsequently make us all pick up our jaws from the floor.
The magnificent game-winning drive featured a seemingly impossible David Tyree catch, even to this day.
11. 2005 Champions League Final
Here is a rather lengthy video on the 2005 Champions League final that I encourage you to enjoy. It really gives a sense of the extraordinary measures that featured in the final between AC Milan and Liverpool.
The Reds came back from a 3-0 deficit, then claimed the title in a shootout that was just as heart-wrenching as the match that led up to it.
By the time Jerzy Dudek saved an attempt by Andriy Shevchenko, every last person watching this clash was drained emotionally.
10. Miracle on Ice
This finish was all about the gravity of the win and the anticipation of the nation that awaited the final seconds to drain off the clock.
The scrappy Americans were about to take down the unbeatable Soviets in the semifinals of the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics.
You get a sense of the gravitas by the ensuing melee on the ice and the roar of an American crowd.
9. 2010 Winter Olympic Gold for Canadian Hockey
If you are looking for the unlikely and incredible, you can settle on the 2010 ice hockey gold medal game in the Winter Olympics.
The Americans were big-time underdogs that managed to keep up in pace with the class of the Olympics. The game came down to a late Zach Parise score that was a perfect goal considering the manic tempo of this game.
It was an unreal moment that had both nations in shock, especially the home crowd in Vancouver. The game would go into overtime where Sidney Crosby would get the game-winner.
8. Kirk Gibson Home Run
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
A battered and hobbled Kirk Gibson comes to the plate against a stout Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series.
The last thing we thought would happen is Gibby turning on a back-door slider for a walk-off home run. However, that is exactly what went down, and the Vin Scully call is the only one worth listening to.
7. Bobby Orr 1970 Stanley Cup Winner
The Bruins took the Stanley Cup in 1970, but not before Bobby Orr hit the series-winner in overtime.
The moment would be enough to make this list on the timing alone, but it's the iconic image of Orr being tripped up and flying in the air at the end that makes it legendary.
6. Manchester City Wins First EPL Title in 44 Years
Manchester United had already taken care of Sunderland, giving City fans the sick feeling they had been carrying for decades during the 2012 Survival Sunday.
United would again win domestic glory.
Instead, an unlikely thing happened in the waning moments of the Manchester City and QPR fixture. The Blues came alive for the briefest of moments, just long enough to rip back the title.
Sergio Aguero hit one of two stoppage time goals to give City the win, the EPL title and finally some measure of bragging rights in a city so long dominated by United.
5. Michael Jordan's Final Shot with Bulls
Can I have a moment of silence for this one moment in time?
Michael Jordan drained the game-winner to clinch his sixth and final championship with the Chicago Bulls. It was the last time we would see Jordan as the unstoppable and unwavering force.
Let's forget about Jordan with the Washington Wizards or Jordan the Charlotte Bobcats owner. It just makes me sad.
4. Reggie Miller 8 Points in 9 Seconds
Reggie Miller went HAM on the New York Knicks in Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals.
New York had the game in hand until a beautiful meltdown occurred which featured one of the most brilliant nine seconds in sports history.
Miller hit a three, stole the ball and hit another. Knicks guard John Starks would get fouled, but failed to hit one shot as the image of what Miller just did filled his mind.
The Knicks then went further by fouling Miller on the next possession. Two free throws later and we all had to wonder, "What the hell just happened here?"
3. The Play: Cal vs. Stanford
This finish is the epitome of insane finishes.
Cal was dead and buried in the 1982 Big Game, down 20-19 with just seconds on the clock. That's when "nuts" met "ridiculous" in the most bizarre conclusion to a college football game ever.
The Golden Bears lateraled the ball around the field until Cal finally found the end zone and a Stanford band member.
I guess it ain't over until a Stanford band member is on the field in a heap. Go Bears.
2. Immaculate Reception
If we are talking insane acts to close out a game, we have to include the Immaculate Reception, a botched play that came out looking like fate shining brightly on Franco Harris.
The Steelers and Raiders were at the end of a great AFC divisional game in 1972. The Steelers were trailing the Raiders in what had been a closely fought playoff battle in 1972.
Terry Bradshaw called up a play for rookie Barry Pearson, but every last option went out the drain when the ball was snapped.
Bradshaw ended up gunning the ball to John Fuqua, who was subsequently hammered by Jack Tatum. The ball goes end over end in the air, seemingly destined for the ground.
That's when Harris came through, picked off the ball and marched into history.
1. Bill Mazeroski's 1960 World Series Home Run
The Pirates weren't given much of a chance against the big, bad New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series. Yet they scrapped for six games to push the Bronx Bombers to a seventh game.
The Yankees set up Mazeroski's heroics as they had produced a two-run rally at the top of the ninth to knot it at 9-9.The game ended with Maz strolling to the plate and producing a World Series-clinching walk-off home run. No big whoop.
I can already hear many of you whine about Joe Carter's home run, which was an epic finish to a series, but this happened in a Game 7.
Maz gets the edge.
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