20 Sports Videos That Make You Go 'Wow'
As sports fans, these are the plays we live for.
These are the plays that make us come together as one in amazement, that make fan allegiances disappear and personal hatred for certain players evaporate. These are the plays we watch over and over again on YouTube, then send them to our friends and make them watch them over and over again. It’s like the real-life version of the AT&T “Hello” commercial.
Most of these videos make us gasp in amazement. A select few make us cringe, but still in amazement. For better or worse, though, they make us say 'wow.'
'Most Amazing Soccer Save Ever'
All hyperbole aside, this one has to rank near the top, if not at the top, of the list, as far as amazing saves are concerned.
It's ridiculous to me that anyone can think this fast when a ball is flying at his head at warp speed, but the fact that this goalkeeper can both think and move—especially like this—is mind-blowing.
In this clip, we see the goalie flip onto his hands and deflect the ball with the undersides of his cleats to successfully make the save. It can't really get any more impressive than that.
Jadeveon Clowney's Senior Year Highlights
Now that he's a fixture at South Carolina, we've all seen defensive end Jadeveon Clowney make a ridiculous play or two. But the big plays started long before he arrived in Columbia.
Plenty of people are already saying that Clowney is bound to be a top-three pick in the 2014 draft, and after watching this, it isn't hard to see why. The former South Pointe High School star's highlight reel is packed with 90-yard touchdown runs in which he is impossible to take down, and some nasty hits on the defensive side.
This video is two years old. He's gotten even more ferocious now, which is scary.
Travis Pastrana's Bike Backflip
The X Games is always full of "wow" moments, as Tim Gunn would say, but back in 2005, this was one of the best of the best.
This was a big moment for Travis Pastrana. The motocross legend was attempting a Backflip Barspin, and if successfully completed, he'd become the first-ever competitor to do so on a bike. Back in 2000, in his second X Games, Pastrana attempted a backflip on the motorcycle but it didn't go so well—he broke his foot.
This time, instead of his foot, he broke his bike—but he still managed to rebound in time to win the silver medal in Best Trick.
Sam Dekker's Game-Winning 3
Last March, while everyone was focused on the hardwood madness, this high school superstar and Wisconsin recruit diverted some of the attention to himself with this stellar play.
In the final game of his high school career, Sam Dekker—Wisconsin's Mr. Basketball—hit the game-winning three-pointer with six seconds left on the clock, carrying Sheboygan Lutheran to a comeback win in the Division 5 state championship. Dekker would finish the game with 40 points, according to Fox 11, and his name would go down in history.
Even better was the fact that he hit the legendary shot on Wisconsin's home floor, which would become his own home floor for the ensuing four years.
Garrett McNamara Surfs 100-Foot Wave
If you're really into being terrified, you should watch this guy ride a 100-foot wave.
Challenges like this are nothing new for Garrett McNamara. According to The Daily Beast, the 45-year-old surfer has been trying to break the world record for the highest wave ever surfed for about 12 years, and he finally accomplished the feat in Nazare, Portugal, last week. Good thing he finally fatefully came across those 100-footers.
The record hasn't yet been certified by Guinness, but watching this attempt is enough to make most people's knees weak.
Sidney Crosby's Awesome Assist
Sid the Kid is infamous for being one of the craftiest playmakers on the ice, and here's an example of him at his best.
Crosby has had his fair share of spectacular goals, but where he's often most impressive is in setting up his teammates. Here, we see him make a ridiculous spinning pass to Matt Cooke right in front of the net, and of course, Cooke capitalizes for the goal. Cooke sure is lucky to have Crosby to make him look good.
In the strike-shortened season, Crosby already has 10 assists and four goals for 14 points, and there's surely more where that came from.
Vince Young vs. USC in 2006 Rose Bowl
Here is perhaps the best moment of Vince Young's career—and one of the worst moments of every USC fan's life.
Back in 2006, Texas and USC met in Pasadena for the national championship. If the Trojans managed to win, it would mark their second straight national title, but Young and the Longhorns had something to say about it.
Here, we see Young rush for the decisive touchdown with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, marking his third rushing score of the game and ultimately giving the Longhorns the win in the title game.
Too bad Young couldn't have more moments like this in the pros.
Joe Adams' 60-Yard Punt Return
This year was a tough one for Arkansas, but all Razorbacks fans need to do is watch this video to remind themselves of the better days.
In November 2011, the Razorbacks victimized a hapless Tennessee team 49-7—and Joe Adams got things started off on the right foot when he returned a first-quarter punt 60 yards for a touchdown to put Arkansas up 14-0.
Given the way this return started, it didn't look like it was going to be anything special, but through sheer force of will, Adams refused to go down and dodged tackle after tackle before using his blazing speed to absolutely blow everyone away en route to the end zone.
Felix Baumgartner's Record-Breaking Freefall
What would ever possess someone to risk his life in order to set a world record for the highest-ever jump from space? Is it boredom? Recklessness?
Whatever it was, Felix Baumgartner did it—and he miraculously lived to tell about it. Along the way to his epic jump, there were weather concerns and delays, but he withstood all of the obstacles in October 2012 in order to record a record-breaking 128,100-foot supersonic freefall from space.
The daredevil began his fall 23 miles above the earth, according to FlyingMag.com, and traveled at a ridiculous speed of 843.6 mph before coming to a safe landing in New Mexico.
Skydiving is one thing—this is a completely different and terrifying category.
Ravens' Fake Field Goal Fail in Super Bowl
If the San Francisco 49ers had managed to complete the comeback in Super Bowl XLVII, we'd be talking a lot more about this disaster of a play.
Granted, at this point in the second quarter, Baltimore already had an 11-point lead and the Niners looked awful, so it didn't appear to be a huge-risk move. On 4th-and-9 from the San Francisco 14, kicker Justin Tucker lined up, but instead of sending the ball through the uprights, he took the snap and tried to run it for the first down. Alas, no dice: He was drilled out of bounds one yard short of the marker, and San Francisco took over.
Jim Harbaugh has been taking plenty of heat for his atrocious play-calling late in this game, but how about turning a bit of the ire toward older brother? He deserves it for this, especially since the Ravens ended up escaping with a slim three-point win. Why not just be conservative and kick the field goal, especially at that stage of the game?
Max Parrot's Snowboard Slopestyle Performance at X Games
The Winter X Games always amaze me because there are always so many talented (and often unheralded) athletes doing crazy, superhuman things. Max Parrot is no exception.
The snowboarder pulled off some pretty impressive stuff in the snowboard slopestyle final at this year's games, finishing with a score of 90.00 and earning the silver medal.
The 18-year-old Quebec native flipped and glided his way up and down the course, sliding on railings backwards and making me queasy at times with his sheer velocity.
Neymar's Insane Dribbling
Neymar saw plenty of acclaim this summer for his heroics on the Brazilian national team, but here's an up-close look at what he can do.
The crazy-skilled Santos forward put a serious dribbling trick on display for Catanduvense last April, and even if it didn't result in a goal, it still deserves some serious props. Plus, watching the defender mimic Neymar's movements is heartily amusing.
Ever since bursting onto the international soccer seen at the age of 19, Neymar has become renowned for his scoring prowess and footwork. He's only 21, so he'll doubtlessly be a tremendous asset for Brazil and for Santos for years to come and provide us with plenty of moments like this.
Tennessee High Schooler's 75-Foot Buzzer Beater
There's nothing like a 75-foot buzzer beater to remind you of the joys of high school basketball.
Derrick Swift of Lake County in Tennessee gave his team a little dose of magic when he sunk this shot in a state playoff game last March, sending the game into overtime and keeping his squad alive. Swift grabbed the rebound of a missed free throw, took a few steps and then sent his shot airborne, and he 100 percent deserved the team-and-cheerleader mob that met him on the court after the buzzer sounded.
Even better is the fact that Lake County won the game after Swift's miraculous shot sent the game into extra time, according to SportsGrid.
LeBron Proves He Can Sink a Shot from Anywhere
"King James" never takes a play off, nor does he waste his precious practice time. And during his practice time back in the day, when he was still with the Cavaliers, he proved that he really can sink a shot from anywhere.
Back in 2009, LeBron was shooting around with some teammates and took a series of shots from behind the baseline, in line with the first row of seats. He's human, so it took him a few attempts to make it, but he eventually nailed the way-far-behind-the-glass attempt before walking away into the tunnel.
After you make a shot like that, there's nothing left to say.
Bubba Watson's Miraculous Masters Shot
There weren't a lot of people expecting Bubba Watson to be the one to emerge triumphant from the 2012 Masters, most likely including Bubba himself. Because of this insane shot, though, he did.
Watson's rise to the top of the leaderboard last April was equal parts surprising and exhilarating, but nothing compared to the moment when he sent this shot through the trees and onto the green.
On his second playoff hole against Louis Oosthuizen at Augusta, it looked like it was all over for Watson when his first shot landed in a clearing the woods. But in a scene straight out of Happy Gilmore, he hit onto the green from the woodchips and dirt, setting himself up for his first win in a major while leaving Oosthuizen—and the rest of the golf-loving world—in shock.
Matt Ryan's Two Touchdowns in Two Minutes vs. Virginia Tech
This is one of the very few moments Boston College fans can look upon with any mixture of pride and glory.
In a magical 2007 season that saw the ACC's little team that could surge to No. 2 in the polls, this was the defining moment. The Eagles were down two touchdowns with about 2:11 left in the game, and Matt Ryan brought them all the way back from the brink of death, dealing the final blow to the Lane Stadium crowd when he connected with Andre Callender from 24 yards out with 11 seconds remaining for the game-winning score.
The third-best part of the video? Kirk Herbstreit's breathless "Oh my God" when he spots Callender open in the end zone.
The second-best part? Head coach Jeff Jagodzinski's ridiculous touchdown dance.
The best part? Ryan's projectile vomit when he gets back to the sideline.
8-Year-Old Girl's Viral Football Highlight Video
We've spent plenty of time discussing the merits of all the guys who have impressed us with their superhuman athleticism.
Now it's time to give a girl some props, an 8-year-old girl, to be exact.
Sam Gordon's highlight video started making waves at the end of last year, because who doesn't love seeing a female child run circles around her male pee-wee counterparts?
Maybe by the time Gordon graduates high school, she'll be good enough to play D-1—and some coach will be willing to let her.
Zak Showalter's Opening Tipoff Dunk
This is how you get off to a good start.
On the opening possession of a Wisconsin state semifinal game last March, Germantown's Zak Showalter definitely got his guys started off on the right foot when he took a feed from a teammate off the tipoff and dunked it.
There's something to be said for completely pummeling the other team's confidence in the first two seconds of the game, especially during playoff time, and Showalter certainly did it. He finished his high school career with first-team all-state honors and is now a freshman with the Badgers.
The Mile High Miracle
This will go down as the most legendary play of the 2012 NFL playoffs—maybe as one of the most legendary plays in football history.
And not only because it provoked perhaps the best Ray Lewis postgame sermon ever.
Nobody gave the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens a chance when they went down by a touchdown against Denver late in the fourth quarter of the divisional round. But with 31 seconds left in the game, Joe Flacco began rewriting his legacy when he connected with Jacoby Jones for a 70-yard touchdown bomb that tied the game.
From there, it's history. The Ravens won in double overtime, giving us one of the most exhilarating and shocking NFL games ever. After plowing past Peyton Manning, Flacco and the Broncos headed to Foxborough to take down the other best quarterback in the NFL; then they won the championship in New Orleans two weeks later.
And it all started with this.
Heat Fan Makes Half-Court Shot
For most fans, getting tackled by an ecstatic LeBron James might seem like enough of a gift.
But pocketing $75,000 (pre-taxes) from the LeBron James Family Foundation doesn't hurt, either.
It seems like a fairy tale, but such was the reality that faced 50-year-old Michael Drysch last week at the end of the third quarter of a Heats-Pistons game. The lucky fan sunk a half-court shot, which is something nobody really expects to happen—ever—as evidenced by LeBron's giddy reaction when someone finally did.
After Drysch hurled the ball at the hoop and it miraculously went in, the arena erupted in excitement. LeBron came out of nowhere and tackled Drysch at half court in a congratulatory embrace.
There's no way Drysch's life could possibly get any better.