It's been said that a person's life is more defined by his ability to handle adversity. It's easy for us to cite the greatest moments in sports history, but it takes a special kind of courage to cite the sports moments that had made you come close to crying.
This is my list of the Top Ten worst moments as a Michigan sports fan.
It would had been the icing on the cake. The University of Michigan takes great pride in the achievements of its alumni.
When MaliVai Washington squared off against Richard Krajicek in the 1996 Wimbeldon finals, I felt that would be a crowning jewel to see a Michigan man become a Wimbledon male singles champion.
But as fast as you can say,"Look, Mom! There's a naked British chick running around the court," Krajicek easily disposed of Washington in straight sets.
Thomas scored a NBA Finals-record 25 third-quarter points as Detroit fell valiantly, 103-102, to the Lakers at the Forum.
But the best shot of the quarter was the last shot. After being treated for a severely sprained ankle, a limping Isiah makes a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the third quarter, with the Pistons leading 81-79.
Isiah Thomas' 25 points in the 3rd quarter, still remains as the most points ever scored, by a player in one quarter, in NBA Finals history. It still sucks knowing that his performance was in vain.
It was built to be the battle between the "Stars" vs the "System." Steve Yzerman and the "All-Star" team that was the Detroit Red Wings vs.Claude Lemieux and New Jersey's trapping schemes, in the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals.
In the end, Detroit had sprung the trap, and our Wings were clipped. Still to this day, I argue that the boards were giving the puck some very odd bounces in the Devil's 4-0 sweep of the Red Wings.
The puck just kept bouncing off the boards behind Vernon, then rolling in front of the net.
That series was clearly defined by bad breaks on the part of the Red Wings.
"WTF" was the first internet term I'd learned. How did I learn it...? Well, it's really simple.
All you had to do was to be present, on the internet in 1994, with a few seconds left to go in a close game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Colorado Buffaloes.
I thought it was a formality. Let Kordell drop back and throw the ball. The unwritten rule is that a "Hail Mary" pass is a "jump ball", so pass interference was rarely called under this scenario.
Why didn't the defense just simply say, "Hold the receivers and knock the ball down". Instead, they'd chosen to try to knock the ball down; unfortunately, the ball skipped across and landed in the hands of Westbrook.
What really sickens me about this was the fact that it turned Kordell Stewart into something he wasn't...a star!
In early 2001, Jim Tressel stood before a sold out pep rally for the basketball team and told everyone that he "can assure you that you will be proud of your young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially, in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Mich., on the football field,"
The one thing that's worse than getting your butt kicked, is getting your butt kicked by a person who predicted that he's going to kick your butt.
Ohio State beat Michigan 26-20 that year and they haven't look back since.
I still cannot believe that we lost that game.
Nevermind the national title implications; we'd just lost our school's greatest coach and we send him off by losing to Ohio State?
I still believe to this day, that it was that 42-39 loss to OSU, that pretty much sealed Lloyd Carr's fate as head coach. Losing that game was not an option.
It's up there with the JFK assassination, the Amilia Earhart case and the Bermuda triangle...
What really happened???
Barry Sanders, just two years after signing a contract that would make him the highest paid running back in football, and was well within striking distance of breaking the all-time NFL rushing record, suddenly retired.
There are many theories. The obvious appears to be losing; while others argue that it was a misunderstanding. Some believe that he was emotionally unstable, while others were comparing his actions to those of Terrell Owens.
All I know is this; the real victims were the fans. He gave the Lions fans a reason to buy tickets to see the Lions play.
I didn't like it; but when you look at the Lions now, you can't help but to respect Barry's decision to jump out of a plane that was clearly going down.
Folks, to understand why I'd labeled this slide as such, you must remember that this was the same scenario Michigan had faced earlier, against this same North Carolina team, in a regular-season tourney.
It didn't make sense, until the gambling scandal had broken out.
So Chris Webber, with $150,000 in his pocket, just happened to call a "TO" after coach Steve Fisher specifically told the team to not call a timeout...hmmm...
I can't pretend to find a silver lining in this garbage.
We have an irrational coach, trying to run a system without the players he needs and may not be capable of acquiring such players, should they become available.
Terrelle Pryor would had been more than capable of running this offense, but Rich allowed him to run to Ohio State. That's food for thought for those who say that he can recruit the players he needs.
I have him penciled in as a transitional coach. With Jim Harbaugh, Les Miles, Stan Parrish, and now Ron English waiting in the wings, Rich Rodriguez's tenure in Ann Arbor may be short. I suggest for now that he should consider living in a motel vs. trying to buy a house.
Yeah, I know it's not official yet; but they're playing the Packers at Lambeau Field!
I could never imagine my Lions falling to a new low; yet, here we are.
I just hope that our front office steps back, nukes the whole team, then start over from scratch like an expansion team. The only bright side is obvious...
Finishing at 0-16 guarantees that the Lions couldn't possibily go nowhere but up...