While I don’t watch sports on television as much as I once did, the absence of televised games these days does mean the television remote has spent much less time in my hands than in any previous March.
So this got me thinking about what games and events from the past I would want to watch again if I could magically make them appear on my television by waving the the remote over my head three times and saying, “Whoa, Nelly” and “The Grand-daddy of them all” in my best Keith Jackson voice.
Here are 25 of my favorites, just listed, not ranked in order. What would your list look like?
1. Browns 1964 NFL championship game.
2. Hank Aaron passes Babe Ruth with career home run No. 715.
3. Notre Dame breaks UCLA’s 88-game men’s basketball winning streak.
4. Austin Carr’s scores 61 points in an NCAA tournament game.
5. Marquette wins the 1977 NCAA men’s basketball championship in Al McGuire’s last game.
6. Jack Nicklaus wins the 1986 Masters at age 46.
7. Reds-Pirates Game 5 of the 1972 NL Playoffs. Dramatic game-tying home run by Johnny Bench and it was Roberto Clemente’s last game.
8. Cavaliers-Warriors Game 7 in 2016.
9. Michigan State-Indiana State 1979 national championship game in the first Magic Johnson-Larry Bird matchup.
10. Texas vs. USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl.
11. 1979 Cotton Bowl. An ailing Joe Montana leads Notre Dame to a 35-34 win over Houston after being down by 23 points in the fourth quarter.
12. Bowling Green’s Dave Wottle wins gold in the 800 meters in the 1972 Summer Olympics.
13. 2003 Fiesta Bowl. Ohio State and Miami for the national championship.
14. 2007 Fiesta Bowl: Underdog Boise State stuns Oklahoma by perfectly executing trick plays and the star of the game proposes to his cheerleader girlfriend on the sideline after the game.
15. Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a 1962 NBA game.
16. Sam Hornish Jr. wins the 2006 Indianapolis 500 with a pass of Marco Andretti less than a quarter-mile from the finish to win by 0.06 seconds.
17. Game 4 of 2004 ALCS. Red Sox down 3-0 in a best of seven series to Yankees and Mariano Rivera is on the mound in the ninth inning. They rally to win the game, the ALCS and the World Series for the first time since 1918.
18. Duke vs. UNLV in a 1991 NCAA national semifinal. The Christian Laettner game in 1992 gets more replays, but this 79-77 Duke win over a UNLV team on a 45-game winning streak which had smashed the Blue Devils by 30 points in the championship game a year earlier was the moment Duke basketball became elite.
19. Game 7 of 2016 World Series. Sorry Indians fans but it was a great game to watch.
20. U.S.-Soviet Union Olympic hockey in 1980.
21. Ohio State-Michigan No. 1 vs. No. 2 at Ohio Stadium in 2006.
22. 1988 NBA slam dunk contest. Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins in the finals in maybe the most memorable dunk contest.
23. Game 7 of the 1975 World Series. Game 6 gets all the attention but without the win in Game 7 the Reds might have become baseball’s version of the Buffalo Bills.
24. 1966 NCAA men’s basketball championship game. Texas Western vs. Kentucky. An historic game in which Texas Western became the first national champion to start five African-American players.
25. Super Bowl III. The underdog New York Jets’ 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts, the first by a team from the American Football League over a team from the older, more established National Football League, is arguably the beginning of the NFL becoming the most popular sport in the United States.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.