101 Greatest Moments in Sports 2023
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Intruduction to 101 Greatest Moments in Sports 2023
Attention, fellow sports fanat-ics—here’s something you’ll learn even quicker than Usain Bolt (see #11), more heart-breakingly than a Protopopovs death spiral (#81) and as acute-ly as a Randy Couture left to the jaw (#65) when compil-ing something as instantly debatable as The 101 Greatest Moments in Sports: 101 is a very tiny number.
So let’s call out the elephant right here and now. There are a few moments we missed, or nearly did. They include the following three, but likely three hundred others—give or take a few thousand:
“You might want to have another look at that Jimmy Connors U.S. Open run in 1991,” a friend mentioned (with some restraint) when weighing in on an earlier draft of this list—which ran deep into the 140s.
“You’re not including water polo?” said a colleague, kind of incredulous, before making us promise to watch the 2006 Hungarian documentary Freedom’s Fury, about a bloody 1956 battle (in a pool) with the Soviets.
“Sumo wrestling needs to be in here,” we were also told. “It’s the most exciting live sporting event you’ll ever see.” It’s in there (#80).
Guaranteed there will be feelings of all kinds when visiting or revisiting these moments. Like an old John Wooden quote, sports will tap into deeper things. And, like a young Marty McSorley body check, they tend to flatten you unexpectebly at times. You may find it challenging, for example, to read that quote from coach Shannon Miller of Canada’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team (#79) without getting verklempt. Same goes for Hank Aaron’s kind words (#9) to that poor Dodgers pitcher who tossed him his 715th homer.
The stats and final scores-sure they are imported . Any Cammi Granato, Mike Eruzione or Francois Pienaar can tell you that. But the greatest moments in sports can transport us beyond the buzzer, anchor into the bigger picture and achieve even greater things.
“Sport has the power to change the world,” said Nel-son Mandela, who knew something on the subject. “It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”
But back to those missing moments. Jimmy Connors furiously called the chair umpire “a bum” right to his face after a dicey call on a crucial point during the ’91 U.S. Open—before shaking the guy’s hand at the end of an unforgettable match worthy of inclusion here. With apologies to Jimmy, we fully anticipate that same team VSLULW IURP \RX ZKHQ ÁLSSLQJ IURP WRQXPHUR uno. Mainly, enjoy the game.