Looking back on the last 10 years, you forget how much has happened that is now a part of sports history.
What accomplishments or events did fans’ get to watch that will never be forgotten?
It seems that athletes off the field antics caused most of the buzz, a few examples being Michael Vick, Jason Williams, Roger Clemens, Plaxico Buress, A-rod and the latest being the destruction of Tiger-mania.
Sometimes a reminder that the athlete did not fail to impress in any way; it was the trademark of the athlete that took the greatest hit since the start of the century in 2000.
In Part One of What A Decade, let’s remember the real athletic achievements that happened only on the court, field, course, at the pool etc. The marks made that have changed the sports world for good.
To capture the essence of the years of 2000 to the present, I asked friends and family to help out. The question was straightforward, “What’s the top, within this past decade, sporting event that stands-out in your mind? One, that will never be forgotten because its impact was so great?”
In no order, here’s the top answers, along with videos of the memories:
1) Even as a Yankee fan, no one can or will ever forget the game that broke a curse dating back to 1918.
Finally, after 86 years the Boston Red Sox were the World Series Champions and they did it again just three years later in 2007.
In the 2004 ALCS being down 0-3 to their rival Yankees, the Red Sox fate seemed bleak. Boston fan’s never-ending frustration finally got the wake-up call of a century. The Red Sox were about to lose the series in the ninth inning in-game four, but as we all know that did not happen.
The Boston Red Sox fought back from the hardest spot possible, but giving-up just was not sufficient to this team anymore.
The Red Sox finally were the World Series Champions; a position that was well deserved. For Boston, it was the proudest day in the city’s history because the fans never gave-up either.
2) In 2001, Nascar’s most devastating loss ever imagine, the impact also changed the sport itself for the better.
During the final lap at, on the last curve at the Daytona 500, driver Dale Earnhardt died in a horrific accident. Earnhardt’s death is still breaking Nascar drivers and fans hearts today, as their hero who can never be replaced.
Still surreal, Earnhardt’s death still lives in the reality that made drivers realize their own mortality and it changes racing forever. Nascar’s non-existing safety rules were now going to change by not being left up to the driver’s own discretion ever again.
Dale Earnhardt’s influence is clear, and the racing world will never be the same without him.
At the start of the decade, Woods became the 2000 PGA Player of the Year. Just two years later in 2002, Tiger won his second consecutive Masters green jacket, second US Open making him the youngest player ever to have seven cardinal wins at the age of 27.
In dramatic fashion, the 2008 US Open gave Tiger won his 14th major title overcoming the pain of recent knee surgery the golfer limped of after the last hole. It will go down as one of the most prolific moments in not only PGA history but as the greatest example of what a true champion is that the sports world has ever seen.
4) In sports, the story where a David beats a Goliath makes the assumption ‘dreams can come true’ feasible for anyone.
That is why the 2007 New York Giants feat of winning the Super Bowl is cemented as a top example of it. Playing as a team to lose and against all probability the G-men’s season ended with a loss to the undefeated New England Patriots. Who knew that a loss could be the greatest win for a team in NFL history?
Heading into the playoff’s, the Giants started in Tampa Bay; next stop Dallas to beat the Cowboys; to the frigid temperatures of Green Bay, WI to finish the Packers. Shocking the sports world, these GIANT underdog’s by all calculations were heading to Arizona to face the Golith-like-Patriots. With the point spread at 13, not in their favor, the Giants maintained a swagger about them that was intoxicating.
With perhaps the greatest game-deciding catch ever, by WR David Tyree (who had only caught four passes all season long), the New York Giants showed the world that how having the bigger heart will always be a champion over a bigger head.
5) Talk about smoking the competition?
That is exactly what Michael Phelps did, and I am referring to his abilities in the swimming pool. The total amount of metals won in the Olympics is 16, but with eight golds all happening in the 2008 Games. Overall making Phelps the distinguished record-holder for most gold metals won in a single Men’s Olympic Game, in history.
The 14 gold and two bronze metals makes Michael the most decorated Olympian ever to compete in the games. This past summer, Phelps broke his 37 World Record on August 2, and he is just 24 years old.Phelps won the World Swimmer of the Year Award in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. After the historic eight golds in Beijing, rightly so Michael Phelps won the 2008 Sports Illustrated Magazine Sportsman of the Year Award. (won too many numerous awards to list)
Being so young and already accomplishing more then most nations, Michael Phelps is just starting. The excitement and possibilities about what else this athlete can perform is pretty much anything he wants too.
6) The first witnessing of this athlete was undoubtedly something that would be difficult to ignore.
His last name fits him as well as his track shoes, Usain Bolt of Jamaica is by far the fastest sprinter to participate in the sport.
Standing at 6’5 and just turning 22 years old, this guy is not only beating World Records by a landslide. Bolt is single-handily earning the respect for a much tarnished sport in need of a super-god. Bolt only realized his talent merely seven years ago in his homeland of Jamaica.
He has bolted into being the best ever in the history. He hit the 100-meter world record in May 2008 after only running that span a handful of times. Usain not only holds the record for the 100-meter, but the 200-meter as well.
On August 20, 2009, Bolt beat a 12-year standing World Record for the 200-meter. It has previously been held by the USA’s Michael Johnson.
Bolt ran the 200-meter in 19.19 seconds, the new World Record. Usain Bolt is lightening on the track and it is something that no one might ever see again in sports history.
There are so many moments over the past ten years that contain personal meaning to individuals all around the world. The above is just the tip from the various answers received.
As a whole, we all forget that these athletes are rewriting the record books right in front of our eyes.
The achievements of the first decade in a new century, is one where the world of sports has provided more stimulating, undeniably phenomenal memories then any fan could ever ask for.