10 great emotional moments in American sporting history

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

10. Joe Namath guarantees victory and raises a finger

Before the game even started, many believed that Super Bowl III was a done deal. Everyone assumed the Baltimore Colts were going to win against the New York Jets. Well, everyone except Broadway Joe, as he shocked that American belief, twice. The first was predicting a win against the Colts, and then, he actually did it. After the 16-7 victory, he put up a single celebratory number one with his finger, an image that will be America’s cherished image for quite some time.

9. California vs. Stanford

This play that prevented John Elway and the Stanford Cardinals from going to a bowl captured all of my childhood memories by showing me that anything is possible in the game of sports. The laterals that came one after another created the greatest touchdown in the history of football. Plus, a Cal running back knocked down one of the Stanford band as Cal beat Stanford.

8. Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” farewell speech

On Lou Gehrig’s Day (July 4, 1939), The Iron Horse – who never missed a game – gave a speech that made the most unemotional man cry. “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” he said. It was a dying man spreading appreciation to all of his fans. He gave it all for the game, and the game blessed him back. Sports at its finest with a man speaking from his heart.

7. Muhammad Ali carries the Olympic torch

In the 1996 Summer Olympics, Ali carried the Olympic torch and ignited the cauldron to signal the beginning of the Olympics in Atlanta. Ali, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder, was a sight for many fans throughout the sporting realm. He was also given a second gold medal, to replace the one he tossed in the river 36 years earlier.

6. Appalachian State defeated Michigan at the Big House

Everything was against the Mountaineers; no FCS team had beaten a ranked Div. I-A team, ever. More than 107,000 fans rooted for Michigan at the “big house” (Michigan Stadium). The Mountaineers were 33