Archive for the 5BS Greatest Sports Moments (since 1990) Category

#1: (2008) Giants Win Super Bowl XLII

Posted in 5BS Greatest Sports Moments (since 1990), Giants on May 10, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

So for the past few days, there hasn’t been too much news in the New York sports news (with the exception of Jeter shoving it in every critics’ face), so I thought it would be a good time to finish off our 5BS Greatest Sports Moments (since 1990). Here is #1:

Many ask me what my all-time favorite moment in sports. Without a doubt, it has to be the Giants winning Super Bowl XLII (and I’m sure sammywestside will agree). Now this doesn’t mean I love the Giants more than the Yankees, Islanders or Knicks. It’s the fact that it doesn’t get more perfect than the 2007 Giants’ playoff run. As the #5 seed in the NFC, the Giants had to win every game on the road to bring home a championship. Here’s the story of that memorable run:

Week 17: New England Patriots @ New York Giants

The Patriots were 15-0 headed to the Meadowlands and were looking to make history. The 10-5 Giants, who had already clinched a postseason birth the week before, were the only one’s standing in the way of the Patriots’ perfect season. The Gmen would battle the Pats (having no starters rest), but would fall short and lose 38-35. Even though it was a heart-breaking loss, the Giants learned that they could compete with the best in the league. This is the game that gave the Giants significant momentum heading into the postseason.

NFC Wild Card Game: New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After coming close to defeating the 16-0 Patriots, the Giants manhandled the Bucs in Tampa. Bucs’ cornerback Ronde Barber criticized Eli Manning’s toughness before the game, but it was Eli who had the last laugh. Eli threw for two touchdowns and 185 yards as the Giants defeated Tampa Bay 24-14. Off to Dallas.

NFC Divisional Game: New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

During the regular season, the Cowboys outplayed the Giants and won both games. But this marked the first time these two rivals ever met in the playoffs and the Giants were ready to make new history. Even though Dallas and runningback Marion Barber outplayed the Giants in the first half, the GMen found a way to come back and tie the score by halftime. In the second half, the Big Blue defense stepped up and held Dallas to only three points. After a Brandon Jacobs touchdown run, the Giants took the lead. With one more shot to win, Tony Romo lead Dallas down the field in the final seconds. But on fourth down, Romo was intercepted by R.W. McQuarters in the end zone. The Giants were headed to Lambeau.

NFC Championship Game: New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers

In one of the coldest games recorded in NFL history, the Giants were set to face the heavily favored Green Bay Packers. The Giants came out to a 6-0 lead with two Lawrence Tynes field goals, but the Packers went up 7-6 after a Brett Favre 90 yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver. Throughout the game, there would be four lead changes. But near the end of the fourth quarter, Lawrence Tynes had a chance to put the Giants on top. Unfortunately, the kick was wide right. However, the Giants were able to get the ball back and drive once more before the end of the fourth quarter. With three seconds remaining, out came Tynes once again. But the kick wasn’t even close as he shanked it wide left. The game headed to overtime with the Packers winning the coin toss and choosing to receive. But during the drive, Favre threw a pick (his last pass as a Packer) to defensive back Corey Webster on his own forty yard line. The Giants offensive was able to drive the ball within Tynes’ field goal range. Out came Tynes for his third attempt. Finally, Tynes came through to send the Giants to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants @ New England Patriots

With three straight playoff victories, the Giants (aka “Road Warriors” given they had won ten straight games on the road) headed to Glendale, Arizona for Super Bowl XLII. Their opponent: the 17-0 New England Patriots. Ironically, there little scoring in the first half. This was crucial for the Giants, given that the Patriots had the most prolific offense in NFL history. The Giants defensive line significantly outplayed the Patriots O-line. Throughout the game, the Giants sacked Brady five times with a forced fumble. At halftime, the Patriots lead 7-3. But early in the fourth quarter Eli Manning found wide receiver David Tyree in the endzone for a touchdown to take a 10-7 lead. The Patriots offense finally put together an impressive drive with just five minutes left in the game. After a six yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss, Brady and the Pats took a 14-10 lead with just 2:40 left to go. It was up to Eli and the Giants to put together one final drive to win it all. In the first couple of plays, Manning was able to find Steve Smith for a first down and Jacobs executed a 4th and 1 rush near the Giants’ own 40 yard line. On the next third down, the play happened. Manning went back in the pocket and all hell broke lose. Two Patriots linemen were able to get a hold of Manning, but Eli somehow found a way to get out of the pile. He proceeded to drop back and chuck the ball down the middle of the field to Tyree. Tyree jumped in the air and held on. Patriots’ safety Rodney Harrison did everything in his best ability to disrupt the pass, but he failed. Tyree held on by using the top of his helmet to hold on as he was tackled. This was later voted as the greatest play in NFL history, but the drive was not over. After another Steve Smith first down, the Giants were in the red zone – 40 seconds remaining. The next play was the greatest moment in my sports history: Manning’s touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress. I can still remember it now – the moment I realized Burress was going to catch the winning touchdown. At the beginning of the play, Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs (who was guarding Burress) tripped and Burress was left alone in the endzone. Eli immediately saw Plaxico and threw a perfect pass in the back of the endzone: 17-14 Giants, 30 seconds to go and one final chance for Brady to make history. But the Giants’ defense made sure Brady wouldn’t get a chance. After a crucial sack by Jay Alford, the Patriots were left with one final play. On fourth down, Brady threw a bomb to Moss but was easily deflected. The Giants were Super Bowl champions.

Advertisements

#2: (1996) Yankees Win World Series

Posted in 5BS Greatest Sports Moments (since 1990), Yankees on July 28, 2010 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Coming off a disappointing 1995 postseason, the New York Yankees saw 1996 as a prime opportunity to win their first championship in 18 years. Yankee legend Don Mattingly retired after the 1995 season and the Yankees needed to a new first baseman. The Yanks believed Tino Martinez of the Seattle Mariners would be the perfect fit. With Tino on board, the front office continued to make drastic changes. Steinbrenner made the unpopular move of firing skipper Buck Showalter and replacing him with Joe Torre. Torre, who had managed the Mets a decade before, didn’t seem to be the best choice according to New York. The day after Torre was hired, the Daily News had their sports section headlined with “Clueless Joe.” Along with a new manager, the Yankees brought up a new shortstop by the name of Derek Jeter. With Tony Fernandez out for the season, Jeter was named starting shortstop just days prior to the beginning of the ’96 season. Throughout the year, the Yanks performed like they were the best team in the American League. Jeter was outstanding and earned Rookie of the Year honors. A mid-season trade with the Tigers sent All-Star slugger Cecil Fielder to the Bronx boosting the Yankees already potent lineup. Winning 92 games, the Yankees won the American League East for first time since 1981.

In the American League Division Series, the Yankees took care off the hard-hitting Texas Rangers in three games. In the Championship Series, the Yanks faced their division foe, the Baltimore Orioles. Game One was one of the most memorable games in Yankees postseason history. Down 4-3 in the 8th inning, Derek Jeter hit an opposite field shot near the right field wall. Orioles’ outfielder, Tony Torrasco ran to the warning track to make the catch, but all of a sudden, a fan reached over the wall and caught it. The umpire wrongfully called the shot a home run and the game was tied 4-4. In extra innings, Bernie Williams ended Game 1 with a home run to left field to give the Yanks a 1-0 series lead. Even though Baltimore won game 2, the Yankees won the next three games on the road to advance to their first World Series in fifteen years.

Against the heavily favored Atlanta Braves, the Yankees did not show up for the first two games of the World Series. After a 12-1 blowout loss and a 4-0 shutout, the Yanks had their backs to the wall heading into Atlanta. The Braves were looking to take complete control of the series with Tom Glavine on the bump for Game 3. But David Cone and the Yankees persevered and won 5-2.

In Game 4, the Braves knocked around Yankee starter Kenny Rogers and took a 6-0 lead after three innings. The Yanks were able to cut the lead to 6-3 after a couple of key hits by Jeter, Fielder, and Charlie Hayes, but heading into the 8th inning the Braves still lead by three. Braves manager Bobby Cox decided to hand the ball over to their closer, Mark Wohlers, in order to get the last six outs of the ballgame. Off Wohlers, the Yankees threatened. With two on and one out, catcher Jim Leyritz came to the plate. In one of the greatest at-bats by a New York Yankee, Leyritz took the count 2-2 after fouling off fastball after fastball. With the sixth pitch of the at-bat, Leyritz drilled Wohler’s slider to deep left field for a three-run home run, tying the score, and ultimately shifting the momentum of the series.

Andy Pettite got the start for the Yankees for Game 5, where he was looking to avenge his awful start in Game 1. He pitched magnificently. After getting out crucial jams, including one where he threw a runner out at third on a sacrifice bunt, Pettitte went eight strong. Clinging to a 1-0 lead in the 9th, closer John Wetteland replaced Pettitte. With Chipper Jones on third with one out, Atlanta looked to regain the momentum. But with Wettelend able to get the second out without Jones scoring, the Yanks were one pitch away from leading the series and heading home. In the final at-bat, Braves pinch-hitter Luis Polonia hit a line-drive to deep right field. Yankee right-fielder,  Paul O’Neill sprinted, with a strained hamstring, reached out and caught the ball at the wall. The Yankees were ready to return to the Bronx and capture the title.

Back in the Bronx, New York was ready. Even with Greg Maddux on the mound for Atlanta, Yankee fans knew this would be the last game of the series. After two scoreless innings, the Yanks broke through in the third. After an O’Neill double, Joe Girardi came up to the plate with one out. On the very first pitch, Girardi smoked a shot to right-center field that bounced up against the wall. With O’Neill already scored, Girardi slid safely into third with a triple. The stadium was absolutely deafening. Some fans have called it the loudest moment in Yankee Stadium history. After two more runs in the third, the Yankees were 3-0 and looked to finish off the Braves. Atlanta salvaged a run in the top of the 4th, but were held scoreless till the top of 9th. After Mariano Rivera did his job in the 8th, Wetteland was given the ball to end the series. The Braves, however, showed fight. After a couple of hits and a run, Atlanta cut the score to 3-2 with the tying run on 2nd with two outs. But like always, Wetteland came though. Braves’ second baseman Mark Lemke  popped up in foul territory to Charlie Hayes. The Yankees were champions for the first time since 1978. A dynasty was born.

(3): Larry Johnson’s Four Point Play

Posted in 5BS Greatest Sports Moments (since 1990), Knicks on March 26, 2010 by EAST SIDE RYNO

If you look back to moment #12, you can read about the excitement of the first round of the 1999 playoffs for the Knicks. After defeating the heavily favored Miami Heat, the Knicks went on to take the Atlanta Hawks. Even though the Hawks were favored in the series, the Knicks swept Atlanta and forced a showdown against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. After splitting the first two games in Indiana, the Knicks headed home for Game 3, but without their star center. In Game 2, Patrick Ewing suffered an injury to his achilles heel and would miss the rest of the postseason. Throughout Game 3, it seemed as if the Pacers were going to run away with the game, and ultimately the series. But the Knicks fought back and made it 91-88 with 12 seconds to go. Charlie Ward imbounded the ball to Larry Johnson. After waiting four seconds, LJ put up the three. During the shot, the whistle was blown. Everyone in the Garden knew if the shot went in, Johnson would have a chance for a four point play. As soon as the ball went through the hoop, the Garden, all at once, erupted. While watching the game uptown, I could hear people screaming from the streets. The city, as one unit, was rejoicing the improbable play. After settling down, Johnson made the clutch foul shot to put the Knicks up by one. The shot gave the Knicks a 2-1 lead in the series. The Knicks would eventually win the series in six games and become the first #8 seed to reach the finals in NBA history.

Here is a video about the 1999 New York Knicks. The story of the four-point play begins at 4:35.

(4): The 2001 World Series

Posted in 5BS Greatest Sports Moments (since 1990), Yankees on March 25, 2010 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Even though the Yankees didn’t come out on top in the 2001 season, this was by far the most exciting World Series I have ever seen. Now in New York, this was a special Series, given the fact that 9/11 was only a little under months before the 2001 playoffs. To this city, the Yankees were the one thing that brought people back to a state of normalcy. Paranoia still filled the streets of New York during the time of the World Series and New Yorkers needed something to cheer about.

The beginning of the Yankees postseason magic began in the 2001 Division Series against the Oakland Athletics. Down 2-0 in the series and on the verge of elimination, the Yanks pulled through in Oakland. Up 1-0 in the 5th inning, Derek Jeter made one of the greatest plays I have ever seen. With Jeremy Giambi on first, Oakland outfielder Terrance Long roped the ball down the right field line past a diving Tino Martinez. Giambi was waved around third and headed home. Spencer’s throw from the outfield sailed over Tino’s head and was headed in between home and first. Clearly, the ball wasn’t going to make it in time to get Giambi out. Then out of nowhere, Jeter came sprinting in from shortstop and was able to backhand the ball and shuffle the ball to Posada to get Giambi out in time. The play gave the Yanks momentum throughout the Division Series and right into the ALCS against the favored Seattle Mariners.

In the ALCS, the Yankees showed the Seattle Mariners that the regular season was in the past. (Seattle won an American League record 116 wins)  The Yanks took the first two games of the series at Safeco. With game 3 won by Seattle, the Yanks bounced back in the 4th game with an Alfonso Soriano walk-off home run. In Game 5, the Yanks cruised to an easy victory to seal their fourth straight American League title.

In the first two games of the World Series, it couldn’t have gone worse for the Yankees.  With Diamondback aces Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson pitching two absolute gems, the Yanks quickly fell behind 2-0 in the series. The series then headed to the Bronx. Before Game 3, it was said that President Bush was going to throw out the first pitch. Given the circumstances and the lingering paranoia still around the city, it took almost an hour to get into the stadium. Security was having every fan go through a metal detector. I was in the middle of this absolute madness before Game 3, but I gotta tell you, it was worth it. As soon as I walked into the stadium, I could feel the aura of the ballpark. This was different than any other Yankee game I had ever been to, including game 4 of the ’99 World Series. It seemed that everyone in the park was pulling together as one unit. When President Bush came out to throw the first pitch, the stadium erupted. When he threw a strike, the stadium got even louder. This set the stage for an ultimate Yankee series comeback. With phenomenal pitching by Roger Clemens, the Yanks were back in the series.

On a cold and clear Halloween night, the Yanks were looking to tie the series at two games apiece. Yankee starter, El Duque, had some trouble in the first, but was able to battle out of the inning with no damage done. Curt Schilling answered all his critics by absolutely shoving on three days rest. With the exception of a Shane Spencer home run in the third, Schillng was unhittable. The Diamondbacks managed to get three run off the Yankee pitchers and had a 3-1 lead heading into the eighth inning. In that inning, Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly had a decision to make- let Schilling pitch the 8th or bring in their closer, Byung-Hyun Kim to get a six out save. Brenly chose Kim. The D’backs closer struck out the side in the 8th, but in the 9th Kim got in a little trouble. O’Neill manage to hit a one-out bloop single and forced the tying run to come up the plate. However, Kim managed to strike out Bernie Williams. Arizona was one out away from going ahead 3-1 in the series. But up came Tino Martinez…

The game was sent to extra innings. In the 11th inning, the clock struck 12 midnight, meaning that this was the first World Series game ever to be played in November. This first batter of the new month…Derek Jeter. With a 2-2 count, Jeter drove the pitch to opposite way and cleared the right field wall for a walk-off home run. The series was tied and baseball had a “Mr. November.”

After Game 4, it was hard to ask for another historic ballgame. Little did we know it was going to be even better. Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina had a strong outing with the exception of two solo shots by Arizona. D’backs starter Miguel Bautista was magnificent going 7 2/3 giving up no runs. But in the 9th inning, Bob Brenly called on Kim once again. Jorge Posada led the inning off with a double. After a fly out and a strike out, the stage was set for Scott Brosius to come through with 2 outs. Down 0-2 in the count, Brosius knocked Kim’s hanging slider out of the park. It had happened again…

Down 2 runs in the 9th with 2 outs, the Yanks were able to bounce back. In the 12th, the miracle was complete after Soriano’s walk off single. The Yankees would lose the next two games in Arizona and lose the series, but no one will ever forget the magical three games at Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series.

(#5): The Perfect Season

Posted in 5BS Greatest Sports Moments (since 1990), Yankees on March 23, 2010 by EAST SIDE RYNO

The greatest season in baseball history…period. The 1998 New York Yankees finished their miraculous season with an incredible 114 wins. (125 wins if you count the postseason) After coming off a disappointing 1997 season, the Yanks were determined to reach their ultimate goal and win a 24th championship. New acquistions, such as quality infielders Chuck Knoblauch and Scott Brosius, put the Yanks in a position to cruise through the American League. The season, however, began with a rough patch. The Yankees lost four of their first five games. Steinbrenner considered firing Torre, but the Yanks were able to get out of their funk. After winning a close game in Seattle, the Yankees would never look back.

During the season, there were some moments that would go down as the some of the greatest in Yankees history. Here are some of these fantastic moments:

– David Wells pitches a perfect game

– Darryl Strawberry’s two game-winning pinch-hit home runs (one being a grand slam)

– Bernie Williams’ walk off HR against Texas

– Shane Spencer’s ten home runs in September

With 114 victories, the Yankees won the AL East Division and finished with the best record in baseball. After cruising past the Texas Rangers in the Division Series, the Yanks were set to play the hated Cleveland Indians. In ’97, Cleveland knocked the Yankees out in the first round of the playoffs and the Bombers were looking for revenge. The first game of the series went to the Yankees after a 5-run first inning lead over Indians pitcher Jaret Wright. Game 2 went to the Indians after an extra inning blunder by Chuck Knoblauch. After the Indians took Game 3 at Jacobs Field, the Yanks had their backs against the wall. But in Game 4, Cuban refugee Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez came through and provided a crucial win to tie the series. David Wells and Chile Davis gave the Yanks another victory in Game 5 and sent the series back to New York with the Yanks up 3-2 in the series. In Game 6, the Yankees wouldn’t disappoint. With an easy victory, the Yanks found themselves back in the World Series.

Game 1 of the 1998 World Series will always go down as one of the greatest games in World Series history. With the Yanks down 5-2 in the 7th inning, the Bombers’ bats exploded. Knoblauch redeemed himself with a game-tying three-run home run. Four batters later, first baseman Tino Martinez knocked a grand-slam into the right field upper deck to put the Yankees up for good. After a Game 2 blowout, the Yanks headed to San Diego up 2-0 in the series. In Game 3, more Yankee magic came to life in the late innings. Down 3-0 in the 7th, Scott Brosius led the inning off with a solo shot. One inning later, Brosius officially became a Yankee legend. With two runners on with the Yanks down by one, the Padres put in their “unhittable” closer Trevor Hoffman. With Brosius up to the plate, the Yankees were looking for some more magic. With a 2-2 count, Brosius hit Hoffman’s fastball over the centerfield wall to put the Yanks up 5-3. The Yankees would win the game and take a 3-0 series lead. Looking for a sweep, the Yankees finally broke a scoreless tie with a run in the 6th in Game 4. After adding two more runs in the 8th, the stage was set for Mariano Rivera. It was definitely appropriate that the final out of the series was a groundball to World Series MVP, my man Scott Brosius. The Yankees found themselves back on top and were well on their way to becoming a dynasty.

#6: (2003) Aaron Boone…

Posted in 5BS Greatest Sports Moments (since 1990), Yankees on March 5, 2010 by EAST SIDE RYNO

The most exciting moment I have ever seen in Yankees history. In this series, the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry exploded for the first time since the late 1970s. In Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS, Pedro Martinez decided to become a little baby and tried to hit Karim Garcia after getting owned by the entire Yankee lineup. This ultimately resulted in a bench-clearing brawl which sent Don Zimmer and Pedro into a scuffle. After that game, the series, according to Sox manager Grady Little, “upgraded from a battle to a war.” After splitting the next two games, the Yankees had the opportunity to put the series away at home in Game 6. The Yanks couldn’t get it done and Boston forced a Game 7. After a Game 6 defeat, Joe Torre said, “That was crucial loss because you know you’re getting Pedro in Game 7.” Pedro was magnificent in the final game of the series…till the 8th inning. After falling behind 4-0, the Yanks crept back making it a 4-2 ballgame heading into the 8th. In the top of the inning, Big Papi hit a bomb to extend the lead to three but in the bottom of the 8th, however, the Yankees worked their magic. After a Jeter one-out double and a Bernie single, the Yanks were threatening once again. Pedro’s pitch count was up, but there was no sign of Little coming out of the dugout. With a ground-rule double by Matsui, the Yankees all of a sudden had the tying run on 2nd with only one out. At this moment, Little came out to talk with Pedro. But in a surprise move, Little did not take the ball away from Martinez. With a tired Pedro in the game, the Yanks seized the moment. In the very next at bat, Jorge Posada hit a bloop double into shallow centerfield that tied the game. Yankee Stadium was moving with excitement as the game moved to the 11th inning. The first batter of the bottom of the 11th was Yankees third-baseman Aaron Boone. Off knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, Boone swung at the first pitch. With a crack of the bat…it was over.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_ZCHgq60nQ

#7: (1990) “Wide Right!”

Posted in 5BS Greatest Sports Moments (since 1990), Giants on March 4, 2010 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Coming off three disappointing seasons after their miraculous Super Bowl run in ’86, the New York Giants headed into the 1990 season with high expectations. The Giants still had their core defense with LT, Banks, and Pepper Johnson. Plus, with rookie runningback Rondey Hampton and a group of talented wide receivers, the GMen were ready to make another run at the title. At the start of the season, Big Blue were on fire winning their first ten games. Their final six games, however, were disappointing. Phil Simms suffered a broken leg and was out for the remainder of the season. Carl Banks broke his left arm and had to sit out for five weeks. The GMen also lost to the two-time defending Super Bowl champion 49ers and the hated Eagles at the Vet. Even with three loses, the Giants were still able to earn the 2-seed in the playoffs. After destroying the Bears in the Divisional Round, Big Blue headed out to San Francisco to meet the 49ers once again. In the 4th quarter, down by two with ten minutes left, Giants defensive lineman Leonard Marshall knocked quarterback Joe Montana out of the game in what was perhaps one of the hardest hits in NFL history. After a crucial 49er fumble, the Giants seized their opportunity to win the game. Giants’ quarterback Jeff Hostetler marched the GMen down the field to set up a Matt Bahr field goal to send the Giants back to the Super Bowl.

Opposing the Giants in Super Bowl XXV were the heavily favored Buffalo Bills. The Bills had an offensive powerhouse consisting of future Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Andre Reed. Their defense wasn’t too shabby with all-pro defensive end Bruce Smith and linebackers Cornelius Bennett and Darryl Talley. With this explosive offense, Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick had a plan to stop this Buffalo scoring machine. He told his defense that in order to win the Super Bowl, Thurman Thomas was going to have to run for 100 yards. The Giants were going to try to stop the pass and allow the run. The Bills got off to a strong start, but their offense wasn’t as sharp as the previous two playoff games. Plus, the Giants’ offense held on to the ball for long periods of time, which kept the Bill offense off the field. After a couple of crucial drives, the Giants kept themselves in the game and ultimately took a 20-19 lead in the fourth quarter. With under two minutes to go, the Bills were driving down the field quickly. Finally, the Giants were about to stop them on the 30 yard line, setting up a field goal opportunity for Bills kicker Scott Norwood. In one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history, Norwood missed the 47 yard field goal just a couple of inches to the right. The Giants had completed the upset and had earned their second Super Bowl in five seasons.