Yesterday’s loss for my hometown (and still first-place) Redskins was far from the worst sports moment I’ve ever witnessed. That distinction belongs to Game Seven of the 2001 World Series, described in last Friday’s post.
Over the weekend I thought some more about “bad” sports moments I’ve experienced. Here’s the rest of the top five from this century, in chronological order.
On September 2, 2001, on a Sunday night at Fenway Park, Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina was nearly perfect. He ended up with a shutout, 13 strikeouts and no walks. His game score was 98, for those of you interested in such things. He faced 28 batters. The second-to-last (pinch hitter Carl Everett) was the only man to reach base. Nine days later was September 11 and everyone forgot about Mussina’s near perfect start (he had several near no-hitters in his career but never completed one). But not this guy.
On July 19, 2009, Tom Watson had a chance to make history. He was in search of his ninth major championship, and his sixth British Open. It would have been his first such victory in 26 years.
Did I mention he was 59 years old?
This would have been the sports moment of the century, but it was not meant to be. Par on Watson’s final hole would have done it, but he finished with a bogey, then lost in his four-hole playoff with Stewart Cink.
Number four is Butler losing to Duke in the 2010 NCAA Championship. Jim Nantz’s final call of “it almost went in!” pretty much sums up that game.
And number five? That would be Super Bowl LI, from February 2017, when the upstart Atlanta Falcons lost to the blueblood New England Patriots (the Butler and Duke of the NFL). Seriously, did anyone want New England to win that game? Atlanta had it won, but blew a 25-point second-half lead and lost in overtime.
Kind of puts that mid-season ‘Skins loss in perspective, doesn’t it?