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Top 5 In-Person Sporting Events

  1. May 31, 1982: Reds at Phillies. Mario Soto unhittable. Throwing like Roy Halladay in the first game of the playoffs. Despite what seems like perfect control, he hits Bob Dernier and Mike Schmidt. On his way to the plate to face known headhunter Ron Reed, Soto stops to adjust his stirrups. On the radio, Rich Ashburn says, “If he wasn’t going to hit him, he’s going to hit him now.” Reed does, Soto charges the mound with his bat, gets ejected, and the Reds’ relievers are human. Phils come back to tie and win in 15.

  2. October 15, 2005: USC at Notre Dame. The Bush Push game. I suffer permanent hearing loss as a result of crowd noise. Meanwhile in Ann Arbor, the Nits lose in the last seconds, their only loss that season.

  3. September 25, 1982: Nebraska at Penn State. Nittany Lions, with the assistance of an officiating crew that included the father of a former Nittany Lion great, drive 65 yards in a minute and 18 seconds to win, 27-24. My “portable” television, about the size and weight of a car battery, had consumed it eight C batteries before the drive, so I was left to imagine that Mike McCloskey caught the ball inbounds and Kirk “Stone Hands” Bowman caught that low end-zone pass clean.

  4. March 15, 1991: UCLA-Penn State at Syracuse, NY. UCLA coach Jim Harrick said that when the NCAA pairings were announced, he could not name one player on Penn State’s team. Maybe it was UCLA’s regional recruiting focus that kept these East Coast stars off his radar. Penn State wins, 74-69. Michael Jennings’s two-handed breakaway dunk was featured in a quarter-page photo in the next day’s New York Times.

  5. March 18, 2001: UNC-Penn State at New Orleans, LA. Penn State advances to the Sweet 16 by stunning North Carolina in the Superdome. The play I remember most clearly is Tyler Smith’s baseline jumper with about three minutes left to put the Nits up by three. With JohnT and a small but hearty group of parents and Penn State Basketball Club members, we celebrated in the vast stadium.

I’ve got to say, I don’t have all that many memorable live sporting event moments. Granted, I’m a bit younger than you. But I don’t really anticipate having all that many either - I was having this conversation last week about how there’s such little incentive to actually attend sporting events these days, especially professional ones but also college to a large extent.

Between the price of parking, tickets, food, and gas, the traffic and weather elements, and the fact that you will probably have mediocre views in 90 percent of the stadium - there is such little incentive to leave the house or the sports bar, where you can comfortable sit with your own food and your own beer and have the best, HD view in the house. Not to mention keep up with all the other games going on as well, if that’s your thing.

I’ve been to some exciting PSU home games both in football and basketball. And I’ve been to plenty of Pirates games (although none that were very meaningful, except maybe a late season game in the early 90’s which got them closer to clinching), some soccer and nba stuff. But nothing that seems anywhere near the level of any of those you listed. Given my desire to actually continue attending events, I’m not sure it’s going to get any better than that. And I don’t really feel too bad about it, to be honest.

  1. Pirates win over Orioles in game 5 on '79 World Series @ Three Rivers. WE R FAMILY! :slight_smile:
  2. Pirates win over Orioles in '71 World Series @ Three Rivers in a game that included THE GREAT ONE, Roberto Clemente.
  3. PSU’s 35-13 come from behind win over Pitt on 11/24/73. It was my first ever PSU game @ Beaver Stadium and John Cappelletti’s last game as a player for PSU at home.
  4. PSU’s 14-10 win over Miami to win the National Championship @ the Fiesta Bowl on 1/2/87.
  5. PSU’s 27-23 win over Georgia to win PSU’s first ever Nat. Championship in football on 1/1/83.

Honorable Mention: PSU’s 48-14 win over #1 Pitt @ Pitt Stadium on 11/28/81. I am actually in the video below out on the field (GASP!) after the game @ the 9:18 mark in the green coat and the blue & white PSU hat! ;D

48 - 14

Games I intended to go to but missed and now regret: 48-14.

Craftsy, I am on board with your thinking, though. The TV experience has become incredible.

1. March 28 1992: Duke 104 Kentucky 103 (OT) NCAA Regional Philadelphia Pa

The Shot Heard Round the World - Christian Laettner’s “perfect” game. My buddy and I scalped a couple of tickets at $130 a piece froma couple of UMass kids outside the Spectrum. My buddy said “for $130 we’d better see a good game”. Halfway through the second half, he turned to me and said “we should go find those kids, I think we owe them another $130.”

2. January 2, 1987 Penn State 14, Miami 10 Fiesta Bowl Phoenix AZ.

The Good Guys knocked off Jimmy Johnson’s heavily favored Miami Bad Boys.

3. January 1, 1969: Penn State 15 Kansas 14 Orange Bowl Miami, FL

Penn State wins on a two point conversion after getting a second chance when Kansas is caught with 12 men on the field. My knees were literally shaking as I stood watching the conversion unfold in the end zone just below me.

  1. ? 1967: Penn State over Lehigh wrestling at Rec Hall

The aforementioned Mike Reid show.

5. December 26, 1960 Eagles 17 Packers 13 NFL Championship Game

Pre Super Bowl NFL championship game where Joe Bednarik played 58 minutes to carry the Eagles to an upset victory over the Vince Lombardi Packers led by NFL Hall of Famers’ Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor. I have a vivid memory of Bednarik sitting on Jim Taylor on about the 16 yard line just in front of me watching the last few seconds tick off the clock.

Special mention to the 1981 Pitt/PSU game where Penn State came back from a 14-0 deficit scoring 48 unanswered points to knock off the Dan Marino led #1 ranked Pitt Panthers. “48-14” will always have a special meaning to PSU fans (honest Cap - I also put this up in a “Special Mention” category even before I saw your post ;D )

Lots of others that come close:

  • 1982 PSU National Championship football win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
  • 1979 PSU National Championship football loss to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
  • 1965 PSU NCAA tournament basketball loss to the Bill Bradley led Princeton Tigers at the Palestra.
  • 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates “We Are Family” world series win over the Baltimore Orioles (same game that Cap mentions)
  • 1991 NCAA Championship semifinal Duke win over undefeated UNLV.
  • 1994 PSU 35 Illinois 31 as Kerry Collins leads PSU back after trailing 21-0.

It absolutely raises the everyday experience but it can’t even come close to matching the atmosphere of being there for those special moment games.

[quote=“tjb, post:4, topic:1749”]Games I intended to go to but missed and now regret: 48-14.

Craftsy, I am on board with your thinking, though. The TV experience has become incredible.[/quote]

I have to say, some of the ones listed here though would have definitely gotten me off my butt to try to see in person. That is, if I were about 30 years older. :wink:

A couple of other moments more so than the actual games.

JoePa getting record win #324 in a big comeback against Ohio State.
Larry Johnson passing 2000 yards for the season against Michigan State.
Adam Taliaferro breaks into a jog leading the team onto the field in the 2001 season opener.

Another one that I forgot.

PSU spoils Barry Parkhill’s 1972 State College homecoming by knocking off 6th ranked Virginia 86-74 in Rec Hall.

In no particular order:

Best: 1. Ohio State at Penn State, football, 2005
2. Penn State at Ohio State, football, 2008
3. Penn State vs. Florida State, football, January 1, 2006
4. Penn State vs Ohio State, Joe Paterno’s 324, 2001
5. Any of the Bull’s games that I attended while they had Michael Jordan (I used to go to a lot of NBA games during the golden years of the NBA - I’ve seen Mugsy Bogues and his Charlotte Hornet’s team many times, Chris Webber on the Bullets, Ewing on the Knicks, Pippen/Jordan/Rodman on the Bulls, MJ after all of his retirements on the bulls and wizards, Shaq on the magic, Hornecek, Bradley, Stackhouse, Iverson on the 6ers, Kidd on the Nets, and others I forgot to name). I remember being with my family in North Carolina when we read the news about MJ’s father being murdered in the paper, about maybe 2 hours away from where we were at.

Worst: 1. Minnesota @ Penn State, football, 1999
2. Penn State @ Michigan, football, 2005
3. The 6-4 football game during the dark years - was it against Purdue or Iowa?

Iowa

[quote=“UncleLar, post:8, topic:1749”]A couple of other moments more so than the actual games.

JoePa getting record win #324 in a big comeback against Ohio State.
Larry Johnson passing 2000 yards for the season against Michigan State.
Adam Taliaferro breaks into a jog leading the team onto the field in the 2001 season opener.[/quote]
Those were all good moments, I remember them all like yesterday. The stadium was so electric when Adam walked onto the field, too bad Shockey and crew had to take that electricity away.

One game I forgot to list: Penn State vs. Nebraska, football, 2002 - I will never forget how crazy that place was when Rich Gardner had his pick 6 in the north endzone.

Also, during the Dark Years, when we beat Purdue to the tune of the students chanting “No more heisman clap,clap clap,clap,clap” wouldn’t make my top-5 list, but was still memorable.

[quote="State4Life, post:9, topic:1749"]3. The 6-4 football game during the dark years - was it against Purdue or Iowa?[/quote]

Iowa


Was that the one in the torrential, Noah-esque rain? Or was that another Iowa single-digit trauma? I was at the rainy one and would put that as the worst game going experience ever.

Cincinnati over Penn State in 1983 would also be on that list. Although the weather was good - maybe a little too warm.

This thread was basically an excuse to get your and Cappy’s list.

That line about your scalper is one of the greatest ever.

[quote=“UncleLar, post:5, topic:1749”]3. January 1, 1969: Penn State 15 Kansas 14 Orange Bowl Miami, FL
Penn State wins on a two point conversion after getting a second chance when Kansas is caught with 12 men on the field. My knees were literally shaking as I stood watching the conversion unfold in the end zone just below me.[/quote]
I was at that game. Fantastic experience. Pepper Rodgers, then coach at Kansas, lives nearby and I have joked with him about the game. Great guy.

As I recall, the cost of the trip (student air charter, hotel, ticket) was something like $120 :slight_smile:

Here is a picture of Pepper and JoePa in the Orange Bowl from Pepper’s website.http://www.pepperrodgers.com/ukansas.html

I’m a young guy, but let me try:

  1. Martin Brodeur’s 552 win: Martin Brodeur Career Victory #552
  2. Wake Forest vs. St Joes 2004 Elite 8 Game: 2004 Oklahoma St. vs. St. Joes GW shot – They don’t show Jameer Nelson’s pull up jumper miss at the buzzer.
  3. #13 San Diego vs #4 UConn - 2008 Opening Round: San Diego-UConn Last Second Shot
  4. Georgetown vs. UNC, 2007 Elite 8 Game: GU-UNC Highlights
  5. Eagles @ Giants 2000 Divisional Playoff Game, 20-10 Giants - Giants Super Bowl Run / 2nd to last game at Yankee Stadium (not a fan, but cool, also my first time there).

noobd, major props for the breadth of teams involved.

[quote="State4Life, post:9, topic:1749"]3. The 6-4 football game during the dark years - was it against Purdue or Iowa?[/quote]

Iowa


Was that the one in the torrential, Noah-esque rain? Or was that another Iowa single-digit trauma? I was at the rainy one and would put that as the worst game going experience ever.

The 6-4 game was actually a beautiful fall day where the crumminess wasn’t the weather, but the football being played.

The next time Iowa showed up at Beaver Stadium was the torrential rain, low 50’s night game with winds that broke the aluminum poles that held up my tailgating tarp. The snapped poles I found on the ground by the car. The tarp itself was never seen again.

[quote="State4Life, post:9, topic:1749"]3. The 6-4 football game during the dark years - was it against Purdue or Iowa?[/quote]

Iowa


Was that the one in the torrential, Noah-esque rain? Or was that another Iowa single-digit trauma? I was at the rainy one and would put that as the worst game going experience ever.

Cincinnati over Penn State in 1983 would also be on that list. Although the weather was good - maybe a little too warm.

No. It was just a crap game.

Thanks. We got tickets for those two Meadowlands games because my dad knows a guy that used to work at the box office :wink: We were in Florida on vacation and my dad wanted to see Villanova play in the Tampa Regional (we saw them beat Siena in second round, not too exciting). I’m pissed we missed the WKU-Drake game (other first rounder):
Drake vs Western Kentucky 2008

Funny story about the Brodeur game. We only had 2 tickets (very pricey) so my brother and I went while our parents went to dinner in Newark. They got done early, so came by the arena for whatever reason. They got talking to the security guard, and my dad was able to finagle his way into the arena. My parents stood on the first level concourse a few rows behind us and got to see the last few minutes of the game… FOR FREE. Poor security job, but what a nice guy.

[quote="UncleLar, post:5, topic:1749"]My buddy and I scalped a couple of tickets at $130 a piece froma couple of UMass kids outside the Spectrum. My buddy said "for $130 we'd better see a good game". Halfway through the second half, he turned to me and said "we should go find those kids, I think we owe them another $130."[/quote]

This thread was basically an excuse to get your and Cappy’s list.

That line about your scalper is one of the greatest ever.

The game was a fantastic game even before the Laettner miracle finish. It was just two giants going at it toe to toe. Kentucky shot 55% (65% from three) and LOST as Duke shot 57% (67%).