Hornswoggle – There There was nary a period of boredom in the sports realm this calendar year, me thinks because of two very special events: one being the fulfillment of a long-awaited run by the Philadelphia Eagles in SB LII, and the other a very entertaining World Cup, with many Les Bleus singing praises about N’Golo Kanté (one of my favorite players nowadays).
But my favorite sports moment(s) this year can be summed up in one word: Liverpool.They might have lost to Madrid in the UCL Final last season because of two Karius (thank God we loaned him out this season) blunders and Ramos intentionally forcing Salah in tears and out of commission (but I digress), but the road to the final has been nothing but scintillating. Their “Allez Allez Allez” chant—although not original—snowballed into the kind of hit that many clubs are adopting (of course, with their own words); Mohamed Salah broke the Premier League record for goals last season; and now with the squad undefeated in their last 20+games in all competitions as well as some ridiculously great additions in Fabinho, Shaqiri, Keita, and Alisson, Liverpool is, I say unabashedly, an unstoppable freight train in the Prem. Mike Myers and I are deff excited for Klopp and the gang. But you know what the greatest gift from this club might be(which would only reveal itself long after Christmas)? Ah, well, I’m not gonna write it because I’ll jinx it… but Karma’s Heather and Cory know what I’m thinking.
Tia – Philadelphia Eagles win their first Superbowl!
On February 4th, 2018 the Philadelphia Eagles won their first ever Superbowl. I was lucky enough to be in Minneapolis in person (side note: don’t ever go to Minnesota in February). But I’m not going to focus this entry for sports moment of the year on the plays from the game: the now famous Philly Special trick play when quarterback Nick Foles caught a touchdown, Brandon Graham’s important strip sack of Tom Brady, or Zach Ertz’ incredible juggling fourth quarter touchdown catch and run.
This sports moment of the year is not about the incredible plays. It is about the moments of joy, relief, and sometimes sadness that occured in the hours and days after, when the citizens of greater Philadelphia experienced a collective emotional release. This was about:
- The moment immediately after the game when our beloved sports reporter Ray Didinger (a consummate professional) broke down in tears when his son entered the booth. His son David explained “(the tears are for) everybody who didn’t have a chance to see this. My grandparents,my uncle Kevin.” Some fans had carried ashes of their deceased relatives to the game in Minnesota, and finally scattered those after the win.
- The Thursday after the Superbowl I was able to spend the day with my childhood friends and their children. We gathered for breakfast at my friend’s house in South Philly, walked over to Broad Street to watch the parade, and then huddled at Cavanaugh’s bar to watch the rally. The highlight was the PASSIONATE speech by Jason Kelce. He spoke from the heart,capturing the intense feelings of the city. He summed up the source or our drive: “hungry dogs run faster.” And he serenaded us with the perfect song: “No one likes us. No one likes us. No one likes us. We don’t care. We’re from Philly. F — ing Philly. No one likes us. We don’t care.”
- But the most special moment was sharing the Superbowl win with my mom. For much of the weekend in Minnesota she was wearing the original kelly green poncho she bought the first year of Veterans Stadium. That year she and my dad successfully scaled the fence to beat the mobs and secure season tickets for the Eagles. The poncho still has cigarette burns from my godmother smoking in the stadium. Fast forward 40+ years to Minnesota: hugging my mom while we danced with strangers, with smiles on our faces and tears in our eyes- that is my greatest sports moment of 2018.
Isaac – Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals winning the Stanley Cup is my favorite sports moment of the decade. But it wouldn’t have been possible without my favorite sports moment of 2018.
For the third straight year my Caps were facing the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the playoffs. The team that had not only sent us packing early both times, but added insult to injury by going on to win the Cup those two years. With the Caps up 3 games to 2 in the series and playing game 6 in Pittsburgh I began to wonder how painful a game 7 loss would be and how long it would last. When OT got underway and a Pen fired a sure goal that hit the post it became too much for my fragile self to bear, so I nervously meandered around my apartment looking for any distraction. After a couple minutes I returned to my living room to find a Western Conference playoff game underway and immediately assumed that there was going to be a game 7. I hit rewind on my remote to find out which black & yellow goon scored the GWG and instead saw something I least expected – a handshake line. Wait? WHAT?! As the game kept facing backwards I saw celebration, a Kuzy bird skate (his daughter loves it) and an emotional Ovie looking towards the heavens with an expression that only a true Caps fan could understand.
Rich – This was by far my favorite professional sporting moment of this year. Jesse Orosco strikes out Marty Barrett to make the Mets World Series Champions. I was hanging out with Russ from Cobra Kai and Michelle U. Russ and I gave the biggest man-hug and we lied to Michelle and told her this was the Indians and she was really happy too. Not as happy as when the Cleveland Browns won the D-5 championship, but pretty close.
Tia – Philadelphia Flyers introduce Gritty
September 24th at 2:25 pm my phone blew up with text messages (Philly people still text; we don’t use these new age tools like WhatsApp). On this date and time the the Flyers debuted our new mascot Gritty.(I write “debuted” because Gritty lived in the Wells Fargo Center for months before his initial press conference, subsisting on the ice left from the zamboni). Like most people, for the first few minutes I was taken aback. But at 2:42 pm I, and millions of others, became Gritty’s biggest fan when the Flyers new mascot tweeted this sick burn:
I know, I know. You’re thinking “Philadelphia doesn’t deserve two moments.” Well, you’re wrong. It is self-evident that the debut of Gritty is deserving. It’s not just the BTSH Media who agree. Gritty may not have won Time’s Person of the Year, but he was named one of the top moments of the year by esteemed publications as varied as AdWeek, The Ringer, and Entertainment Weekly.
Why has this 7-foot orange furry mascot made waves?It’s because he’s the mascot we all need right now. He’s not afraid to be himself. He’s bold and clumsy. And this fact may surprise you: he doesn’t make kids cry. Gritty’s handlers have reported that children universally love him. Even in my Dark Rainbows WhatsApp group (ok I lied; I do use WhatsApp) every fourth post is about Gritty. Even the Rainbows which are Rangers fans love him.
Let’s all be more like Gritty in 2019.
Rich – Another great sports moment of 2018 besides the Mets winning the World Series, was when Alexa Bliss shocked the BTSH Universe, and the rest of the world when she smashed Ronda Rousey with her Money In the Bank briefcase, and pinned Nia Jax.
It made me realize if my favorite Alexa can be a champion, so can I. And I think that really helped propel Fuzz over the Rehabs when it looked like all hope was lost.