Kevin Drum's Political Animal
Daniel W. Drezner
the key monk
Overtaken By Events
The Bemusement Park
1. Chargers/Dolphins, 1982 AFC Playoffs. It helps (really, it hurts) that I was a brand spankin' new 13-year-old Dolphins fan in Arizona. Maybe the only one at the time. For the life of me, why did David Woodley ever see game action when Don Strock was standing on the sidelines? My mother, an avid football hater, got sucked into this game like so much space dust to a black hole. We were all exhausted by the second OT. Then the flea-flicker. It's one of those games where you wouldn't have to apologize for wetting your pants. Or worse. Just don't leave the TV.
2. Celtics/Suns, 1976, Shot Heard Round the World. Triple OT in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Widely considered the greatest NBA game ever played. We had just moved to Phoenix and became Suns fans that year. Good news/bad news for any team upon whose bandwagon I suddenly jump. That game was awesome but the series was deflating. It took the Suns 17 years to recover from that one.
3. ASU Sun Devils football, entire 1996 season. Jake Plummer was an amazing improvisational college quarterback. He excelled at two things: Digging a big hole in the first half with interceptions, fumbles, and mistakes; some how climbing out of the hole over 20 times in his career, including 7 4th quarter comebacks. Well, three of the most amazing I've ever seen were during this (very nearly almost) perfect season. The one that had me screaming until the cops showed up at the door was a 28-7 halftime reversal at UCLA. ASU won 42-34. ASU took the lead when freshman (!) tailback J.R. Redmond takes the pitch on a sweep then throws sidearm across the field to wide open (165 lbs.) Jake Plummer, who snaked his way through seven Bruins defenders for a 16-yard TD catch. Plummer was a stunning passer under pressure, and most of his 275 yards came between halfway through the third quarter until halfway through the fourth quarter. I will never, ever forget this season, including Jake's miraculous TD scramble in the same Rose Bowl Stadium against Ohio State. Too bad he didn't play CB. OSU turned the tables in the last 1:30. heavy sigh
4. Kirk Gibson's home run. I had been a Dodgers fan for five years. Orel was my hero. I thought Gibson was a punk, but no one ever doubted his toughness. I was working as a night clerk and had snuck in a TV to watch this game. A few years later the O'Malley's sold the team, Lasorda retired, and I was allowed to gracefully change my allegiances to the hometown expansion Arizona Diamondbacks. Three years later ...
5. Arizona/New York, Game 7, World Series. I worked this game for the Arizona Republic's website, of which I was then gainfully employed. I was also a die-hard, from-the-ground-up D-Backs fan. Never have I ever felt such sporting euphoria. Literally got a nose bleed. Then I went down to the street level to watch stupid drunk D-Backs fans beat up stupid drunk Yankees fans. Everything was put in perspective in a hurry.