As I contemplated the past year during the first days of the New Year, it struck me that 2010 was truly a great year. It was filled with fantastic games and performances, and the most prominent were the amazing moments in sports leaving fans speechless.
One thing is for sure: it was an exciting year for sports enthusiasts. All of the usual hype surrounding yearly sports events such as the NFL or NBA was converged with rare occurrences such as the Winter Olympics and the World Cup.
This made 2010 the ultimate year in sports, stocked full of amazing moments. Although there were definitely thousands of amazing sporting feats that could be mentioned, I have compiled what I think were the five most amazing sports moments of 2010.
5. 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship Game: Duke vs. Butler
The 2010 NCAA Tournament lived up to its nickname “March Madness” when Butler faced Duke in the championship game. With just three seconds left, Duke went to the free throw line with a 60-59 lead. Brian Zoubek swished the first free throw to extend Duke’s lead to 61-59. When Zoubek missed the second, Butler’s Gordon Hayward sprinted up the court and tossed up a prayer from half-court at the buzzer. The shot was inches away from going in, but bounced off the rim, giving Duke fourth national championship. Had Butler won, it would’ve gone down as one of the greatest upsets in NCAA history. Watch the video!
4. Texas 5A Football Playoffs: Coppell vs. Trinity
Next on the list is the Coppell Cowboys football team’s matchup against the Trinity Trojans in the fourth round of the playoffs. This isn’t exactly the Super Bowl, but as a witness, I can attest that this game had intensity like very few I’ve seen before. Both teams were undefeated, and knew that everything they had worked for was on the line. Trinity, being the No. 1 team in the state, was obviously favored. However, Coppell was hungry for an upset, and jumped out to an early 13-0 lead. The Cowboys led for the entire game, save one play: the final one. Coppell had a 40-35 lead with a second left and Trinity lining up on the goal line.
Everyone in the stadium was on their feet; the intensity was cranked up to top notch. However, the Coppell side completely deflated as Trinity rushed into the end zone for a 41-40 victory. Coppell’s storybook 13-0 season was the first in school history and their loss to Trinity was by far the best high school game I’ve ever seen. Watch the video!
3. Olympic Hockey Gold Medal Game: USA vs. Canada
For the “bronze medal” spot on the list, we’ll venture outside of the U.S. to Vancouver where the 21st Winter Olympics were held. The United States and Canada’s hockey rivalry was revived as the two battled for the gold medal. The score was tied 2-2 at the end of the third period, sending the game into overtime. Only a few minutes into the overtime period, Canada’s Sidney Crosby slipped the puck into the net behind USA’s Ryan Miller. The red-clad audience exploded into a frenzy of cheering and flying Maple Leaves. This was part of a historic 14 gold medals for Canada in the 2010 Olympics, the most of any nation. Watch the video!
2. World Cup 2010: USA vs. Algeria
Even over the unbearable noise of the vuvuzelas, there was plenty of epic action in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In the final match of group stage, America was in a duel with Algeria, both teams fighting for their spot in the knockout stage. The intensity reached a climax when the match was hurdled into extra time at the end of a scoreless regulation. In the first minute of extra time, when least expected, USA’s Landon Donovan collected a shot blocked by Algeria’s goalie and swiftly punched it into the net. The game was over, and the USA team was moving on to the knockout stages. All across the world people were thrilled by this spectacular moment. Watch the video!
1. Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans vs. Indianapolis
Claiming the top stop as the most memorable sports moment of 2010, was the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Saints prevailed 31-17 on the biggest stage in all of football. New Orleans overcame an initial 10-0 deficit in a riveting game of trick plays and improbable feats. This was not just a win for a football team, but for the entire city, struggling to rebound from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Awe inspiring images of jubilant Saints fans and Drew Brees lifting his son into the air in joy after the game are the stuff of legends and will always be known as one of the most amazing moments in 2010, and in sports history. Watch the video!