The NFL’s best ever punt returner, Devin Hester, earned the catchy nickname Anytime because of his ability to return a punt, pass or kick for a touchdown whenever he got his hands on the football.
In my FREE sports comic book Best About Sports, Chapter 18 is dedicated to the top sights I love to see whenever I watch a big game on television or attend one in person.
Here’s my top 20 list:
20. Lighting the flame in the Olympic stadium – Gotta love the awesome tradition of the tireless journey of the Olympic torch. After an arduous trip of being passed from torch bearer to torch bearer across many continents, the flame finally lights the bowl prominently positioned in the Olympic Stadium and officially marks the beginning of the games.
19. Capacity crowds – Cheering fans all clad in team colors and packing out a 100,000+ seat stadium or filling a rickety old high school gym is always a wonderful sight.
18. Not having to see these guys in uniform anymore – In spite of their skill and athletic excellence when they played, I love NOT having to see the likes of Brett Favre, Terrell Owens, Manny Ramirez, Jose Canseco, Ray Lewis, Barry Bonds, and Chad Ochocinco in uniform anymore. It’s very doubtful anyone would disagree.
17. Flyovers at big games – USA fighter jets buzzing a capacity filled stadium immediately after hearing the National Anthem may now be a thing of the past. But, what a thrill it was to witness these flyovers in person.
16. Expertly groomed field for baseball game – I love gorgeously manicured grounds! Think of all the suburbanites who would give anything to have their front lawns look as pristine and expertly mowed as your favorite baseball infield or outfield at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park.
15. Crunching hit on the boards in hockey – This bone rattling play on the ice looks like a train wreck coming right at you if you’re seated anywhere near the glass in the rink.
14. Soccer goal celebrations – You may have to wait endlessly for them during a nil – nil match, but inventive and exuberant post goal parties on the field are always worth the wait.
13. Dimming the lights for introductions – Gotta love the darkening of arenas, anticipating the choreographed starting line-up introductions accompanied by strobe lights, pulsating music and maybe even smoke and pyrotechnics.
12. 4th and inches in a tied 4th quarter game – If you’re watching at home, this sight will force you to put down the chips, place conversations on hold and move to the edge of your seat. If you’re watching from the bleachers, this sight will always bring you to your feet.
11. 5-4-3 double play in baseball – In spite of the brief moments it takes to complete this complex task, turning a double play in baseball is a smooth, quick and efficient sight made to look extraordinarily easy. It immediately excites one set of fans, while totally deflating another.
10. Marching bands – We all love to watch perfectly aligned students wearing swanky costumes and plumed hats while they march in unison. This sight reaches a whole new level as gleaming tubas, clarinets, trumpets, xylophones and drums complete this beautifully choreographed picture.
9. Punt return in football for TD – Sports fans love watching this for two reasons. One is to anticipate a thrilling return and the second is to witness the possible figurative decapitation of the punt returner that will be replayed endlessly on ESPN Sports Center.
8. Championship celebrations – Balloons, bear hugs and falling confetti are accompanied by grateful thanks, bumbled (yet easily forgiven) comments, champagne baths, tears of joy, proud boasts and the raising of expensive trophies. The entire spectacle makes staying up past midnight worth the wait – at least if you live on the East Coast.
7. Technology like the FOX box, yellow 1st down line and ESPN scrolling squeeze box at bottom of the screen – How did sports fans ever survive without them in the days before our multimedia, multitasking world?
6. Home run robbing catch – The sight of an athletic outfielder climbing a 12 foot fence to extract a baseball out of mid air that’s about to leave the ball park is both heart stopping and priceless.
5. Perfectly executed screen play in football – With a simple flick from the quarterback and several pulling 300 lb. linemen, successful screen passes will always make the sports highlight reels on ESPN Sports Centers’ plays of the day.
4. Perfectly executed pick and roll in basketball – Especially if they’re run as effortlessly and efficiently as those we see executed by John Stockton and Karl Malone highlights, no basketball fan would want to miss this sight.
3. Perfectly executed squeeze play in baseball – Even when you instinctively know this risky and lightning quick play is coming, it always seems to catch everyone by surprise.
2. Alley-oop pass – There’s a reason why the beautiful and exciting sight of high flying flushes off precise alley oop passes always make ESPN Sports Centers’ plays of the day. They’re poetry in motion.
1. March Madness upset – Skipping work on a Thursday afternoon to watch a Cinderella #15 seed upset a heavily favored #2 seed is exactly why we all readily embrace the spring sickness known as March Madness. Kids of any age will find every excuse under the sun to play hooky from work, school and family commitment.
Safely download my FREE sports comic book Best About Sports by clicking on the yellow cover above.
Also, contact me at email@example.com if you have a few favorite sights of your own for my list.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!