BLOG 200 – MY TOP 10 FAVOURITE SPORTING MOMENTS

200 blogs. Blimey.

So given it’s a pretty big milestone I thought I should do a pretty big subject. Not something normal, so not wrestling, and this is what I’ve come up with. Of course this list will come with a couple of asterisks, as do almost every list of this type, and the main one that I’m sure those who know me well will get is that I won’t be including any moments on this list from that sport that sees 22 men chase a ball of air around for 90 minutes. The second one is more of a general point, in that this list may not always be one moments and will include some performances, full matches, or achievements, but nonetheless they’re all sporting occasions that I watched and enjoyed. Sport has this amazing way of making people feel the most heightened variants of the different emotions; sadness, joy, anger, dismay, excitement and awe. Given the sports fan I am there’s been many moments that I’ve watched and just gone… wow… and here for you all to reminisce and enjoy again is my top 10 list. Enjoy. And to everyone who has taken the time to read any of my previous 199 blog posts I must say a big thank you. I don’t make any money, in fact I lose the £50 a year fee I have to pay to keep my blog going, but I started it as a hobby in February 2018 and in the time since, it’s really been a thing I’ve gone to when I’m feeling low as a way to distract myself, something that has come in handy on more than a few occasions in that time. It’s been a pleasure to review and write about the good, bad and the very very ugly of wrestling, and long may it continue!!! Here’s to 2021 and another 200 blogs about random wrestling shiz.


Honourable Mention: Tyson Fury stops Deontay Wilder

There’s one simple reason I can’t include this in my top 10… I didn’t watch it live. I watched the fight in full the next morning, very very hungover, and already knowing Fury had won. What I didn’t know was just how he had claimed the W. Quite possibly the single best sporting performance I have ever seen. Not only did he win when many doubted him, not only did he dominate and completely out-box the ‘heaviest puncher’ in boxing, but it was a lesson. He taught everyone who has ever watched boxing just how it could be done. It was quite incredible, and obviously people will have their varying views on Tyson Fury the man. But what you can’t doubt is his boxing IQ, and right here was his finest hour to doubt performance wise. This was an absolutely sporting masterclass.

10. Tiger Woods wins his first major for 11 years

‘The Return to glory’. And it was just that. After an incredibly eventful decade plus gap since his last major triumph, Golf’s biggest name returned to his old ways at long last. Regardless of what he has done away form a golf course and in his private life, you can’t say he isn’t one of the iconic sportsman of all time. It was such an amazing moment to see him do it again after so long. The classic red shirt, black trousers combo that had become synonymous with a final major day finally had the moments it used to have. An old jacket has never been so appreciated I’m sure. When he was at his peak Tiger would hug his father after his triumphs, now with his father having passed Tiger shared an embrace with his own son. And if that isn’t sport at its finest I don’t know what is.

9. England win the Cricket World Cup in the most dramatic fashion

Some day of sports this. We had just switched over from another brilliant Wimbledon Final win from Novac Djokovic, to see if we could see our boys become Cricket world champions. And they pulled it off in the most amazing way. With the score tied between England and New Zealand at 241 runs each, the game went to a super over. After England got to 15 runs for 0 wickets, New Zealand would be on 14-0 with one ball to go. 2 runs would win it for New Zealand, they got half way there before Jofra Archer, Jason Roy and Joss Buttler combined to get the run out and to give England their greatest triumph on the international cricket stage.

8. Carl Froch KNOCKS OUT George Groves

I could talk about it being a grudge match after the controversial first fight. I could talk about it being at Wembley (as Froch likes to remind us all), I could even talk about being in a pub backed full of people watching it and me being one of a handful that wanted Froch to win. But just the way that, in the biggest all-British fight for well over a decade, the first to go into the national stadium since the 90s, with the final Punch of his career Carl Froch hit the punch of his life (the best Punch I’ve ever seen as a fan that’s for sure) to end his career in the absolute perfect way was just such a fairytale. I don’t know why but I don’t feel like British boxing remembers Carl Froch for just how good he was.

7. Barney hits PERFECTION to win one of the best legs of Darts I’ve ever seen

If I could attend one sport live, in terms of spectator enjoyment, I’d go for Darts. Some may laugh at it but at it’s peak it can be so exciting. I used to watch it quite a lot on Sky, waiting to see who could achieve the things I’d see many men at the pub not even come close to doing. At this point I had only heard of the illusive 9 dart finish, it was like this mystical feat to me. And I remember it clear as day this time… I had always liked Raymond van Barneveld. When he came over to the PDC I was so excited, FINALLY we’d see him against Taylor. And I could’ve easily put his world final triumph against The Power on this list instead, but as a single darts moment this stands out above all else for me. I was in awe of these two guys watching this, just listen to the crowd. Enjoy one of the best games of darts you’ll ever see. And one of the biggest fan favourites in the history of the game achieve the sport’s holy grail.

6. The Jester from Leicester becomes WORLD CHAMPION

This one is very much a personal one. Simply put Leicester’s own Mark Selby completed a comeback win for the ages (he was 10-5 down at one stage) against arguably Snooker’s greatest ever player to win the World Championship for the very first time. One thing you have to say about snooker is that it takes indescribable levels of skill, focus and attention to detail to master it, and Selby put on a clinic here to silence The Rocket.

5. Lewis Hamilton wins his first World Championship, on the last lap, of the last race!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHSeGou-pCI (COPY AND PASTE THIS LINK)

You want to talk about dramatic late drama? How does winning the world title on the final lap of the last race sound? Up against title rival Felipe Massa going in to Massa’s home race in Brazil in 2008 it was the Ferrari driver who looked all set to take a maiden world crown, only for the young Hamilton (who needed a finish of 5th or better) to take it from him at the very last moment. Just watch the amazing scenes of how both sides thought their man had done it, as we saw Felipe Massa be in a spot to become the world champion… for 39 seconds.

4. Usain Bolt wins the 2012 Olympics 100 metres Final

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O7K-8G2nwU (COPY AND PASTE THIS LINK)

As I said in detail in my blog on Bolt a few months back, going in to London it was his fellow-Jamaican Yohann Blake who was the name on everyone’s lips. I remember seemingly everyone who had an opinion saying it was Blake’s to lose. How dare you I thought. HOW DARE YOU doubt the greatness of Usain Bolt! In my mind it was never in doubt Bolt would triumph. And I can’t say how sweet it felt for him to prove me right once again. In the best Olympics of my life time this was a moment I will never ever forget.

3. England win the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final

One of my earliest sports memories. So… imagine David Beckham doing his legendary free kick against Greece… but doing it in the World Cup Final. Now imagine he did it against Germany, in Germany to win it for England. That was the rugby equivalent of what Johnny Wilkinson and the all star England 2003 team accomplished. One of the truly greatest English sports wins.

2. Andy Murray FINALLY does it

Me, my Grandma Brenda and every other British tennis fan waited… AND WAITED AND WAITED, year after year, from Tim to now Andy. But at long last, a year after he came so heartbreakingly close to immortality, Andy Murray finally won Wimbledon in 2013, with an amazing performance against the then World number 1 Novac Djokovic. Andy won in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 but really he could’ve been playing against anyone that day, destiny was finally on his side. Just LISTEN to that noise when that ball from Novac hits the net. Incredible. “Any point will do” the great Boris Becker said on commentary, and then…

  1. “LIFT OFF, FOR AJ!!!” – Anthony Joshua stops Wladimir Klitschko in an all-time classic fight

Never have I been louder, more animated, more emotionally invested in any sporting event that wasn’t football than this fight. My favourite fighter Anthony Joshua going up against one of the all time greats. It was a classic younger Lion against the older Lion in a battle to prove who the man really was. And my oh my this was something else. We all know of the tales of Rocky Balboa, but this was a Rocky fight in real life. All the drama you could ask for, both men taking heavy knockdowns, the brute eastern European up against the champion from our shores, could AJ live up to the hype and go to heights he’d never reached and some doubted he could. Amazing to think before this fight that people doubted AJ’s durability against the veteran, they said AJ needs to get in and out asap and the longer it goes the more it favours Klitschko. Well, as I said about Usain Bolt there is a certain amount of pride you feel as a fan when people doubt your guy, but you don’t, and then they triumph. AJ proved all the doubters wrong, showed all the heart and passion that Rocky himself would be proud of. Without doubt the best Boxing match I’ve ever seen. But for me it was more than boxing, this fight was everything sports is supposed to be. Pure theatre and drama at the elite level. Without a doubt my favourite sporting moment was when the referee waved his arms and Anthony Joshua had lift off. Incredible scenes followed and for me, this fight showed exactly what sport is all about.

Josh.

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