I noticed a couple themes with my blog posts to date, they all have some type of list on them and are all reflective. Why stop now, it something good to keep rolling with. After posting this week about school spirit, it had me thinking more about the best sporting events that I've ever been to. So, you guessed it, today's entry will rank the top 5 sporting events I've seen in person and why in reverse order.
#5) October 5, 2002 - The 6 Overtime game vs. Arkansas, UT wins 41-38.
This was a long game to sit through and I believe is the second longest game in NCAA D-1 history. It was like watching a 5th and 6th quarter of football; it was long. Seeing that UT won, it was worth sitting through, but 2 OT's were enough. The next week, the game vs USC went into overtime and the only thing that that all my friends I was with could say was, "Oh no, not again!" That one only lasted 1 OT.
#4) June 8, 2007 - NCAA Baseball Super Regional game: Mississippi State vs. Clemson; Miss State advances to the College World Series.
I'm not a MSU grad, but this game was incredible; heck, the two game series was amazing. They set the attendance record for the largest crowd to see a Super Regional game. Looking back, the 12pm start time in early June (easily 95 degrees and humidity to match) was worth it. This was also the same year that Miss State came down and beat FSU when FSU hosted the Regionals (yeah, I had to throw that one in there).
#3) November 14, 1998 - The Phantom Fumble vs. Arkansas, UT wins 28-24
This was the key play to UT's National Title season (again, the story involves FSU somehow . . . something about a Fiesta Bowl). It was a rainy, somewhat cold game and UT was losing 21-3 early but came back to only trail by 24-22 when it looked like they ran out of gas. Arkansas was trying to run out the clock but their QB's foot was stepped on by one of his lineman after the snap, the QB tried to break the fall by using his hand that held the ball. As you can imagine, he fumbled the ball and UT recovered. UT ran the ball down the field to score the go ahead TD; what an awesome game.
#2) September 18, 2004 - Last second field goal - UT over Florida 30-28
UT was down most of the game, but when it was 28-21, UT scored a TD with 3 minutes to go in the game. Everything looked good . . . until UT missed the extra point. We all thought we were going to lose 28-27. UT was able to get the ball back with about a minute left, some say because of bad officiating/time keeping. UT's kicker had a 50 yarder with 6 seconds to go, needless to say, he made the kick and the place went wild (and extremely loud). This was also the single largest crowd in Neyland Stadium history, 109,061 fans.
#1) September 19, 1998 - The OT victory against Florida: UT wins 20-17.
Not only was this my first UT-Florida game, but the best game I ever went to. It was one of those games where if it weren't for the defense, we would have lost. Florida's offense looked unstoppable, but the Tennessee D kept them in it by forcing turnovers. In the first overtime, UT kicked a field goal and then Florida missed theirs that would have sent the game into another OT. I don't remember being able to hear the person next to me talk. I do remember seeing students and other fans jumping the fence and rushing the field. My only thought was, "I don't want to do that." Turns out, I had no choice; the crowd/mob pushed everyone in my section down onto the field. I'm glad I ended up on the field. On a side note, both goal posts were torn down that night (shocking) and I had a friend each that accompanied the goal posts to their final destinations. One set marched it across campus to the Physical Plant where one of the workers (and fellow goal post carrier) cut it up into pieces for everyone that carried it to have a souvenir. The other goal post marched it's way up and down the Strip (twice) until they decided to go throw it in the river.
As you can see, I love college sports (and the University of Florida losing).
Happy Sixth Birthday, Mason!
10 months ago