In honor of our Independence Day, this is a list complied of five sports moments that made you say to yourself “damn I’m proud to be an American” and “God I love this country.” These are unforgettable moments that will go down in the history books and never be forgotten.
5. “U.S. Women Get Revenge on the Brightest Stage”- 2015 Women’s World Cup Final
In the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final, the United States Women’s National Team suffered a heartbreaking loss to Japan in penalty kicks. In 2015, when the opportunity presented itself again against Japan, Team USA knew they had to capitalize. They did just that. They dominated the match, 5-2 thanks to a breakout performance by Jersey native Carli Loyd. They would become the first women’s team to bring home three World Cup titles and made the whole nation very proud, so much so, they were welcomed by a ticker tape parade in New York City.
4. “Lezak Shocks the World”- 2008 Beijing Olympics. 4×100 Freestyle Relay
In 2008, the Summer Olympic Games were held in Beijing, China, and what happened in the water is something we will never forget. Going into the 4×100 Freestyle Relay, the American’s were huge underdogs to the stacked French relay team. This proved evident right from the jump. Michael Phelps was Michael Phelps and gave the American’s an early lead, but then the dominant French team took over. Going into the last 100m, Frenchman and world record holder Alain Bernard had a comfortable lead and was almost unbeatable. The commentators said that the U.S. would have to settle for silver, but little did they know a man named Jason Lezak would remarkably chase down Bernard, shatter the world record, and shock the world. As he hit the wall and it came up that America had won gold, there is an iconic image of Phelps and his teammates in absolute euphoria and I’m sure the rest of the country back home had the same reaction.
3. ” Magic at the Rose Bowl” – 1999 Women’s World Cup Final
Close your eyes and set the scene. 90,000 screaming U.S. soccer fans (which broke the record for most people to attend a women’s soccer game) chanting your name. It’s hot, but at the same time you’re shivering. You score, and the World Cup is yours. All that stands between you and instant immortality is a goalkeeper. The whole nation’s weight is literally on your shoulders. No pressure though right? This is exactly what U.S. women’s soccer player Brandi Chastain had to feel when she stepped up to take her penalty kick in the 1999 Womens World Cup Final. Chastain did what Chastain does, burying the kick which gave the U.S. the win over China and the title of World Champions. What made it even more special was that it was in front of the home, American crowd. After Chastain scored she took her shirt off, slid on her knees and the rest was history.
2. ‘bin Laden Dies, Two Clashing Fan Bases Come Together as One”- May 2, 2011, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Phillies and Mets hate each other. From the players to the fans, they just do, it’s a fact. On May 2nd, 2011 however, we were all fans of the same thing; America. On a normal spring baseball game between the Mets and the Phillies something very unordinary would take place. Late in the game, news broke that American Navy Seals had captured and killed terrorist Osama bin Laden. The crowd erupted in rejoice. At the time, bin Laden was one of the most dangerous men in the world and this was a win, we are one step closer to becoming safe as a country. The stadium, both Mets and Phillies fans, together joined in a classic USA chant. The game went into extras but it didn’t matter who won that night, because we won as a nation.
1. ” Miracle On Ice”- 1980 Winter Olymics, Lake Placid, New York
The greatest upset in sports history. The greatest moment in sports history. Was there even a question that this wasn’t going to be number one on the list? In 1980, a bunch of college hockey players headed to Lake Placid to compete in the 1980 Winter Olympics. They were led by coach Herb Brooks. In the tournament, they would have to face the heavily and I mean HEAVILY favored Soviet Union. The Soviets were made up of a bunch of professionals who had been playing together for 10-15 years and were the best hockey team in the world, no question. They blew out Team USA in a scrimmage prior to the Olympics, and even blew out an NHL All-Star Team, that’s how good they were. Thanks to captain Mike Eruzione and goaltender Jim Craig, the American’s did something that nobody thought was even imaginable: defeat the almighty Soviets. They won the game 4-3 and later went on to win the gold medal against Finland. Thia upset went down as one of the greatest moments in sports history and Al Michaels put it best. As the clock was winding down and it was becoming evident that the U.S. were actually going to win he said “Do you believe in miracles?” In response to that I can say, for that one night, we sure as hell did and I wish I was alive to witness that historic event.
There it is. The top 5 moments in American Sports. I wish the whole GBD nation a very happy 4th of July and don’t forget to take pride in your country today and everyday. God bless you all, and God Bless America.