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What was the century's most memorable sports moment?

Posted: Wednesday September 22, 1999 09:18 AM

  Not only is he the greatest basketball player, he also provided us the greatest sports moment of the century. Jonathan Daniel/Allsport

CNN/SI asked users to tell us their most memorable sports moment. The most common response, by far, was Michael Jordan's final shot in the 1998 finals, though there were many others. A sampling of the responses follows:

Jordan's final shot was a moment that couldn't be beat. You make your last shot to win the NBA championship. The shot marked the end of an Era. The Jordan Era was over.
-- Danny Ryan, Mass.

Pelé's two-goals in the 1958 World Cup Final against Sweden.
-- Jean, Toronto

I was privileged to see the US women win the World Cup final in Pasadena (the "in person" highlight for me) but the most electrifying moment was watching Secretariat destroy the field in the Belmont Stakes. I cried watching that big red beauty run as perfectly as a horse can.
-- Jean Kosits, River Vale, N.J.

Joe Namath leading the New York Jets to a victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. It was the ultimate show in confidence in one's own ability. The game also showed football that the AFL could play with the NFL.
-- Troy Ware, Provo, Utah

The 1985 National Championship game Villanova over Georgetown '85 is the greatest sports moment of the century. Villanova played a perfect game, and slew the beast. I was sixteen at the time and that game is a moment that I will never forget.
-- Ted Rubino, Malvern, Penn.

The day professional sports paid the first player more than $1 million dollars per year to play. This was the day perspective was lost and role models no longer were role models in the appropriate sense.
-- John H. Icardi, Cary, N.C.

As far I am concerned, it is a no-brainer. The US hockey teams 1980 olympic gold medal had it all. There was the spectre of the cold war and the ominous USSR Red team. The US was such an underdog. Al Michaels' "Do you believe in miracles" clinched it. I was 14 when it happened and I still recall it to this day.
-- Vincent Manetta, Limerick, Penn.

Bob Beamon's long jump. He smashed the previous mark by 22 inches, an impossible margin, and his record stood for 23 years. As the single greatest moment for the progression of a sport to a new level, this is surely unequalled.
-- Rob Patrick , Wellington, New Zealand

The greatest moment in sports for me was Ted Williams' final at bat in 1960. How can you retire in a better fashion than hitting a homerun in your final time at bat. What a way for the kid to retire.
-- Jerry Gould, Hudson, Wis.

Jordan almost single handedly winning the championship against Utah with the flu-- Not only did it showcase determination and grit, it showed that passion for winning, true character, and heart are what sports exists for. Also, when Jordan turned it on, his teammates did the best they could to help him, even though he really stole the show. They got behind their leader and supported him, and I am sure, cheered him on.
-- David Compton, Oklahoma City, Okla.

The greatest sports moment I think was the improbable win of NC State over Houston in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship in 1983. The ball flying through the air missing the basket but being caught and dropped in at the buzzer was unbelievable. Jim Valvano running around the court looking for someone to hug just makes you emotional when you watch it. I was only 8 at the time but I remember it as being one of those moments you will never forget.
-- Steven Hodges, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Kirk Gibson's home run off Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series was the single most exciting sports moment I've seen in my life. I wasn't a fan of either team, but was a big baseball fan in general. You couldn't have scripted it any better. The best closer in the game getting beat by a man who could barely jog around the bases.
-- Brian, San Jose, Calif.

Seeing Jim Abbott, then of the New York Yankees, throwing his no-hitter a few years against the Cleveland Indians. No moment more epitomised courage and triumph in athletics than seeing this pitcher overcome his handicap of having only one hand and shut down one of the most explosive offenses in baseball. I always admired Jim Abbott, but at that moment, I truly felt that I knew what sports was all about.
-- Kevin Poli, Austin, Texas

Lance Armstrong's recovery from cancer and winning the grueling Tour de France.
-- G. Luba, Buffalo, N.Y.

Francisco Cabrera's game wining single in the bottom of the ninth against Pittsburgh that catapulted Atlanta into the World Series in 1992 was my favorite moment. Casey Calvary's tip in against Florida for Gonzaga in this year's NCAA tournament rates a close second for me as well.
-- Bill, Spokane, Wash.

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