|Readers: Shocking football moments
From the Page 2 mailbag
Earlier this week, Page 2 listed its choices for the 10 most shocking moments in football history, but as usual, we wanted your take.
We received more than 620 e-mails, and here is how Page 2 readers ranked the NFL's biggest shockers. Be sure to vote in the poll at right to crown the most shocking moment of them all.
1. LT breaks Joe Theismann's leg (88 letters)
Undoubtedly, the night Joe Theismann had his lower leg snapped like a stale chopstick by LT in 1985. Not necessarily because it was as grotesque a sight as anyone has seen on live TV, but because it happened in front of about 70 bah-jillion people during "Monday Night Football." Moreover, if you didn't see it, you could damn well bet at least five people told you about it the next day. I saw it, and still can't shake that image of LT rolling down on Joe's leg, the sudden snap, LT jumping up holding his helmet with both hands looking horrified at poor Joe on the ground and frantically waving in the trainers to come fix what he'd broken.
Joe T's leg snap ... Can we see it seven more times please, ABC?
2. O.J. charged with double murder (80 letters)
The O.J. fiasco is the most shocking moment in all of sports. For a world-renowned star to be implicated in such a hidious crime was a shock, not only to the sporting world but to the entire society. The months that followed, through the arrest and trial, proved to be a sideshow. It is a real black mark upon sports, and absolutely the most shocking.
Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Forget O.J. being accused -- the most shocking event was his being acquitted.
Before 9/11, I had never seen any event get so much news coverage. There was a nationwide consensus of shock as we watched the white Bronco go down the 405. There were even people cheering him on from the freeway overpasses. It shows how sports (and the glamour of professional athletes) can blind a person, and make him cheer a man who had been suspected of killing two people in cold blood while he is being chased by the authorities. Since this incident, it seems athletes' private lives have become as much a tabloid issue as sports page content. Shocking.
Nothing in the NFL was ever so poetic as to watch O.J. glide across the field ... what a shock, to uncover the core of the man who hid for so long behind the mask of celebrity. When he was first arrested, I remember seeing people holding signs that read, "Innocent or guilty, we still love you." The trial was run under the same principle, making his athletic prowess larger than life -- or death. This is so wrong, and so shocking.
3. Modell moves Browns to Baltimore (71 letters)
Without asking, Modell was offered a new stadium a few years earlier but turned it down. Modell then requested help in renovating Cleveland Stadium. He and the city of Cleveland proceeded to negotiate over those revovations -- Modell was unquestionably going to receive these renovations. Modell unilaterally broke off and refused to discuss the deal further until after the 1995 season.
It was during this "moratorium" that Modell approached Baltimore and negotiated the move. He then claimed he "had no choice" but to move because Cleveland wasn't going to give him a new stadium. No warning. Not a word. Nothing. Not even a hint that the future of the Browns in Cleveland was in doubt.
With neither warning nor justification, they departed in the still of the night. Modell stole the team we Browns' fans paid for with 40 years of sold-out stadiums ... and he has the unmitigated gall to blame us for it! I don't know if there is a circle in Hell loathesome enough for this brainless waste of a human life (or the despicable excuse for a team president he calls his stepson) to rot in for all eternity.
4. Bills battle back from a 35-3 deficit (62 letters)
A guy with so much talent, so much class, and in the absolute prime of his career suddenly decides to hang 'em up, leaving the NFL without perhaps its most exciting player of all-time. Walter might have the record (for now anyway), Emmitt might have the rings, but the fans all know that no one could touch Mr. Sanders' awesome elusiveness and feel for the game ...
One of the most shocking moments in recent history would have to be the retirement of Barry Sanders. I've never seen a single report suggesting he was hurt ... only disgruntled. Makes me wonder how many other professional athletes would stand so firmly on principle.
6. Patriots win Super Bowl as time expires (56 letters)
I realize Kurt Warner is one of the best in the game now, but you think they'd get the idea to give the ball to Faulk after a few incomplete passes. And he had plenty of them. After that being said, I will always believe that the Patriots winning the Super Bowl is the most shocking moment in all of sports history, not just NFL history.
Irsay set the standard for destroying a professional sports franchise not through being strapped for cash, but through complete incompetence and meddling. And no Baltimorean will forget where he was when he heard that the coward Irsay took the Colts to Indianapolis under the cover of darkness (I was in my car driving to college). But the final slap was the reaction of the rest of the country, one Cleveland never got in 1995 ... "Baltimore deserved it." Like hell.
Probably the most "unbelievable" play that has ever happened, in any sport. For it to have a biblical nickname ... it's got to be miraculous. Franco never has to pay for a drink in Pittsburgh.
10. Giants' "Miracle in the Meadowlands" vs. Eagles (22 letters)
Giants up by five. All Joe Pisarcik has to do is kneel down ... sit on the ball and the game is over. Nope. Ball is fumbled. Eagles run it back. Ballgame. Easily the second most magical highlight of being a Philly sports fan (just behind the '80 Phils and just ahead of Randall Cunningham's one-handed pushup TD throw). Ahhh. Thanks for making me think of a good Eagles moment for a change.
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