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SI's 10 greatest moments in D.C. sports history

SI.com just posted the 10 greatest moments in D.C. sports history. I fully encourage the posting of silly lists to generate page views and Internet debate. It's the height of Monday afternoon sports Internet perfection. But this is possibly the worst list I've ever seen, on any topic, in any venue. Here it is.

10. 1996 MLS Cup (although the headline says 2006 MLS Cup, but that's not what they meant)

9. Gilbert Arenas's 2006 buzzer beaters

8. Alex Ovechkin scores "The Goal"

7. 1972 NFC championship game (starring "Billy Kramer")

6. 2001 NBA All-Star Game

5. Michael Jordan returns as a player

4. 2005 Opening Day for the Nats

3. 1983 NFC Championship Game

2. 1942 NFL Championship Game

1. 1924 World Series

So, among other issues, half of these happened in the past decade, which was one of the most brutal decades for D.C. sports fans.

(UPDATE: The SI.com list has been modified since I wrote this. It's much better now. George Mason's Final Four-clinching win, the Bullets' championship parade and the 1984 NFC title game have been added. Michael Jordan, MLS Cup and Ovechkin's Goal have been deleted.)

Also, none of these involve college or high school basketball, one of the area's greatest passions. Like, Georgetown's national championship might have been more significant than some regular-season Gilbert Arenas buzzer beaters.

Then there are these things called "Super Bowls" which some D.C. sports fans enjoyed. The Redskins, as I recall, won three of them. Maybe they were a slightly bigger deal than the 2001 NBA All-Star game.

Also, it occurs to me that the Bullets won a world championship. I love D.C. United and all, but I don't recall the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue after the 1996 MLS Cup.

I mean, this is really like clubbing baby seals, but I couldn't help but notice. And before all you SB Nation and Mister Irrelevant writers start composing your own list of the 10 greatest moments in D.C. sports, I call dibs on that post.

(In fairness to SI, the list is supposed to be made up of "the top sports moments to happen within the city itself, including neutral-site matchups such as college bowl games, super bowls, NCAA Tournaments, etc." But in fairness to me, the 1996 MLS Cup wasn't played in D.C., and The Goal was scored in Phoenix.

Also, how about George Mason beating U-Conn. in the Verizon Center? Or the opening of Nats Park? Or the 1992 and 1988 NFC title games? Or the World Cup? Bah, whatever.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 7, 2010; 4:14 PM ET
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Comments

At first blush I would say that all these events tooks place in D.C. which no Super Bowl ever has.

But the 1996 MLS Cup wasn't in D.C. and neither was "The Goal."

Yet another reason to ignore S.I.

Posted by: CapsNut | June 7, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Ovie's goal took place in Phoenix I believe.

Posted by: poguesmahone | June 7, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes this is a terrible list by someone who clearly hasn't done his homework. Getting a washed up superstar and having an NBA All-Star game hosted here were two of the top 10 DC sports moments of all time? It's not THAT bad here.

Posted by: StuScott_Booyahs | June 7, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

CapsNut -- it does say "in the city" but then notes the 1996 MLS cup was in Foxboro. So that must mean "neutral site events" can count, in which case why no SBs?

Posted by: ah___ | June 7, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey, wait! SB XXII is the top event from San Diego! They even have a picture of Doug Williams from the cover of SI.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2010/06/sis_10_greatest_moments_in_dc.html

Posted by: ah___ | June 7, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey! I LIKED Bill Kramer. I thought the whole "Billy and Sammy" thing was great. Then, of course, there was Joe Thompson. He was a good quarterback too.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | June 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

What an embarrassment. Kramer?

I would have put Riggins taking a bow at midfield in that list somewhere. Never seen anything "greater" than that.

Posted by: LouLewis | June 7, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The list makes more sense if the idea is ranking the biggest sporting events that took place in D.C.

They are obviously not the biggest events for DC sports fans

Posted by: McBride33 | June 7, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The United and Michael Jordan have no place on a top 10 list of great DC sports moments but even if they did SI got the two moments wrong. The most anticipated game the United have every played was far and away the first time Beckham came to DC, none of their playoff games match the excitement among the crowd. The #1 Jordan moment was his driving out of town with his Illinois licence plates, best move Abe Pollin made in his life was canning MJ.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 7, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

leave it to si, this is one strange list: 1924 & 1942? uh, ok.
I would guess most dc area people would have the Skins Super Bowl & playoff games at the top, followed by Bullets and Caps playoff wins.

Posted by: Hattrik | June 7, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Neutral site events held in D.C. mean this list should include the 2009 Frozen Four NCAA ice hockey tournament at Verizon Center, which included one of the most exciting championship game finishes in the history of college sports. A team scores two goals in the final seconds of regulation to tie, then clinches the national title in overtime. That is hard to beat.

And, I don't remember details, but didn't Joe Louis have at least one heavyweight title fight at Griffith Stadium?

Posted by: greggwiggins | June 7, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Nattrik, I have to agree with SI and disagree with you; both the Senators' 1924 World Series win and the Redskins 1942 NFL loss happened on 7th Street NW at Griffith Stadium. Tell me what Super Bowl was ever played inside the District? I'd also rank a World Series win, particularly from the pre divisional playoff era when a team had to excel for five straight months to reach the Series, far above any football title that only requires a few game winning streak.

Posted by: greggwiggins | June 7, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

An NBA All-star game? REGULAR SEASON buzzer-beaters? Meh. Plus, I love the Mason story, but a trip to the Final Four ranking above Georgetown's National Championship in 1984? Or Maryland's in 2002? Please.

Also, if we're talking about DC United, the relevant game is the 1997 MLS Cup, which they won in front of a sold-out RFK (back in the pre-Nats configuration, when it held 58,000) in the pouring rain. That's 20,000 more than came out for Beckham. So there.

Posted by: JDougan_DC | June 7, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Granted these weren't played "in the city" but Georgetown is in DC so for the hell of it I'll toss in a three good college hoop games which were played at Cap Centre.

Patrick Ewing's Georgetown vs Ralph Sampson's Virginia in '82, St. John's vs Georgetown in '85 and Maryland-Georgetown in '93.

Posted by: bbride1 | June 7, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"none of their playoff games match the excitement among the crowd."
-PowerBoater69

Here's hoping you're involved in a serious automobile accident.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | June 7, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Griffith, Mantle hit a ball out of there, and it's one of the better known shots he hit. It was supposed to be the home run that started the "tape measure" meme. I could see that ranking on the list of "DC" moments by SI's criteria.

Posted by: LouLewis | June 7, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Since the Caps and Bullets spent 25 years playing outside the city limits in Landover, and the Redskins have spent the past 13 years doing the same thing, this list is just silly. In fact, you could come up with a pretty good list of great moments in Prince George's County sports history using the same rationale that this dumb SI list does. You'd have the Bullets beating the Sixers on their run to the 78 title, you'd have the Dale Hunter game (Caps beat Flyers in seven in 1988), that Sampson-Ewing game in 82, the ACC tournament final in 81, the Redskins beating the Giants the second to last game of the season in 2005, a game or two in Cole Field House...

Posted by: TheFingerman | June 7, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

LouLewis, here's what Baseball Almanac's website has to say about Mantle's home run out of Griffith Stadium:

# # # #

When Mickey Mantle cleared the left-center-field bleachers at Clark Griffith Stadium in Washington on April 17, 1953, the entire baseball world was lead to believe the ball had traveled 565 feet from home plate to the point where it landed. In truth, that figure derived from the distance from home plate to the place where a neighborhood child retrieved the ball. Since this home run was the only one that ever cleared those bleachers during decades of major league and Negro League competition, it is genuinely deserving of recognition. However, the actual distance in the air was probably about 510 feet.

Posted by: greggwiggins | June 7, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

@greggwiggins, granted there has been plenty of debate over the years over that HR. I just think it's hard to say that's less memorable/important to DC sports history than the 2001 NBA Allstar game or Gilbert's buzzer beaters for example.

Posted by: LouLewis | June 7, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

LouLewis, I've lived here since the 1970s and I had no memory of the 2001 NBA All-Star Game was held here so you can see why it's not on my "most memorable" list.

As for Gilbert Arenas, if you insist on including his buzzer beaters in a largely empty basketball arena then I insist on including Ryan Zimmerman's 2006 bottom-of-the-ninth, come-from-behind, walk-off home run against the Yankees in a sold out RFK Stadium. Have you seen the giant photomural that's behind the scoreboard at Nationals Park of Zimmerman jumping on home plate? That's the finale of that ecstatic moment.

This is ultimately a subjective list; since I don't follow football and I prefer college basketball to the "five simultaneous games on one-on-one" that constitutes the NBA my personal list would leave off any football and include things like Ovechkin's "OTHER Goal" -- not "The Goal" in Phoenix but "The OTHER Goal" he scored at Verizon Center vs. the Montreal Canadiens. Perhaps you've heard that when the Canadian Broadcasting Company put together a half-hour show of the best hockey plays of the last decade Ovie's goal against the Coyotes was #1 but Ovechkin's tally against les Habs in DC was #2 on their list.

Posted by: greggwiggins | June 7, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I AM Billy Kramer, and I thought the 1972 NFC Championship game was great! -- as I watched it at home on television.

Posted by: BillKramer1 | June 8, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

there was a parade down Penn ave after some of the early DCU championships.

MD's fear the turtle tourney title should have definitely made the list. also probably Hunter's OT playoff game winner for the caps.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | June 8, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

How can you not put in the Super Bowls (I realize the happening in DC but several of their choices didn't happen here)???? Bullets Championship?? Terps? How about Monk getting the receiving record?? Caps OT win vs Flyers??? Caps comeback vs the Pens this year?? Caps clinching the division in the last game in 08? Seat Cushion Game? We Want Dallas? Riggins taking a Bow? Mosely's Kick agst the Giants and/or breaking the record?? Gibbs' first game back? G'town's championship?? 87 NFC Champions ship game that came to the last play on the goal line??? The beatdown of the Cowboys in 05?? "Five or we don't go" in 05? And I'd say the game after pollin died probably is more meaningful to the city than some regular season buzzer beaters.

Jordan was a big deal at the time, but small in the grand scheme of things. Who even remembers the NBA All Star game?

You get my point, so many events more relevant to the city than say Jordan, and All Star game, and even the MLS.

Posted by: ajian1 | June 8, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

The picture they have for the 1972 NFC Championship game is Ken Houston stopping Walt Garrison on the goal line during a MNF football game.

Posted by: goose33 | June 8, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I'd put the 1969 All Star Game ahead of the NBA All Star Game.
The NL All Stars were perhaps the greatest team ever assembled in one place.

Mason/UCONN for sure.

And I can think of a half dozen Redskin/Cowboy games that would top Gilbert or Ovie.

Pele at RFK probably a bigger deal than MJ.

Other Misc Verizon moments:
MD win over Kansas at Verizon
The Georgetown stomping of Duke in 2010 is under appreciated.

Posted by: ktroxelljr | June 8, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

If you're going to cheapen it by throwing parades in there, what about the Redskins Super Bowl Parades? One of my most vivid and cherished childhood memories is going to work with my dad and both of us skipping to go to see the Super Bowl XXII parade

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | June 8, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

How about the 1966 NCAA men's basketball final at Cole Field House? UTEP (Texas Western) over Kentucky, with plenty of meaning beyond sports in that one.

Posted by: CDRHoek | June 8, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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