Top 25 Local Sports Moments of The Decade

December 22, 2009 | Glenn Clark

Others Considered:
Maryland Wins Soccer Championships in ’05 & ’08
Maryland football hires Ralph Friedgen
Rachel Alexandra first filly to win Preakness in 85 years
Towson reaches 2001 NCAA Lacrosse Final Four
Michael Phelps wins 6 Gold Medals at 2004 Olympics
Big Brown wins 2008 Preakness, Smarty Jones wins 2004 Preakness, War Emblem wins 2002 Preakness
Jonathan Ogden Announces Retirement
Jamal Lewis sentenced to jail time
Hopkins Stuns Duke to Win ’07 NCAA Lax Title
Pam Shriver Enters Tennis Hall of Fame
Maryland Opens Comcast Center
Ravens Trade for Steve McNair, Steve McNair murdered
Coppin State Returns to NCAA Tournament
Salisbury wins 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 D3 Lacrosse Titles
M&T Bank Stadium hosts NCAA Lacrosse Final Four for first time
Orioles trade Bedard to Seattle for Adam Jones & George Sherrill
Baltimore Blast win titles in ’03, ’04, ’06, ’08 and ’09
Navy wins 8 straight vs. Army-7 straight C-I-C Trophies
Kimmie Meissner Wins US Figure Skating Championship
Ravens Hire John Harbaugh

25-Morgan State and UMBC Make First Trips to NCAA Tournament (2009 and 2008 respectively)

boze
randy

24-Johns Hopkins Finishes Undefeated ’05 Season with NCAA Title

hopkins

23-Preakness Bans Beer from Infield (2009)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SejCwUzRa1U[/youtube]

22-Eddie Murray Enters Baseball Hall of Fame (2003)

eddie

21-Maryland Football Claims ’01 ACC Title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QszioOHki8[/youtube]

20-Jamal Lewis Breaks Single Game Rushing Record (2003)

jamal

19-Cal Ripken Jr. Enters Baseball Hall of Fame (2007)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5qn74GBIH4[/youtube]

18-Ravens Fire Brian Billick (2007)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N060MpjVLrg[/youtube]

17-Navy Snaps 43 Game Losing Streak at Notre Dame (2007)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehnd0seZyRg[/youtube]

16-Ravens Choose Elvis Grbac over Trent Dilfer (2001)

grbac

15-Terps Lose to Duke in Final 54  seconds, again in First Trip to Final Four (2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhoAuSamgr4[/youtube]

14-Ravens Lose to Steelers in Return to AFC Championship Game (2009)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGKjjgkubqs[/youtube]

13-Johnny Unitas Passes Away (2002)

si

While there are a number of all-time great Baltimore Colts still with us, clearly Johnny was the greatest. The time this city took to honor him (including a genuine tribute from Ravens QB Chris Redman) was well-deserved.

12-Terps win 2004 ACC Tournament

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU6lXzsVXJo[/youtube]

John Gilchrist could have run for governor in March 2004. Of course, he couldn’t have borrowed a dollar by March 2005.

11-Mike Mussina Signs with Yankees (2000)

moose

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the moment that marked the real start of the current Orioles era of darkness. The team had struggled and made poor decisions BEFORE this, but they had at least tried to spend some money and get better players. After this day, it happened very little.

10-Barbaro Collapses After Start of ’06 Preakness

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A20joY7g3dA[/youtube]

I guess this would be the “most gasping” moment of the decade, for sure. Barbaro entered the 2006 Preakness viewed more favorably as a Triple Crown contender than even Smarty Jones or Big Brown. Barbaro captivated this country after the Kentucky Derby, and even more after his collapse at Pimlico. For those of us who were there that day (and sober enough to watch the race), that image won’t leave our minds any time soon.

9-Rafael Palmeiro Busted for Steroids (2005)

raffi

Has there been a more maddening year than 2005 during this decade plus of losing than 2005? After trading for Sammy Sosa, the Birds actually found themselves……..winning!

That of course came to a crashing halt around the time of the All-Star Game; and the biggest highlight of the season (Rafael Palmeiro’s 3,000th hit) was soon completely tarnished by what I might call the biggest “we should have seen this coming” moment of the decade.

There were other steroid era moments that could have qualified, including that fateful day in front of Capitol Hill, but this was the most embarassing of all of them.

8-Maryland Women win 2005-2006 NCAA Hoops Title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNpNRtFN1K0[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGuFhlJYyRc[/youtube]

Maybe this would be the “Hey, that’s pretty cool!” moment of the decade. It didn’t have the significance of a men’s title; but it was still a pretty awesome moment for Maryland fans everywhere. There were probably a number of Maryland fans who couldn’t have named the coach of the team before that night, but those same fans were probably guilty of saying something like “if only Gary Williams could recruit like Brenda Frese” after that night.

Also, Kristi Toliver’s shot ranks up there with Juan Dixon’s 3 against UConn and his baseline jumper against Indiana in the pantheon of great shots in Terrapins history.

7-Michael Phelps Breaks Mark Spitz’s 7 Gold Medal Record (2008)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXkjFQ1hRqA[/youtube]

The moment was made by the scene at M&T Bank Stadium. It would have been an incredible moment in Beijing no matter what, but it was an even more incredible moment for Baltimore given the fact that fans around town could stick around after the Ravens’ preseason game to watch it happen. I think I would call this the “most significant record-breaking moment” of the decade in local sports.

6-Hasim Rahman stuns Lennox Lewis for Heavyweight Title (2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZN6ONCH7B0[/youtube]

I would classify this as the biggest “Did you hear?” moment of the decade. Most sports fans in town didn’t just have no idea Hasim Rahman was FIGHTING for Lennox Lewis’ belts, they didn’t know who Hasim Rahman WAS. But Hasim put together one of the great knockouts in the history of heavyweight title fights; in what most American fight fans consider the last significant heavyweight title change the sport has seen. Lennox Lewis was not an “Alphabet Soup” champion who dodged the best contenders the way heavyweight champions of the last 5 or 6 years have been-he was the legitimate “Heavyweight Champion of the World.”

And thanks to one punch, a young man from Baltimore became the legitimate “Heavyweight Champion of the World” as well, at least for a short time.

5-Ravens Fall to Colts in ’07 Divisional Round

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dd-jglYaWc[/youtube]

I think this would be classified as “Biggest Emotional Letdown” of the decade. This city ABSOLUTELY identified this as the chance to exercise the demons of the Mayflower vans, and to finally move past Bob Irsay’s move from Baltimore to Indianapolis. On top of that, the 2006-07 Ravens appeared to give the city its best chance to win another Super Bowl this decade.

Obviously, none of that happened.

4-Ray Lewis Charged with murder in Atlanta (2000)

ray

I think I would describe it as the most “jaw-dropping” local sports moment of the decade. Did anything come of it? No, not really. However, this was still the best athlete in town facing charges of murder. And to this day, Ray can’t enter another NFL stadium without hearing about this moment.

3-Cal Ripken Jr. Plays Final Game with Orioles (2001)

rip

This may be too high on the list. We all knew it was coming, but it didn’t take away from the moment itself. I think the reason why I have this so high on the list anyway is because I’ve heard this phrase so many times over the last decade: “at least in the past I could go to the games and see Cal….I don’t have any reason to go anymore.”

We all hope Matt Wieters, Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, Adam Jones and company will bring about change-but the last GREAT memory any of us have at Camden Yards is absolutely this moment.

2-Maryland Claims 2001-2002 NCAA Hoops Title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EgsMpPyFhg[/youtube]

Look, it would have been Number 1 on my own personal list, and it wouldn’t have been close. But there is NO WAY it can drop below the #2 spot on anyone’s list-or you were just plain not paying attention for the better part of the decade. It was the culmination of the greatest season in Maryland history, and the crowning moment for Juan Dixon-the most significant college athlete the state of Maryland has ever seen.

1-Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV (2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0viE_bOYTw[/youtube]

Do I really need to explain this?

-G

Comments on Facebook

Comments are closed.