So yeah, that happened.
Saying that I'm a soccer "fan" would probably be considered a stretch. I don't really ever watch any soccer, and if it wasn't for video games, I probably wouldn't know any of the players. That is except for every four years when the World Cup rolls around. This year was no exception; I fell directly into the World Cup hype machine. I have been watching as much of this year's World Cup as I can, and last night's game between the United States and Ghana was a can't-miss event. There was so much build-up and anticipation for the game, it was finally show time. Here is a diary of my viewing experience:
Pre-Game: As Jürgen Klinsmann shakes hands with the coaching staff from Ghana, I started to feel the same jitters I feel when watching my favorite teams. I guess I do care about this game. I'm getting thirsty...
Moments Before Kick-Off: Okay, this thirst is starting to dominate my life. I can run to the kitchen real quick to drink, nothing happens in the first few minutes of the game.
0:34: As I stand in my kitchen, I hear a loud yell from the Ian Darke (ESPN play-by-play guy): "DEMPSEY!" Oh no, after waiting all this time for the game, I missed the big moment as Clint Dempsey knocks it in. That's okay though, the U.S. leads 1-0, that's all that matters.
In sports, there is nothing quite like a last second victory. That is unless you are the losing team. In the video below, you will see perhaps the greatest buzzer beater ever; at least, in this humble sports fan's opinion it is. The game pictured below is for the New York State Section 1 Class AA championship, making the shot all that more impressive. All I can say is congrats to New Rochelle High for winning, and I'm so, so sorry to Mount Vernon for having to live on the losing side of this game for all eternity.
The NHL lockout stole three months of hockey, including 34 games per team, the Winter Classic, and the 2013 NHL All-Star Game; understandably, it upset many, many hockey fans. When the lockout officially ended, teams went into full fan repair mode, in an attempt to win back all those fans who were sick of players and owners squabbling over money, something both parties had a lot more of than the average fan. Now that the season has been back for a little over a month now, have the fans come back?
The answer is.... yes!
Oh, and the answer kinda is no, too.
Let me explain — unlike the other major sports leagues, the NHL and its franchises are really divided into two classes: the haves and the have-nots. Hockey-crazed fan bases, which include mostly cities in Canada and the Northeast U.S., have returned in full force, filling arenas on a nightly basis. According to ESPN.com's attendance figures, all seven teams located north of the border have 100% attendance or better so far this season. Same goes for major hockey markets including Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and Detroit. Some of those have even improved from last season.
The first week of the NFL season is now in the books and it did not disappoint. Teams like the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens proved they were worthy of all the off-season hype that surrounded their teams, while others like the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions stumbled, but won, in their opening games. With that being said, there were a few moments that stood out above all else in the opening week of the 2012 NFL Season:
Peyton Manning's stellar debut in Denver
When Peyton Manning decided to sign with Denver in the offseason, speculation began about whether or not Manning was fully recovered from his neck injury that cost him all of last season. Well, the future Hall-of-Famer silenced all of his doubters. Manning threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns, helping Denver to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19 on Sunday night. The Broncos now head to Atlanta to face the Falcons on Monday Night Football.
I'm not normally a football fan, but this is ridiculously impressive even for me. In case you missed it, in yesterday's game vs. the Packers, the San Francisco 49ers' David Akers made a record-tying 63-yard field goal. Only three other players in history have accomplished the feat, including two who made the goal in very thin air at Denver's Mile High Stadium and one who was using a controversial modified shoe. So this is a big deal.
Click the link above to see the video of the shot. My favorite moments in the video:
1. 11 seconds: the thud when the football hits the goal post, and most of the Green Bay fans think they've managed to avoid the 49ers' point gain.
2. 14 seconds: the moment when the crowd quiets down, because they realize that the point gain has, in fact, happened.
3. 37 seconds: the field goal is ALMOST blocked by a Packer, due to the very long distance and the very low trajectory of the punt.
4. 43 seconds: Akers' face when he realizes what he has just done. It's almost like he can't believe it himself.
What do you think? Was there a better moment in football yesterday? Let us know in the comments.