Top 10 #BestPartofthe90s For Sports Fans
Today’s hashtag was a fun one, especially for anyone over 30 years old. If you’re under 30, you’re likely worrying about other things, like why they haven’t created a reverse Social Security that makes old people pay young, self-entitled people money to live on when they’re not working.
So I thought I’d share a quick Top 10 list of my favorite moments/trends/events/things in sports from the ‘90s that we might not ever see again.
The Emergence of Fantasy Football as a Huge Hobby
I started playing Fantasy Football in 1989, but it really didn’t become a big deal for everyone in the country until the Internet took hold. Before that, and even immediately after, getting the new Fantasy Football Index magazine each summer was the best day everrr! (Here were the preseason Fantasy rankings for the 1997 season!)
10. Michael Jordan’s Nike WINGS Poster
8. Young Shaq Running the Floor
Seeing skinny Shaquille O’Neal running the floor in his rookie season was majestic. This was an athlete we’ve never seen before – and we haven’t seen since.
7. Tiger Woods Wins Masters, Changes Golf’s Landscape
Forget how Woods has become a shadow of his former self and think back to when he first came into our lives. His 1997 Masters win was shocking, but nothing he did after that was – until his personal life got on top of him.
6. Barry Sanders.
While Emmitt Smith was putting up the big Fantasy numbers in Big D, and guys like Terrell Davis and Thurman Thomas had their days in the sun, it was Sanders that made you watch plays slack-jawed, wondering how he could move so fast, tacklers could never get a hard hit on him. The man lost his shoe and still scored on an 82-yard run against my Buccaneers.
5. Last Decade That Heavyweight Boxing was Still Enjoyable
Some will point to Buster Douglas’ upset over Mike Tyson (February 11, 1990) as a ‘90s event, but to me, that was still an ‘80s event that signified the end of a boxing era. But in the ‘90s, we still had Tyson, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman and guys like Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe. Getting together for the big fight was so much more fun than these UFC get-togethers in bars.
4. Jim Abbott’s No-Hitter
Can you imagine Abbott, a one-handed pitcher, throwing a no-hitter in the mid-2010s like he did in 1993? The world would stop spinning. It would be like if Oscar Pistorius was American and won the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, despite not having legs. Abbott is still one of the most under-appreciated stories in all of sports. Get on it, ESPN’s 30 For 30.
3. McGwire/Sosa Chasing Roger Maris
You can say whatever you want about the steroids hangover the sport and its fans would suffer in later years, but the summer of ’98 was pretty awesome. While Mark McGwire was the eventual king, don’t forget that Ken Griffey Jr. had 19 home runs after May, but it was Sammy Sosa that clobbered 20 home runs in the month of June alone.
2. Original NBA Dream Team in ’92 Barcelona Olympics
There’s no doubt this was a one-of-a-kind team, and while we might see better individual players than all of these guys, we’ll never see a team like this manhandle the world in such a deflating manner.
1. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls
I understand that I have three things on here involving Jordan (including Dream Team), but people forget what kind of influence this guy had on the sports world. He three-peated … twice. That probably will never happen again – in any sport.
Dream Team Photo Credit: John W. McDonough, Getty Images
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