Best Sports Moments of the 2010s

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Photo via: Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Marc Goldstein, Sports Editor


The past decade has given the world some great sports moments. There have been countless unforgettable moments that will be remembered for a very long time. From baseball to football to swimming, there hasn’t been a shortage of unbelievable moments in sports. This, though, is the ten best moments in sports from the 2010s.

  1. Minneapolis Miracle

Year: 2018

Sport: NFL

The Minnesota Vikings were facing playoff elimination at home against the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. The Vikings were in a back and forth battle the entire second half after blowing a 17-0 halftime lead. Trailing by a score of 24-23 with 25 seconds left, all hope seemed to be gone. The

Photo via: Minnesota Vikings

Saints had to keep the Vikings from scoring, and they would advance to the NFC Championship game. Case Keenum of the Vikings first round tight end Kyle Rudolph, who stepped out of bounds with 10 seconds left. The very next play, Keenum threw a pass to Stefon Diggs. Saints safety Marcus Williams missed a tackle and Diggs ran into the endzone as time expired. The play has lived in infamy and the home crowd in Minnesota were sent into a frenzy. The Vikings, though, did not fair as well the following week against the Eagles who would go on to win the Super Bowl.

  1. Fight Finished

Year: 2019

Sports: MLB

The Washington Nationals have been a franchise that signified failure and choking when the pressure was at its highest. The 2019 team together has been called a “team of destiny”, and they reversed narratives left and right. They rebounded from a 19-31 start to make it into the Wild Card Game, which they won, and they advanced all the way to the World Series. The steps in between has all been covered, but the exact moment that they gained the upper hand in Game 7 was one for the ages. Down 2-1 in the top of the 7th, Howie Kendrick took a pitch down and away from Will Harris of the Astros to right field, where it bounced off the foul pole, giving the Nationals the lead. They wouldn’t relinquish the lead, winning their first World Series in franchise history.

  1. Ray Allen for 3!

Year: 2013

Sport: NBA

The Miami Heat of the mid-2010s have been remembered of the team that started the “Superteam Era” in the NBA. Assembling a starting lineup that included Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James, they seemed unstoppable. After failing to win one in their first chance at a championship, they were criticized heavily. The Heat made it back to The Finals, where they met the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs were a non-flashy, solid team that were very good at the little things in the game. After trailing 3-2, the Heat returned home on the brink of elimination. To make matters even more bleak, they were trailing 95-92 with mere seconds remaining. LeBron James missed a 3, and the Heat grabbed the rebound, and kicked it out to Allen, the 18 year NBA veteran who was on his last chance in the league. Allen, one of the most prolific 3 point shooters ever, knocked down the shot to tie the game. He lifted the Heat to an eventual victory in the game, and eventually, the series. Allen has since retired and has been regarded to have won the championship himself, with that single shot. 

  1. Simone Biles wins 5 medals at the Rio Olympics. 

Year: 2016

Sport: Gymnastics

Simone Biles, all 4 foot- 8 inches of her did something that hadn’t been done before. She won not one, not two, not three, not four, but 5(!) medals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. She was already an amazing gymnast with countless awards and medals, but the Olympics, arguably the biggest stage for an athlete, was her statement performance to the world. She was a part of the group of American gymnasts nicknamed the “Final Five”, all of whom received many awards for their performances. Biles would go on to win just about every competition she competed in, making her arguably the most dominant athlete of the decade.

 

  1. Usain Bolt becomes the fastest man alive

Year: 2016

Sport: Track and Field

Photo via: npr.com(Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Usain Bolt is the name that is synonymous with speed. The man’s name is bolt, he shouldn’t be allowed to be slow. If there were any question, he isn’t, and at the 2016 Olympics(a banner year for athletes, seemingly), he won gold medals in every single event he ran over the course of two Olympic games. That means that there was an 8 year period where no one could beat him on the international stage. In fact, after he won the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4×100 in 2012 and 2016, no one ever beat him because he retired from track and field. He essentially was in his prime at the time of his retirement. The biggest thing from this very moment was a picture that went viral of him smiling at the camera while running away from his competition(no pun intended). That statement sums up just how good Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, was at his craft.

 

 

  1. “LeBlock”

Year: 2016

Sport: Basketball

LeBron James is a name that everyone knows, no matter how much they watch sports. That is without question. He has done nothing but dominate everywhere he has played, once again without question. His greatest achievement, though, is lifting, not only his team, but his hometown with a single play. James, originally from Akron, Ohio, was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, his hometown team. He then signed with the Miami Heat, a decision that made him public enemy number 1 in Northeast Ohio. he returned to Cleveland in the summer of 2015, immediately getting them to The Finals. They lost to the Golden State Warriors, but the two teams would face off again in The Finals the following season. The Warriors jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, one win away from a second straight championship. The Cavaliers were all but written off, but James was not done yet. He willed his team to a Game 5 victory, then another in Game 6. That set up Game 7 in San Francisco, the home of the Warriors. The game was back and forth the entire time, until with 2 minutes left, James came out of nowhere to block a layup by Andre Iguodala of the Warriors. This was a play that was the epitome of athleticism, and the Cavaliers went onto win the game and the title. LeBron was emotional at the fact that he won a championship for his hometown team, bringing his team back from the brink of elimination. 

  1. Tua for the title

Year: 2018

Sport: Football

Alabama football is one of the most well known college programs outside of Duke basketball. They have a habit of winning national championships in dominant fashion. So when they are down by a lot in the National Championship to Georgia, people were scratching their heads. What does legendary coach Nick Saban do? He just puts in freshman Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback over Jalen Hurts who had led the team the previous two seasons. Naturally, the gun slinging lefty from Hawaii comes in and just lights it up. He gets the game to overtime where Georgia gets the ball first and kicks a field goal to go up 31-28. Tagovailoa gets the Crimson Tide near midfield before upcorking a missle to Devonta Smith for the walk off, National Championship winning touchdown. Tagovailoa would go onto be the starting quarterback for the next two seasons and also one of the top players in the draft when he declares for it.

 

  1. Villinova for the title

Year: 2016

Sport: College Basketball

Villinova has been a relatively competitive mid-major men’s basketball team for a very long time. In the early 2010s, they emerged as not just a decent program, but one not to be reckoned with. They slowly made a climb each season, until they reached the National Championship against North Carolina in 2016. With Villinova leading 74-71, North Carolina had one chance to win which was a desperation 3. Right on cue, superstar Marcus Paige of the Tar Heels, takes and makes a miraculous three to tie the game with just a few seconds left. The Wildcats had no remaining timeouts, so they quickly inbounded the ball. They had enough time to get the ball close to the 3-point line, where Kris Jenkins got the ball and shot the 3 to win the championship for his school. Immediately fireworks went off and ticker tape came floating down as Villinova had just brought a title back to Philadelphia. About Philadelphia… 

 

  1. Philly Special

Year: 2018

Sport: Football

The Philadelphia Eagles were a team mired in mediocrity for much of the 21st century. Every time the (rabid) fans got excited about something, the team ultimately disappointed them. When the Eagles got a 14-2 record, fans began to expect the worst. Those worries were justified when their starting quarterback and MVP candidate, Carson Wentz, went down with a torn ACL. Nick Foles was thrust into the action, and he lead the team to two playoff wins, but many didn’t view it as sustainable going into the Super Bowl. Considering that the New England Patriots were the opponent, a historically great franchise. The Eagles were on the 2 yard line when they needed a boost and a score to get some momentum. Foles acted like he was changing the play by talking to the offensive linemen before the snap, but the ball was snapped, and shoveled to tight end Trey Burton. Burton surprised everyone with a throw to a wide open Foles in the endzone. This single play made everyone think that the Eagles were for real, and also inspired many similar versions of the play. The creativity alone to make this play work is something that has been immortalized ever since, with the play design being put on everything from coffee mugs to t-shirts. 

 

  1. Kick-6 for the Win!

Year: 2013

Sports: College Football

Photo via: Bleacher Report(Dave Martin/Associated Press)

There are many great rivalries in North American sports, but there are almost no better than Auburn and Alabama. Both colleges are in Alabama, separated by very little. These two teams have faced off over 100 times, but Alabama has gotten the best of the matchup. Auburn has been forced to watch their arch rival win multiple National Championships in this decade alone. In 2013, though, Auburn was having a season for the ages going into their meeting with the Crimson Tide. The winner of the game would go onto the National Championship game(there was a different postseason format back then). The game was tied with 1 second left, and Alabama had the ball close to midfield, but on Auburn’s side of the 50. Alabama decided to attempt a field goal to win the game, instead of taking their chances in overtime. Auburn, anticipating a miss short, placed Chris Davis deep, as if he were receiving a kickoff. The kick was indeed short, and Davis began running it back. Like with most kickoffs, many expected to see Davis get tackled at around the 40 yard line. Davis stayed on his feet, churning up yard after yard until there was one man to beat. He beat him, and continued on his way into the endzone for the win. Pandemonium ensued, and Auburn would advance to the National Championship, where they would eventually lose. This play, though, has been inscribed on just about everything one could think about, and left everyone speechless. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sports leaves us speechless at every turn, that’s what’s so exciting about it. Moments like these don’t come everyday, and usually it is obvious that something special has happened once it happens. Every moment that makes fans feel amazed arguably deserved to be one this list, and they could have been, but this list would have been way too long. With that, thank YOU for being with us this decade! Here’s to 2020 and beyond!