Goz’s Top 5 Worst Moments As A Sports Fan
If you follow me on Twitter (@TomGozz) you saw me send out these messages following the finish to the Kentucky Derby
Below is my list of the top five worst moments as a sports fan in my lifetime. We will go from five to one starting with..
#5- June 5th, 2004- Smarty Jones Loses The Belmont I remember watching this at my parent's place back in Syracuse. As someone who love horse racing, I was so sure Smarty Jones would end the Triple Crown drought. The way in which he loses too, just broke my heart (and my hopes to winning some money as a teenager). I was stunned. Shocked. Even watching the race fifteen years later, I still believe he might hold off Birdstone.
#4-March 5th, 2006- Gerry McNamara's final home game for Syracuse. Orange lose to Villanova 92-82. My favorite athlete ever is Gerry McNamara. The Pride of Scranton helped Syracuse to a national championship in 2003. The final game of his career should not have ended the way it did. A loss to a rival in the Carrier Dome. I was in the crowd that day, hoping the Orange could win this one on McNamara's senior day. The Post Standard news paper cover of a crying McNamara hugging then assistant head coach Mike Hopkins leaving the court the final time was in my room for a long time. I knew it was a special moment, but I wished it did not end like that. This was the closest I ever was to crying at an actual sporting event. The love of Gerry McNamara from both Syracuse and Scranton is showcased below.
#3-April 4th, 2005- NCAA national championship Illinois vs North Carolina I am not a North Carolina or Illinois basketball fan. However there was a bit extra in the balance on this April night fourteen years ago. I had entered a few bracket challenges that year and it all came down to one game. If the Fighting Illini won this game, I would have won both my parent's office pool and the Solvay High School bracket pool. One game for the all the cash. Plus when you are fifteen years old, that is a ton of money. I watched every singe play of this game. Illinois tied the game with two minutes to go. They never scored again...
#2-September 5th, 1998- Tennessee 34, Syracuse 33 This game was the one likely the readers from Lakeland/Solvay were waiting for. Twenty plus years I have had a deep hatred for Tennessee because of this result. At this point I am nine years old sitting in Section 303 Row ZZ (the highest possible seat in the Carrier Dome) watching Donovan McNabb in his senior season take on the Vols. The Orange are set to win this game. In the below video, scroll to the 9:19 to watch the play that changed the game. After the official from twenty yards away throws that flag, fans in my section lost their minds. In fact, one fan minutes later leaped down five rows to try and fight Tennessee fans below! The Vols would eventually go down and kick the game winning field goal. Syracuse did finish 8-4 that season and qualify for the Orange Bowl. Following this win, Tennessee would win the rest of their games that season. Including the national championship.
#1- May 4th, 2019-Kentucky Derby This is the worst. During the lead up to the actual race, many of our experts said Maximum Security had no chance to do it. I believed in this undefeated horse and thought he could prove the critics wrong. I was watching the race live from the Times Union Center's big screen. I see Maximum Security get out in front. At that time, I thought he was going too fast and would get caught. He never did! I am celebrating knowing not only did I get the pick right, but a 65-1 had ran in second. I HAD THE EXACTA THREE TIMES! It is public information so I feel fine sharing it here. The $1 exacta 7-20 was scheduled to pay 531,80. So $531.80 multipled by three= $1,595.40
Never in the one hundred forty five year history had the wining horse been DQ'd. At the time, I could not see the replays so I was under the assumption that there was no way they could throw a Derby favorite winner off the board.
It happened to me. I had gone from believing I had won $1,600 to winning nothing. I will still hang on to my tickets in hopes that the decision gets over turned one day. This Saturday was the worst moment of my life as a sports fan.
What was your worst moment? Let us know below.