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I am back in the blog game! I will be blogging at least 1-2 times a day for the rest of 2022. Yes, I will even be blogging on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I decided to write this blog because of a Barstool Chicago Twitter account tweet.
I thought I'd give my list of the worst sports moments of my life. To preface why certain moments are higher than others, the worst thing in sports is when you are entirely convinced your team is winning the title and lose in the worst way possible. An embarrassing first-round loss is nothing compared to losing in the championship. Spoiler alert, the Hornets/Bobcats, didn't even make the top 10; that's how bad they are.
A decade before the 2022 Final Four, where Duke lost tragically, Duke lost to the 15th seed; C.J. McCollum led a scrappy Lehigh team in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum. You might ask, well, what do these have in common? I was at both… Yep, I know; I may not let myself attend any more Duke NCAA Tournament games anymore. I am the bad luck charm. Being at this game made it so much worse. This Duke team felt like they overachieved being a 2 seed, and it never felt like they were a legit title contender.
In Grayson Allen's last game as a Blue Devil, Wendell Carter got absolutely SCREWED on a blocking call, and a Duke team that finally hit their stride. This 2-18 Duke team is a sneaky one of the most talented Blue Devils squads they ever had, and it's honestly disappointing that they did not make it to the Final Four. The way this game ended and with Allen barely missing the game-winner, it was one of the worst sports moments of my life.
BYU has one shot every 2-3 decades at having a real chance at the Final Four. They had it back in the 1980s with Danny Ainge and had a real shot at making the Final Four in 2011. Jimmer Fredette took over college basketball, and if it wasn't for Brandon Davies getting suspended, then I believe BYU would've made their first Final Four. BYU will probably never have that same excitement level ever again. It would be higher on the list, but it's more heartbreaking when a team has a real shot at winning the title; I'm not convinced this team would have won the title.
Aston Villa is up 2-0 in the 75th minute, and they have to at least tie so Liverpool can win the Premier League. They proceed to give up three goals in five minutes to hand the Premier League to Manchester City. Horrifically losing the Premier League again gets old. The Premier League scriptwriters clearly hate Liverpool.
Liverpool had no business in the Champions League Final that year, and the Klopp era was finally hitting its stride. That season was magical; from where we were to make it to the biggest game in club football, it was phenomenal. Then, Gareth Bale put on one of the most incredible performances you'll ever see, and meanwhile, Loris Karius's (might've been concussed) career ended that night. It was such a letdown to what should've been a fairytale ending.
Before the 2022 Final Four, the Elite Eight matchup versus Michigan State was the worst day in every Duke fan's life. The 2010 and 2015 title-winning seasons were unbelievable, but nothing compares to watching Zion Williamson play for Duke. Seeing Zion play in person at Duke, he is the greatest athlete I have ever watched. I've been fortunate enough to have seen LeBron, Steph, Rodgers, and Brady, but none of them compared to what Zion was a Duke. R.J. Barrett was a chemistry killer and ultimately cost that Duke team in the Michigan State game. Zion should have been getting the ball every single possession, but that's a blog for another day. This game ending the way it did, and realizing I'll never see Zion play another game for Duke was a terrible thought.
This one may not make sense if you're not a soccer fan, but Steven Gerrard, my favorite athlete of all time, had one last great season for Liverpool in 2014. Luis Suarez had the single best season I've ever seen in the Premier League. The stars were aligning for Liverpool to erase the 24-year drought and win the Premier League finally. Then the slip happened…
Liverpool fans will be seeing this nightmare for the rest of our lives. Like Steve Nash against the Lakers, this was Gerrard's last chance at winning a Premier League. One of the most brutal sports days of my life.
My first favorite athlete was Steve Nash. I was the most diehard Steve Nash fan. My birthday present from 2007-2010 was getting a subscription to NBA League Pass so I would not miss a single Suns game. The Sun's team was getting ready to break up with Amar'e Stoudemire inevitably leaving; it was Nash's last chance at a ring. This was my first real sports heartbreak. Grant Hill played impeccable defense on Kobe, and he hit the dagger of daggers. That shot still gives me nightmares to this day.
This game did not have that dagger at the end like some of these have had. It was just four hours of torture. Every Panthers fan knew the second they called the Jerricho Cotchery catch incomplete; we knew what we were in for. There is no possible way the NFL would let the Panthers ruin Peyton Manning's farewell. Some fishy things were going on in that game, and overall, it had a weird feel to it. What was also so terrible about that game was that if the Panthers won that game, they would be talked about like the 1985 Bears. But now they are just a team that was fun for a year.
This has to be the all-time worst. There are no more significant stakes than Duke vs. North Carolina in the Final Four. Being at the game makes it 1000x worse. I genuinely felt numb after Caleb Love's three-pointer went in. I Sat with the rats of the 600 level in the Superdome for about 40 minutes after the game ended with a cold, blank stare on my face. It wasn't even the fact it was Coach K's last game (not the biggest K guy), but losing in that fashion to North Carolina when Duke was the more talented team was excruciating. As you can see from this blog, I have been through the wringer in tragic sports losses, but this has to be the worst sports moment of my life for me.