Well, the Twitter-verse was buzzing last night. Klay Thompson sent social media into frenzy with his 37 point performance in the 3rd quarter of the Warriors’ win over the Kings. Klay set an NBA record and he set fire to our phones, laptops, and tablets.
This got me thinking. What did we do before social media when amazing things happened in sporting events? Did we just read about it in the paper the next morning and then chat about it at school, lunch, or the water-cooler? The instant gratification of being able to talk with hundreds of fans about a sporting event is one of the neatest things about social media, Twitter specifically, in my opinion.
So, my immediate question after Thompson’s performance was, “If I could see Twitter’s reaction for any “Pre-Twitter” game, what would it be?” Twitter was founded in March of 2006. So, I posted this question online and got some good answers. In no specific order, here is my list of the top 10 games I’d love to see try to break the internet.
1. Miracle On Ice
On February 22, 1980, the United States defeated Russia to advance to the Gold Medal Game in the 1980 Olympics. “Do You Believe in Miracles” would have probably been trending for the next week. This game was arguably the greatest sports victory in any sport in America. The reaction for this would have been incredible.
2. The Play
In 1982 Cal and Stanford faced off. Neither team had a particularly great season, but the winner would have bragging rights for another year. After Stanford kicked a FG with less than 5 seconds left, they kicked off to the Golden Bears. 5 laterals later, the band on the field, and one of the greatest sports calls of all time, Cal was in the end zone and had miraculously come away with the win.
3. The 2004 ALCS
I couldn’t just pick one game here. The meltdown by the Yankees and the comeback by the Boston Red Sox would have been something trending on Twitter all the way through November. You know the story. New York held a 3-0 lead in the series and led in the 9th inning of game 4. The Red Sox won two walk off games in games 4 and 5. Curt Schilling played through a tough injury in game 6 and the Sox blew the Yankees out in game 7. So many things to talk about in this 4 game stretch.
4. Kobe Bryant goes off for 81 points
I chose this because it was televised. Wilt scored more, but since there’s no live copy of that, it would have been impossible for people to know about it. Kobe’s performance was live for the world to see. Shot after shot after shot just kept falling into the basket. This would have set a buzz that would have been a lot of fun.
5. The Tuck Rule Game
There are a lot of things about this game that would have made it fun for Twitter. First of all, who doesn’t love a snow game? This game was just short of a blizzard. We all know what happened. Tom Brady pump faked. He got hit and dropped the ball. What was originally ruled a fumble was reversed to an incomplete pass. The Tuck Rule was born. The reaction to this would have been similar to Dez Bryant’s catch which was reversed in the Cowboys/Packers game this year. Madness.
6. Steve Bartman becomes a legend… for the wrong reason.
If you think about it, Bartman is so lucky that Twitter didn’t exist when this happened. With the Cubs leading 3-0 in the 6th game of the series and 3-2 in that series, Bartman deflected a ball that Moises Alou was trying to catch in foul territory. Just after that, the Cubs scored 8 runs, won the game, and the series. Bartman had to be escorted away and one would think he kept a pretty low profile in Chicago after that event. Steve Bartman would have been trending for all the wrong reasons if Twitter was around.
7. The “Non” Push-Off
Game 6. Bulls vs. Jazz. Michael Jordan hit the game winner with 5.2 seconds left. There appeared to be a slight push off, but nothing was called. The Bulls held on for a win after John Stockton missing on a potential game winning 3-pointer. So much would be discussed here. MJ’s 6th and final ring. The game winning shot. The non-call on the potential push off. It would have made for some interesting social media for sure.
8. The 2006 Rose Bowl
It has been dubbed by many as the “Greatest College Football Game of All Time.” The excitement from this game and all of the stars who showed up so big was magnificent. Twitter was created just a few short months later. But, oh how I wish it would have been around as Vince Young ran towards the corner of the end zone and sealed the victory for the Longhorns.
9. The Choke at Doak
This game was one that many would have probably turned Twitter off early in the 2nd half. But, for those who decided to continue following (live and on Twitter) were in for a treat. Florida led 31-3 heading into the 4th quarter. The complaining from #FSUTwitter would have been some of the worst that we’ve ever seen. But, after the Noles rolled for 28 straight points, the trolling that would have gone on towards UF fans would have been remarkable.
10. The Shot – Duke vs. UK
The game itself was good enough to spark the energy of Twitter. 200+ combined points. Overtime. Duke. Kentucky. This game was everything you could want as a college basketball fan. Heck, you couldn’t ask for anything more as a sports fan, in general. But, the end of the game would have sent shockwaves through social media. Duke trailed 103-102. Grant Hill’s full court pass to Christian Laettner was caught. There was a turn and a dribble. Then, Laettner hit a shot that will forever be remembered. He sunk the bucket and Duke won 104-103. Two games later, the Blue Devils won the title. But, it wouldn’t have been possible without the heave and the hoop.