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I've been to a lot of exciting games over the years. I was at the Reds game on opening day this year when Joe Randa hit a walk-off game winning homerun. I was at the fastest IRL race in history (won by Sam Hornish Jr), which took place at Kentucky Speedway. I was at game 6 of the 1990 NLCS when the Reds beat the Pirates to go to the World Series. I was at the Kentucky-Alabama game that Kentucky won in overtime (first time UK had beaten them in 76 years) and helped tear down the goalposts. I went to a Reds game in the early '90s when Chris Sabo scored what would have been the tying run, but the Umpire called him out. The crowd booed and chanted "Bulls---" for 20 minutes. We left and when we got home I turned on the TV and the game was still on! The ump had reversed the call after confering with the other umpires.

But by far the most incredible game I've ever been to was the Kentucky-LSU football game a couple years ago. Early in the game, I saw the longest punt I've ever seen. The punter for LSU was standing at his own 10 yard line, so I figured UK would get great field position. Wrong! He unleashed a mammoth kick. With a strong wind and a fortuitous bounce, LSU downed it at the two yard line! It was something like 86 yards.

Late in the game, with about 45 seconds left, Kentucky kicked a field goal to put them up by 3. LSU was at around their own 25 yard line. They called a timeout with just a couple seconds remaining and with the ball around the 30 yard line. Fans on the other side of the field started jumping down on the field along the sidelines, ready to charge the field and tear down the goalposts. Realizing what was going on, I went down to the field on my end and stood at the back of the endzone under the other goalpost. When LSU snapped the ball, I couldn't see what was going on. The clock went to zero and fireworks went off. Everyone on the field thought the game was over. Just then, as if in slow motion, I saw the ball shoot up into the air. As the ball was in the air, I thought of Chris Berman on NFL Primetime always saying "when there is a hail mary, what do you do?" and Tom Jackson responding "Knock it down!". One LSU wideout and two Kentucky defenders were at the 20 yard line when the ball came down...one of the UK players tipped it and I watched in horror as it went right into the LSU player's hands. The other UK player dove to make a tackle and missed. I put my hands on my head and stood in utter disbelief.

Had I thought about it, I would have run onto the field and tackled the guy before he made it to the endzone. I'm sure I would have been arrested or something, but I would have been a hero to UK fans and a national celebrity...I'd be on Sportscenter and probably interviewed by all the sports talk shows. Anyway, that's the most exciting game I've ever been to.
 

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I went to the 1997 Rose Bowl game between Ohio State and Arizona State. This game is considered as one of the most exciting bowl games in recent memory. Ohio State scored with 19 seconds left to win the game and cost ASU the national championship. :mum
 

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I have a hard time remembering all the close games I've seen, but the game that stands out the most to me is going to see the Giants/Astros and seeing Bonds tie McGwires record in 2001. I also went to a couple Astro playoff games last year.
 

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free thinker said:
I went to the 1997 Rose Bowl game between Ohio State and Arizona State. This game is considered as one of the most exciting bowl games in recent memory. Ohio State scored with 19 seconds left to win the game and cost ASU the national championship. :mum
Great game. Although for me, the Buck's National Championship win a couple of years ago that has Miami fans still complaining was the sweetest game I've ever watched.

As far as being in person, I saw a couple of Indians' games in '95 where they won in their last at-bat with homers, one game with a blast by Jim Thome and the other with a shot by Manny Ramirez. Also, when the Tribe clinched the AL Central in 2001. Also when they won the last game of the season in 2000 in a playoff atmosphere -- Oakland and Seattle won later in the day to knock the Tribe out of post-season, but that game was a lot of fun. I was also at the first night game at Jacobs Field, which they won with a homer by Eddie Murray.

Brian
 

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brimontz said:
Although for me, the Buck's National Championship win a couple of years ago that has Miami fans still complaining was the sweetest game I've ever watched.
Not that I like Miami, but I don't blame the fans for complaining. They were robbed. I don't consider Ohio State as national champs that year. :b
 

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free thinker said:
brimontz said:
Although for me, the Buck's National Championship win a couple of years ago that has Miami fans still complaining was the sweetest game I've ever watched.
Not that I like Miami, but I don't blame the fans for complaining. They were robbed. I don't consider Ohio State as national champs that year. :b
Actually, OSU would have been robbed had they lost. Miami mugged an OSU receiver in the 4th quarter and no call was made. That forced OSU to punt, Miami had a great punt return, leading to the score to tie the game to send it to OT. Interference should have been called then, OSU would have had a first down and been able to run out the clock, and the game would never have gone into OT in the first place. So, Miami's complaints are not justified. Just because the ref was slow to pull the flag out at the end does not mean that Miami should have won the game -- cheaters should not win, and Miami was cheating. OSU won fair and square and earned that championship. Scoreboard (and championship) -- Ohio State.

Brian
 

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Hueytown vs Jess Lanier 1995

My brother played center for Hueytown and having a family member on a team just makes it that more special. Hueytown was having one of there best seasons ever and we play Lanier last game of the year but we haven't beat them in a while. In order for us to get to the playoffs we must go through Lanier. Just a straight up hard fought game that was tied 6-6 until the end when Hueytown has a chance to win with a field goal. Of course they make the field goal and advance all the way to the semis in the playoffs but that was by far the most exciting game I have attended.
 

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From what I've observed over the years, if you are a fan of one side or the other you have the tendency to see the calls in a game in a manner beneficial to your team simply because you are viewing the game from a biased perspective.
I think this gives someone who is not a fan of either team a definite advantage in determining what calls were justified and the team who actually deserves to win the game.
 

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free thinker said:
From what I've observed over the years, if you are a fan of one side or the other you have the tendency to see the calls in a game in a manner beneficial to your team simply because you are viewing the game from a biased perspective.
I think this gives someone who is not a fan of either team a definite advantage in determining what calls were justified and the team who actually deserves to win the game.
That is true to a point. However, when the refs blew the call in the 4th quarter of the OSU-Miami game, I was screaming at the TV set. It was blatant. It's not like I went back and watched the tape of the game in order to justify my feelings.

There were a lot of people in the national media who aren't big fans of either team who complained about Miami losing. The problem is that most of those reporters are just trying to justify the fact that they had picked Miami to win and win big. They all blew off OSU's defense that year and were confident that Miami would win by 2 TDs or more. When that didn't happen, they went around trying to spin the game in the way that best explained their mistake -- that Miami should have really won the game.

So, a lot of people who aren't necessarily fans of the teams in a game can still develop opinions that aren't any better than fans of the teams.

The only thing you can go by is the scoreboard, and in the end, regardless of how it happened, OSU won that year.

Brian
 

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brimontz said:
That is true to a point. However, when the refs blew the call in the 4th quarter of the OSU-Miami game, I was screaming at the TV set. It was blatant. It's not like I went back and watched the tape of the game in order to justify my feelings.
Yes, it was blatant for you because you are looking for infractions against your team. That is only natural for someone who is a fan and is extremely biased.

I became acutely aware of this phenomenon to only see what one wants to see when, a few years ago, I visited my parents during the hockey playoff season. They were life-long Red Wing fans and as usual were supporting their beloved Red Wings while I didn't really care who won the games. I was amazed that my parents saw all these supposed infractions committed against their team and yet saw none of the infractions that the Red Wings were guilty of. It was really something to witness this bias in its extreme form.
 

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free thinker said:
brimontz said:
That is true to a point. However, when the refs blew the call in the 4th quarter of the OSU-Miami game, I was screaming at the TV set. It was blatant. It's not like I went back and watched the tape of the game in order to justify my feelings.
Yes, it was blatant for you because you are looking for infractions against your team. That is only natural for someone who is a fan and is extremely biased.

I became acutely aware of this phenomenon to only see what one wants to see when, a few years ago, I visited my parents during the hockey playoff season. They were life-long Red Wing fans and as usual were supporting their beloved Red Wings while I didn't really care who won the games. I was amazed that my parents saw all these supposed infractions committed against their team and yet saw none of the infractions that the Red Wings were guilty of. It was really something to witness this bias in its extreme form.
But just because you're looking for infractions doesn't mean the infractions didn't actually happen. Do I want the teams I follow to win? Of course I do, but that doesn't mean that refs/umpires don't blow calls either. It isn't always being biased.

I was watching the Indians/Royals game last night, and Indians batter Travis Hafner clearly should have been called for a strike on a check swing, but the ump called it a ball and the third base ump also called it a ball. My wife and I were talking about how it really should have been called a strike while watching the replay. Did it affect the outcome of the game? No. Could it have? Yes. Would I have changed my opinion of the call to justify cheering for "my" team? No. Not everyone allows their biases to affect how they view calls in a game.

The only reason I even bring up the noncall in the 4th quarter of the OSU/Miami championship game is because that noncall had a HUGE effect on what happened later, just as the late flag in OT had a huge effect on what happened. Both calls were equally as important. And the fact is, Miami still could have won the game after the late flag. They didn't. They allowed OSU to score after the penalty to tie it, and then they lost it in the next OT round. People got all bent out of shape because the ref took "so long" to call the penalty in the end zone in OT. Few ever even try to make the argument that it was a bad call, because deep down, they know it was a good call. You're earlier assertion that OSU really didn't win that game was based on bias as well, even though you claimed to not be a fan of either team. Your perspective isn't any less biased than mine. It's just biased in a different way than mine is. EVERYONE has biases. Being an outsider does not give you an unbiased perspective. It may give you a perspective that is different, but it is still biased.

And people who are not particular fans of either team are more likely to be influenced by the comments by the national media, who usually doesn't know what they're talking about unless it's a big market team. Like I said before, the national media tried to make themselves look good by beating the late flag call into the ground because OSU made them look bad by not getting blown out by Miami the way they had predicted. I thought going into the game that Miami would win, but I thought it would be a close game, maybe 7 points or less deciding, because I knew that the Ohio State defense was better than it was given credit for -- I had watched the team all season long, unlike most of the national media, who had maybe seen a game or two and based their decision on the fact that OSU's offense wasn't as good as Miami's. So, the national media was biased to start, and that came across in how they reported the game, including the late flag.

The national media covering sports really doesn't know much. Case in point, in either '97 or '98, the Indians were facing the Yankees in the playoffs. The announcer started talking about the Indians' starter for the next game, Charles Nagy. Now, I wouldn't expect someone who doens't work in the media or isn't a fan of the Indians to know what Nagy looked like. But considering at that point, he had gone through like a 5 year stretch where only a few pitchers had won more games than him (Maddox being one, but there were only two or three more), you would think the NATIONAL MEDIA would know what the guy looked like. Instead, the camera went up and down the bench and couldn't zero in on him. Then, later in the game, the announcers were talking about one of the Yanks' bench warmers. The camera zoomed in on him IMMEDIATELY. Was my annoyance do in part to my "bias?" Yes, but it also doesn't take away the fact that the national media should do their jobs better when it cames to teams outside of NY, LA, and Chicago.

Finally, when John Elway did his "drive" against the Browns in the playoffs in the 80s, few remember that it only tied the game. The national media has built it up into something that makes it sound like he brought the team back from a 50-point deficit and that "The Drive" won the game. They leave out important aspects like Schottenheimer having a role in costing the Browns the game by switching to the "prevent defense" which never works rather than leaving in the defense that worked against Elway the whole game. They leave out that the field goal kick by Denver to win the game in OT could just as easily been called "no good" as opposed to "good." (The ball went directly over the goal post.) Despite all of those things, it doesn't take away from my appreciation of what Elway did in that game. He had an awesome performance when his team needed him most. Denver won the game, and Cleveland lost. It was over and done with, and I accepted that my team lost the game as soon as the game ended. Just like a lot of Miami fans (and unbiased "nonfans") still need to do several years later.

Brian
 

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brimontz said:
Your perspective isn't any less biased than mine. It's just biased in a different way than mine is. EVERYONE has biases. Being an outsider does not give you an unbiased perspective. It may give you a perspective that is different, but it is still biased.

And people who are not particular fans of either team are more likely to be influenced by the comments by the national media, who usually doesn't know what they're talking about unless it's a big market team.
Brian, I totally disagree. Yes, everyone may be slightly influenced by something they have heard or seen, but if there is no gratification to be obtained from one side winning the bias will not be significant. So although there may be a very mild subconscious bias, it really can't compare to the extreme bias of fans dedicated to their home team. From what I've witnessed, sports fan bias is probably the most extreme bias, even greater than political or religious bias.
 

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(On the original topic)

A 1990 game at Candlestick against the Reds, only game I saw that year. It was Mother's Cookies Trading Cards day, good enough in itself, and we had seats in the upper deck near the foul pole where I optimistically kept my glove ready (being 10 years old). Giants had won the first three games of the series to cut their defecit from 8 games to 5, and could really get back in the race by finishing off the sweep. Just after I told him to hit one to me, Terry Kennedy hit a home run just a few hundred feet below me. The thing that made it special is Scott Garrelts took a no hitter into the 9th inning, and I'll always remember getting to stand on my feet hoping I'd be seeing history... though alas, Paul O'Neill doubled to break it up with one out in the 9th (and since that day, I've hated Paul O'Neill). Giants won 4-0 if I recall correctly.

Also enjoyed my first game at SBC Park just a couple of weeks ago, but Benitez blowing the game to hand the season to the Padres kind of messed it up.
 

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I think I have a new game to add to the list...

I was at the Astros/Braves game yesterday that went to 18 innings.

2 grand slams, a runner thrown out at home plate, a 2 out home run to tie the game in the 9th, a 43 year old SP who just happens to be one of the best pitchers in the history of baseball throwing 3 great innings of relief on 2 days rest, a walk off home run, and my favorite team clinching the divisional series and knocking off the Braves. I'm pretty satisfied :b
 
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