Top Ten Sporting Events

Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 8:14 AM PST

Inspired by the Seahawks come from behind win over Green Bay, and talk of it as the greatest Seahawks game of all time, I decide to come up with my Top Ten list of sporting events attended, with an attempt at ranking them.

10. Notre Dame over DePaul, 76-74 in double overtime on 2-27-80.  DePaul entered the game ranked #1 and undefeated and ND was ranked #14.  ND was loaded with future NBA players -- Kelly Tripuka, Orlando Woolridge, Gil Salinas, Tracy Jackson, Bill Hanzlik, and John Paxson.  Not sure how Digger Phelps ever managed to lose a game with that group!

9. UW over Stanford on 2-22-04.  Stanford entered the game undefeated and ranked #1.  Eddie Pasatiempo had front row sets under the South basket.  We saw ourselves on the front page of the Seattle Times sport page the next day!

8. Creighton over Oklahoma State 66-60 in 1998.  Eddie Sutton, former CU coach, brought his #18 Cowboys to town and received an unexpected loss.  Doug Gottlieb played for OSU and was just as cocky then as he is now, so that made the win even more fun.  I did feel for Coach Sutton, though.

7. Seattle University over Incarnate Word in the 2004 play in game to the NCAA D2 men's soccer final four.  With less the ten seconds to go, Bobby McCallister dug the ball out of the corner and crossed to Ian Chursky who hit a diving header for the game winner.  SU went on to win the national title.  Never quit before the horn sounds!

6. Creighton over Clemson, 8-4, in the 1991 College World Series.  Creighton's first appearance after serving as host for many years, and it was nationally televised.

5. SU over Creighton in Omaha in November, 2013 2-1 in SU's first appearance ever in the NCAA D1 men's soccer tournament.  The game was played in 20 degree temperatures with a 20 mile an hour wind out of the North and snow.  Besides a few parents, I was no doubt the only SU fan there, but how could I not go back for that game??

4.  Seahawks over the Saints in the 2011 NFL playoffs.  Hawks rode a 7-9 record into the playoffs and beat the Saints 41-36.  It was the game with the first Marshawn Lynch Induced earthquake!

3. Creighton vs. Wichita State in the 1991 CWS (first game -- they played twice).  CU lost 3-2 in 12 innings and it was no doubt the most electric sporting event I ever attended.  Jimmy Hanson pitch ran for Jason Judge in the 12th inning and was out on a spectacular throw to the plate on a single to center field to deny the tying run.  Jimmy and Jason were students in my Money and Banking class that semester.  The uncle and aunt of the Shocker center fielder were sitting right behind us.

2. Phillies vs. Houston in first game of the 1980 National Division playoffs.  Phillies won 3-1 and went on to take the series and then beat Kansas City in the World Series.  It was the only game in the series that did not go to extra innings.  I was a grad student at Notre Dame at the time, and the only reason I was back in town for the game was that President Carter was making a campaign stop at my parents' house and I was back for that. He was in the process of losing to Ronald Regan.  I asked him a question about monetary policy and the answer did not help the campaign much!

1. It's hard to pick #1, but I will go with Creighton's first round win over Louisville in the 1999 NCAA men's basketball tournament in Orlando.  I made the trip when almost no one else did, and the Jays prevailed 62-58.  It had been a while since Creighton had been in the tournament and there seemed to be no institution memory on what to do with it!  Would not be the case today, I am sure.
There you have it, my Top Ten as near as I can remember it.  There may be others more deserving.  I saw a lot of Big Five games growing up.  And how can you be in South Bend for four years and have only one ND game on the list?? (Hint --  it was the Gerry Faust era.). And haven't I been to a lot of Sounders games??  And these are all guy games --  what about the women??