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Monday, December 17, 2001
The List: Best sports moments of 2001

Page 2 staff

As Page 2 begins its look back at the year 2001, we list the 10 most memorable moments in sports from the past 12 months.

Scott Brosius
Twice in two nights? Simply unbelievable.
Check out our list, and then examine our readers' choices -- and be sure to vote in our poll to crown the best sports moment of '01.

Here's our list:

1. Scott Brosius' two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie Game 5 of the World Series
In the long, storied history of baseball, only once had a team won a World Series game in which it trailed by two or more runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Then ... it happened twice in 24 hours.

2. The playing of "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch of the Braves-Mets game on Sept. 21
The first major pro sporting event in New York following Sept. 11 offered a moving tribute that we'll never forget. (The game had a great finish, too, as Mike Piazza's eighth-inning homer helped win it for New York.)

3. Luis Gonzalez's single to win Game 7 of the World Series
The hit that dethroned the three-time defending champion Yankees -- and against the "unbeatable" Mariano Rivera -- ended perhaps the most dramatic Series ever.

Ray Bourque
Ray Bourque finally got his hands on Lord Stanley's Cup.
4. Barry Bonds' 71st home run
Bonds' record-breaking shot would be higher, but Mark McGwire's record was only 3-years-old.

5. Ray Bourque finally lifts the Stanley Cup
What's the perfect way to end a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals? How 'bout by handing the Cup to a Hall of Famer who was everyone's sentimental favorite.

6. Tino Martinez's two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie Game 4 of the World Series
In any other year, this one might be No. 1. But, of course, this wasn't just any other World Series.

7. Michael Jordan's second comeback begins in New York
OK, so the game stunk, and MJ looked rusty and the Wizards looked bad. But His Airness was still back on the floor ... and we were glued to our TV sets.

David Terrell
The Bears' prayers were answered in this "Hail Mary" against the Browns.
8. The Bears score two TDs in the final 28 seconds, then stun the Browns in OT
The Yankees weren't the only ones posting amazing comebacks in late October and early November. Just one week after beating San Francisco with an amazing rally, the Bears stunned the Browns 27-21 on Nov. 4 in the most dramatic NFL game of the regular season thus far. Down 21-7 in the final minute, Chicago scored on a TD pass with 28 seconds left. Then, the Bears recovered an onside kick and completed a "Hail Mary" pass as time expired to force overtime. After all that, Mike Brown's interception return to win the game in overtime -- his second such return in two weeks -- must have seemed commonplace.

9. Jennifer Capriati wins the Australian Open
The best comeback story of 2001 started Down Under in late January when Capriati overwhelmed top-seeded Martina Hingis to win her first Grand Slam title.

10. Tiger Woods wins the Masters
And thus the "Tiger Slam" was born as Woods became the first golfer to ever hold all four major championships at the same time.

Honorable mention
  • The Duke men's basketball team rallies from nine points down in the final minute to stun Maryland.

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s win in NASCAR's return to Daytona in July at the Pepsi 400.

  • Hasim Rahman's stunning knockout of Lennox Lewis to win the heavyweight title

  • Colorado's 62-36 thrashing of previously unbeaten and top-ranked Nebraska

  • Ole Miss and Arkansas play a seven-overtime classic

  • Nebraska beats Oklahoma as eventual Heisman winner Eric Crouch scores the winning TD on a trick play.

  • Ichiro's no-hop from right field to nail Terrence Long at Oakland in April.

  • Ray Lewis winning the Super Bowl MVP after his ordeal the previous year.

  • Tiznow's nose victory in the Breeder's Cup Classic.

  • Derek Jeter's relay throw that enabled the Yanks' comeback from two games down in the opening round of the playoffs against the A's.

  • NASCAR fans holding up three fingers on lap three of every race, and TV networks going silent during the lap, in honor of Earnhardt.

  • Vince Carter's last-second miss against the 76ers in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series