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Tuesday, January 20, 2009
ESPNTheMag.Com Presents: All-World Power Rankings


"Do you believe in miracles?!?"

FOR MOST EMOTIONAL SPORTS MOMENT, WE'RE GOING WITH "THE MIRACLE ON ICE"

[Ed's note: Not sure what All-World Power Rankings is? Please click here.]

Barack Obama's inauguration earlier today was undoubtedly emotional. In the room we were watching in, when Chief Justice Roberts said "…Mr. President…,"about fifteen people straight burst into tears. As such, we wanted to attempt ranking some of the most emotional moments in sports history. One caveat: emotion is inherently contextual, which is to say, if you're a fan of the Oklahoma Sooners, their 13-2 win over Florida State eight years ago is probably more emotive for you than watching USC beat Penn State. We tried to make it as universal as possible.

TOP 5
RANK (YESTERDAY) WHAT WHY
1 (14) "THE MIRACLE ON ICE" Doesn't need much of an introduction. Here's video. Absolutely indelible moment and helped bolster the stock of (this year's Super Bowl play-by-play guy) Al Michaels in the process.
2 (410) MUHAMMED ALI WITH THE OLYMPIC TORCH IN 1996 Again, barely needs an intro. His hand is shaking, and the moment is just incredible.
3 (21) JESSE OWENS IN THE 1936 OLYMPICS If anyone ever tries to throw the Olympics under the bus to you as a less-than-meaningful event, just keep citing how many iconic moments have taken place during the Games. This is unquestionably one of them.
4 (127) MJ ON FATHER'S DAY 1996 The first title back after his dad died.
5 (899) JIM VALVANO'S SPEECH You can call us homers, and yes, it didn't occur during a game, but it's legendary. Lil Wayne understands.

HONORABLE MENTION
RANK (YESTERDAY) WHAT WHY
18 (144) JOE NAMATH WITH THE FINGER UP IN MIAMI This might be a controversial pick. It's mostly "emotional" if you're a Jets/Broadway Joe fan. However, most people cite this moment as the moment the NFL became "THE NFL," or at least the beginning of this process. As such, it's important to a broader audience.
28 (701) TIGER WINS THE BRITISH AFTER THE DEATH OF HIS DAD We didn't want to flog the "passed-away fathers of brand-name athletes" angle here, but when Tiger cried, it was hard not to do the same.

RISING AND FALLING
MOVEMENT WHAT
FAVRE ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL AFTER HIS DAD DIED (We really wanted to get this in here.)
THE MALICE AT THE PALACE (Emotional, but for different reasons.)