Great sports moments I’ve missed due to bailing out
Last night as I was watching Game 2 of the NBA Finals, I found myself dragging a little bit. I’m pretty much a night owl but after a Dwayne Wade 3-pointer with 7:15 left gave the Heat a 15-point lead, I called it a night, resigning myself to the fact that the Mavs were halfway to being swept.
Nevermind the fact that Dallas has already proven during these playoffs that a double-digit 4th quarter deficit can be overcome. Nope, off to bed I went.
So I wake up this morning and muddled through my routine, most of which is devoted to getting my daughter ready to go. When I turn on Dan Patrick, he’s saying things that start to confuse me, things like, “Why didn’t they guard Dirk on that layup?” I thought to myself, “Huh? What bearing would a Dirk layup have had on anything?”
That’s when I get on Twitter and start to have the realization that I had missed one of the most startling collapses in NBA Finals history. The friggin’ Mavs had WON.
Thus continues a proud tradition I have of folding up the tent before the clock hits 0:00. I’m the guy heading to the exits in the 8th inning with the Braves down a run and the heart of the order coming up. Let me provide a sampling of what I’ve missed:
Marvis Frazier vs. Mike Tyson (July 26, 1986)
Okay, this one’s a little different because I didn’t actually bail out before the end. Nope, I missed the WHOLE fight due to a mistimed piss break.
My pop and I had settled in to watch “this Tyson kid,” as he referred to the future champ, on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Tyson’s legend was growing and his matchup with Joe Frazier’s kid Marvis was actually deemed to be a good test for him.
So right before the opening bell I take off for the bathroom, thinking I’ve got enough time to do my business and come back. After that’s taken care of, I stroll back into the den and my father announces, “Fight’s over.” Yes, Mike Tyson took all of 30 seconds to knock out Marvis Frazier:
Of course I got to see it get replayed multiple times because ABC had time to kill. But that didn’t make me feel like any less of a douchebag.
Houston Oilers at Buffalo Bills, AFC Wild Card Game (January 3, 1993)
Here’s one that I was SURE was over. The Bills were without Jim Kelly that day, who had injured his knee against those same Oilers in a blowout loss to close the regular season. Backup quarterback Frank Reich hadn’t done much of anything for a half and change and the Bills were down 35-3.
Well, at least I won’t have to endure another Bills loss in the Super Bowl I thought to myself as I cut off the TV in the third quarter and headed to the gym to play some hoops. As I was leaving to go back home, I overheard some dudes talking about the Bills HAVING COME BACK TO WIN THE GAME. I had bailed on the greatest comeback in NFL history:
Florida State Seminoles at North Carolina Tar Heels, ACC hoops (January 27, 1993)
Do you think I learned my lesson from bailing on the Bills? Oh, of course not, because not even a month passed by before I DID IT AGAIN.
This is one I remember vividly. It was a Wednesday night and I had settled in to watch the Heels play a Florida State team that many folks considered to be just as good. Sure enough, I watched Bob Sura, Sam Cassell, Charlie Ward and the rest of the Seminoles lay the friggin’ wood to North Carolina. With less than 12 minutes to go, Florida State had built a 21-point lead.
At that point, going out and drinking a beer or three seemed like a much better option. So off I went, blissfully unaware that North Carolina stormed back to claim an 82-77 victory. I found out when I checked my answering machine when I got back to my place. “Did you see that shit?!?” exclaimed one message. No, actually, I didn’t.
Duke Blue Devils at Maryland Terrapins, ACC hoops (January 27, 2001)
Eight years to the day after bailing on an epic ACC comeback, I bailed on an even greater ACC comeback. But I don’t feel as bad about this one, because seriously, Maryland was up by 10 with :54 seconds left. 10 POINTS. And Duke was out of time outs!!!
How in the hell did Gary Williams and the Terps not close the deal? If you’ve got seven minutes to kill, you can see for yourself. At the time, I sure as hell didn’t:
I do have to give myself a little bit of credit for not bailing out on the greatest sporting spectacle I’ve ever witnessed in person. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will top that LSU-Auburn game from 1994. LSU had Auburn dead to rights in the 4th quarter and I was THIS CLOSE to heading back to the apartment to personally float the pony keg right before all hell broke loose: