Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My sports goose bumps moments Part 1

My sports goose bumps moments Part 1
by rick olivares

Here are a few games where I got goose bumps while watching a game winning play or a memorable sports moment.

2005 UEFA Champions League Liverpool vs. AC Milan
Like every Reds fan, I was deflated at the half as we were down 0-3. Then there was the incredible comeback and an even more surreal penalty shootout. Watching Jerzy Dudek channel Bruce Grobbelaar was incredible. When the Reds ran on to field after Andriy Shevchenko missed his penalty I went nuts. Jumping up and waking up the entire household.

Games 4 & 5 2001 World Series New York Yankees vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
The sub-plot of this post-season series was the 9/11 tragedy. That the World Series was played in New York made it poignant and extra special.

Down by two runs, down to the last out in the last inning with Arizona Diamondbacks closer Byung Hyung Kim on the mound. Tino Martinez hits a two-run homer to tie the match at 3-3. In the 10th inning, Derek Jeter hits a home run just as the clock struck past midnight to give New York a 4-3 win.

Two nights later, same situation: ninth inning, two outs, and the same Arizona closer on the mound. New York’s Scott Brosius hits a two run home run to the tie the game again. In the 12th inning, Alfonso Soriano brings home Chuck Knoblauch to win, 3-2. When I see Brosius raise his arm in triumph knowing that the ball was going out, I feel my hair stand up. The memory is vivid and will stay with me for as long as I live.

Game 7 American League Championship Series New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
I knew that the Bosox were getting better every year. They were coming closer and taking games from New York. The Curse was going to eventually be reversed. I really thought that it was all over for New York here as the Red Sox jumped on Roger Clemens and knocked him out of the game in only the fourth inning. Mike Mussina held back Boston in a sterling relief pitching effort while Jason Giambi crushed two home runs but the Red Sox were still up 5-2. That is until the eighth inning when the Yankees plated three runs to even up matters. In the 11th inning, Aaron Boone who at that point had not played well in New York channeled Bucky Dent circa 1978 when in the 11th inning he deposited the very first pitch he saw from Tim Wakefield to the bleacher seats for a game winning home run. They showed the face of Bret Boone, Aaron’s brother who was a guest panelist on the network with his eyes welled up in tears. The Yankees rushed to home plate to mob Boone. The agony and ecstasy of the night. I was up in the upper tier box with some friends and it was cold Fall night. I threw up in the air my box of popcorn but who gave a crap? I got beer on me too. We sang and we danced up in the stands and celebrated ourselves hoarse. We nearly even walked all the way back to Manhattan until we realized that it wasn’t such a good idea.

Game 6 1998 NBA Finals
The drive against Antoine Carr then that strip of the ball off Karl Malone. All of a sudden, it Michael Jordan for the win and the championship. That unfolded like slo-mo. The expressions on the face of the Delta Center crowd said it all even before the game winning shot – they were not going to win this one. Somehow when I think of this shot, I think of Bob Costas and his beautiful television commentary that went along with the shot (Doug Collins and Isiah Thomas were a part of that as well).

2006 World Cup France vs. Brazil
Who plays the Beautiful Game? Why, Zinedine Zidane, of course. Zizou single handedly destroyed the Selecao and showed up the eternal champions with a clinic on passing and playmaking. I watched that game with a friend of mine as I wore my Real Madrid Zidane jersey. Come the Finals against Italy, I wore my French Zidane jersey. I clutched it as Zizou was sent off following the headbutt heard around the world against Marco Materazzi and France lost in penalties. Before Zidane went out, he scored on a penalty. As he ran to celebrate after beating Gianluigi Buffon, his expression said it all. I jumped up and punched the air.

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