gomezThis is the slowest sports day of the year, so naturally I’m thinking about … sports.

More specifically, I’m thinking about sports that have already happened, and I came to a strange realization: the greatest game I ever witnessed in person and the greatest game I ever watched on TV happened within a few months of each other.

In the first game, a Minnesota team won. The other time a Minnesota team lost.

I’m going to spend the most time on the first one, and I’ll also add some of your Twitter answers about the best game you’ve seen in person at the bottom of the post.

The best I’ve seen in person: Game 163, 2009. Twins 6, Tigers 5 in 12 innings. The strange thing is I was at this game as a member of the media, on sidebar duty to cover the Detroit clubhouse postgame. I say strange because usually when you’re helping to cover a game — or at least in my experience this is true — you interact with it in a much different way than you would when attending as a fan.

Many times this has a sort of dulling effect, since you’re watching for details, making mental (and physical) notes and plotting out what your specific story angle will be. In this case, though, it didn’t matter. The game was so compelling from start to finish — and particularly in the late innings — that even though I was at the Dome in a working capacity I still consider it the best game I ever saw in person, and certainly the most memorable.

On a side note: the story I wrote focused on Brandon Inge, the Tigers veteran who controversially was not credited with being hit by a pitch that would have forced in the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th. He was in agony. But even he said it was the greatest game he had ever been a part of.

That brings me, briefly, to the best game I’ve ever seen on TV. It happened a few months later, as I said — Vikings vs. Saints in the 2009 NFC title game. I watched that game alone on my couch. I was absorbed by every second of it. And even though the Vikings lost, again controversially, in overtime, it remains the greatest game I’ve ever watched on TV.

But now back to happier times: your answers to the best game you’ve seen in person (seeing as how there were more than 100 responses on Twitter, it appears a lot of you are also bored and thinking about sports).

A ton of you also mentioned Game 163 in 2009 — by far the single most frequent answer, a testament to how great the game was and the recency of it. Here are a couple of those, and the best of the rest (seriously, y’all have seen some awesome games). Also, feel free to add more in the comments:

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