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:
@RandBall Game 163 vs. Tigers. I am convinced I won’t see something better unless I’m at the clinching game of one of my teams’ titles.
— Bret Buzz (@ImTellinTim) July 13, 2016
@RandBall The 2009 American League Central tie-breaker game. I cried.
— brittany panning (@bpann44) July 13, 2016
@RandBall Despite the outcome not being in my team’s favor: game 163 will always be tops. (I hate myself for saying that, just so you know)
— Hannah Blaire (@BalkingHard) July 13, 2016
@RandBall TIE: 163 at the Metrodome, John Gagliardi’s 409th NCAA victory over Bethel at Clemens Stadium 2003
— Sam Pokorney (@the_snead) July 13, 2016
@RandBall Wild at Avs Game 7 in 2014.
— Bryan Boger (@bryguy47) July 13, 2016
@RandBall serena vs. venus, 2015 us open
— ian (@inneapolis) July 13, 2016
@RandBall SF @ Vikings. Favre coming out party with the Greg Lewis catch.
— Jake Achterhoff (@JakeAchterhoff) July 13, 2016
@RandBall ’07 Final Five championship, i.e. the Wheeler goal vs. UND.
— Matt Konrad (@mattjkonrad) July 13, 2016
@RandBall Apple Valley vs Duluth East Boys’ Hockey in 1997 State Tournament.
— Brandon Mileski (@BMileskiKFAN) July 13, 2016
@RandBall Notre dame vs Stanford in 2012. Goal line stand in overtime ftw!
— Johnny Brodbeck (@jbrodbeck819) July 13, 2016
@RandBall game 5 97 NBA finals. The Michael Jordan flu game.
— Kelly T (@tropicalchik) July 13, 2016
Tyson Holyfield 1 (was also at ear bite rematch- most surreal by far) @RandBall
— Joe Price (@joepriceesq) July 13, 2016
@RandBall T-Wolves-Kings Game 7 2004.
— Tom Murphy (@tgagemurphy) July 13, 2016
@RandBall Giants end Favre’s (Packer) career
— Ryan Stanzel (@rstanzel) July 13, 2016
@RandBall The MN Gophers upset of #2 Penn State in Happy Valley in 99. Thought I was gonna get killed leaving there in my Gophers attire.
— Mathew Reynolds (@DaddyBat) July 13, 2016
@RandBall game 6 ’91
— jalb (@jalbus) July 13, 2016
— Bob Brown (@specialistbob) July 13, 2016
— Brian Halverson (@BrianHalverson) July 13, 2016
@RandBall Game 7 of the 1987 World Series. Game 6 was a better game, but to be there when they won their first title, with my Dad….man…
— Dan Israel (@DanIsraelMusic) July 13, 2016
@RandBall Tie between Game 7 1987 World Series (covering) and 2002 NCAA hockey final (Gophers 4, Maine 3, OT).
— Randy Johnson (@rubble67) July 13, 2016
@RandBall Game 6 w/my Dad, Jordan’s gold medal game in 84 Olympics w/my Dad (tie)
— John Sharkman (@JohnSharkman) July 13, 2016