With competitions at all levels postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, sports fans are stuck trying to pass the time without live events to keep entertained.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to get your sports fix.
Many classic sports moments are available for free on YouTube. So for those rabid Seattle sports fans patiently waiting for the return of pro and college sports, we’ve put together a list of 10 classic Seattle sports moments you can relive on YouTube to pass the time.
Before we get into the list, there are a few factors weighed in to which 10 moments made this list. We tried to pick at least one moment from each major sports franchise or major college team in Seattle. The full game must be available. A five-minute mashup of highlights from an event can be entertaining, but simply doesn’t take up much time. Also, the game must be available on YouTube itself and not a different website.
There were some tough moments to leave off this list, like Ichiro’s record-setting 259th hit during the 2004 season, which also just happens to be the last game Edgar Martinez recorded a hit and RBI during his Hall of Fame career. Some moments, like the 1995 playoff game for the American League West title between the Mariners and then-California Angels, simply aren’t available to watch in full.
With that said, here’s 10 Seattle sports moments to relive on YouTube to satisfy your sports fix:
Isaiah Thomas’ cold-blooded game-winner in the Pac-10 Tournament title game
A great moment with possibly an even greater call. Gus Johnson’s boisterous exclamation of Isaiah Thomas’ game-winner at the buzzer in overtime of the University of Washington’s men’s Pac-10 Tournament title game against Arizona in 2011 is an iconic call not just in the area, but in the now-Pac-12 as a whole. The diminutive guard’s shot capped what was a wire-to-wire battle between two of the league’s premier programs in the first-ever Pac-10 championship game to go to overtime. The shot was epic. The game was entertaining. And a Huskies lineup featuring Thomas, Terrence Ross, CJ Wilcox, Justin Holiday and Matthew Bryan-Amaning is just fun to watch.
Sounders win first MLS Cup in penalty-kick shootout
This moment gets an exception on this list as the whole game is not available YouTube, but the entire shootout is. The shootout itself provides enough drama as it heads to sudden death, and Roman Torres netting the game-winning kick after returning from an anterior cruciate ligament injury that kept him out of game action for nearly a year is a feel-good addition to Seattle’s first MLS Cup victory in 2016. You don’t have to be a soccer fan to appreciate this moment.
SuperSonics beat Jazz in Game 7 of the 1996 Western Conference Finals
After being upset in the first round of the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, Seattle finally did it. The SuperSonics capped a back-and-forth playoff series with the John Stockton- and Karl Malone-led Utah Jazz with a classic Game 7 clash at KeyArena that finally sent stars Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp and head coach George Karl to the NBA Finals after years of disappointment and coming up short despite being a top contender in the Western Conference. If only they had broken through a year or two sooner.
Seahawks 2014, 2015 NFC Championship victories
This is admittedly a bit of a cop out, but how can you include one of these on the list and not the other? They each have their place for different reasons. The 2014 matchup with San Francisco was an absolute classic. The rivalry was so strong and it really felt like these teams actually hated each other. In a way, that Seattle win kind of ended the rivalry for a few years and seemed to be a passing of the torch to the Seahawks as the team to beat in the NFC West. Plus, Richard Sherman’s postgame rant against Michael Crabtree will forever live in infamy. Then there is the 2015 game against Green Bay. What an amazing comeback. It’s still hard to conceive that Seattle ends up pulling this game out when you watch for the second, third, fourth or even fifth time. And who doesn’t love watching punter Jon Ryan find backup tackle Gary Gilliam for a season-saving touchdown pass? Probably Green Bay fans.
Storm win their third WNBA title with sweep of Mystics
You can’t make a list of Seattle sports moments to relive without including the franchise with the most championships. Unfortunately, this was the only choice of title-clinching games for the Storm on YouTube. This isn’t going to be the most dramatic game on the list, but Seattle’s sweep-clinching win in Game 3 of the 2018 WNBA Finals helped cement the Storm as one of the most successful franchises in the league’s history. Crazy to think Sue Bird has been around for all three titles (2004, 2010, 2018) and is still a current member of the team’s roster at 39 years old.
King Felix is perfect against Tampa Bay
When looking back at Felix Hernandez’s time in a Mariners uniform, it’s hard to not think about what could have been. So many years of anemic offensive support, a highly debated Cy Young snub and a stark dropoff in his later years after injuries and innings caught up to the longtime cornerstone of Seattle’s franchise. But on one beautiful August afternoon in 2012 at then-Safeco Field, King Felix was perfect against the Tampa Bay Rays and none of that mattered. The 3-2 curveball he freezes Sean Rodriguez with to end the game is a fitting representation of the confidence and swagger Hernandez possessed on the mound in his prime.
Is there a classic Seattle sports moment replayed more than the this one? Longtime Mariners fans have put up with plenty of suffering, but Edgar Martinez’s clutch hit to lift Seattle past the New York Yankees in Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS always eases the pain of nearly 20 years of playoffless baseball in Seattle. From start to finish, this was an epic playoff battle, with both teams trading shots throughout and a heroic performance from Randy Johnson, who tossed three innings of relief to get the win after throwing seven innings in a Game 3 victory just two nights earlier. The 116 win season was a spectacular feat, but still just doesn’t seem to carry the same meaning the historic 1995 run does.
UW football tops Michigan in Rose Bowl, wins 1991 national title
A dominant performance to cap a dominant season for the Huskies’ football program. There were plenty of memorable moments in the Don James era at Washington, but none more sweet than a 20-point victory over Michigan in the 1992 Rose Bowl game. This Huskies roster was loaded with talent. Eleven players went on to be selected in the 1992 NFL draft, including Lombardi Trophy-winner Steve Emtman and standout wide receiver Mario Bailey. There’s also some local flavor in the Washington starting lineup. Marysville Pilchuck grad Shane Pahukoa played a key role at safety for the national-title-winning squad.
SuperSonics halt Bullets in 1979 NBA Finals
The footage is grainy and the game is divided into two different videos on YouTube, but watching the SuperSonics win their first and only NBA title is certainly worth your time and probably a little squinting. Older fans will certainly appreciate watching a Seattle lineup with Jack Sikma, Dennis Johnson, Gus Williams and Fred Brown, and younger fans that are used to watching the high-volume 3-point shooting in today’s NBA may not know what to think when they realize this was the league’s final game with no 3-point shot.
Seahawks dismantle Broncos, win Super Bowl XLVIII
From start to finish, Super Bowl XLVIII was nothing short of a dominant performance for the Seahawks. In the moment, Seattle fans may not have been comfortable until Percy Harvin’s kickoff return for a TD in the second half, but the game was truly in hand after the opening snap sailed over Denver quarterback Peyton Manning’s head and out of the end zone for a safety. This isn’t the first or the last championship for a Seattle sports franchise, but have any felt sweeter than this Super Bowl victory?