The 2010s was an interesting decade for me as I watched many highs and lows. Many of my teams had their success, while some had their failures. But with that being said, this will focus on the top sporting moments of the decade that I enjoyed.
10. Philip Humber’s Perfect Game
The decade for the White Sox wasn’t too kind to them, but the best moment for the club came in Seattle during the 2012 season. In that game, Philip Humber, a journeyman pitcher, had the best performance of his life as he threw a perfect game. Any time to see a perfect game is great, but when it’s your favorite team involved, it’s even better.
9. USA Women win 2015 World Cup
Look, winning a World Cup is great, but this one meant a whole lot more. The United States is slowly becoming a soccer nation, but this most certainly helped increase the interest and exuberated some national pride and showing national pride for any country is great especially when it’s sports related. These ladies showed how good the United States could be at the sport if the resources were properly used and the interest is there. Also, overcoming a devastating loss in the World Cup final four years earlier, it made it even sweeter.
8. Auburn Defeats Alabama in 2013 Iron Bowl
The best college football game ever. No other game will ever come close to topping that honor. What made it even more special is that it was the Iron Bowl, a rivalry between hated rivals in Auburn and Alabama. Drama unfolded on that field as it came down to a final field goal attempt that was too short and was miraculously caught for a touchdown to send Auburn to the SEC Championship. If you ever want to see what I mean, checkout the highlights. And if there was a “most exciting sports games of the 2010s” from my standpoint, it might top very high on the list.
7. Blackhawks’ 2013 Stanley Cup Run
2010 and 2015 were fun to watch, but 2013 was simply incredible. After breaking so many records in the strike shortened regular season, they came into the playoffs looking to win their second Stanley Cup in four years. However, the Blackhawks’ season nearly ended quickly as they fell into a 3-1 series deficit to their arch rival Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference semi-finals. The Blackhawks rallied to win three straight including a dramatic series clinching overtime goal from Brent Seabrook in Game Seven to send them to the Western Conference Final where they easily handled the defending champions Los Angeles Kings in five games. Then, in a grueling six games against the Boston Bruins, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup including stealing Game Six from the Bruins as they scored two goals in 17 seconds to take the lead and ultimately the Cup.
6. UNC Wins 2017 National Championship
The year before, the Tar Heels lost to Villanova in the National Championship game on a last second shot and having their hearts broken. 2017 was a different story as the team managed to come all the way back to the National Championship game, not to be denied, and won. It wasn’t an easy road as they faced some pretty good teams along the way, but the most memorable game was the Elite Eight match against University of Kentucky where a basket in the waning seconds from Luke Maye earned them a spot in the Final Four.
5. Landon Donovan’s Goal Heard Around The World
The moment that not only got me back into the game, but also turned the tide of Americans’ feelings towards soccer. The rise of the sport in this country is because of one unbelievable moment during the 2010 World Cup. USA and Landon Donovan were struggling against Algeria in their final match of their group and despite all the positivity of the play from USA during the World Cup to that, it looked like they would not advance to the knockout stage. Then, with added time, Landon Donovan scored a dramatic goal that essentially sealed the deal and sent the United States to the knockout stage as well as winning their first group in World Cup history. Oh, and of course making Americans fans of the sport.
4. Ireland wins 2018 Six Nations and Grand Slam
This was a really great achievement for Irish rugby, but it also showed how great of a rugby nation they are and how the Irish could become a World Cup champion very soon with a slew of talented players. As an Irish-American, these lads made me proud in 2018 as they played some clinical rugby by dominating the competition earning the Grand Slam. While the win over New Zealand during the Fall tests was great, this was better.
3. Redskins clinch 2012 NFC East Crown
It’s not easy being a Redskins fan, but this was a very special season. The Redskins had not won a division title since 1999 and started 3-6 in 2012, but they rattled off seven straight wins including a season finale for the NFC East title against their arch rival Dallas Cowboys. How can that not be any better? Sure, Robert Griffin III turned out to be a bust and 2015 was an awesome year, but all those factors mentioned plus all the memorable moments that season, yeah, it deserves to be in this list.
2. Capitals win 2018 Stanley Cup
This came at number two and would have came at number one for a huge reason, but another one came at number one for me for better reasons. For the first time in the 28 years of my life up to that point (I’m now 29) I finally saw a team from my hometown win a major championship. That season, the Capitals overcame their arch rivals and postseason demons in the Pittsburgh Penguins and defeated the cinderella story of the Vegas Golden Knights in the Final to win their first ever Stanley Cup championship, the city’s first major championship since 1991, and all those postseason failures the team, as well as the other franchise’s from the Nation’s Capital, endured now seemed like a distant memory. It was a moment I would never forget.
1. Nationals win 2019 World Series
While the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup was amazing and has a special place in my heart, the Nationals winning the 2019 World Series was my top moment of the decade. Maybe it’s more because I am more of a baseball fan than of hockey, but this was incredible for me. While the Chicago White Sox are my favorite team, the Nationals are my National League side and I had become a pretty big fan of them after they had came to D.C. back in 2005. What makes this moment even more special was that the Nationals started 19-31 to start the season, making their chances at the playoffs very slim and then the team went on a tear to not only earn a Wild Card spot, but also going all the way en route to winning the franchise’s first championship. All of their postseason failures this decade were put to rest. Oh, and they won D.C.’s first World Series since 1924! Yeah, that’s a pretty good reason for why it’s my number one moment.