The best sporting moments you've never seen

Some sporting moments are viewed
by everyone, and everyone remembers them
Over the years I’ve seen some remarkable sporting scenes. But every now and again, you watch a particular sporting match or moment that is absolutely amazing.

What’s different about some of these moments though, is that you weren’t watching them with anyone. It’s just you and the TV screen.

Something awesomeabout this though, is that it feels special. Somehow, it almost feels like you were involved, and because there was no one else there, you own it just that little bit more.

What follows are the five best sporting moments/matches/performances I can remember, which aren’t remembered by almost anyone else I know. As such, it’s entirely possible that no one except me will get a kick out of this list, but whatever.

1: Andrew Gaze – Australia vs Italy, 2000 Olympics, quarter finals

The Australian basketball team had snuck into the quarter finals thanks to some backs-to-the-wall performances against Russia and Spain. Somehow, the Aussies had overcome these two European powerhouses and now faced the strong Italian team. Italy was in good form and was heavily favoured to not only beat the Aussies, but fold them neatly in half and place them in the glove compartment on the team’s bus.

Early on it didn’t look good. The Aussies were getting outrebounded at every turn and their offense looked more helpless than Britney Spears sitting a calculus exam.
Enter Andrew Gaze. The Aussie superstar had enjoyed a reasonably consistent tournament so far, but had yet to have a breakout game.

Well, with shots missing all around him, Gaze put the team on his back and proceeded to score 16 of the team’s next 20 points.

It was amazing to watch. As every play unfolded, everyone in the entire stadium knew who was getting the ball. Everyone on the entire Italian team would have a go at defending Gaze.

None of it worked; Gaze was absolutely on fire. It was Andrew Gaze vs Italy.

The Aussies ended up winning a thrilling game 65-62 and proceeded to the semi-finals. Gaze was the hero. No one else on the court was even close to being in the same league as him that day. He was the man.

Brad Fittler mesmerised the Rugby League
world in the 2000 Preliminary Final
2: Brad Fittler – Easts vs Newcastle, 2000 NRL preliminary final
Yep, two games from 2000 – quite unintentional I can assure you. But this was a performance for the ages.

I’d never been a big Brad Fittler fan; I was a Laurie Daley fan. That’s the way it worked, it was one player or the other. But the Raiders had been knocked out a week earlier by Fittler’s Roosters, and it now seemed like the Knights were about to avenge the Raiders’ loss.

At halftime, Andrew Johns had led his team to a 16-2 lead and everyone in the entire stadium was certain the game was over.

Suddenly, Brad Fittler turned on one of the great Rugby League performances. He scored one try (a great individual effort where he beat three players and bulldozed over another) and set up two others (one where he threw the best cut-out pass in the history of sports). In the blink of an eye, the Roosters hit the lead and ran out victors 26-20.

Fittler had copped his share of criticism in the weeks preceding this game. Every commentator agreed that his best years were behind him, and that Andrew Johns and Brett Kimmorley were the future.

Wel, Fittler definitely answered his critics. In fact, Andrew Johns was so furious after the game that the vision of him throwing his mouth guard into the turf in disgust has been replayed time and again for the past 10 years.

It was a great comeback fuelled by a great player. Watching the game, I think I finally realised that Fittler was a truly excellent Rugby League player. There was no one else who could turn that game around and command his team like Fittler did. No, not even Laurie Daley.

Daniel Kerr rose to the occasion
against Geelong in 2006
3: West Coast Eagles vs Geelong, round 10, 2006
West Coast arrived in Geelong without Chris Judd (their best player) against a team that had the wood on them recently. In 2005, Geelong had thrashed the Eagles by a cool 76 points and just after halftime, it looked like history would repeat itself.

Midway through the 3rd quarter, the Eagles were down by a cool 54 points prompting commentator Steve Quartermain to declare “Well boys, I think this one’s over.”

Well, there’s few things I enjoy more than Quarterstain… er… Quartermain getting proved comprehensively wrong. Luckily, my beloved Eagles were up to the task.

Suddenly, Quentin Lynch, Rowan Jones, Tyson Stenglein and Andrew Embley all kicked goals and the difference was 36 points heading into the 4th quarter.

Some inspired play (particularly from Stenglein who kicked two 4th quarter goals) got the Eagles within 3 points. Then, against the run of play, Daniel Kerr marked the ball on the sideline 50 metres from goal. Reckon he kicked it?

Of course he did. Suddenly the Eagles hit the lead and closed out the game leaving the entire Geelong side hanging their heads in shame.

It was an amazing comeback, and to do it without their best player made it all the more dramatic. The Eagles went on to win the premiership that year, and order was restored to the universe.

4: Michael Bevan – Asia vs Rest of the World, 8 April, 2000Another sporting event from 2000 – what a year for sports!

It seemed like a pretty pointless match. The Asian side was a pretty explosive one and the Rest of the World side was largely a collection of misfits. Their best spin bowler was Phil Tuffnell, which really should tell you all you need to know about the game.

Anyway, the Asian side batted extremely well posting an imposing total of 320. Sachin Tendaulker and Sourav Ganguly were especially good, carting Tuffnell and co. around the ground with ease. In fact, it was a small miracle the Asian side didn’t post in excess of 350!

In came the ROW side and it started badly. Out of form Zimbabwean, Neil Johnson, played one of the most inept innings you will ever see (2 off 12 balls) but Mark Waugh at the other end was sublime.

M.Waugh hit four 4s in quick succession before the luckiest catch in cricket history (a one handed offhand return catch by Chaminda Vaas) sent Waugh packing.

Other batsmen quickly followed suit until the ROW was 7-196 and it looked like it was all over.

The pity was, nobody told Michael Bevan. This unbelievable cricketer kept the runs coming and scored a cool 185 not out off only 132 balls. It was definitely the most amazing innings you will ever see.

He cut, he pulled, he danced down the wicket and smashed Muralitharan for 6 straight back over the bowler’s head.

Eventually, ROW needed 20 runs off the last over. Bevan proceeded to hit the first three balls for 4 and the entire stadium was deathly quiet. This crowd was DESPERATE for an Aisan win, and this plucky little guy from Canberra was having none of it.

Thanks to Andrew Caddick failing to ground his bat coming back for two the next ball, it looked all over. But another two from Bevan left ROW needing six for victory off the last ball.

Bevan hit it for four and ROW lost by 1 run. An amazing result, and an amazing innings. I watched it with two mates and we could not believe what we were seeing.

The Raiders vs Broncos clashes of the
early 90s were always outstanding
5: Canberra vs Brisbane, round 19, 1993 – Friday, August 6One of the earliest games of Rugby League I remember watching. A cold Friday night in Canberra between the two best teams in the competition.

The star power was awesome. Between these two sides, you could basically have picked the entire Australian team. What’s more, semi-final spots were up for grabs, so there was a LOT riding on this game.

The game started at a furious pace with players running everywhere. Brisbane scored early and had a Terry Matterson try controversially disallowed by Bill Harrigan next to the posts which would have made the score 10-0.

The Raiders soon were at the other end of the field and Laurie Daley tore the Broncos apart setting up a try on the wing.

It was tight going into halftime, but the magic moment took place early in the second half. Alan Langer threw a big cut-out pass on the Raiders’ 22m line which was intercepted by the Raiders’ ageing captain, Mal Meninga.

Meninga then ‘raced’ 70 metres, outpacing Brisbane winger Willie Carne, to score bringing the crowd to an absolute frenzy.

The sight of Big Mal in full flight was a rarity these days, but it was one of the greatest moments in Raiders history.

Somehow, the Raiders desperate defence stopped Brisbane from scoring again and ran out victors 20-4. The match was recognised by all and sundry as a clash of the heavyweights and was a terrific advertisement for just how good Rugby League could be.

Sadly, nobody remembers this now, but for that night – greatness had returned to Canberra.