culture Historic Sporting Events You'd Have to See If You Had a Time Machine

Rhune Kincaid
754 votes 81 voters 3.9k views 29 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the historical sporting events you wish you travel through time to witness.

You have been granted the secret of the time juice. No one knows exactly how it works, but it holds the power to transport you and your extra temporal vehicle through time. Exciting chrono adventures await, but you must know, there are rules for using the time juice.

1. Time juice is a limited resource. Each time slide will consume a portion of your supply, so you must prioritize your trips… rank them, if you will.

2. Time juice will only take you to historical sporting events. This is the best thing about time juice.

3. Time juice mysteriously prefers the North American continent. Transcontinental jumps consume vastly more time juice and there are no frequent flyers points. Soccer fans, invent your own juice to see great sporting events in history. #america

4. Time juice will typically only last long enough for one game, match, race, etc… Linger at your own risk.

5. Time juice will not permit you to collect on bet, or buy stocks, or get Shoeless Joe Jackson’s autograph, or whatever space/time continuum-trashing get-rich-quick scheme you're cooking up. Also you cannot kill Hitler at the 1936 Olympics. Don't even think about messing with space/time. Just stop it. 

With these parameters in mind, you must choose wisely to visit the most legendary of sporting moments, solve historical sports mysteries, and, most of all, enjoy this list of the historical sports moments you'd have to visit if you had a time machine (and more importantly, time juice).

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The Miracle on Ice

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Video: YouTube

When: February 22, 1980

Where: Lake Placid, NY

The Event: When Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Cold War tensions were at all-time high. In fact, America ended up boycotting the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow. We couldn't fire nukes at them, but we could do the next best thing: beat them at their favorite sport on the world's biggest stage. Sports Illustrated named this the most memorable sports moment of the 20th century, and since you own your own time machine you already "believe in miracles."

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+ - 28 14

Babe Ruth's Called Shot

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Video: YouTube

When: October 1, 1932

Where: Chicago, IL 

The Event: This is a controversial moment in sports history. Did Babe Ruth really point to center field to declare that he would soon hit a home run in Game 3 of the World Series or is the story folkloric? There is film of the event, but it remains ambiguous. You'll need the closet seat you can find along the third base line to read faces and know for sure. As a special bonus, FDR will be in attendance. Try to score a handshake while you're there.

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The Play

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Video: YouTube

When: November 20, 1982

Where: Berkeley, CA

The Event: This may be the most absurd moment in the history of American sports. With Stanford leading 20-19, Cal used 5 laterals to complete a game-winning kickoff return for a touchdown. That alone is fairly spectacular, but since the Stanford sideline (including its 144-member marching band) had prematurely run onto the field to celebrate, Cal's Kevin Men traversed the final twenty yards while dodging tubas and trumpets. He completed the touchdown with a two-handed over-hand punch that wiped out an oblivious trombone player. You can't make this up.

To this day, scholars and drunkards alike debate whether or not all five laterals were legal. You should use your time machine to enroll in the Stanford band and join their fateful March for the optimal viewing angle.


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The Fight of the Century

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Video: YouTube

When: March 8, 1971

Where: New York, NY

The Event: Also known as Frazier vs. Ali 1, the Fight of the Century was the first heavyweight championship match between two undefeated boxers. Neither will be in their athletic prime, but that just means you see two smart boxers, rather than two all-out brawlers. Frazier won a unanimous decision after knocking Ali down in the 14th round. It's a no-brainer to catch the first politically charged go-round between these two titans.

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Kirk Gibson's Pinch Hit Homer

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Video: YouTube

When: October 15, 1988

Where: Los Angeles, CA

The Event: You could travel to 1960 to see Bill Madero Mazeroski’s championship-clinching home run for the Pirates, but this is the more dramatic World Series walkoff. It’s baseball’s last iconic moment before the 'roids really set in and scarred the next 20 years of America’s past time. The fact that Gibson used grit and moxie to overcome an injury (instead of chemicals) underscores that point.

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Jackie Robinson's First Major League Game

Jackie Robinson's First Ma... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Historic Sporting Events You'd Have to See If You Had a Time Machine
Photo:  FotoshopTofs/Pixabay/CC0 1.0

When: April 15, 1947

Where: Brooklyn, NY

The Event: This is a no-brainer. Can you imagine the buzz, tension, elation, apprehension, and very real danger leading up to the historic breaking of baseball's unspoken color barrier? You won't have to, thanks to your time machine. You can take in a watershed moment of baseball, civil rights, and American history all in one fell swoop. Jackie will walk and score a run, and that meant everything.

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Wilt Chamberlain's 100 Point Game

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Video: YouTube

When: March 2, 1962

Where: Hershey, PA

The Event: This game is a ridiculous one, but you'd have to go see it, in part because ALMOST NOBODY SAW IT. There was no television coverage, no video recording, and only about 4,000 spectators. A radio account wasn't even unearthed until 1988.

It's known the Warriors manipulated the game with fouls in a deliberate effort to get more possessions, but still, the very notion of a 100-point game in the NBA is preposterous. 

+ - 18 15

The Greatest Game Nobody Ever Saw

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Video: YouTube

When: July 22, 1992

Where: Monte Carlo, Monaco

The Event: The USA's 1992 Men's Basketball team won all of their games by more than 31 points, so there's nothing that competitive about their march to gold. The better game to visit wasn't a game at all, it was practice. Chuck Daly set Team MJ vs. Team Magic and let the sparks fly in an irresponsibly competitive scrimmage. We're making a rare exception by leaving the continent only because there is literally nothing else like this.