Sports, and the absurd popularity and passions that go along with them, are a funny human phenomenon. As ABC's Wide World of Sports famously coined, participating in and watching them elicit "the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat!" Sports, in one form or another, are almost universally appreciated, whether we're talking football, soccer, basketball, or scrabble, fishing, biking, hiking, running, race-car driving or chess; I'd never even think to ask someone if they 'like sports,' much in the same fashion I'd never bother asking someone something farcical like if they 'like music.'
As part of a campaign of Samsung-sponsored posts by the 33 SB Nation NFL blog writers & editors, I've been asked to share my all-time favorite sports memory. This is not an easy task, as I have many - Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton make up the majority of glorious sports-watching moments of my youth - I bore witness, live and in-person to #7 on the list of all-time best Shawn Kemp dunks, for instance; Ken Griffey Jr, Edgar Martinez, and Jay Buhner hold special places in my heart for their role in legendary heroics for the Mariners during the 1995 season. (Where were you when Junior slid home against the Yankees in the ALDS? Raise your hand if "On the table at a bar" is your answer). The M's 2001 season and their 116 wins was one to remember. Shaun Alexander and the Seahawks' 2005 season cemented my obsession with the NFL.
I had the opportunity to experience the FIFA World Cup as a solo backpacker in Munich, Germany back in 2006, and witnessed the deranged and hilarious fanaticism that goes along with the world's most popular sport and it gave me a brand-new appreciation for it. After double-fisting liters of beer at the fanfest outside the stadium while watching France beat Portugal to advance to the final, I followed the throngs of ecstatic French fans (and drunk revellers) into the subway back toward town. I joined in as they spilled out at some random stop and took to the streets of Munchen, stopping traffic on a main road, lighting off fireworks, dancing and singing. I finally found my way back to my hostel several drinks later, bellied up to the bar with a British gentlemen I'd met along the way, and chatted with him about soccer, life, politics, and what have you - the drunken cultural experience courtesy of sports. After figuring out the world's problems, and before we paid our tabs, as is the custom on the field and amongst fans at the World Cup, we traded the jerseys off our backs - I ended up with a soiled and beer-stained England jersey emblazoned with St. George's Cross, and he with a sparkling and clean USA jersey that I had bought probably six hours earlier. This experience encapsulates what I love about sports.
None of these memories, though, for me, comes close to the sheer joy I found from watching what could go down as the Seahawks' most legendary play of all time - Marshawn Lynch's 67-yard touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints in a wildcard matchup in the 2010 NFL Playoffs. It is now fondly known as the BeastQuake.
I remember thinking initially that it looked like a nice lil' run on second down that could set up a short third down chance. I was on my feet by the time Lynch had broken tackle number three or four, and a few moments, shouts and fist-pumps later I was entangled in a three-way jump-hug with two of my buddies as we celebrated possibly the most amazing single play by a running back in the history of the Playoffs. I know I don't have to explain it to you - but you can watch it again below. And, for fun, share your all-time favorite sports memory below, won't you?