It's December 21, 2012, meaning, it's the end of the world. The Mayan calendar is now complete, the planet Nibriu is hurtling toward us today, and volcanoes and earthquakes are sure to tear the planet apart. To let you face the end of the world with happy memories in mind, I ask you, what is your favorite sports memory?
This is not an isolated post, however. All around SB Nation's NFL blogs, this question is being posed today. It's a good time to visit some of the other sites, and see what sports moments and achievements become the favorites for other teams' fans.
Before I give you my favorite sports memory, I also asked our contributors, as well as some of the local Dolphins media, for their favorite sports memory as well. Here are their responses:
Adam H. Beasley, Miami Herald
"Hakim Warrick blocking that last-second shot to secure Syracuse's only basketball championship."
Jesse Agler, Miami Dolphins Radio Host
"As a fan, I have great memories of my first in-person Monday Night Football game (Dolphins hosting Bills in November of '92; a wild night for a 10-year old and I still remember the excitement that went with the "big game" feel)...great memories of several Canes games while in school there-those night contests at the Orange Bowl had an atmosphere unlike anything I've ever experienced...or even the post-playoff rally for the Panthers at the old Miami Arena after they lost to Colorado in the Stanley Cup Finals. Went with my dad and my best friend Jon to support this team that had lost, but provided us with so much excitement in the postseason.
"As a broadcaster, getting to call my first Dolphins (preseason) game on the radio last year was a borderline-religious experience haha, getting to call a handful of Marlins games during my time working with them, my first "major league" pregame show I hosted for the Panthers when I was 23, all of those things are fantastic but I think I'll choose the very first game I actually broadcast, my senior year in high school. A couple of friends and I had resurrected the high school's radio signal and put together just enough equipment to broadcast the games and by the end of the first quarter of the first game I knew for sure that this thing I had said I wanted to do for years was absolutely the thing I wanted to do forever.
"If the end of the Mayan calendar really does mean the end of the world (don't worry, it doesn't), then I'm pretty thrilled to have been able to experience as many great sports moments as I have."
HuskerDolphins, The Phinsider
"I have lots of favorite sports memories. As a kid, watching the Dolphins win two Super Bowls, all the Husker national championships, (94 being the best) and the Marino years. My favorite sports related story took place in 1992.
"My late wife and I had planned a vacation to Florida, of course, I wanted to see a Dolphins game. We had everything arranged and were ready to leave, when, because of Hurricane Andrew, the game we had tickets for was postponed. So, we had to wait two weeks for another home game. During that time, unknown to me, my wife had found a brochure with an add for the 'Don Shula Steakhouse and Country Club.' On the flight over there, I was asking about the hotel we were staying at, and she dropped the 'Oh, we are staying at Shula's hotel' bomb. Awesome! We got there and had to wait for Miami Hurricane players to clear out so we could get our room. Me standing there with Husker zubaz and tshirt got some dirty looks. But, I told them 'good luck' and all was well.
"After we got checked in, we found out that the Dolphins stayed there before a home game....you gotta be kiddin' me! That night we were accidentally bedchecked by a couple of coaches, met a few players and some positions coaches. The next morning, we were walking around the building on the balcony, and there was Crash Jensen having a morning chew, super nice guy. Thought that was pretty cool. Went downstairs and around the back of the building and there having his morning coffee was one Dan Marino! Had a nice talk with him, and thought that had to be as good as it gets. Walked into the clubhouse, and out of his office came Don Shula. Said hello to us, asked us how our stay was and said 'Enjoy the game and your stay here.' Two of the biggest Dolphins in 20 minutes. It was my pilgrimage no doubt. And all of this wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for Hurricane Andrew, and one awesome wife."
AlejandroN, The Phinsider
"It was October 12, 2009. As my mom cooked dinner, I remember her asking my father what we were going to watch on TV that night. My dad looked at her, smiled, and replied with a loud & effective 'Los Dolphins!' Our beloved Fins' were playing the dreaded Jets in a Monday Night thriller in Miami. My mom and oldest brother now knew that the night was going to be filled with screams and shouts, and so they vanished, leaving only my middle brother, my dad, and me alone in the living room. Words could not describe how excited I was for this game; it was a division game, it was on national television, and I was still running on the playoff high from last season.
"As the game went on, it seemed as if there was no clear winner. In the 4th quarter my father said that the Jets were beginning to seal the deal now up 20-17 with 10 minutes left, and he told me that if the Dolphins don't score on their next drive then he woud turn off the TV and go to bed. I prayed for a miracle, and to my surprise, the first play of the next drive was an absolute bomb from Chad Henne to Ted Ginn Jr. for a touchdown. At that point, all three of us were wide awake and yelling at the top of our lungs.
"The game was not over though. The Jets quickly answered back and the Dolphins were left with one final drive. All of us were biting our nails like madmen, yelling vulgarities at the TV like it could hear us. There were plays ranging from Pat White to Greg Camarillo, and they were working to perfection. All of a sudden it was 3rd down and goal with 10 seconds left. My hands covered my face, but I could still watch the game. As Ronnie Brown took the snap from Wildcat Formation we all got out of our seats and began to say 'Cmon...cmon...cmon.' As we watched Brown gallop into the endzone for the win, all of us burst out into celebration. I had never heard my dad yell for excitement so loud in my entire life. We danced and watched highlights until 2:30 in the morning. The next day my father let me skip school, and we went to the movies instead.
"The reason this is my favorite sports moment is not because the Dolphins won a regular season game, but because I got to spend hours with my dad just enjoying the game of football. We got angry, frustrated, and even sad throughout the game, but that's what makes it so special. It was a night I'll never forget."
The Earl, The Phinsider
"I have plenty of good sports memories, such as watching my first basketall game: the National Championship where NC State beat Houston and Phi Slamma Jamma. But the most favorite memory would have to be when Appalachian State upset Michigan on September 1, 2007. I wasn't able to watch the game because I didn't have the Big Ten Network. I was unable to listen to it the radio for a while. I expected App to get beat handily as is typically in I-A/I-AA matchups. I went into a sports store to get some equipment for a fall softball league and they had the game on their big screens. I was cheering loudly in the store as App went up 28-14. I left the store and had to go finish up some other business, including visiting my grandfather-in-law at the hospital. I was in the car, parked in the hosptial parking deck, eating a burger, listening to App's final drive on the radio. When App hit the FG to take the lead, I yelled in excitement. When Michigan drove down the field for the winning FG, I was ready to except the idea that we gave it our all, but just came up short. When the kick was blocked, the App radio announcers went wild, as did I. I jumped out of the car and ran threw the parking deck yelling like an idiot. I called friends on my phone, while my brother called me on my wife's phone. It was crazy.
"Regardless of what happens with any of my favorite sports teams, I will always remember that day because of the historic upset that my alma mater accomplished. I'll always remember where I was and how I reacted to that game. It was an epic moment!"
KDog92, The Phinsider
"I was in my sophomore year of high school. I was finally getting into sports and I enjoyed watching football for once. When I was little I liked the Dolphins, because of their emblem, so I started following them.
"2008 was a magical year. The last game against the Jets was where this memory will begin. When I learned the game would be broadcasted, I was ecstatic. My uncle, who is a Steelers fan, invited me down to his house to watch the game on his big screen. He and I ordered some wings and pizza and it was an awesome day. The Dolphins ended up playing in one of the best games of the seasons against the Jets. We were heading to the playoffs! The game itself and hanging with my uncle was awesome. A simple memory but I think of it every time I'm listening to the Dolphins games."
BSerious72, The Phinsider
"As a diehard sports fan, it's a pretty difficult thing to do... trying to nail down your favorite sports of your lifetime in one moment. Take all the sports you follow, all the games you've seen and/or attended and all the stories you will remember of your greatest athletes. Most of the time though, you will be influenced with surrounding factors, like who you were with, be it friends or family, and the mood you were in. Of course for me, I follow all the major sports, but football takes precedence.
"Being born in the mid eighties, I arrived a bit too late to experience the Superbowl days, but one Dolphin game will forever stand alone as my greatest sports moment I had the pleasure of watching live. The 2000 Miami Dolphins played the Colts at home in the first round and Lamar Smith sealed the game with a long TD run in overtime to end the game. The energy and electricity of that game and that moment will be something I never forget. An honorable mention would be the improbable Giants victory to thwart the New England Patriots in the Superbowl, breaking their undefeated record. This was a game where I was with a great group of friends, and just crossing my fingers for the best. Needless to say, I will be forever loyal to David Tyree."
Kevin Nogle, The Phinsider
My favorite sports moment is a highlight that is still shown on TV 19 years after it happened. Of course, I am talking about the Leon Lett field goal moment.
Both my family and that of my Aunt and Uncle were stationed together, so we were having Thanksgiving together. My family is a bunch of Miami Dolphins fans (shocking, right?). Well, of course, my Aunt and Uncle and cousins are huge Dallas Cowboys fans. With the Dolphins visiting the Cowboys, it was sure to be a Thanksgiving to remember.
When we arrived at their house, the whole place was decked out in blue, with stars everywhere. Outside, they had posted a sign for Cowboys fans only parking, knowing we were coming over. All day long, it was trash talking about what the Cowboys would do to the Dolphins.
Once the game started, it didn't let up (no pun intended). The trash talking and the laughing was crazy. I love these people, and it puts a smile on my face just thinking about it. They love the Cowboys like I love the Dolphins - and I can't fault them for rubbing it in.
There was snow in Texas Stadium, and of course, the Dolphins had to figure out how to deal with that. At halftime, it was 14-7 Dallas. At the end of the third quarter, it was 14-10. The Dolphins kicked a field goal early in the fourth period to pull within one point of the Cowboys.
Then, the play everyone will remember forever. The Dolphins lined up to kick a game winning field goal. As kicker Pete Stoyanovich tried to win the game from 40-yards out, the ball was blocked. Somehow, the ball spun in the snow, and just sat there, with Dolphins players all standing around hoping someone would make a mistake.
As time ticked down, it looked like the Cowboys would win the game. My Uncle and cousins are going crazy. The TV broadcast is showing Jerry Jones celebrating. Then confusion sets in.
The commentators suddenly realize that a Cowboys player made the exact mistake that the Dolphins needed. Someone tried to cover the ball, only to kick it and give Miami a second field goal try. Who could that Cowboys player be?
None other than the infamous Leon Lett. Lett had already made his famous Super Bowl blunder where, as he tried to score a touchdown, his early celebration let Don Beebee of the Buffalo Bills track him down and strip the ball. Now, this.
Lett slid in to the ball, with Miami recovering the now live ball on the one yard line with three seconds remaining. Stoyanovich connected on the 19-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Dolphins an improbable 16-14 win.
For some reason, my extended family was not so enthusiastic the rest of the afternoon.
And, I will forever remember that day.