Top 5 Moments of 2013

5. Adam Scott’s putt on 18 at the Masters

It didn’t take long for me to show some personal bias, but the Aussie’s putt on the 18th hole in the final round of this year’s Masters starts off the list.   Scott entered the final round in the 2nd to last pairing, behind only Angel Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker.  By the time Scott was on the 18th green, only he and Cabrera were still in the hunt as Snedeker had an abysmal final round.

Tied for the lead at 8-under par, Scott could take the lead outright on the final hole if he could sink a 20-foot putt through the rain.  Scott had just enough touch to birdie the hole and at the same time send all of Australia as well as Jim Nantz into a frenzy.

After 72 holes, Scotty had a lead in the major.  As time goes on I think some people forget that he only held that lead for a few minutes.  Cabrera followed up shortly thereafter with a birdie of his own, sending the Masters into a rainy day playoff.  Scott eventually still captured his first major on his 49th try.  Ultimately though, it has to be the 20 foot dagger on 18 (and another awkward Steve Williams high five) that we take away from this year’s tournament.

4.  Miracle at Jordan-Hare Part 1

The Georgia Bulldogs came into 2013 with National Championship aspirations while the Auburn Tigers were simply trying to win back some pride after a 3-win campaign in 2012.   By the time the Deep South’s oldest rivalry resumed in week 11 though, Georgia was a disappointing 6-3 while Auburn was still in the hunt for the SEC West title.

The Tigers were in control most of the way, leading by 20 in the 4th quarter.  Then, in roughly 8 minutes, Aaron Murray threw for 3 Georgia touchdowns to give the Dawgs a late and surprising lead.   The game seemed in hand when Auburn was facing a 4th and 18 at their own 27 with a quarterback, Nick Marshall, who has a good but not great arm.  73 yards, an awkward deflection, and a very lucky and well placed Ricardo Lewis all added up to what happened next – The Prayer at Jordan-Hare.

3. Flacco to Jacoby Jones shocks Denver

Rahim.Freaking.Moore

Two simple rules when defending the Hail Mary.

1. Knock the ball down, not up (see #4 on this list)

2. Don’t let a receiver get behind you all by his lonesome

Moore did not follow the second rule, and thus played into a Mile High Miracle for the Ravens in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs.  Peyton Manning and the top seeded Denver Broncos had a touchdown lead with less than a minute to go.   On 3rd and short, the Ravens decided to take a shot down the field.

Moore, playing safety on the right side of the field, paid way too much attention to the slot receiver, allowing wide out Jacoby Jones to sprint behind him along the sideline.   One overtime Peyton Manning interception later, and the Ravens pulled off the upset.  Three weeks later, Super Bowl champs….all because of Rahim bleepin Moore.

2. Ray Allen’s Game 6 dagger

This is by far the most painful moment that I have to add to the list.  I, like most of the country, am not the biggest Heat fan.  Shocker.  On top of that (and in contrast to the Heat), I find the San Antonio Spurs organization to be the best in the NBA over the last 15 years.  Not “one of”….the best. Period.

So, with a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter in what could have been a series clincher, I think all of us Heat haters were feeling pretty good.  Even with just a 5 point lead with under 30 seconds left, we were feeling pretty good.  The good guys were going to get championship number 5.  Tim Duncan was going to be cemented as the greatest champion of his generation (yes, better than Kobe).

Lebron James hit one 3 pointer to cut the lead to 2.  At this point, if the Spurs hit free throws they’ll be fine.  They didn’t.  Kawhi Leonard, who had really made a name for himself in this series, missed one of two free throws giving the Heat the chance to tie with a 3.   When James missed his 3 point attempt with about 7 seconds on the clock, it finally seemed over.  Of course that’s right when Chris Bosh had the biggest offensive rebound of his life – an offensive rebound he probably doesn’t get if 7 footer Tim Duncan is in the game.  Bosh kicked it to the Heat’s biggest off season pick up, sharp shooter Ray Allen from Boston.  And then……Oy….

1. The Kick 6

I thought in 2010 Iron Bowl was the best one I’d ever see.  It wasn’t necessarily the best one ever, but I figured it’d be the best one in my lifetime.  A 24-0 comeback on the road with your Heisman candidate quarterback, Cam Newton, leading the way is a pretty tough thing to top.  Three years and one second later, I stand completely corrected.

The best game of 2013 produced the undeniable best play of 2013.  The stakes obviously help.  The evil empire of Alabama was chasing a 3rd straight national championship, and their 4th in 5 years.   Auburn had surprised everyone by coming into the game with a 10-1 record, and hence still alive for the SEC West crown.

The game seemed lost, at least mentally, for Auburn after AJ McCarron tossed a 99 yard bomb to Amari Cooper from his own 1 yard line (in case you couldn’t do the math).   However, thanks to 3 missed field goals, many dropped passes, and a questionable 4th down call in the 4th quarter by Nick Saban the game was still tied under a minute to play.  Alabama ran a draw play to T.J. Yeldon with :07 left in the game, which brought them all the way to the Auburn 38 yard line.   After the clock showed zero, the Crimson Tide argued and cried for :01 to be added to the game clock to allow for either a Hail Mary throw or a long desperate field goal.  Saban ultimately got his wish and decided to kick a field goal with his back up kicker.  As expected, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn called a timeout to ice the kicker before his attempt.  It was during this timeout where Malzahn put kick returner Chris Davis in the end zone to return the kick should it fall short.  It was Auburn’s own Hail Mary plan of sorts.

And then….the craziest thing I have ever seen.  Gotta love sports.

And with that, so long 2013.  Let the debate begin

Other plays to consider:

About Chris Delapaz

Chris graduated with a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Syracuse University after growing up in Southern Maryland. His sarcastic and pessimistic attitude can best be attributed to being a suffering DC Sports fan his whole life. When he’s not watching sports, Chris is working in New York City in ad sales or trying to find time to golf.

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