The other day, my brother reached out to me for help on a college supplemental essay. It was an application for Wake Forest, and the question simply asked him for his “Top 10.” It didn’t specify what, leaving the question as open-ended as possible. We had a friend who had previously done her top 10 song lyrics of all time, but I advised him to get a little more creative than that. I told him to just do his top 10 ever. Special moments, favorite foods, favorite feelings, etc. I thought it was a pretty fun idea, and his list came out really well. So, I decided it’d be fun to do one of my own, but this time make it sports themed, because, of course, that’s my only personality trait.
This is a comprehensive list of my top 10 everything in sports, from professional sports to my own high school career to video games and more.
10. Actually hitting a power shot in FIFA
Those that frequently play FIFA know how elusive the “power shot” can be. Holding down both bumpers and attempting a strike from far out to see it slot in the top corner past the keeper’s grasp is an awesome moment. Unfortunately, the shot itself feels impossible 99% of the time because it takes so long to load up and the aiming mechanics are so sensitive that it usually isn’t even close.
9. A post-workout meal
I can’t tell you the amount of times that I’ve come back from a really hard tennis practice, or mile-repeats during cross country, or a really long game of pickup basketball, and been absolutely ravenous. I’ll never forget that amazing feeling of limping through my driveway and my garage door to smell freshly ready food on the table. Whether it was my Mom’s patented Barbecue Chicken Pizza or delivery from my favorite burger place in my town, nothing hit harder than that post-workout grub.
8. The 2020-21 New York Knicks
I can’t even begin to describe how ridiculous this season was. Two years before, the New York Knicks traded away Kristaps Porzingis and went 17-65 (the worst record in the league) in the hopes of getting Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Zion Williamson. Instead, they ended up with Julius Randle, Marcus Morris and RJ Barrett. Later, they traded Morris for the pick that would become Immanuel Quickley, and 24 months after blowing it all up, the Knicks had their best season in nearly a decade. Those train rides to meet my friends at Madison Square Garden to see the revival of my favorite team were special. Derrick Rose’s resurgence was special. “F*ck Trae Young” chants in the Garden were special. It might not have ended the way I hoped (a 4-1 gentlemen’s sweep to the Atlanta Hawks), but the journey was special.
7. A clean swish on a 3-pointer
Those who have played basketball with me know that I am by no means the most athletic player, especially when it comes to exploding around the rim. I’m an okay defender, but my strength comes in my ability to shoot 3-pointers. There is absolutely nothing more satisfying when playing basketball, at least for me, than a perfect swish on a triple. The type of swish where the net flips up and makes that perfect “netty” sound. I know that probably doesn’t make sense, but I’m sure basketball fans/players will understand.
6. A good fantasy football week
It’s been a long time removed for me, to be honest. I have seemingly lost my touch when it comes to fantasy football, as my team sits at 2-8 this season. Still, few things are more satisfying than dropping 150+ points in a week, watching every single player on your team “go off.” It’s one of the most validating things that a football fan can have happen to them, as if to say “Hey, you know what you’re doing, you chose the right players!”
5. An ace
I’m pretty far removed from my tennis career at this point, now a junior in college. Still, it was my main sport for the first 17 years of my life, and therefore has some significance. Painting the line with a speedy serve that your opponent never has the chance to even touch is such a cool moment as a player. There’s a certain level of “badass-ery” that you feel watching the ball soar past your opponent and seeing their frustration at not even getting close.
4. Odell Beckham Jr. from 2014-2016
This dude had me convinced after the first three years of his career that he was going to be the greatest wide receiver to ever do it. Three straight seasons of 90+ receptions, 1,300 yards and 10+ touchdowns. The coldest celebrations in the entire National Football League. The greatest catch of all time (no, there isn’t a debate, and until a catch literally starts an internet trend called “The Odell,” the debate won’t exist). It’s a shame that injuries and some off-the-field problems have taken such a toll on him, because, as a Giants fan, I loved every moment of watching this dude play.
3. A Mike Breen “Bang” call
The average sports fan probably won’t get this reference. Mike Breen is an NBA announcer who is often featured on ESPN primetime games. What people don’t know is that when he isn’t calling the NBA Playoffs and Finals, Breen is a staple on the MSG channel’s streams of the Knicks. He has one iconic call that looms above all others: “Bang.” Whenever a big shot is made, especially late in the game, and especially when it’s a 3-pointer, you’ll hear Breen yell “BANG” loud into the mic. There is significant overlap between the Knicks’ most iconic moments and Mike Breen’s calls, and, as a Knicks fan, those moments are truly incredible.
2. A Cross Country PR
I was by no means a good runner in high school. Me and my 5’1” self (until I grew senior year) had a mediocre 21:10 5-kilometer personal best. Still, there was nothing more satisfying than running as fast as you possibly could throughout the course of an entire race. Finishing with a sprint towards the end, knowing that every second counts and you want to empty the can and leave nothing on the course. Seeing your lowest time ever as you cross the line and watching your coach and teammates cheer you on at the same time. This is such an incredible moment, and one that I’ll never take for granted.
1. Witnessing your favorite team win a championship
This is a fairly straightforward one. It’s been a long time since I can say I’ve done this, as the last time I witnessed my team bring home a trophy was the Giants, when they won Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. I’ll never forget that moment, and the sheer ecstasy that I felt watching that entire game. Based on the current states of my favorite teams, I won’t see a championship for a long, long time. Still, I know it will be worth it when one of them eventually wins a championship and my patience will be rewarded. Until then, all there is to do is remain optimistic!