Edge of Your Seat Plays

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upsidedownkick.jpgEveryone has a favorite sport.  Be it basketball, football, baseball (yes, we still play it in the USA), or an upstart like soccer, everyone has a sport they follow and love.  No matter what sport you watch you can always find an exciting play.  You may have to watch for a while to see it, but eventually you’ll find something to catch your eye.

Follow the jump for the most exciting plays in sport.

Baseball  These days kids want to grow up and be like Manny, or Papi, or A-Rod.  They want to hit 50 homeruns a year and have 100 RBIs.  Maybe they don’t hit so well and they choose to be a flame-throwing, strikeout pitcher like a Josh Beckett or Justin Verlander.  But neither the homerun nor the strikeout are the most exciting play in baseball. 

We’re talking the suicide squeeze folks.  No, not this bullshit “safety” squeeze that is ran at times now.  If the guy on third doesn’t break at the first movement by the pitcher it’s not a proper squeeze.  When the only way that the guy on third will be out at the plate is if the batter misses the ball, that’s a squeeze.  And who knows?  If the batter misses and your runner has a great jump and some speed he just may steal home.  No single play can bring a true fan to their feet like a good, old fashioned Ty Cobbesque squeeze play.

Football  Boise made the hook-and-ladder and the statue of liberty sexy again.  The last second field goal has everyone on edge waiting to see what happens.  But it’s the ol’ Hail Mary that is the most exciting play in football.

A last second field goal gets everyone’s blood stirring, but it’s basically three guys doing their job.  The snapper, holder, and kicker do it all.  With a Hail Mary you have a quarterback who has to throw the ball up high and deep enough to score.  You have to have either big, physical wide outs who can go up over the defense or a short guy with great hands to react to the tipped ball.  And you know that when that ball comes out of Flutie’s hands the entire stadium is up on their feet.

Basketball  The And1 tour can keep their over-the-head alley oops from half court.  Playgrounds can keep their between the legs passes and around the back reverse layups.  What every fan should want to see in any basketball game (NBA, college, rec-league) is a last second buzzer-beater.

A guy coming off a stagger screen, curling to the wing, and burying a 25 foot fall-away at the buzzer?  That’s better than any dunk any man or woman has ever performed.  The fact that the entire contest can come down to one guy rising up and letting a jumper fly should get any fan fired up.

Soccer  We at apias.net have admitted on many of an occasion that we’re not huge soccer fans.  But when a guy/girl gets a nice pass in front of the goal and flips upside down and boots the ball past the goalie you have to get fired up.  The bicycle kick could possibly be the most athletic thing anyone does in any sport.  It’s also a fairly rare feat to see, which adds to the excitement.  In fact, it’s almost enough to make us tune in to a soccer game with the hopes of seeing it happen.  Almost.

Croquet  You have not lived until you’ve gone on a 6-wicket run.  It’s not so much as a single play, but a series of good plays with excitement building on each stroke.  You’re 3 wickets behind with the lead guy finishing up.  You’ve got one play left and you have 6 wickets to clear.  Wicket, wicket, wicket, wicket, wicket, wicket, win.  Classic croquet and loads of shit-talk immediately follows.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Beer-League Softball  Everyone loves to hit a homerun in softball.  After all, that keeps you from having to do any physical activity with a stomach full of beer.  But more exciting than the homerun is the Pete Rose slide.  You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a teammate round second, head for third (right toward your dugout), and with 10 feet to go FLOP!  Full-out Superman through the air and ending in a giant belly flop right on the bag.  BobWicket is the classic example of this.  It’s worth the price of admission to see.

Tennis  The overhead smash and a service ace are fun to watch, but what made tennis watchable in the 90’s was Andre Agassi.  Besides the flowing mane of hairy and outlandish neon tennis outfits Andre was a master at the between the legs return.  It was excellent to see someone lob the ball over his head and watch him run it down thinking they have an easy point.  Then, when the ball is about to bounce for the second time, Agassi would run over the top of it and smash it back over the net between his legs.  The crowd would go nuts, he’d laugh, and his opponent would be so pissed it would knock them off their game for a few shots.

There’s a lot of flair in sports these days (but sports doesn’t like talking about their flair).  Some of the flashy plays are fun to watch, but when it comes down to it, a play with the game on the linen is usually the most exciting.  When it comes down to it though, sometimes the simplest plays are the ones we remember most.  That’s the way it should be, but when you’re trying to sell 162, 82, or 16 games out a year you need some excitement to put assess in the seats.

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6 Responses to “Edge of Your Seat Plays”

  1. BobWicket Says:

    Plenty of PRHFSs to come in the Spring of ’08.

  2. Extra P. Says:

    I get on the edge of my seat for fourth downs at the end of a close game. Either my team is trying to come back, and this is their last chance, or the other team is, and we have to stop them.

  3. TheGoldfishCowboy Says:

    What exactly is the “price of admission” at a Beer League Softball game?

  4. eDayStat Says:

    One half dozen beers. In your belly.

  5. TheW Says:

    My favorite edge of your seat play is those five minutes between when 2SL sends out a text to a random and gets a response, and his decision to stay or go. I always know that he’s going to go, but one of these days, I’m hoping he’ll stay and hang out past midnight.

  6. TheGoldfishCowboy Says:

    We all are W, we all are.

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