Sunday, October 5, 2003

It ain't over till it's over

By The Associated Press

For broadcaster Jim McKay, who has traveled the world reporting sports history and won 13 Emmys in the process, there is one rite of summer that he enjoys more than anything else.

"One of my favorite things is listening to a baseball game in my car at night," he said. "I am a fan of radio, and baseball lends itself best to radio."

Perhaps that's why Russ Hodges' radio call of Bobby Thomson's pennant-winning home run almost 52 years ago to the day - "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" - is such a classic.

Thomson's home run is the top choice of Not Till The Fat Lady Sings, a compilation of the most dramatic sports finishes of all time, published by Triumph Books. McKay narrates the accompanying DVD.

Triumph used a panel of 19 sports authors and executives to rank the top finishes. Here are the top 10.

The Shot Heard 'Round the World (1)

National League playoff game, Giants/Dodgers, Oct.  3, 1951

The Giants rally past the rival Dodgers 5-4 behind Bobby Thomson's three-run homer off Ralph Branca to take the NL pennant and earn a trip to the World Series.

The Greatest Game Ever Played (2)

NFL Championship Game, Colts/Giants, Dec. 28, 1958

Johnny Unitas leads the Colts downfield to kick the tying field goal at the end of regulation and forces the league's first-ever overtime game, then puts together the winning 13-play drive.

Miracle on Ice (3)

1980 Olympics, U.S./U.S.S.R., Feb. 22, 1980

Captain Mike Eruzione's game-winning shot with 10 minutes left produces one of the greatest upsets in sports history and propels the Americans to the gold medal.

Jordan's Parting Shot (4)

NBA Finals Game 6, Bulls/Jazz, June 14, 1998

In his final game as a Bull, Michael Jordan steals the ball from Karl Malone, dekes Bryon Russell and swishes the game-winner with five seconds left, giving Chicago its sixth NBA title of the '90s.

The Ice Bowl (5)

NFL Championship Game, Packers/Cowboys, Dec. 31, 1967

Bart Starr caps the game-winning, 68-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run in the final moments as the Packers outlast Dallas 21-17 in frigid Green Bay.

The Immaculate Reception (6)

AFC Playoff Game, Raiders/Steelers, Dec. 23, 1972

Terry Bradshaw turns a broken play into one of the most famous completions of all time when Frenchy Fuqua, after a vicious hit by Oakland safety Jack Tatum, deflects the ball into the hands of Franco Harris, who then runs for the winning touchdown.

Maz Makes History (7)

World Series Game 7, Pirates/Yankees, Oct. 13, 1960

With Game 7 tied at 9, Bill Mazeroski hits a 1-0 slider over the left-field wall to become the first player in history to end a World Series with a walkoff home run.

Munich Clock Controversy (8)

1972 Olympics, U.S./U.S.S.R.

The U.S. loses its first-ever Olympic basketball contest, ending a 63-game Olympic winning streak and a string of seven consecutive Olympic gold medals when officials give the U.S.S.R. three consecutive chances to inbound the ball at the end of the game.

Fisk Waves It Fair (9)

World Series Game 6, Red Sox/Reds, Oct. 21, 1975

Carlton Fisk launches the second pitch from Reds reliever Pat Darcy deep down the left-field line and uses the most famous body english in baseball history to will it fair.

Flutie's Hail Mary (10)

College Football, Boston College/Miami, Nov. 23, 1984

BC's Doug Flutie desperately connects with Gerard Phelan on a 48-yard pass to beat Miami 47-45.

Bleak Bengals days are left behind
Krumrie brings intensity, passion to Buffalo
Bledsoe, Bills obstacles to a Bengals win streak
Broncos' Plummer has been on a roll
Injured Holcomb can't haunt Steelers
NFL power rankings

Less is plenty for A's, Twins
Daugherty: Let Junior move on
Five steps Reds should take
Five ways things went wrong
Savvy GM candidates will ask these questions
Reds Q&A with John Fay
Marlins vs. Giants: Florida wins series 3-1
Braves 6, Cubs 4
Yankees 3, Twins 1
Red Sox 3, Athletics 1 (11)

Southern Miss 22, UC 20
Miami 45, Akron 20
Career day at WR for ex-QB Busing
No. 13 Texas 24, No. 16 Kansas State 20
No. 23 Iowa 30, No. 9 Michigan 27
Navy 28, Air Force 25
No. 17 Northern Illinois 30, Ohio 23, OT
Top 25 roundup: A Manning finally wins in Florida
Scores, how the Top 25 fared
MSJ wins Heartland opener 17-13
Quarterback corner

State, national polls include local flavor
Awards abound for stellar performances
Dayton Belmont topples Taft
Holy Cross 54, Dayton 0
Kings takes 'Father Rudy' title
Saturday's results

It ain't over till it's over
What do you think?
TMC women's soccer has come long way
Enquirer Page Two power rankings

Semifinal finality: Germany is next

Trusted UC trainer packs his bags for Marquette

Toney too much for aging Holyfield

For Gordon, there's no place like Kansas
NASCAR notebook: Rumors concerning retirement swirl

Woods' lead dwindles to 2

Perfect Soul rallies at Keeneland

Sports on TV, radio