Ramble on the Roof

Torrin Thatcher

This past week I was hitting up some ESPN, and the Yankee talk soon began. As I was sitting there listening to guys talk about stuff that may or may not be reasonable or realistic, I started to think about some of my favorite Yankee games throughout the years.
Many great games and plays brought to me by such guys as Boone, Jeter, Rivera, Clemens, Knoblauch and Tino started to flow through the noggin. Eventually, my brain started to flood and my spine started to chill as I continued thinking about the games that I have stored in between my ears. Here are a few of those games I thought about that made me think just how great it is growing up as a sports fan.
I don’t … want … to write this paper. Just this last term, I had a paper due one Friday. Well, there was a game Thursday night between Syracuse and Connecticut that I didn’t want to miss, and I’m so glad I did not.
I had my computer on espn360, with the game taking up half the screen and my paper taking up the other half – seemed reasonable to me. The game was great throughout, but I did want it to end so my paper production would increase a bit. Eventually, as many of you know, the game went into six overtimes, and lasted roughly two-and-a-half hours longer than most games. By the fourth overtime, there was a nice little huddle of guys around my computer watching the game and joining me in the excitement. The game got over late, and I ended up finishing my paper quite early – early in the morning, that is.
But, Mom, it’s a Packer game! When I was just a young lad, I had one of those “bedtime” things. And as I’ve learned, there are always exceptions, especially when the Pack are playing.
This game was a battle from start, and when Robert Brooks went down, all the ideas of victory sort of slipped away as Don Beebe strolled on the field. Well, it’s safe to say that he dissipated those thoughts after one of the greatest receiving games in Packer history: 11 grabs, 220 yards, and a TD coming on a controversial “down by contact” ruling that allowed him to get up and run 30 yards for a score.
This game eventually reached overtime after Chris Jacke got us three with eight seconds left. The Niners got the ball first, and their possession sputtered after a drop of third down. The Pack got the ball, and Chris Jacke hit a 53-yard bomb to earn the win. It was worth staying up for when I was 9 years old, that I can assure you.
Willis McGahee’s knee is ruined. Watching the National Championship game between Ohio State and Miami kind of seemed like the atypical thing to do since Miami was supposed to handle the game. Well, after seeing both that the game was close and that one of the best knee injuries in sports history had occured, my friend and I stayed tuned in.
I don’t remember too many of the specifics of the game, but Maurice Clarett made several great plays both offensively and defensively, stripping the ball to regain possession. The game went into overtime, and there was a very questionable call in the end zone against the Hurricanes that allowed Ohio State to score. The Buckeye defense then made a stop to preserve the victory. The next day, while eating breakfast, we still could not believe that call was made against the ‘Canes.
How much is too much? I actually watched, with a group of friends, the seven-overtime game between Arkansas and Mississippi football. Tied 17-17 after four quarters, it was comical to see that the final score was 58-56 – defensive stats be damned. In college, the offense must attempt the two-point conversion starting in the third overtime, and I’ve never seen so much hanging, repeatedly, on a mere six feet of grass. Arkansas saw greener pastures first as they came out on top. It’s interesting that Arkansas played another seven-overtime gauntlet almost exactly two years later – victorious again.
There are many games that I’ll never forget – while avoiding neurodegenerative diseases, that is – and it’s even greater to know that they’ll never stop – what is exactly what these games sometimes appear to be attempting.