Groundbreaking Sports Moments of '07
Adrian Peterson sets single-game rushing record
It took just eight games for Adrian Peterson to shatter one of the NFL's most cherished records. The Vikings rookie running back set the NFL's single-game rushing record of 296 yards on Nov. 4, leading Minnesota to a 35-17 victory over the Chargers. (Left, Peterson is congratulated by Chargers star LaDainian Tomlinson). Peterson topped Jamal Lewis' 295-yard performance against Cleveland in 2003 for the best game a running back has ever had in the NFL. "I was out playing ball," Peterson said. "I wasn't thinking about the record at all."
Appalachian State beats Michigan
Call it the upset of the century. Appalachian State stunned Michigan 34-32 at the Big House on Sept. 1 when Mountaineers free safety Corey Lynch came off the edge on the game's final play to block a potential game-winning field goal from Michigan's Jason Gingell. Lynch scooped up the ball and returned it deep in Michigan territory. It was the first victory for a Division I-AA (renamed Championship Subdivision) team over a ranked Division I-A (Bowl Subdivision) foe since the AP expanded its rankings to 25 teams in 1989.
Stanford beats USC
In the year of the upset, this one on Oct. 6 was a doozy. Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mark Bradford, left, on fourth-and-goal with 49 seconds, giving Stanford a 24-23 victory over No. 2 Southern California. The Cardinal were a 41-point underdog in the game. Yes, we said 41. The win snapped USC's 35-game home win streak and 24-game Pac-10 home win streak.
Barry Bonds breaks home run record
Giants outfielder Barry Bonds became baseball's all-time home run champion on Aug. 7, 2007, hitting No. 756 deep into the San Francisco night at AT&T Park off Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik. It was Bascik, thankfully, who made the moment a little more tolerable after Bonds' chase had caused disgust among many baseball fans. Well," Bacsik said, "If I didn't give up this home run, nobody would ever remember me."
A-Rod hits No. 500
On August 4, 2007, just eight days after his 32nd birthday, Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player in major league history to hit 500 homers, joining the club with a three-run, first-inning homer on the first pitch he saw from Kansas City right-hander Kyle Davies. A-Rod was the 22nd player to reach the mark, the second this season behind Frank Thomas.
Up seven games with 17 remaining in the season, the Mets went 5-12 down the stretch to finish one game behind the Phillies in the NL East and out of the playoffs. The collapse included a 1-6 homestand against the Nationals, Cardinals and Marlins to end the season, including an 8-1 rout in which 300-game winner Tom Glavine failed to get out of the first inning.
Warriors upset Mavs in playoffs
The Warriors shocked the Mavericks in the opening round of the 2007 NBA playoffs, the third time in NBA history that an No. 8 seed has bested a No. 1 seed, but the first time in a seven-game series. The Mavericks had won a franchise-best 67 games this season and were the defending Western Conference champions but Golden State's Stephen Jackson was unstoppable during the clinching Game Six win on May 7, drilling 7-of-8 3-pointers for 33 points. Two No. 8 seeds had previously won best-of-five series in the first round: Denver beat Seattle in 1994, and the Knicks topped Miami in 1999.
Florida wins both national titles in football and basketball
The sports capital of America.? Our vote is for Gainesville, Fla. It's certainly the college sports capital of the (Gator) nation. Florida took titles in both college football and men's basketball during the calendar year of 2007, the only team to hold both only team to hold both major championships at the same time. The basketball Gators became the first men's Division I-A to repeat at champions since Duke in 1992.
Tim Tebow wins Heisman as sophomore
Florida <i>wunderkind</i> quarterback Tim Tebow pulled off plenty of firsts in 2007: He became the first major college quarterback to reach 20 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns in a season. But his most impressive first was becoming the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy in the 73-year-history of the trophy. "There are a lot of great freshmen and sophomores out there," Tebow said. "And I'm just glad that I get to be the first one to win this."
Bobby Knight wins No. 880
Bob Knight became the winningest coach in men's Division I college basketball when his Texas Tech team held on to beat New Mexico 70-68 on New Year's Day. Knight, who began his head-coaching career at Army in 1966, broke a tie with Dean Smith with victory No. 880.
Ducks become California's first NHL team to win Stanley Cup
Not only did the Ducks skate off with the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship, they also became the first California franchise to hoist Lord Stanley around the ice.The Ducks won the NHL title with a 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators, ending the series in five games.
Sidney Crosby's consecutive 100-point seasons
Sid the Kid, all of 19, became the youngest player in NHL history with two 100-point seasons when he scored a power-play goal against the Rangers 6:56 into the third period on March 6. He later became the youngest player to win the scoring title.
David Beckham signs with the L.A. Galaxy
England's David Beckham debuted in America this summer after agreeing to a five-year deal with MLS' L.A. Galaxy in January. To be sure, Beckham's dream of captivating the U.S. got off to a rough start. Injuries limited him to 252 minutes over five MLS games for the Galaxy. But something funny happened as Beckham received perhaps his worst public lashing since his infamous 1998 World Cup ejection against Argentina. The veneer of uber-celebrity that he had built over the past decade began to crumble. He shed real tears. He showed raw anger and frustration. In short, he reminded us that, beneath all the riches, notoriety and fame, he was a regular guy.