Great Moments in Sports History on Father’s Day
Being that today is Father’s Day, I thought it would be fitting to look back at a couple great moments in sports history that coincided with this special day. Trust me, there have been plenty such “moments”, but the following ones stand out from the others. A big shout-out to all the dads out there, and even the single moms who are doing double duty.
72-10 Chicago Bulls clinch the ’96 title -
There’s no question that this feat is at the top of the list. MJ had come back halfway through the season before, and he had to prove to himself, more than anything, that he was still the pinnacle of excellence in the NBA. Sure, he led the league in scoring (30.4 pts/game), was named NBA MVP for the fourth time, but it was the title he wanted back in his arms more than anything. To make the journey bittersweet, the Bulls took the title on Father’s Day, an emotional moment for MJ who had lost his father, James Jordan, before taking a break from basketball in 1994. “I was blessed to be able to get the game ball of the championship game and bring a championship back to Chicago,” Jordan said afterwards. “It happened on Father’s Day, which makes it even more special. There’s no way to really describe it.”
Sports fans remember Jordan lying on the locker room floor, crying uncontrollably while hugging the ball. Athletes, especially men, are often shy about showing public emotion, but it was at this time that Jordan all of a sudden became mortal to us all. For years, we had watched this man do things on the basketball court we could never even imagine. Larry Bird even described him as “God disguised as Michael Jordan” … but it was this moment, one filled with joy and empathy, where even the ‘haters’ had to stop everything and appreciate the accomplishment. Our fathers do a lot for us – they teach us that the world isn’t always fair, but equip us with everything we need to get through tough times. And when that moment comes, when you know that your father is/would be proud, that right there just might be the greatest feeling one could ever have.
Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his 500th homerun
In his 22-year career, Ken Griffey Jr. hit a total of 630 home runs, but one of his most memorable moments came at Busch Stadium in 2004. A week had gone by since Griffey Jr. had hit a home run and there was no better time for him to hit his next one- #500 with his father and his son sitting in the stands. His father, Ken Griffey, Sr., was a pivotal player for Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine” during the 1970s, and the two are the only father-son duo to hit home runs in the same game.
Happy Father’s Day!