photo credit: Aditya Chinchure (Unsplash)
I figured this would be a fun post to read. I certainly enjoyed putting it together and re-living those moments (I can literally feel them in my body as I recall them).
As an aside, I've recently realised that a big reason for my enjoying watching sport so much is the energy you feel as a spectator. The energy from the crowd, from the commentators, and from the athletes themselves as they create magic, stories and headlines, and literally become someone new (or, rather, step into their potential), for us to witness on screen. Whether it's Djokovic coming back from match points down to win another Grand Slam, or Rose Namajunas becoming the new UFC champion for her division.
The sheer joy that comes with following your soccer team, or rooting for your favourite athlete, or even - if you're a neutral fan - the energy you can feel coming from both sides, the crowd, and the occasion as a whole.
Energy is also the reason I, and so many of us, enjoy music. In this list you'll find moments from sport, music and television (in fact, I experienced all of these 'on screen'). I hope you enjoy them, and perhaps you might wish to think of your own list.
Here are the moments that came to mind (and body) for me. In no particular order...
David Beckham v Argentina
He'd been sent off in the same World Cup fixture a few years earlier. He was silly for kicking out, though very harshly sent off when the Argentinian captain, Diego Simeone, made the most of it. A few years later, the two teams were drawn together in the same fixture...
In England, soccer is the sport. I followed Manchester United since I was a kid (I still do), and many have a team they follow. For European Championships and - the pinnacle in the soccer world - World Cup tournaments, the whole nation unites and comes together to watch how England fare.
In this 2nd Argentinian game... England win a penalty. Captain David Beckham places it on the spot, with his familiar foe Diego Simeone trying to shake his hand and put him off. Beckham having none of it, shrugging it off, focused on one thing and one things he only...
He shoots... he scores!!!
It turns out to be the winning goal against a team that had knocked England out of the tournament (4?) years before.
In a similar vein: Ruud van Nistelrooy. A similar moment of making amends... Manchester United and Arsenal were the two teams battling it out in the premier division of English football. During this golden era, each time had two strong, determined, fearsome characters in Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane. There was always drama, there was usually a red card sending off.
In the 2nd half of a game at Man U's Old Trafford, Vieira gets sent off when he kicks out at Van Nistelrooy; the Arsenal players felt he made a meal of it and played his part in getting their captain sent off. Late in the game, United win a penalty and it's up to the reliable RvN to take the penalty. He hits the bar, Arsenal clear the ball and they celebratein RvN's face, pushing him about. The game finished 0-0 and Arsenal end up going on a record-breaking unbeaten run.
49 games unbeaten, for number 50 they'll have to beat... you guessed it, Manchester United. Guess who gets a penalty, again at Old Trafford? And guess who scores it... RvN. This one's special, you can tell from his reaction. I still get emotional and goosebumps thinking about it. United go on to win 2-0, avenging what had happened the season before, and Arsenal's unbeaten run is ended.
Warning: spoiler alerts
I'm a big fan of both versions of The Office, UK and US. They are both brilliant. In the UK version, in the last ever episode, the office has its Christmas party. Finally, finally Ricky Gervais' David Brent character stands up to his arrogant, womanising pal Finchy. He tells him to f*ck off. YES! Finally. (The US Office equivalent of Chris Finch is Todd Packer, and Steve Carrell's 'Michael Scott' is the David Brent equivalent).
There are so many beautiful moments from the US Office. Right up there at the top is that dance. If you choose to watch one thing in this article, and don't mind a big spoiler, click below...
Oh my. It still makes me smile and brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it. If I get married, I might have to do this (totally not kidding).
Warning: spoiler alerts
Another Ricky Gervais masterclass, with his talented and hilarious pal Stephen Merchant (the same duo who created The Office). After finally getting his big break in the world of TV, Andy Millman is torn between staying true to himself and risking not advancing his career, and compromising his values but playing the empty 'fame game' in doing so. After the hoo-hah surrounding his slapstick, silly comedy 'When the Whistle Blows' dies down, his agent manages to talk him into appearing on the cringeworthy Big Brother in an attempt to revive his career.
It's during this stint that he realised just how disillusioned he's become with this whole fame business... he leaves the Big Brother house, having gained new notoriety for a passionate, tearful, from-the-heart speech he gave to his fellow contestants in which the penny drops, and he apologises to his best friend, the lovable Maggie, for the nation - and Maggie - to witness.
His agent is thrilled, calling it a moment of genius, and the press conference is bubbling in anticipating when he leaves the house... but he chooses to leave via the backdoor, shunning the media and taking the path he felt more comfortable with, and met by his loving and trusty best friend, Maggie.
Avicii Tribute Concert
Oh man. I'm a big Tim Bergling (aka Avicii) fan. His music and lyrics really connected with me at a time in my life when I was going through some stuff, and after watching his documentary I am convinced he was not only an introvert (there's a beautiful moment captured in which he shares the discovery of this and Carl Jung's work), but also may well have been a highly sensitive person/empath.
I had a ticket to the his tribute concert in Stockholm in 2019, but didn't end up making it in the end. It was a beautiful tribute concert with a beautiful set, and lots of artists he had worked with and had had a relationship with.
I love many of his songs, but Levels and I Could Be The One are standouts. For the latter, it started as a lovely acoustic version with beautiful vocals. Then somewhere in the middle... the music faded away, as if that was the end of it. Before it carried on, little raindrops playing... and then the familiar bass kicking in. Mega goosebumps for me here. My hairs on my neck and arms are standing up as I type this. I can feel the energy in that concert arena.
Andy Murray wins Wimbledon (& US Open)
Us Brits had been there before with Tim Henman. Truth be told, he was never quite there when it came to being able to breakthrough and win at the highest level. But Andy Murray was right up there.
And, my goodness, the pressure piled on him by the British press and public? We hadn't had a Wimbledon champion in a long time, and a men's champion for even longer.
In the early hours of the morning in the UK (I'd gone to bed hearing the worst, put the radio on, and then gone back downstairs when the match turned again), he had won an epic 5-set thriller against another hard court stalwart, Novak Djokovic. (He'd lost to Djokovic 3 times in the Australian Open Final... he was competing in the toughest men's era of all time with the big 3 of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, and a handful of tricky others).
He had beaten Federer in 3 sets on Centre Court the last Summer, to win Olympic Gold, before that maiden Slam win in the US. It feels like this Olympic win was a huge turning point for him.
On grass, he had beaten arguably the greatest player of all time on his favourite surface, and convincingly, too. We were abroad but watched that Olympic Final.
Watching him do the same, over 5 sets, in a Wimbledon Final was quite special.
As you can tell, I enjoy watching sport, feeling the energy and getting invested in 'the story' of teams and the individual players within them. It's the same for music, too... I really feel the energy inside of it and it feels like I can connect with what the artist was going through when they created it.
I love watching sport and I can get settled into watching one pretty easily (my latest is basketball - ever since watching The Last Dance on Netflix - I've been enjoying the start of the Playoffs). In case you're wondering, the teams I've taken a liking to are the Trailblazers (Portland), the Rockets (Houston) and the Raptors (Toronto).
And now, the last moment...
I just had to include this one. Manchester United and Manchester City, local rivals. It was the last game of the season, it had come down to the wire. Man U had won their game, City needed to win theirs.
City were losing 2-1 until the dying minutes, injury time. They got one back and then one of the most famous sporting moments of my lifetime took place... Sergio Aguero scored the winner. I don't support them, they're supposed to be a rival team, but my goodness that moment gives me shivers.
Other notable mentions:
- various moments involving Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor and Rose Namajunas (all martial artists); three of my favourite athletes.
I especially enjoy watching documentaries and interviews and reading autobiographies, and - you might've guessed it - sporting ones are amongst my favourites. Rose is one of my favourite athletes - she is a breathe of fresh air in the UFC world and I also feel like she might be highly sensitive.
- when Obama was running for Presidency (seriously, I remember watching his speeches on YouTube and even watching the Super Tuesday results through the night)
What are your favourite moments from television, film or music?
Can you remember the ones that gave you the goosebumps?
I'll bet you can 😊
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