As a Yankee fan, it’s hard to forget the pain of the 2004 American League Championship Series. In the best-of-seven series, the Yankees beat the Red Sox in each of the first three games. Which in the years before THE Curse of the Bambino was broken, was to be expected.
No team in any sport, who lost the first three games of a best-of-seven series, had ever come back to win.
With a one-run lead in the eight inning of game four, the Yankees were packing their bags for a trip to the World Series. Six-outs away. Though it had only been four years since the Yankees beat the Mets in the 2000 "Subway Series" I was hungry for another trophy. At the time as a Yankee fan, I felt I had waited long enough.
Little did I know!
With a one-run lead in the eighth inning, manager Joe Torre called on all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera to nail down the win and send the Yankees to the World Series.
Mariano, Mo to Yankee fans, blew the save and for good measure, did it again the next night.
The Yankees managed to flub the rest of that series without any help from the great Mariano. In the grandest choke in baseball history the Yankees allowed their arch-rivals to get passed them and onto the World Series, where the Red Sox went on to beat the Saint Louis Cardinals giving them their first World Series victory in 86-years. Thus breaking the curse!
The baseball tragedy played out over four nights. A misery, which in the 17-years since, the Yankees have failed to avenge.
The 2019 Fiesta Bowl and National Semi Final between my Ohio State Buckeyes and the Tigers from Clemson took the pain of those four nights and condensed it into a single moment. In a way which only football can.
Down by six with 45-seconds to play THE Buckeyes drove themselves to the Clemson 23-yard line and in position to score the game-winning touchdown and extra-point. Taking the snap, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields dropped back and threw the ball into the endzone. To a spot where his best receiver Chris Olave (pronounced Oh-lah-vay) had assured him, he would be.
Fields had no reason to doubt him. The quarterback had connected with Olave for touchdowns 13 times in 2019. Including once earlier this game from the same 23-yard line.
But a missed communication between the two Ohio State stars left Olav