Sports are filled with moments of heartbreak, triumph, and redemption that aren’t easy to find elsewhere. Many great moments missed the cut, but these are our top sports moments of the decade from 2010-2019.
10. Mayweather-McGregor (2017)
In terms of pure hype and anticipation, the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor might have been the biggest sporting event of the 2010s. McGregor held his own in his first boxing match, and Mayweather improved to an immaculate 50-0 in “The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History”.
9. Clemson tops Alabama to win national title (2017)
Dabo Swinney had been building up Clemson’s college football program, and the CFP National Championship Game in 2017 brought the Tigers to the level of any school in the nation. Deshaun Watson hit Hunter Renfrow for the game-winner in Clemson’s first title win since 1981.
8. Cubs end World Series drought (2016)
It took the Chicago Cubs 108 years, but the perfect team came together for a world championship that was over a century in the making—and it fittingly happened in a Game 7.
7. Villanova wins national title on Kris Jenkins’ buzzer beater (2017)
It does not get much better than hitting a buzzer beater to win a championship, and Kris Jenkins had ice in his veins on a deep game-winning three as time expired in the Villanova Wildcats’ victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2016.
6. Eagles pull off “Philly Special”, win first Super Bowl (2018)
Led by Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, everything clicked for the Philadelphia Eagles in the postseason following the 2017 season, and the franchise won its first Super Bowl title, sparked by the memorable “Philly Special” play in the first half against the New England Patriots.
5. “Kick Six” (2013)
Nick Saban’s Alabama teams had four national titles in the decade, but unfortunately, they fall on the wrong side of a couple of the top moments from the 2010s. The “Kick Six” capped an awesome Iron Bowl in 2013, with the Auburn Tigers stunning the Crimson Tide on a 109-yard returned field goal for a touchdown by Chris Davis Jr. as time expired.
4. Tiger Woods wins the 2019 Masters (2019)
Tiger Woods was reeling from his personal issues at the start of the decade, and then he struggled to stay healthy for much of the decade. But the all-time great golfer completed his story of redemption with a fit-for-Hollywood story by winning the 2019 Masters for his first major championship in 11 years.
3. Michael Phelps sets Olympic record for medals (2012)
In the long and storied history of the Olympic Games, no athlete has won more medals than Michael Phelps, who set the Olympic record with his 19th medal in 2012. Phelps added to the total in the 2016 Games, and the now-retired swimmer has 28 medals.
2. Malcolm Butler seals Super Bowl XLIX with goal-line interception (2015)
The end of Super Bowl XLIX was playing out like a chess match—no one wants to give credit to Bill Belichick for not calling a timeout, instead making the clock run so that the Seattle Seahawks had no choice but to pass at least once on their final three opportunities. The Seahawks tried to catch Belichick’s defense with a quick pass at the goal line, but cornerback Malcolm Butler stepped in for the interception in a sudden, jaw-dropping end to seal another championship for the New England Patriots.
1. Patriots come back from 28-3 to win Super Bowl LI (2017)
With 8:36 remaining in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons led the New England Patriots by a score of 28-3. The largest comeback in Super Bowl history was ten points (accomplished three times), so it did not seem likely that the Pats would get back into the game. But Tom Brady and company had other plans, as defense made key plays—like the Dont’a Hightower strip sack—and the offense became legitimately unstoppable down the stretch as the franchise won its fifth championship in unforgettable fashion in the first overtime Super Bowl in NFL history.