My Moments: JD Biagioni
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This is a new series called “My Moments” where board members share their favorite sports memories. Each board member was asked to choose the most memorable MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA and NCAA (any sport) games they can recall and write a little about why these games hold such a special place in their heart.
First up is our writing director JD Biagioni. Here are his moments.
MLB: Red Sox vs. Tigers 2013 ALCS Game 2 – I was at this game, so it’s even more special to me. The night before, the Sox had been one-hit. In Game 2, they had one through six innings. A road game against Justin Verlander awaited in Game 3. Yeah, things weren’t looking great. Then Boston got something going in the eight. Will Middlebrooks doubled, Jacoby Ellsbury walked and Dustin Pedroia singled, loading the bases. With two outs at the bases loaded, David Ortiz stepped to the plate and put the team, and the city, on his back one more time. Big Papi sent the first pitch he saw rocketing towards the right field bullpen. Torii Hunter came inches from robbing the home run but instead flipped over the fence, creating one of the great Boston sports images. One swing, and the game was tied. A lot of people forget that this didn’t win the game, it only tied it. Salty walked it off in the ninth. The Sox would go on to win the series and the World Series.
NHL: Bruins vs. Lightning 2011 Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 – This is the best game I’ve ever seen on television, the game that made me fall in love with hockey. A month earlier, I fell asleep during overtime of a Game 7 against the Canadiens. I just didn’t care enough to stay up. Now I bleed black and gold. This was the game that changed everything. It was a good, clean hockey game. No penalties, plenty of chances but no goals. Until Mr. Clutch Nathan Horton came through yet again, tipping home the series-winner late in the third.
NFL: Patriots vs. Seahawks Super Bowl XLIX – There are plenty of Patriots moments to choose from, but in terms of start-to-finish, edge-of-your-seat action, this one stands out. Against one of this best defenses in NFL history, Tom Brady and the Patriots overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to take a four point lead with two minutes remaining. Then Jermaine Kearse happened. The Seattle receiver tipped a deep ball to himself as he fell to the ground. Malcolm Butler pushed him out of bounds as he got up, preventing a touchdown. Patriots fans had seen this story unfold before – looking at you David Tyree and Mario Manningham. The game had seemingly slipped away, until the infamous pass from the one-yard line flipped the switch one more time. Butler picked off a Russell Wilson pass to seal the win and become an instant Super Bowl legend.
NBA: Celtics vs. Wizards 2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 7 – This was my favorite Celtics team. I don’t remember much from the 2008 champions and really only started watching regularly in the final days of the Big Three. The 2017 team was never going to win anything, but they were just so fun to watch. Isaiah Thomas’ 52-point performance earlier in the Wizards series was an excellent option as well, but for some reason Game 7 sticks out. In hindsight, this game didn’t lead to much, considering the two teams were simply playing for the right to be ripped apart by the Cavaliers. Thomas had another stellar performance in this back-and-forth game, and Kelly Olynyk had one of the greatest fourth quarters in Celtics playoff history.
NCAA: Boston College vs. Florida State 2015 Red Bandana Game – I went a little off the board picking a game that didn’t happen while I was in college, but this game was particularly meaningful. The second Red Bandana Game. The first time I learned the story of Welles Crowther. I had watched the Red Bandana Game in 2014 when Tyler Murphy ran wild over USC, but I tuned in midway through and didn’t understand the significance of the win. In 2015, I saw the pregame show and had a Red Bandana sweatshirt ordered before kickoff. While the Eagles didn’t win, they were within striking distance the entire night and I learned what made BC such a special place.