Monday, June 19, 2006
Before TV Sports Became Big, The Biggest Choke Job Shown On Television was Of The Godfather's Luca Brasi
After a weekend full of what many of us sports fans know as a "CHOKE," I decided to look up some of the most memorable Choke jobs in sports history. I first came across a list of 10 that must've been put together in England. On that list there were mostly Soccer and Golf Chokes from Europe. Funny that two names on that list who we in the U.S. won't forget were Scott Norwood and Roberto "No Mas" Duran. Duran, nicknamed "Hands of Stone" prior to his 1980 fight against Sugar Ray Leonard, came in at a whopping number 4 on the European list. Even today when I choose to quit doing something I use the term made famous by Duran, "No Mas." (No More).
As for Luca Brasi, his garroting was probably the best "whack job" on television to date. You may remember what the message of a dead fish wrapped in Luca's bullet proof vest conveyed to the Corleone Family? "Luca Brasi Sleeps with The Fishes." But that's another story for another time.
Here's a list of five Chokes in sports that will probably need updating real soon:
5 memorable chokes
1993 HOUSTON OILERS: In the AFC Wild Card, Buffalo scored four touchdowns in the third quarter and rallied from a 35-3 deficit to down the Oilers 41-38 in overtime, marking the greatest comeback in NFL history. Backup quarterback Frank Reich led the charge.
1994 LSU BASKETBALL: Kentucky completed its greatest comeback in school history, rallying from 31 points down in the final 15:34 to defeat LSU, 99-95. The Wildcats hit 11 three-pointers and outscored the Tigers 62-27.
1996 GREG NORMAN: Nick Faldo won his third Masters golf tournament with a 67 on the final day after Norman shot a startling 78 to lose a 6-stroke lead in the worst collapse in Masters history.
1997 LATRELL SPREWELL: As if a 1-12 start wasn't bad enough, the Golden State star grabbed first-year coach P.J. Carlesimo by the neck and tried to choke him after the coach asked the player to leave practice early. Sprewell was suspended for one year by NBA commissioner David Stern.
2004 NEW YORK YANKEES: The Yanks led the Boston Red Sox three games to none in the AL Championship Series before the hated Sox rallied to become the first team in baseball history to rally from such a deficit.
- GREG AUMAN and KEITH NIEBUHR
[Last modified November 17, 2004, 00:03:19]