Social Media platforms started coming of age a decade ago, and have changed the way we interact in big sporting events and moments. Facebook was just coming into prominence back in 2007, and Twitter (founded in 2006), had just gone public late in 2006 and was starting to get users. So here, we focus on those events that pre-dated January of 2007, and try to pick out the NFL moments we think would have “blown up Twitter” and in some cases made being online unbearable.
What creates the most buzz today? Controversy, argument, political or social hot buttons, famous moments and shocking outcomes. Human nature hasn’t changed even though technology has
25. Joe Montana is Too Honest on SNL (1987)
In the 1980’s, Saturday Night Live was an institution and appointment viewing, and so was Joe Montana. Montana honestly expressing that he was going to be masturbating in his room still stands as the best athlete cameo on the show. RIP Phil Hartman.
24. Art Modell moves the Browns to Baltimore (1996)
In one of sports’ all-time back-stabbings, Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore (officially) in 1996 despite claiming he’d never relocate the franchise from Cleveland. News of the move leaked in November of 1995, but the move didn’t officially take place until early 1996. Modell’s hypocrisy in previously criticizing teams for moving would have been great Twitter fodder.
23. Music City Miracle (2000)
Maybe the greatest trick play in NFL history remains controversial to this day. Did Frank Wycheck throw a forward pass to Kevin Dyson on the kickoff return? Were the officials out of position? Was Phil Luckett the worst referee in the history of the league? The 1999 season was the first in which instant replay returned to the league, and this was the first postseason game where it became an issue. And to this day no one knows what the right ruling was.
The debate on Twitter would have been amazing.
22. Miracle at the Meadowlands (1978)
The New York Giants screwing up a play to end a game and giving up a 26-yard fumble return for a game-losing touchdown? That’s a perfect recipe for a Twitter meltdown.
We’ve seen things like Manny Pacquiao laying on a mat and Jameis Winston fumbling at Florida State become memes, so you know there would have been thousands of “Joe Pisarcik laying on the ground reaching for [things]” memes if social media had existed in its current form.
21. “Who the hell is Mel Kiper?!?”
Mel Kiper has long gone after execs who make bad draft decisions, and Bill Tobin made a terrible one. After selecting Marshall Faulk with the second pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, Tobin opted to take Trev Alberts instead of a quarterback at No. 5. Kiper went off on the Indianapolis Colts GM, and he responded with a now-legendary retort. Twitter would have gone bananas.
20. Garo Yepremian’s Super Bowl #Fail (1973)
The Miami Dolphins completed an undefeated season with a victory in Super Bowl VII, but most remember that game for kicker Garo Yepremian’s failed throw. The botched play would have been mercilessly mocked by observers on Twitter. You guys, the memes alone would have been worth it.
19. Bo Jackson trucks The Boz (1987)
Two of the most-hyped athletes of the 80s met near the goal in Seattle during the 1987 season, Bo hammered The Boz. Brian Bosworth had claimed the was going to “contain” Bo Jackson. Obviously the brash talk didn’t impress the Los Angeles Raiders running back, who went off for 221 yards rushing and three touchdowns — one of which included Boz getting blown up — in a 37-14 win. GIFs of this play would have been retweeted into oblivion.
18. Doug Williams winning the Super Bowl (1988)
It is insane to think there have been 51 Super Bowls, and the winning team has had a black quarterback just twice. Doug Williams was the first, as he led Washington to a 42-10 Super Bowl XXII thumping of the Denver Broncos in 1988. It would have been interesting to see how social media would have reacted to such a big moment.
17. Dolphins End Bears’ Undefeated Season (1985)
The Chicago Bears appeared headed for perfection in 1985. In fact, they wound up shuffling all the way to a Super Bowl title…with just one hiccup. That game in Week 13 when, fittingly, the Dolphins prevented Chicago from going undefeated with a 38-24 win. It was a huge moment in NFL history.
16. The Immaculate Reception (1972)
Some believe this was the greatest play in NFL history. Trailing the Oakland Raiders 7-6 with just 22 seconds to go, the Pittsburgh Steelers looked like they were toast. Then Terry Bradshaw’s 4th and 10 pass bounced off John Fuqua or Jack Tatum (no one knows), floated in the air and Franco Harris caught it.
It was ruled a 60-yard touchdown, and the Steelers advanced to the AFC Championship. Did he catch it? Or did he? We’ll likely never know, but the debates on Twitter would have been amazing.