15. Ryan Leaf’s Locker Room Tirade (1998)
Following the worst outing of his career against the Kansas City Chiefs, Ryan Leaf flipped out on venerable San Diego reporter (no editor) Jay Posner. The explosion is certainly the most memorable moment of Leaf’s disappointing NFL career and would have caused so much hand-wringing and mockery on social media.
14. Peyton Manning’s Three TD Comeback on MNF Against the Bucs (2003)
Peyton Manning had many great moments during his career, but the first time we saw him do something completely mind-boggling was in 2003. Down 35-14 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 5:09 left in the fourth quarter, Manning somehow engineered a ridiculous comeback. His Indianapolis Colts wound up winning 38-35 in overtime. Seeing Twitter explode with questions like “did Tampa collapse or did Indy win it?” would have been amazing.
This was during the height of the Manning can’t win in the playoffs also, when every debate centered on Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and how Manning was a choker. The fights and diminishments of this comeback would have been epic.
13. The Minnesota Vikings Sex Boat Party (2005)
And you thought the Odell Beckham on a Boat story was big? This story would have dominated social media for a week and spawned roughly 20 posts on our site, as various details of the boat party on Lake Minnetonka emerged. You know that if this happened today, TMZ would be finding video of the party and putting out blurred images. Fred Smoot’s double-dildo story would have launched a thousand jokes. Roger Goodell wasn’t Commissioner yet, but the NFL would have suspended the entire team and lawsuits and testimony would have been a must-see.
12. Joe Namath Tries to Kiss Suzy Kolber (2003)
I mean, this is the exact kind of thing Twitter was invented for, right?
11. Bounty Bowl
A Thanksgiving Day game involving a bad Dallas team in Jimmy Johnson’s first season produced some major fireworks thanks to Buddy Ryan. Luis Zendejas stumbling off the field, going to the Eagles sideline after getting crushed would have interrupted many a Thanksgiving meal. In today’s climate with concerns over head trauma, this would have added an entire other level.
And then Jimmy Johnson and Buddy Ryan post-game would have sealed it as a viral event.
10. The Bills Comeback Against the Oilers (1993)
Twitter is never better than during an epic collapse or a great comeback. So the greatest in NFL history would have been an incredible time to be logged on. The Buffalo Bills trailed the Houston Oilers 35-3 in the third quarter in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs, and somehow won 41-38 in overtime.
9. Joe Theismann Breaks Leg on Monday Night Football
Theismann was a star Super Bowl-winning QB and his career came to an end in horrific and dramatic fashion on the biggest non-playoff stage in the NFL at the time.
8. T.O. Celebrates on the Star, Mayhem Ensues (2000)
The Dallas Cowboys vs. Terrell Owens. Owens celebrated his first touchdown by running to the star, and then Emmitt Smith did the same after scoring. When Owens did it again, well, that was too much disrespect for George Teague.
7. Whitney Houston’s Star Spangled Banner before Super Bowl XXV, Then Scott Norwood Misses (1991)
This Super Bowl gave us an iconic national anthem performance and then an upset capped off by a devastating miss wide right. I’m convinced that Giants team would have been hated by everyone online not in New York.
6. The Tuck Rule (2002)
If we had known what Tom Brady would become, this would have been an even bigger event. But it was pretty massive as it was, featuring what was then still a big brand name in the Oakland Raiders getting the game ripped away from them by an obscure rule. The whining online would have been incredible.