The most memorable games in Arizona sports history every fan needs to know
If you happen to be fan of Arizona’s sports teams, you probably feel like you’ve seen it all throughout the ups and downs.
Every fan base has its number of triumphs and heartbreaks, and it’s no secret teams that reside in Arizona have found themselves in an instant-classic type of game from time to time.
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Here’s some of the most memorable games in Arizona sports history that every fan needs to know:
Cardinals 26 Green Bay Packers 20, 2015 NFC Divisional
With a trip to the NFC Championship on the line, the Cardinals were able to best the Green Bay Packers in an overtime thriller.
Led by quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals were able to overcome a fourth quarter deficit, as well as responding from one of the most unlikely plays in football.
Trailing 20-13 with under a minute remaining, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers reminded the world of who is he. Rodgers helped the Packers convert a miraculous 4th and 20 from his own end zone and with time expiring, he made a throw even Cardinals fans have etched into their brains.
From past midfield of State Farm Stadium, Rodgers evaded the Cardinals’ pass rush and threw a Hail Mary toward the end zone, which was hauled in by Jeff Janis to send the game into overtime.
That’s when Larry Legend took over.
It took all of one play in overtime for Palmer to find Fitzgerald and he did the rest, taking the ball to the Green Bay five-yard line after a mad dash through several Packers’ defenders.
Two plays later, Palmer hit Fitzgerald on a shovel pass and the receiver did the rest, securing the Cardinals victory in a rollercoaster game.
Diamondbacks 3 New York Yankees 2, 2001 World Series Game 7
This list wouldn’t be right if it didn’t include the night the Arizona Diamondbacks became World Champions.
The D-backs dominated Game 6 of the series to force a Game 7, headlined by two dynamic pitchers on the mound, Roger Clemens for the Yankees and Curt Schilling for the D-backs.
The two pitched a scoreless game until the sixth inning, when the D-backs finally opened the scoring with a 1-0 lead.
However, it would turn after the Yankees scored runs in back-to-back leads, taking a 2-1 lead to the ninth inning.
With Mariano Rivera on the mound, it was looking like the World Series would return to New York. But Luis Gonzalez and the D-backs had other ideas.
A one-out double from Tony Womack tied things up at two, then the next batter Craig Counsell was hit by a pitch, sending up Gonzalez with the bases loaded.
Gonzalez sent a bloop-single out to center, and the rest was history as the D-backs took down the evil empire to become World Series Champions.
Cardinals 23 Pittsburgh Steelers 27, 2009 Super Bowl XLIII
Sorry Cardinals fans, while the team falling short of Super Bowl fame may be a heartbreak to the fan base, there’s no denying Super Bowl 43 was an instant classic.
The game features the second longest scoring play in Super Bowl history, when James Harrison intercepted Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and went 100 yards for the score.
Facing a 20-7 deficit, the Cardinals fought back in the fourth quarter with two Larry Fitzgerald touchdowns, one of which for 64 yards, giving them a 23-20 lead over the Steelers with 2:38 remaining.
It then became the Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes show for the Steelers’ offense. The Pittsburgh quarterback found Holmes three times to take the offense down the field, leading up to a pass and reception that will forever go down in the history of the NFL.
With 35 seconds left in the game, Roethlisberger found his favorite target in Holmes, as he made a tip-toe catch in the back corner of the Arizona end zone.
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