The Worst of Times

The Worst of Times

By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.

We sports fans live for the special moments. Beating BYU in 1989, for example, will forever be remembered by Hawaii football fans. We celebrate when our team wins a championship, springs an unlikely upset or scores a milestone victory. But what about the opposite end of the equation?

What are the absolute worst or most painful sports moments you witnessed or experienced?

Here are a few of mine:

♦ I was 13 old years when the Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Portland Trailblazers in the 1977 NBA Finals. I idolized Julius Erving, aka “Dr. J,” and the possibility that the star-studded Philly team could lose to a bunch of vanilla role players never occurred to me. I actually cried that night. And I hated that hippy Bill Walton for years after that.

♦ In 1980, another of my sports idols, Muhammad Ali, came out of retirement to challenge Larry Holmes for boxing’s heavyweight crown. I knew the odds of Ali pulling off the upset was extremely unlikely, but the diehard fan in me bought into the hype. The reluctant Holmes tried to be merciful, but Ali still took a beating until the bout was stopped in the tenth round. That result pretty much ruined my night.

♦ In 1984, the Rainbow Warriors hosted BYU at Aloha Stadium. A loyal UH fan, I was so desperate to see Hawaii finally getting that elusive victory over that team from Provo. I wasn’t at the game because I was working as a news intern at KGMB that night. I got to watch the game’s final moments with some of the crew in one of the editing rooms, and when Walter Murray dropped the potential game-Winner in the end zone, everyone groaned in disbelief except for me. Instead, I may have said a naughty word.

♦ It was March of 1998, and the basketball ’Bows were hosting Fresno State in the third round of the NIT. The contest was a nail-biter, and one of the pivotal plays at the end was AC Carter missing a dunk that could have sealed the win for the home team. The Bulldogs prevailed, and some of their players rubbed it in our faces by dancing on the UH logo on the floor. It was a bitter moment not because of the loss, but WHO we lost to. If I had a screwdriver on me atbthe time…

Share your most painful sports moments with us. (Hey, misery loves company!) Join our discussion at our ESPN Honolulu Facebook page by clicking HERE.

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