[Well, we can't not bump this. Click through for videos of all the plays.--OPS]
There were a lot of people who put up what they thought the top plays of 2009 were, the top plays of the 00's, best players, etc. I have been doing a lot of YouTubeing today while watching the pro games, and it got me thinking of what the most memorable plays were over the past decade, and thought I'd bring in some YouTube videos to recap the most memorable plays I saw in the 00's.
#10: The UNI Field Goal Fiasco
I barely remember actually watching this thanks to how much we were drinking to try and combat the memory of losing to UNI. Merkle's in Wrigleyville erupted on the first block, went silent after the review, and then erupted again on the second block. Later that night I commented to my friends that we were going to have a great season based on the end of that game. They didn't believe me until after the Penn State game, and I rub that in every chance I get when they talk about how great this season has been.
I also know that it's kind of cliche to put it up there, but for as miserable as that game was, it was a great way to see it end.
#9: CJ Jones Opening Kick Return at the Orange Bowl
What a great start to a miserable game. My dad and I had tickets in the south endzone, and CJ Jones ran it right towards us. We thought that Iowa would win that game based on the way it started, but then Carson Palmer had to kill those dreams. Hopefully this year will end in pleasant fashion while I'm in Miami. The only other highlight from that game was Matt Roth doing the Heisman pose after sacking Palmer (too bad it's not on YouTube).
#8: Tyler Motherfucking Sash Pinball Interception
Unfortunately there isn't a video on YouTube that has the commentary with it that is able to be embedded, but this was such a great play. I couldn't believe it when they showed the replay, but it was when I started to have hope again that we could win this game. So what we had five STANZIBALLs that day.
#7: Brad Banks' Heisman Run
While it wasn't a game winning play, it was when I realized that Banks was something really special for that team in 2002. Too bad Carson Palmer had to win the Heisman that year.
#6: Shonn Greene Breaks Four Tackles against Wiscy to Score a TD
Easily my favorite Shonn Greene highlight, and memory from college. I still won't forget how loud the stadium erupted watching him rumble into the end zone.
#5: Adrian Clayborn's Punt Block vs. Penn State
After the start to this game, I was not feeling very good about our chances against Penn State. My roommate said to me the next day that I looked like I was ready to die after that touchdown catch on the first play. Like everyone else, this play was when I realized we would win that game (easy to say in retrospect). It was also one of the few times I've liked that dumb overhead camera that they have for those games.
#4: Dallas Clark's Game Winning Catch vs. Purdue
OPS summed this up earlier this year, how special this comeback was against the Boilermakers. That season is the reason I chose to go to Iowa, I had toyed with the idea of going somewhere warm, but we made it to three games that year which cemented my enrollment decision. I couldn't believe what I witnessed from the south end zone when that happened.
#3: "Seven got Six," Marvin McNutt's Last Second Catch to Complete the SPARTY NOOOOO!!!! Meltdown
"Seven got Six" is by far the most memorable saying from this season. My dad and I went mad in my grandparent's basement in Northern Iowa the day after my birthday. I was on the phone with a friend of mine who was at a wedding reception in Iowa City giving him the play by play. Needless to say, the reception went mad, and could probably hear me screaming into the phone: "Hawks win! Hawks win!" I shed tears watching the replay, laughed at the Sad Spartan fan that they zoomed in on, and probably picked my dad up at least four times (he's got about 50 pounds on me).
#2: Daniel Murray squashes Penn State's National Championship dreams
Another play that cannot be summed up in words, just tears. I had my "Shonn Greene for Heisman" green t-shirt on in the student section of this game. I did in fact storm the field, but I saw there was one second left on the clock, so I wasn't in the initial swarm on the field. Right after we celebrated for a bit, we ran back to my buddy's apartment, got in his car, drove to Moline, and got there just in time for Metallica to come on stage. His dad had forgone Rolling Stones tickets in 1985 to go watch Iowa vs. Michigan, and we were not about to leave the stadium early.
Daniel Murray and Rob Houghtlin are two kickers that will never have to pay for beers in Iowa City after the way they won big games for Iowa.
#1: Capital One Bowl "The Catch"
No words can really describe this like the tears of joy that streamed down my face at the end of this game. My dad and I both were in tears in the end zone high-fiving the Iowa players coming off the field. I didn't know that Warren Halloway had made the catch until after the game (I thought it was Soloman who had caught it initially), and I would have tried to pull him into the stands when he was high-fiving us.
I road tripped to Orlando with my friends from Rienow during my freshmen year, and after the abuse we took from the LSU fans leading up to the game at the tailgate, it made it that much sweeter afterwards.There was a guy who had a chair with a sign over it that read "Chair of Shame, Get Used to Sitting Here Hawkeye Fans," and kept trying to get us to sit in it before the game. We saw him at the end of the game, and no words were necessary. He saw us, sat down in it, and congratulated us for such a great win. While they lacked class before the game, they made up for it in the end, and I have liked their fans ever since. They also tailgate as hard (maybe harder) than Iowa fans, and had delicious ribs to feed us after the game.
What a Decade
You can tell what our really good football years were over the past decade. There are a lot of memorable plays from the 2003, 2004, and 2005 seasons, but only one makes my top ten. The Syracuse Goal Line Stand was something I considered, but it wasn't as memorable as the field goal blocks. It also helps that there are a lot more YouTube videos available as you get later into the decade.
For Shits and Giggles
I'll miss you Humpty-Dump, that was the best way to close out 2002 that I could have ever imagined. Serves those bastards right for turning on those annoying sirens while the Iowa fans were celebrating on the field. We never would have gone after the goalposts if they hadn't done that.
Well, that's my top ten, feel free to let me know if I've missed any plays that really need to be up there.