The Most Memorable Games in AZ Sports History Every Fan Must Know
If you’re a fan of Arizona sports teams, you probably feel like you’ve seen it all through the ups and downs.
Every fanbase has its own number of triumphs and heartaches, and it’s no secret that teams that reside in Arizona have found themselves in an instant classic type of play at times.
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Here are some of the most memorable games in Arizona sports history that every fan should know:
Green Bay Cardinals 26 Packers 20, 2015 NFC Divisional
With a trip to the NFC Championship on the line, the Cardinals were able to beat the Green Bay Packers in an overtime thriller.
Led by quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals managed to overcome a deficit in the fourth quarter while responding to one of football’s most unlikely games.
Trailing 20-13 with less than a minute to go, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers reminded the world who he is. Rodgers helped the Packers convert a miraculous 4th and 20 from his own end zone and with the expiration of time he made a shot that even Cardinals fans carved in their brains.
From the State Farm Stadium midfielder, Rodgers escaped the Cardinals pass rush and threw a Hail Mary to the end zone, which was carried by Jeff Janis to send the game into overtime.
That’s when Larry Legend took over.
It took a whole 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 run through several Packers defensemen.
Two games later, Palmer hit Fitzgerald with a shovel pass and the wide receiver did the rest, securing the Cardinals victory in a roller coaster game.
Diamondbacks 3 New York Yankees 2, 2001 World Series Match 7
This list wouldn’t be fair 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, headlining 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, that would turn after the Yankees scored back-to-back runs, taking a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning.
With Mariano Rivera on the mound, it looked like the World Series would return to New York. But Luis Gonzalez and the D-backs had other ideas.
A double with a Tony Womack out evened it up for two, and then next hitter Craig Counsell was hit with a pitch, sending Gonzalez down with the bases loaded.
Gonzalez sent a simple bloop down the middle, and the rest was history as the D-backs took down the Evil Empire to become World Series champions.
Cardinals 23 Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Super Bowl XLIII 2009
Sorry Cardinals fans, while the team that fell short of Super Bowl glory may be heartbreaking for the fan base, there’s no denying that Super Bowl 43 was an instant classic.
The game features the second-longest scoring in Super Bowl history, when James Harrison intercepted Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and traveled 100 yards for the score.
Facing a 20-7 deficit, the Cardinals hit back in the fourth quarter with two Larry Fitzgerald touchdowns, including one for 64 yards, giving them a 23-20 lead over the Steelers with 2:38 left.
It then became the spectacle of Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes for the Steelers offense. The Pittsburgh quarterback found Holmes three times to eliminate the offense on the field, leading to a pass and reception that will go down in NFL history forever.
With 35 seconds remaining, Roethlisberger found his favorite target in Holmes, as he made a tiptoe catch in the back corner of the Arizona end zone.
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