Christmas Day memorable moments in sports
Over the years, we’ve seen some notable sports moments happen on Christmas Day. To celebrate this year, let’s take a look back at some of the best ones.
Christmas is a time for family, togetherness, and of course, sports. Though many people spend the holidays at home or traveling or being with family, the sporting world doesn’t stop providing us with entertainment, and we’re thankful for that! Hopefully Santa gifts us with an entertaining day of sports in 2021, too. We deserve it.
Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable moments in sports history that occurred on Christmas Day.
1971: NFL’s longest game ever
The Miami Dolphins beat the Kansas City Chiefs in a back-and-forth game that ended in a Dolphins win. The game went on for a record 82 minutes and 40 seconds. It went into double overtime. In the first, it was scoreless, and in the second, the Dolphins won it with a Garo Yepremian 37-yard field goal, 27-24. It was also notable for the Chiefs’ running back Ed Podolak, who had one of the best postseason performances ever, with 350 all-purpose yards.
1984: Bernard King’s 60-point game
Bernard King, now in the New York Knicks Hall of Fame set the record for greatest individual scoring performance in Christmas Day history, scoring 60 total points against the New Jersey Nets. The Knicks ended up losing to the Jets, but King became the third player (behind Wilt Chamberlain and Rick Barry) to score at least 50 points in a Christmas game.
2002: Katie Hnida becomes first woman to play in Division I-A college football game
Katie Hnida was the kicker for New Mexico and on Christmas Day 2002, she became the first woman to ever play in a Division I-A college football game during the SEGA Spork Las Vegas Bowl against UCLA. New Mexico lost on a blocked extra point kick, but she had another big moment the nest year when she became the first woman to score in a Division I-A game against Texas State.
2004: Shaq vs Kobe overtime game
Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant faced each other for the first time since Shaq’s trade to the Miami Heat. The Heat beat the Lakers, extending a winning streak to 11 games in an overtime victory, 104-102. Though they lost, Bryant scored 42 of those 102 points. O’Neal had 24 points and 11 rebounds.
2005: Bears beat Packers to win NFC North
In a 24-17 defeat over the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears claimed the NFC North title and got their first sweep against their divisional rivals since 1991. The win earned them a first-round bye in the playoffs and a priceless sense of pride.
2010: LeBron’s triple-double
LeBron James’ first Christmas Day game was played in 2010 with the Miami Heat and he became the fourth player to get a triple-double on the holiday. His 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists led to a 96-80 victory over the Lakers.
2016: Steelers claim AFC North
The Steelers won at the last minute over their rivals the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas Day in 2016. With time running out, Roethlisberger made a long pass to Antonio Brown who caught it at the Ravens’ one but didn’t give up. He stretched his arm out to get the TD, win the game 331-27, and clinch the top spot in the AFC North, their second title in three seasons.