With UCF down seven against Temple and time running out, quarterback Blake Bortles chucked a prayer downfield to an open J.J. Worton who made one of the greatest touchdown grabs in modern history. His one handed, diving catch sealed the victory, keeping the Golden Knights' dream season alive -- undefeated in the conference and a national ranking. Because of this heroic catch, UCF got their first BCS Bowl bid in history; they'll clash against Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl.
Considered the greatest NFL play of the year, Jones caught this 70-yard bomb via Flacco with only :44 left on the clock against a surging Peyton Manning-led Broncos team. The pass, which barely missed the finger tips of Broncos defensive back Rahim Moore, secured what many called the "Flacco Fling," tying the ball game and forcing overtime where the Ravens would win the game and advance to play the Patriots for the AFC championship. Baltimore would win that game before defeating the 49ers for their second Super Bowl championship.
FGCU came out of nowhere to become the first 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Not only did they defeat #2 Georgetown and #7 San Diego State in convincing fashion, but also made highlight reels with their ridiculous "dunk city" play. The Eagles basketball team had only been in existence a decade and 2013 was their very first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
No team in NHL history had ever won a Game 7 after trailing by three or more goals in the third period. The Boston Bruins changed that in 2013 in the most epic comeback imaginable. The Toronto Maple Leafs opened a 4-1 lead against Boston but watched it crumble away in the waning minutes. With just :90 left in the game and the lead cut to two, Milan Lucic scored off a deflected shot that ricocheted off Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer. Just seconds later Patrice Bergeron lasered in a game-tying goal in front of the blue line to force overtime where he once again punched in a goal to win the game. This sports moment was the first momentous occasion the city had to celebrate since the Boston Marathon tragedy. Let's just say the TD Garden went off. The Bruins advanced to the Stanley Cup where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks.
With just :5 left on the clock and the NBA Finals on the line, Ray Allen had ice in his veins, drilling in a step-back three-pointer from the corner with hands in his face to take the lead. Not only were the Spurs up 3-2 in the series and just seconds way from stealing LeBron James' second championship, but it was Chris Bosh who was lucky enough get the offensive rebound and find Allen in the corner in the first place. Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals will go down as one of the greatest NBA games ever played.
Getting blown out 1-5 and in the bottom of the 8th, Red Sox nation was feeling their season on the verge of closure. The fat lady wasn't singing, but about to go down 0-2 to the Detroit Tigers -- who had the best pitching in baseball -- she was warming up with scales. However, David Ortiz changed everything with one swing of the bat and bases juiced. His rocket to right field was the grand slam heard 'round the nation. Not only did it tie the ball game and eventually give the Red Sox the win and the momentum they would need to eventually win the World Series, but it also made Boston police officer Steve Horgan a local folk hero. Horgan, who you can see celebrating in the footage, has been working Sox games for years. He said that moment was one of the loudest, largest and most intense he's ever experienced in Fenway Park. And oh ya, Ortiz? He batted .688 in the ALCS and was just as dominant in the Series against the Cardinals, where he took MVP.
No way could Hollywood write a script such as this. Prepster Khalil Edney nailed this unreal 55-foot game winning buzzer beater from behind half-court to give his New Rochelle team a 61-60 state championship over Mount Vernon (Section 1 Class AA). Watch as the player from Mount Vernon steals the ball with seconds left, only to -- what he thinks -- throw the ball away to secure the victory. Edney grabs it where he is able to release the ball from his hands with just .01 left on the clock.
Jack Hoffman became by far the greatest inspiration to many in the sports world this season. The eight-year-old Nebraska fan was going through treatment for brain cancer when he was able to live out his dream of playing for the Cornhuskers in their spring scrimmage this past April. Hoffman not only got the hand off in front of a full stadium, but ran a 69-yard touchdown with the entire support of the team and the roar of the crowd behind him. Hoffman won the ESPY award for Best Sports Moment and even greater news surfaced in October when we learned he is now in full remission.
Nothing pulls at our heart strings more than when we see a grown man cry. It's rare we see the type of passion and dedication from a professional athlete as Rivera as demonstrated to us over his tenured career. The best reliever in the history of the game had quite the farewell tour in 2013, but the best moment came when he was pulled early in his last game at Yankee Stadium so that long-time friends and teammates Andy Pettite and Derek Jeter could take him off the mound themselves. Rivera embraced his friends and the applause of the crowd for what seemed like a lifetime. Anyone who has played sports knows how hard it is to walk away; not only were all Yankees fans thrilled, but all fans of baseball felt honored to witness this very raw moment on a national stage.
Not only is this play already considered the greatest in college football history by many, but the 2013 Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn could go down as one of the greatest football games in history. After Auburn retaliated with a touchdown following a 99-yard Alabama TD pass late in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 28, Alabama had a chance to kick a game-winning field goal from 57 yards with :01 left on the clock. Alabama had missed three previous field goals earlier in the game (which would turn into four, the most by an FBS team all season) but head coach Nick Saban decided to try for a miracle kick with backup Adam Griffith -- who he said had made kicks from 60-yards in warmups. The kick was short and Chris Davis became an overnight all-time legend, taking back the 100-plus yard return for a touchdown, snapping Alabama's NCAA best 15-game win streak and their shot at an unprecedented uncontested three-peat. According to the NCAA record book, a missed field goal return for a touchdown had only happened twice in history, but there is no proof as to whether or not those kicks may have been blocked or not since they happened decades ago -- meaning this could have been the first time such a play ever occurred. The 2013 Iron Bowl was the most hyped in history due to Alabama was #1 and Auburn #4 in the country coming into the game. Alabama had won championships in '12, '11 and '09, while Auburn won the title in '10. The winner of this game moved on to the SEC championship.