Top 10 Iconic North American Sports Moments of the Last Decade

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Top 10 Iconic North American Sports Moments of the Last Decade

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
Script written by Spencer Sher

Top 10 Iconic North American Sports Moments of the 2010s

Just because it happened recently doesn't mean it isn't iconic. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Iconic North American Sports Moments of the 2010s. For this list, we'll be focusing exclusively on North American athletes and events, including events taking place in America, or involving a North American athlete on foreign soil.

#10: Colin Kaepernick Takes a Knee
August 26, 2016
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit and later kneel during the pregame national anthem was one of the most divisive events in NFL history. It all started during a 2016 preseason game when Kaepernick was spotted sitting on the bench during the national anthem. Protesting against racial injustice in America, he told reporters, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” The decision was highly controversial, eliciting both positive and negative responses from players, owners, fans and even the President of the United States.

#9: The Decision
July 8, 2010
After the conclusion of the 2009-2010 NBA season, LeBron James, the NBA's biggest superstar, was set to hit free agency. To add further intrigue and attention to James, his management and ESPN agreed to produce and air “The Decision”, an hour long live event where James would answer several questions about how he came to decide which team to play for and then subsequently announce his decision. After eventually declaring his intentions to sign with the Miami Heat, the moment marked the beginning of a new era where athletes have the authority to decide which team they want to play on. In turn, the idea of assembling a superteam, a concept that sports fans could once only dream of, was now a reality.

#8: Malcolm Butler Clinches Super Bowl XLIX
February 1, 2015
This moment had everything you'd want in an iconic Super Bowl play: it was skillful, spectacular, and completely unexpected. The Seattle Seahawks were on the cusp of winning their second consecutive title, and had driven all the way down to the Patriots' one-yard line as the game wound down. But instead of running the ball, the Seahawks opted to pass; a decision many felt was a mistake based on howMarshawn Lynch had been running the ball all game. Rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped the route, and picked off the ball at the goal line. The play stunned the sports world, and gave Tom Brady and the Patriots their fourth Super Bowl title.

#7: Sid the Kid's Golden Goal
February 28, 2010
The gold medal hockey game between Canada and the United States was the final event of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. After playing to a 2-2 tie through three periods, the game went to overtime. Seven minutes and 40 seconds into OT, Sidney Crosby received a pass from Jarome Iginla deep in the American zone, burying it past goaltender Ryan Miller. With two thirds of the Canadian population watching, the game instantly became a watershed moment for the country's sporting history. The goal, which helped Canada break the Olympic record for gold medals won at a single Winter Games, turned Sidney Crosby into a national hero and put Canada back on top of the hockey world.

#6: Michael Phelps Becomes the Most Decorated Olympian Ever
July 31, 2012
American swimmer Michael Phelps began his Olympic career at the tender age of 15, when he qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He may not have medalled that year, but boy did he ever make up for it over the next four Games. In Athens, he took home eight medals; six of them gold. In Beijing, he took home another eight medals; this time, all gold. Next up was London, where he won his record-breaking 18th gold medal and 22nd medal overall, making him the most decorated Olympian of all time. He'd return in 2016 to win six more medals in Rio de Janeiro, finishing his career with a whopping 28 overall.

#5: The New England Patriots overcome a 28-3 deficit to win Super Bowl LI
February 5, 2017
Trailing behind 28-3 against the Atlanta Falcons at halftime, a win seemed out of reach for the New England Patriots. But as we've learned time and time again, never count Tom Brady and the Patriots out. The team went on to score 17 unanswered points and keep the Falcons from scoring any points altogether. The defining moment came during the fourth quarter when Tom Brady attempted a pass to wide receiver Julian Edelman in the middle of the field. The ball was tipped into the air, and Edelman and three Falcons descended on it. Somehow, Edelman made the catch. The play proved decisive, as the Patriots would later score to force overtime and go on to win the game, completing the greatest comeback in Superbowl history.

#4: The Toronto Raptors win their first NBA Title
June 14, 2019
Over the past decade, the Toronto Raptors have cemented themselves as one of the NBA's most talented rosters. Unfortunately, they've often come up just short of making it to a final. After trading fan favorite DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs and acquiring Kawhi Leonard in 2018, the team was primed to make a playoff run. And boy did they do just that. Along with beating the best teams in the East (which included an unforgettable buzzer beater) and convincingly defeating the Golden State Warriors, arguably the NBA's most stacked roster, The Toronto Raptors were able to finally capture their first title. It was a victory not only for the city of Toronto, but the entire country of Canada.

#3: Tiger Woods wins the 2019 Masters
April 14, 2019
Tiger Woods was once considered the greatest golfer of all time. But after several well-documented issues which included affairs and a 2017 arrest, many questioned if Tiger Woods could ever go back to being the dominant player he once was. However, he erased any doubts after winning the 2019 Masters. Outplaying his opponents and avoiding mistakes throughout the tournament, what made the victory even sweeter was that he started the last day two shots behind. From successfully putting his last hole, lifting his arms in victory and then embracing his children, Tiger was back and it's a moment we'll never forget.


#2: LeBron James Wins Cleveland's first NBA Title
June 19, 2016
When LeBron James left Cleveland in 2010 to chase NBA championships in Miami, he was criticized for abandoning both the Cavaliers and his hometown. So when he returned in 2015 with two titles under his belt, expectations were running high. After cruising through the first three rounds of the 2016 playoffs, they met a familiar foe in the finals: the Golden State Warriors. Golden State had set a regular season record with 73 wins, and being up 3-1 in the series, they were considered heavy favorites to repeat as champs. However, with LeBron leading the way, it was Cleveland's turn for glory. After producing a slew of huge plays, including an epic Game 7 block, James led the comeback and brought the city of Cleveland its first title in 52 years.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Derek Jeter Hits a Walk-Off Single In His Final Game at Yankee Stadium
September 25, 2014

Kobe Bryant Scores 60 points in Final Game
April 13, 2016

Philly Special
February 4, 2018

Simone Biles dominates the 2016 Olympics
August 11, 2016

#1: The Chicago Cubs Win the World Series
November 2, 2016
It may have taken 108 years, but on November 2nd, 2016, the Chicago Cubs finally got the monkey off their back. Having suffered through decades of blown opportunities, costly mistakes and Steve Bartman, the Cubs met the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series – who just so happened to be sporting their own lengthy championship drought. Expectations couldn't have been higher, and when the Indians jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, history seemed to be repeating itself. However, the Cubs slowly clawed their way back into the series, and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a thrilling Game 7 victory. The drought was finally over.


Transcript
Script written by Spencer Sher

Top 10 Iconic North American Sports Moments of the 2010s


Just because it happened recently doesn’t mean it isn’t iconic. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Iconic North American Sports Moments of the 2010s.

For this list, we’ll be focusing exclusively on North American athletes and events, including events taking place in America, or involving a North American athlete on foreign soil.

A Dramatic Finish at the 2013 Masters

Boston Wins the Cup / Vancouver Riots

#10: The Cardinals Rally to Force Game 7
October 27th, 2011


Game 6 of the 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers has to be one of the most thrilling postseason games of the past decade. In the bottom of the 9th, the Rangers found themselves up by two and one out away from winning their first championship. However, Cardinals third baseman David Freese had other plans. With the game on the line, he knocked a two run triple into right field. Then, in the bottom of the 11th, he hit a walk-off homer, sending the Cardinals dugout – not to mention the thousands of fans in attendance – into a frenzy. The Cardinals would go on to win Game 7, with Freese being named MVP.

#9: Holly Holm Defeats Ronda Rousey
November 15th, 2015


Ronda Rousey entered her UFC Bantamweight Championship fight against Holly Holm as an overwhelming favorite. At that point in her career, she was a perfect 12-0, often defeating opponents in under a minute. However, when she stepped into the octagon to face Holly Holm, she was in for a shock. Holm controlled the fight from the get-go, using her skills as a boxer to strike Rousey repeatedly in the face. By the second round, the champ was visibly exhausted and bleeding heavily. This is where Holm caught her with a high kick to the face, ending the fight by way of knockout. Holm’s defeat of Rousey is considered one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

#8: José Bautista’s Bat Flip
October 14th, 2015


Tied in the seventh inning of the decisive game of the 2015 American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder José Bautista hit a massive three-run homer to put the Jays ahead for good. Immediately following the hit, he threw his bat high into the air in dramatic fashion. The baseball community, with its notoriously reserved stance towards player celebrations, criticized Bautista for showboating. One reporter would even call it "the most ostentatious bat flip in MLB history". Bautista, on the other hand, didn’t feel like he did anything wrong, saying he was “caught up in the emotion of the moment". Either way, it was a hell of a celebration.

#7: Julian Edelman's Super Bowl Catch
February 5th, 2017


Super Bowl 51 was full of incredible moments, from Julio Jones’ toe-tap catch to Dont’a Hightower’s clutch strip sack. However, the one moment that truly cemented itself within the sports zeitgeist was Julian Edelman’s epic fourth-quarter catch. With two and a half minutes to go, Tom Brady attempted a pass to Edelman in the middle of the field. The ball was tipped into the air, and Edelman and three Falcons descended on it. Somehow, some way, Edelman came up with the ball, having secured it just inches away from the turf. The play proved decisive, as the Patriots would later score to force overtime and go on to win the game.

#6: Michael Phelps Becomes the Most Decorated Olympian Ever
July 31st, 2012


American swimmer Michael Phelps began his Olympic career at the tender age of 15, when he qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He may not have medalled that year, but boy did he ever make up for it over the next four Games. In Athens, he took home eight medals; six of them gold. In Beijing, he took home another eight medals; this time, all gold. Next up was London, where he won his record-breaking 18th gold medal and 22nd medal overall, making him the most decorated Olympian of all time. He’d return in 2016 to win six more medals in Rio de Janeiro, finishing his career with a whopping 28 overall.

#5: Colin Kaepernick Makes A Stand
August 26th, 2016


Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit and later kneel during the pregame national anthem was one of the most divisive events in NFL history. It all started during a 2016 preseason game when Kaepernick was spotted sitting on the bench during the national anthem. Protesting against racial injustice in America, he told reporters "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” The decision was highly controversial, eliciting both positive and negative responses from players, owners, fans and even the President of the United States.

#4: Sid the Kid’s Golden Goal
February 28th, 2010


The gold medal hockey game between Canada and the United States was the final event of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. After playing to a 2-2 tie through three periods, the game went to overtime. Seven minutes and 40 seconds into OT, Sidney Crosby received a pass from Jarome Iginla deep in the American zone, burying it past goaltender Ryan Miller. With two thirds of the Canadian population watching, the game instantly became a watershed moment for the country’s sporting history. The goal, which helped Canada break the Olympic record for gold medals won at a single Winter Games, turned Sidney Crosby into a national hero and put Canada back on top of the hockey world.

#3: Malcolm Butler Clinches Super Bowl XLIX
February 1st, 2015


This moment had everything you’d want in an iconic Super Bowl play: it was skillful, spectacular, and completely unexpected. The Seattle Seahawks were on the cusp of winning their second consecutive title, and had driven all the way down to the Patriots’ one-yard line as the game wound down. But instead of running the ball, the Seahawks opted to pass; a decision many felt was a mistake based on the way Marshawn Lynch had been running the ball all game. Rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped the route, and picked off the ball at the goal line. The play stunned the sports world, and gave Tom Brady and the Patriots their fourth Super Bowl title.

#2: LeBron James Wins Cleveland a Title
June 19th, 2016


When LeBron James left Cleveland in 2010 to chase NBA championships in Miami, he was criticized for abandoning both the Cavs and his hometown. So when he returned in 2015 with two titles under his belt, expectations were running high. After cruising through the first three rounds of the 2016 playoffs, they met a familiar foe in the finals: the Golden State Warriors. Golden State had set a regular season record with 73 wins, and were considered heavy favorites to repeat as champs. However, with LeBron leading the way, it was Cleveland’s turn for glory. Producing a slew of huge plays, including an epic Game 7 block, James brought the city of Cleveland its first title in 52 years.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:


The Eagles Pull Off the Philly Special in the Super Bowl
February 4th, 2018

OBJ's Crazy One-Hander
November 23rd, 2014

Derek Jeter Hits a Walk-Off Single In His Final Game at Yankee Stadium
September 25th, 2014

#1: Chicago Cubs Win the World Series
November 2nd, 2016


It may have taken 108 years, but on November 2nd, 2016, the Chicago Cubs finally got the monkey off their back. Having suffered through decades of blown opportunities, costly mistakes and Steve Bartman, the Cubs met the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series – who just so happened to be sporting their own lengthy championship drought. Expectations couldn’t have been higher, and when the Indians jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, history seemed to be repeating itself. However, the Cubs slowly clawed their way back into the series, and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a thrilling Game 7 victory. The drought was finally over.
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You forgot the 2019 Team USA Women's Soccer Team.