15 Moments That Define Sports In The 1990s

15 Moments That Define Sports In The 1990s

Michael Jordan Bulls
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Sports in the 1990s was dominated by a select few, but their names will ring on in sports history forever. Athletes like Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice dominated their respective sports during the decade. There were also several sports moments during the decade that still resonate today. These 15 sports moments defined the 1990s.

15. Tonya Harding's Associates Attack Nancy Kerrigan

Nancy Kerrigan Olympics
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15. Tonya Harding's Associates Attack Nancy Kerrigan

Nancy Kerrigan Olympics
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Date: Jan. 6, 1994

Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were the top two skaters for the Americans in 1994, but one resorted to injuring the other. During the 1994 U.S. Championships, Harding's associates attacked Kerrigan, striking her in the knee. Despite the attack, Kerrigan was healthy enough to participate in the 1994 Winter Olympics, finishing with the silver medal. Harding was then banned for life for her involvement in the plot.

14. The Death of Hank Gathers

Hank Gathers Loyola Marymount
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14. The Death of Hank Gathers

Hank Gathers Loyola Marymount
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Date: Mar. 4, 1990

Hank Gathers was one of the best college basketball players in the nation, but a heart condition cut his life short on the court. In the second round of the WCC Tournament, Gathers collapsed and died on the court. In his absence, Loyola Marymount made it all the way to the Elite Eight behind Bo Kimble, who would shoot the first free throw of each game left-handed in honor of Gathers, but lost to UNLV in the Elite Eight.

13. Mike Tyson Bites Evander Holyfield

Mike Tyson Boxing
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13. Mike Tyson Bites Evander Holyfield

Mike Tyson Boxing
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Date: June 28, 1997

In a highly anticipated rematch, a fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield ended with one being disqualified for a terrible act. In the match, Holyfield won the first two rounds against Tyson, prompting Tyson to use dirty tactics. Tyson was disqualified by referee Mills Lane after he bit Holyfield twice during the match.

12. Tiger Woods Dominates the 1997 Masters

Tiger Woods Augusta
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12. Tiger Woods Dominates the 1997 Masters

Tiger Woods Augusta
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Date: Apr. 13, 1997

In the 1997 Masters Tournament, Tiger Woods won his first of his 14 career majors in dominant fashion. Woods destroyed the field, winning by 12 strokes with a score of -18. The victory set the stages for Woods' domination of the sport for the next decade and a boom in the sport.

11. Buster Douglas Upsets Mike Tyson

Buster Douglas Boxing
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11. Buster Douglas Upsets Mike Tyson

Buster Douglas Boxing
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Date: Feb. 11, 1990

In one of the biggest upsets in sports history, unheralded Buster Douglas, a 42-1 underdog against Mike Tyson, scored a 10th round knockout in against Tyson, becoming the new heavyweight champion. Douglas' fame was short lived, however, as he lost to Evander Holyfield in October of the same year. After the defeat, Tyson saw his life spiral out of control and never regained his dominance.

10. Lance Armstrong Wins His First Tour De France

Lance Armstrong Tour De France
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10. Lance Armstrong Wins His First Tour De France

Lance Armstrong Tour De France
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Date: July 3-25, 1999

After a bout with testicular cancer, Lance Armstrong was only given a 50 percent chance to live and his cycling career was put on hold. But in 1999, Armstrong won the first of his seven Tour De France titles (which were all stripped in 2012 after he was found to be doping). His win in 1999 served as inspiration to everyone to never give up.

9. Mark McGwire Hits Home Run No. 62, Breaking the Single-Season Record

Mark McGwire Cardinals
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9. Mark McGwire Hits Home Run No. 62, Breaking the Single-Season Record

Mark McGwire Cardinals
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Date: Sept. 8, 1998

In 1998, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa's quest for the single-season home run record helped ease the pain of the 1994 MLB Strike. With McGwire's St. Louis Cardinals hosting Sosa's Chicago Cubs, McGwire hit home run No. 62 off Cubs reliever Steve Trachsel, breaking Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs, which he set in 1961. It was later revealed by McGwire that he had taken steroids during the 1998 season.

8. The 1994 MLB Strike

1994 MLB Strike
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8. The 1994 MLB Strike

1994 MLB Strike
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Date: Aug. 12, 1994 - Apr. 2, 1995

The 1994 MLB Strike changed the course of the game forever, and was the sports' worst moment ever. The rest of the 1994 regular season was cancelled and the World Series was cancelled for the first time since 1904. The players ended the strike in April of 1995, but attendance and TV ratings plummeted once they returned.

7. Christian Laettner's Buzzer Beater vs. Kentucky

Christian Laettner Duke
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7. Christian Laettner's Buzzer Beater vs. Kentucky

Christian Laettner Duke
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Date: Mar. 28, 1992

Trailing 103-102 with 2.1 seconds remaining in the 1992 East Regional Final, Duke was on the verge of losing to Rick Pitino's Kentucky Wildcats. In the final possession, Duke's Grant Hill threw a full court pass to Christian Laettner, who dribbled once, turned, and hit a jumper with no time remaining to give the Blue Devils a 104-103 win. To most, this was the greatest college basketball game ever played.

6. Cal Ripken Surpasses Lou Gehrig's Consecutive Games Played Streak

Cal Ripken Orioles
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6. Cal Ripken Surpasses Lou Gehrig's Consecutive Games Played Streak

Cal Ripken Orioles
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Date: Sept. 6, 1995

Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak was thought to be a record that would never be broken, but Cal Ripken Jr. did just that in 1995. When the game became official in the top of the fifth inning, Ripken Jr. had played in his 2,131st straight game and was given a 22-minute standing ovation by the Orioles' crowd.

5. Michael Jordan's First Retirement

Michael Jordan Bulls
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5. Michael Jordan's First Retirement

Michael Jordan Bulls
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Date: Oct. 6, 1993

Coming off three consecutive NBA Championship, Michael Jordan decided to walk away from the NBA for the first time to fulfill his late father's wishes of playing baseball. There is also speculation that suggest Jordan had a serious gambling problem and was facing a suspension from the NBA. After a less than stellar stint in the minor leagues, Jordan returned to the NBA in March of 1995.

4. The Dream Team Dominates the 1992 Summer Olympics

1992 Olympic Dream Team
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4. The Dream Team Dominates the 1992 Summer Olympics

1992 Olympic Dream Team
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Dates: July 25, 1992-Aug. 9, 1992

The first American Olympic team to feature active NBA players, the 1992 Dream Team dominated the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, winning their games by an average of 44 points. The first Dream Team featured 11 Hall of Famers and is considered by many to be the greatest sports team ever assembled.

3. Michael Jordan's Game-Winner vs. Utah in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals

Michael Jordan Bulls
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3. Michael Jordan's Game-Winner vs. Utah in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals

Michael Jordan Bulls
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Date: June 14, 1998

Michael Jordan's final moment as a Chicago Bull is still one of the greatest memories in sports history. Facing the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals and trailing 86-85, Jordan hit a game-winning jumper over Bryon Russell with 5.2 seconds remaining. Chicago went on to win their sixth NBA Championship of the decade and Jordan retired for the second time.

2. Magic Johnson Announces He's HIV-Positive, Retires From NBA

Magic Johnson Lakers
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2. Magic Johnson Announces He's HIV-Positive, Retires From NBA

Magic Johnson Lakers
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Date: Nov. 7, 1991

After a physical before the 1991-92 season, Magic Johnson discovered that he had tested positive for HIV. In a press conference, Johnson announced to the world that he would have to retire from the NBA because of his disease. The announcement sent shockwaves around the entire country, as one of the greatest players in NBA history had to be forced out due to HIV.

1. The O.J. Simpson Saga

OJ Simpson Trial
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1. The O.J. Simpson Saga

O.J. Simpson Trial
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Dates: June 12, 1994-Oct. 3, 1995

From the infamous high-speed chase to the highly anticipated verdict, the O.J. Simpson was one of the most talked about stories of the entire decade, not just in sports. The chase was so big that NBC had to cut away from the NBA Finals to show it and the trial was one of the most watched ever.

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for RantSports.com. He also adds to the site’s ClubhouseNCAA Football, Fantasy and NFL content. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

Related:
15 Moments That Define Sports in the 1980s


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