The ’90s were a decade filled with many memorable sports moments. There were a lot of highs that left the world cheering and a fair share of lows that left us all stunned.
Let’s take a look back at the standout moments that are still being talked about to this day.
Wide Right (1991)
It all came down to a 46-yard field goal attempt. An entire NFL season on the right leg of Buffalo Bills kicker Scott Norwood. The kick sailed wide right of the goal post, and the New York Giants grabbed the Lombardi Trophy from the jaws of defeat.
The 20-19 final score and the heart-pounding ending to a classic game was something the country desperately needed. With the country otherwise occupied in the Gulf War, this Super Bowl was a much needed reprieve from the tragic occurrences that dominated television sets for much of 1990 and the beginning of 1991.
The game started with one of the most powerful performances of the national anthem by Whitney Houston and ended with a nail-biting moment for the ages. To top it off, the missed kick sent Buffalo into agonizing tailspin that would see the Bills lose the next three Super Bowls in a row.
Joe Carter Brings Glory Back to the North (1993)
In 1993, Joe Carter created an all-time moment when he hit a walk-off home run that won the Toronto Blue Jays the World Series. That was only the second time in league history a World Series has been won via walk-off home run and the first since 1960.
Having defeated the Atlanta Braves the year prior, Toronto was vying for back-to-back World Series victories but trailed the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth with the Phillies on the verge of sending the series to a decisive seventh game.
With runners on first and second and one out, Carter crushed a line drive over the left field wall to keep the World Series trophy north of the border for another year.
Nancy Kerrigan Attacked (1994)
Prior to the 1994 Winter Olympic games in Lillehammer, Norway, a scandal within the United States Women’s Figure Skating team became one of the worst in U.S. Olympic history.
Skater Tonya Harding’s ex-husband contracted a man named Shane Stant to break teammate Nancy Kerrigan’s right leg to give Harding a step up within the ranks of the team. Stant attacked Kerrigan in Detroit on Jan. 6, 1994, just over a month before the games were to begin. Using a police baton, Stant heavily bruised Kerrigan’s right leg, but she recovered enough to place second in Lillehammer.
Harding later pleaded guilty to a number of charges, most notably being aware of the plot to injure Kerrigan. Harding was banned from the U.S. Figure Skating Association and stripped of a prior championship.
Rangers Win First Cup in 54 years (1994)
The New York Rangers have four Stanley Cups to their name, but three of the them came before the outbreak of World War II. In fact, the Rangers didn’t even make the final between 1940 and 1993. Finally, in 1994, after brushing aside the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins, the Rangers and rivals New Jersey Devils played a thrilling seven game series.
With New Jersey up 3-2 in the series, star-forward Mark Messier guaranteed a Ranger victory, and he almost single-handedly followed through on his guarantee, scoring three points in a 4-2 victory in Game 6. This set up a classic seventh game and a thrilling overtime winning goal by Stephane Matteau to send the Rangers to their first cup in 54 years. New York would go on to win the championship, eliminating the Vancouver Canucks.
Chicago Bulls Dynasty (1991-1998)
Led by one of the best players of all time in Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls dominated basketball for almost all of the 1990’s. Jordan, with the help of costar Scottie Pippen and Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, combined to win six championships in two sets of three-peats, from 1991-93 and 1996-98.
Had it not been for Jordan’s first retirement, lasting from October 1993 until March 1995, the Bulls may have won even more during that period. Nonetheless, the undefeated 6-0 finals record with Jordan, winning six in eight years, cements the Bulls as one of sports’ greatest dynasties.