The goal of being a diehard sports fan is to follow your team through thick and thin, good times and bad, in hopes of someday seeing them win a championship. That's the pinnacle, which we've experienced exactly once with the 2008 Phillies. While the championship is the culmination of such a long build up, the moment Brad Lidge threw the final pitch to strike out Eric Hinske is not the memory that sticks out the most from that magical season. For me, it was watching Matt Stairs moonshot deep into the L.A. night and going completely batshit nuts at a bar.
The goal is the championships, but we live for the moments.
The Eagles had 4th and 26. The Flyers had Gags game-winner over Boston in game 7.
If you ask anyone remotely interested in Sixers basketball what their favorite moment was from the title run from 2001, I'm guessing you'd get almost complete agreement on A.I. stepping over Tyronn Lue.
Coming into the Finals Series against the Lakers, the entire world outside of Philadelphia had Los Angeles taking the championship with ease. That's what made Allen Iverson's one-man 48-point show so great, and the stepping over Tyronn Lue moment was Philadelphia extending their middle finger to all those who doubted us.
Sure, the rest of the world was eventually proven correct in picking the Lakers, but in game one we had our moment.
It was Allen Iverson being the badass we all loved him for being. Could he have stepped around the fallen Laker? Sure, but that wouldn't have made the moment nearly as cold blooded. Bubba Chuck did everything with style.
And yes, we can use "us" when referring to that title run. We may not have put on a uniform or stepped on the court, but we had car flags! Seriously, everyone had (at least) one of those ridiculous Sixers flags that snapped into your cars window. It was a bizarre phenomenon that hasn't been duplicated with any of the other franchises in this city.
Like all truly great memories, you can likely recall where you were for that wild game one victory. I was a 20-year-old college student home from Boston on summer break, watching the game at a high school buddies college apartment near Villanova. There were a dozen of us all watching one TV, perhaps partaking in a few under-age beverages. When A.I. stepped over Lue, my buddy Frankie started beating people with a whiffle ball bat for reasons still unclear. It hurt, but I'll never forget how awesome it was. Expletives were the word of the evening.
Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Allen Iverson stepping over Tyronn Lue and the Sixers stealing an NBA Finals game from the mighty Lakers.
Thanks for that amazing memory, A.I. We'll never forget how awesome that was.