Best & Worst Houston Sports Moments: What Didn't Make The Cut

Tomorrow we officially reveal the unimpeachable, inarguable list of the Ten Best Sports Moments in Houston History, not to mention the five most heartbreaking ones.

There were plenty of candidates for both lists, thanks to readers, and winnowing it down was a task suited only to those who laugh in the face of danger.

Some highlight (and lowlight) moments didn't make the cut, of course. Here are five.

1. The Texans' first game
A popular choice was the Texans' inaugural game, at home in Reliant Stadium, as fans welcomed the NFL back to town. The team, not expected to win many games, actually produced a victory. We forget who they beat -- probably some scrub team. But still, it was exciting.
Why it didn't make the cut: Entirely too ephemeral. Cruel producer of false hopes. Including it would only bring painful memories of the ineptitude that has reigned since then.

2. John Stockton's three-pointer
A sharp, long-remembered poison dart to Rocket fans, the buzzer-beating three-pointer that hated Utah Jazz guard John Stockton  put away to knock Houston out of the 1997 Western Conference finals was a strong candidate for the Heartbreaking Moments list.
Why it didn't make the cut: Come on, the Rockets had just recently won two consecutive NBA titles. You can't get too greedy.

3. Houston gets a Super Bowl
The eyes of a football nation were turned yadda yadda yadda. It was big deal for Houston to host Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, and the city pulled it off with style. Huge crowds descended on downtown, the weather was nice, and the game turned out to be a thriller. Unless you're a Patriot or Panther fan, though, the game will most likely be remembered for Janet Jackson's horribly pierced nipple.
Why it didn't make the cut: There was more a sense of relief, rather than exaltation, that things went so well. Except for that damned nipple.

4. Joe Montana's comeback against UH
It's legendary in Notre Dame lore: An utterly icy Cotton Bowl day in Dallas, the Irish down late by 22 to the Cougars, a frozen Joe Montana in the locker room drinking chicken soup to try to get warm. He returns, the Irish come back with a TD as the clock hits 00:00, and the extra point gives them the win.
Why it didn't make the cut: The Coogs were almost completely overshadowed by the Oilers at the time, so this game wasn't something the city was hanging breathlessly on. (Even Mayor Jim McConn was rooting against them, ND grad that he was.) And hey, UH has gotten more pub out of that loss than if they had held on to win by 10. Especially these days, beating ND in a bowl is no big accomplishment. For now.

5. Craig Biggio's 3,000th hit
Lot of support for this one, too. Biggio, along with Jeff Bagwell, personified the semi-glory years of the `90s and 2000s, so seeing him hit the rare milestone, on a night where the crowd could enthusiastically show the city's love for him and his career, was certainly a highlight.
Why it didn't make the cut: Too manufactured. Owner Drayton McLane milked Biggio's chase for 3,000 for every buck he could, even at the expense of hurting the team's chances. Plus, it was pretty much inevitable -- Biggio was going to get his 3,000th hit come hell or high water.

So there are some highlights and lowlights that didn't make our cut. To see what did, check out houstonpress.com tomorrow. And come prepared to argue.

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