Sports editor Scott Annis and reporter Grayson O’Roark
In the 2013 Outback Bowl, pitting South Carolina vs. Michigan, sophomore defensive tackle Jadeven Clowney broke through the Michigan line to lay one of the biggest hits I’ve ever seen on Michigan running back Vincent Smith. The previous play should have given South Carolina the ball but after a wrong call by the refs Clowney took matters into his own hands and got the ball back by himself. It was the biggest hit in college football this year and maybe ever. Don’t blink or you might miss it.
Sports editor Jillian Arja
Whether you consider NASCAR racing a sport or not, it certainly takes guts for the drivers, and this year the fans needed some as well. A fan is there to simply watch and enjoy the event, thinking the athletes will be the only ones in harm’s way. However, in a pre-Daytona 500 race, 33 fans were left the event injured. After a crash on the track, some debris from one of the cars came and landed in the stands. The car was going 180 mph, causing the debris to go hurling into the astonished fans. Those fans might want to choose higher seats next time they go to the racetrack.
Reporter Jessica Malknecht
Nate Robinson’s dunk against the Boston Celtics on Dec. 21, 2008 was one of the best dunks I have ever seen live. This 5’9” guard can fly higher than you think so players never expect little Nate to dunk the ball. His ability to jump that high off the ground is indescribable. The entire crowd went ballistic. The energy in the gym was ridiculous and I was completely baffled. The same goes for his amazing dunk over Dwight Howard in the NBA dunk contest. Nate Robinson may not be a Spud Webb, but he comes pretty close.
Reporter Alissa Noe
During this season’s Notre Dame-Louisville game that went into five overtimes, Russ Smith definitely lived up to his nickname, “Russdiculous.” According to an Urban Dictionary definition that was created by a Cardinal fan, the word represents “an adjective describing an absurd basketball play that could be great or maybe not.” Smith did just that during the longest game in NCAA regular season history. With 12 seconds left in the first overtime, he chose to wait until time ran out before he took a wild three-point shot from 27 feet away. The shot, though it only missed by inches, sent the game into its second overtime. For the remainder of the game, Louisville fans flirted with a nervous breakdown every time Smith got the ball and tried to shoot-which was frequently and mostly inaccurate. The Cardinals learned a valuable lesson that night: never trust Russ Smith to make a crucial game-winning shot. At least that’s what happened at the end of regulation and in 4 of the 5 overtimes during the game that night.
Contact CU Independent sports editor Jillian Arja at Jillian.firstname.lastname@example.org.