I love sports – the drama, the athleticism, and most of all the atmosphere. That atmosphere, for better or worse, doesn’t exist without the fans in the stands. The faithful masses cheering their team onto victory truly make these events a spectacle. That’s why seeing athletes leap into the stands or students storm a court for crowd celebrations creates truly special moments.
This past week at one of the most prestigious races in the world, the Indy 500, Josef Newgarden ran into the crowd to celebrate. Fellow Penske driver, Ryan Blaney, would follow Newgarden’s example by leaping into the crowd following his Coca-Cola 600 win. In honor of these back-to-back crowd celebrations, I thought a list of some of the best was in order.
6) Mason Crosby’s Walk-Off Lambeau Leap
I personally think the Lambeau Leap as a whole is overrated by fans around the NFL and particularly by Green Bay fans. My personal bias aside, I do have to admit the walk-off version courtesy of kicker Mason Crosby was spectacular. The little boost that another player gave Crosby to assist on the jump is the pièce de résistance.
5) Marcelo Has Two Shirts
This one contains layers. The brilliance of Marcelo wearing two shirts to avoid a booking. The throw of the jersey into the crowd followed by him sprinting over. I love this celebration. A massive moment for Sheffield United in their FA Cup Quarterfinal against Coventry – the moment grew exponentially after Marcelo’s incredible celebration.
4) Watford’s Wild Buzzer Beater
No shortage of incredible court-storming moments exists in college basketball but one of the best in recent memory came courtesy of the Indiana Hoosiers. In 2011 the #1-ranked Wildcats traveled to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers. Both schools have a rich basketball history but Indiana had fallen on hard times. The game went down to the wire where Christian Watford hit a massive buzzer-beating three-pointer. The court was immediately stormed in one of the biggest moments in Indiana basketball history.
3) Crowd Shadows Tiger at the PGA Championship
We’re bending the rules a little bit here as the walk up to the 18th Hole for Tiger Woods’ 2018 Tour Championship victory counts more as a moment of anticipation. Regardless, I don’t know that we’ll ever see a moment in golf quite like this again. The crowd buzzing, Tiger visibly excited – it doesn’t get much better than this. Just an absolutely electric environment.
2) José Aldo Leaps the Cage in Brazil
As a fan of combat sports, I don’t think I have ever seen a better crowd moment than José Aldo knocking out Chad Mendes and immediately sprinting into his home Brazilian crowd. Before cage-side security could so much as lay a finger on Aldo – he passed through the gate, over the barriers, and into the masses. After an extended period of celebration with the Rio de Janeiro crowd, they lifted the Brazilian legend up onto their shoulders and carried him back to the cage. The shots of Aldo riding the crowd back to the cage for the official decision are forever seared into the minds of MMA fans.
1) Tennessee Finally Ends Third Saturday in October Streak
15 straight meetings between the Crimson Tide and the Volunteers ended in victory for Alabama. 15 straight years of holding out hope for victory against their fiercest rivals. Finally, in 2022, the Volunteers were able to shake the curse and stop the Tide on a last-second field goal. There is no better way to describe the moment than as instant catharsis for the Tennessee faithful. What ensued was one of the most chaotic and joyful crowd celebrations I’ve ever seen. Rocky Top, indeed.
What crowd celebrations did we miss? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter.