De Loera: Favorite sports moments while at ND
Carlos De Loera | Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Being a senior, I get a lot of question about what the future will look like. No joke — as I started writing this someone asked me what I’ll be doing after graduation. It’s a lot and honestly I’m not the biggest fan of discussing it. At the same time, there is much emphasis on looking back at the years spent in this pseudo-home of South Bend. It seems that people like to indulge in this reflection, with some even getting emotional about certain memories. I don’t like that very much either. Maybe it’s because I have a black void where my heart should be or perhaps it’s that I don’t listen to enough sad-boy Drake music. In spite of my inclinations, I will now, very hypocritically, look back at some of my favorite sports moment that have happened since I enrolled at this fine university.
Mexico ties Brazil 0-0 at the 2014 World Cup (this is technically the summer before my freshman year, but I was enrolled so I’ll count it)
When it comes to futbol, my heart has always sided with the Mexican national team. Yes, I was born in the United States and vehemently support the U.S. national team, but my parents are from Mexico, so my support for the the country’s clubs courses through my veins. And further still, the emotion and stakes behind a Mexico game way surpasses that of a U.S. game.
What made this tie remarkable was that nobody gave Mexico a chance in the pregame chatter. When you play Brazil in Brazil, the future looks reasonably dim. The game is most notable because of the inspired goal-tending of Mexican keeper Memo Ochoa, who made incredible save after incredible save, at the time when he wasn’t even signed to a club. So, yes it was a scoreless game, but it was undyingly thrilling and some of the most fun I’ve had watching a sporting event. The rest of the tournament wasn’t as generous to México — no era penal! — but I’m here to remember joy, not heartbreak, so let’s move on.
Oct. 4, 2014: Notre Dame defeats Stanford 17-14
It was my third time ever attending a football game and all I had ever known was victory. In the previous home game, the Irish walloped on Michigan 31-0. The stakes were high in this top-15 matchup. It also happened to be the day in which temperatures dipped below 40 for the first time all semester. Oh yeah, and it was a torrential downpour. My weak California heart was fearful of the weather, but peer pressure is strong and social exile is daunting. Throughout the close game it rained aggressively and as the fourth quarter drew to a close many students left to escape the elements. With 1:01 left in the game, the Irish down by 14-10, and fourth-and-11, then-junior quarterback Everett Golson completed a 23-yard lob to then-senior tight end Ben Koyack for an Irish touchdown. I remember looking over at a friend, both of us completely soaked from the rain, and for a moment we didn’t care about the horrible weather.
Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals
A 72-win team blows a 3-1 series lead after coming back from that same deficit against the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. The LeBron block. The Kyrie shot — cold blooded! The stupid Curry behind-the-back pass attempt. Curry and Thompson unable to make shots. Draymond having the game of his life but Kevin Love with a plus/minus of plus 19. What a wacky and wild game.
Swimming at the 2016 Summer Olympics
The U.S. is very good at swimming. I know that, you know that, quite literally, the whole world knows it. I’ve always heard of the lore of the great Mark Spitz and for past eight years had seen the freakishly dominant nature of Michael Phelps, but I had never seen anyone like Katie Ledecky. In her first individual event, the 400-meter freestyle, Ledecky broke her own world record with a time of 3:56.46 — five seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Five seconds. Ledecky was nearly out of the pool by the time the silver medalist finished. Her most remarkable performance, however, was in the 800-meter freestyle. In the qualifying heat, Ledecky set the Olympic record for the event and in the finals, she set the world record with a time of 8:04.79 — 11 seconds faster than the silver medalist. Ledecky was dried off by the time the second-place finisher completed the race. When the cameras focused on her during the race there were no other swimmers in the frame. She was the embodiment of dominance.
These Olympics also saw the rise of Cody Miller. The swimmer received a gold medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay and a bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke behind an American-record time. The coolest part about it? Miller has Pectus Excavatum, a condition where the sternum and/or ribs are abnormally shaped, producing a sunken-in appearance of the chest. Who else has this condition? Me. So it was really cool to see someone with a condition that has often made me feel uncomfortable about my body appearance very confidently bear his chest. Power to all of us concave-chested people!