(8) December 28, 2008: Detroit Lions finish 0-16
And the Dan Orlovsky, Rod Marinelli-led juggernaut found its final resting place.
The expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers went winless in a 14-game season, so they're not the first champions of futility, but with two more cracks at getting in the win column, and a league which parades the mantra of "parity" at every dogleg, this was a terrible team with terrible fortune.
(7) June 26, 2008: 4th seeded Fresno State wins College World Series
Between Utah and George Mason, I pick neither as the decade's college underdog. How many championships did they win?
Fresno entered the NCAA baseball tournament unranked and with a 37-27 record. Qualifying only because they won the WAC tournament, the Bulldogs knocked off No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 Arizona State, No. 6 Rice, and No. 8 Georgia en route to the title.
This is like a 12-seed winning the NCAA basketball Final Four. And Mason was an 11-seed. Just reaching the semifinals? BORING!
(6) March 19, 2005: Blake Hoffarber hits buzzer-beater while flat on his ass to win the Minnesota state basketball title
There might be stranger shots to win basketball games. But the odds of swishing a basket while sprawled on the ground?
When it comes to game-winners, one will presumably not be using ideal mechanics. But quite often they know how far they have to push it.
However! When you're on your back, that's another six or seven feet you have to launch the arc. I hope kids around the nation practiced that shot in their driveway, and soiled their shirts in the process.
Hoffarber wasn't done. Three years later, while playing for Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals:
Standing upright. He practically cheated.
(5) October 17, 2001: Barry Bonds hits his 73rd home run
This may go up there with DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, batting .400, or throwing a no-hitter on LSD, as a record marked by the sign of the times. Between 1998 and 2001, there were six players who knocked 63 or more home runs (Sammy Sosa three times, Mark McGwire twice, and Bonds). Since then, there were only seven occurrences of 50 or more taters, with Ryan Howard getting as high as 58 in 2006.