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The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

Leaving Your Heart on the Field

Recapping the most heartbreaking moments in sports

Valentine’s day is a day of love. It’s also a reminder of heartbreak. With great love comes great hurt and sports teams can put you through much pain and suffering. While your favorite team will have fun moments, they’ll lift you up just to force your heart down a shredder, tear it into a million pieces, and glue it back together just to stab you in the back and rip your soul out of your body. 

So, let’s examine some of the most appalling sports heartbreaks in recent memory. 

One Yard Short

The king of heartbreaks; the granddaddy of tragedy; the most traumatic event in the history of athletics. We can all agree there are no bigger stages than the Super Bowl, and there is nothing better than hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. The Tennessee Titans became the closest team to reaching this feat, just one yard short. In Super Bowl XXXIV, the Titans trailed the Rams by just seven points with six seconds left and 10 yards away from potentially tying the game. Wide receiver Kevin Dyson caught a pass a couple of yards short of the goal line while being wrapped up by defender Mike Jones. In a diving attempt, Dyson gained an extra yard, but his shoulder hit the ground one yard short of a championship.

Dez Caught it

In the 2014 Divisional Round between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers, the Cowboys trailed by five late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. Dallas had a fourth and short with under five minutes to play, but quarterback Tony Romo looked deep toward his true love who was in single coverage and streaking down the sideline: Dez Bryant. Bryant made the miraculous catch while “mossing” the defensive back. As he came down, he dove toward the endzone, but that is when everything took a heart-shattering twist. The ball came loose when Bryant hit the ground and popped into the air. Bryant, though, was able to bring the ball back in before it hit the ground or before he went out of bounds. The play was originally ruled a catch but not for long as the head coach of the Packers Mike McCarthy threw a challenge flag. The call was reversed by the referees, thus breaking the hearts of the largest fanbase in the world. The catch became highly debated throughout the football world and even forced the hands of the NFL to clarify the rules of a catch. The NFL’s updated rules tell us that it should have been (an obvious) catch.

Run the Ball 

A close second to the tragedy that was Super Bowl XXXIV was Super Bowl XLIX. What looked like a miracle quickly became misery for the Seattle Seahawks. Down 28-24 to the Patriots, the Seahawks were putting together an impressive potential game-winning drive, capped off by an unbelievable ricochet catch by Jermaine Kearse that hit his own foot as he was falling to the ground. This gave the Seahawks the ball inside the five with a minute and six seconds left. The Seahawks ran the ball on first-and-goal and picked up four yards thanks to Pro-Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch. With the clock ticking and less than thirty seconds left in the Super Bowl, down 4 with the ball at the goal line, Head Coach Pete Carroll decided to trust his star quarterback Russell Wilson to make the play. Wilson looked to Ricardo Lockette, but he threw it too late by the smallest of margins allowing Malcolm Butler to make the game-winning play on the ball. Butler picked the ball off, gifting the Patriots yet another Super Bowl win. The Seahawks should’ve just handed the ball off to their generational talent in Lynch but got too aggressive and cost themselves a championship.


This isn’t a specific moment, but it’s just a team. The heartbreak Mets fans deal with is insurmountable. Starting with the 2021 season, a team that was in first place from April all the way to August. The team proceeded to not only fall out of first place but completely fall out of playoff contention. The team finished in third place, with a losing record of 77-85. Then, they had to watch their division rivals who stole first place from them go on and win the World Series. It continues. The 2022 team turned things around. They won over 100 games. But just like the year before they led the division the entire season, until the very end. They went to Atlanta in the last week of the season, they needed just one win in three games to clinch the division. Their top 3 pitchers were lined up: Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Chris Bassit. They lost all 3 and lost out on the division. Fortunately, they were able to still qualify for the wild card. Then, they lost to the Padres in the wild card in three games. Then, their division rivals, this time the Phillies, made a miraculous run to the World Series. In the next season, they lost the face of their franchise, Jacob deGrom in free agency, traded away Mark Canha, traded away Eduardo Escobar, and pitcher Max Scherzer. They also lost Chris Bassit and David Robertson. It all came crashing down. The 2023 team was boring, they weren’t even competitive. They fell off into fourth place. This is where the organization stands as of now…

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