GREAT moments in sports, a term that usually conjures up images of some superlative and unforgettable moment that remains etched in the memory as an all-time triumphant accomplishment.
Those moments are enshrined in the record books, we watch them on television, and we share the stories with each other oftentimes with dubious claims of having been there.
These are the classical innings that are replayed over and over, like Usain Bolt's double dip at the Olympics, Tiger Woods becoming the youngest Masters champion in the history of golf at age 21, Jesse Owens upsetting Hitler's claims to Aryan racial superiority by setting three world records in the Berlin Olympics in 1936, Mohammed Ali's "Rope a Dope" off the ropes to beat Foreman in Zaire, and Roger Banister breaking the 4-minute mile barrier in 1954.
These are the best moments we want to remember, amazing events that will last a lifetime in our recollections, stories that take on extraordinary proportions and sometimes reach the zenith of the unbelievable.
Whole reams are written about these wonderful achievements, but not enough about the equally great moments that occur behind the scenes and off the field. The accounts of the day's play in cricket, for example, too often read like a page out of the scorebook, with bland recitals of statistics and results that are all too often more of the same, and quite frankly boring. It is when the reporter goes beyond the boundary to delve into the humanity of sport, the insights into what happened in the dressing room, the personal psyche of players that may have led to their rise or fall, the reactions of the fans, the emotions of the coaches, that's where I come in.
I already know the score, but nothing beats the excitement and atmosphere of a Test match as portrayed by a Henry Blofeld's description of the colours around the ground, or our own Roy Lawrence's enthusiastic "Good morning, sports fans, the breeze is shining and the sun is blowing here at Sabina Park this morning".
Blofeld's comment on his broadcasting style is right up my street. "I think it's terribly important to step over the boundary and see the humour of sport as everything is better in life if you laugh."
There are those great, or odd moments in sports that are so off the cuff and unbelievable that we want to 'rewind and play them again' and again. For example, you may have seen when Mike Tyson bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear in the ring in 1997, but did you remember that he came back to bite him on the other ear?
And what about the infamous 'hand of God' goal by Maradona, one of the most controversial goals in World Cup history, and which enabled a 2-1 defeat of England in 1986?
And the questions that were never answered on the field of play. What was the relationship like between Ali and Joe Frazier?
Frazier provided a partial answer years after their historic encounters when the two met amicably in London in 1989 to promote a video, Champions Forever.
"I didn't like him," said Joe Frazier of Ali, "but, I got to say [that] in the ring he was a man. In Manila I hit him with punches that would have knocked down a building, but he shook me, and he won."
We have read countless reports on the West Indies-Australia tour 1960 -- 61 which saw the first tied Test in history. A story behind the scenes, and making the great moments in sports in my book, is the royal farewell that was given to the West Indies team when they left Melbourne after the final Test. Over 500,000 persons lined the streets to give the West Indies a ticker-tape send-off. Many in the procession and in the crowd wept. And as they left the hotel to join the motorcade, Frank Worrell, the captain, was given a tumultuous reception by 2,000 people as he walked out of the lobby. Of such was the impact our team had on a whole country and a mighty cricket nation.
I have had my fair share of these great moments which will never make the history books. Arriving a few precious minutes late at the National Stadium to watch the Kingston College 1964 football team -- arguably the best schoolboy aggregation yet -- play an invitational Brazilian youth team, I found myself locked out of the overcrowded stadium with a ticket in my pocket and nowhere to go but up. Literally, I was swept up on the shoulders of a boisterous group of gate beaters who had found themselves in my situation and were determined to watch the match which we had all paid to see.
In a second I was hoisted on the top of a three-man pyramid and told to climb the remaining 9 feet up the wall. Poised precariously and hanging onto the wall surface, a well known civil servant shouted to me to take off my shoes and throw them over. I kissed my Clarks goodbye, but when I rolled over the top to my surprise the shoes were handed to me and I was told to disappear in the crowd. That's when I discovered that there is honour among thieves.
To my discomfort, the incident not only made the press but included my picture in the crowd, which created a mild scandal in the family and the butt of jokes from friends for many years to come.
John Richards, sportswriter and cricketer, put together a number of hilarious stories on cricket that never quite made the record books, which I call great moments, but which he refers to as "some strange and unusual occurrences which I have observed on and off the field".
He tells of a Senior Cup match between Lucas and Kingston when eight Kingston batsmen were given out leg before by one umpire, Corporal Eddie Cope. And from appeals from one bowler, A F Terrelonge. This is one for the Wisden record books.
Then there was this memorable game at Kew in Hanover, when one of the umpires, who was the Busha of the property, insisted on doing duty on the back of a large grey mule. He was also the owner of a large Alsatian dog which was far from friendly. With the score on 76 for 9 and Kew needing only six to win, the ball went off the pads towards fine leg when suddenly the dog ran onto the field, grabbed it and resisted every attempt to retrieve it. Its owner -- the umpire -- remained unconcerned while the batsmen ran the six runs and won the match.
Well, what can I add to that? I was a member of the Larmond's All Stars team in St Ann that lost all 15 of their matches in one season in 1975, but, I might add, in very good spirits.
So, this Saturday give us your scores, your winners, your averages, your points. But also give us your stories from the stands, behind the scenes, in the boardrooms. I will be in front of the TV watching for those great unheralded moments in sports.
Lance Neita is a comunications and public relations specialist and can be contacted at email@example.com