Starting Lineups: YouTube Was Made For The Sports Fan


What did sports fans do before YouTube? Work? That's only a joke, but there is some seriousness to it. I've spent countless hours searching athlete highlight reels — for the record Pavel Datsyuk, Eric Cantona, his holiness Dennis Bergkamp, Matthew Le Tissier and Peter Forsberg have gotten the most play — and reliving my favorite plays.

YouTube is great for old sports shows as well. You can find nearly every “Beyond the Glory” episode on there in addition to ESPN's “The Season.” I particularly enjoyed watching the 2003-04 Colorado Avalanche receive the front and center treatment. Not only did the show feature the likes Joe Sakic, Forsberg, Teemu Selanne, Rob Blake and a handful of other tremendous players, it also provided some head-shaking moments. These included Paul Kariya on Halloween and a curious amount of camera time for fourth-line enforcer Peter Worrell. Is it because he's black? ESPN isn't that shameless ... is it?

Aside from killing time, YouTube is also necessary for the hurting sports fan. For example, my Philadelphia Flyers just lost 7-2 to the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. It was the latest embarrassing defeat in a season full of them. In decades past, who knows what I would have done.

Luckily for me, I grew up and live in the YouTube era. So while this iteration of the Flyguys continues to disappoint on the ice, I'll turn to highlights from the team's glorious past. For example, here's the final three and half minutes of Game 6 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Darcy Tucker hit on Sami Kapanen. Keith Primeau, a man whose career ended because of concussions, ironically guiding Kapanen to the bench. Bob Cole on the call. Robert Esche in goal. Mats Sundin. Bob Cole. That hit on Kapanen, though. John LeClair. No whistles. Bob Cole. And finally, Jeremy Roenick.

Most of my memories of Jeremy Roenick were wiped clear when he cried (hey, that's on YouTube too!) after the 2010 Stanley Cup. “It's the Chicago Blackhawks, man.” Yeah, you also played for the Flyers you ungrateful (Rev take over from here, #RevRage).

That shot will live on though. The entire game will, really. And thanks to YouTube I have it (Oh, and you have well over an hour of sports linked in this article. You're welcome).

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