Monday, March 25, 2019

Because I was so inspired by my One Word Wednesday: Hope post this morning that honored President Obama, I decided to do a sports version with my 20 favorite sports photos that symbolize the word Hope. Like everything else I try to take on, this took on a life of its own and grew far bigger than I wanted it to be.

Over the next five days I will be bringing you my newest “countdown.” It’s similar to my Top Sports Moments / Top Commercials of 2008 series’ that I did a few weeks ago except this time I’m not going to rank them. I don’t feel like these moments can be judged or ranked because they are all so iconic. So symbolic. So powerful, inspirational and meaningful that they can not be put in an order. Instead, the photos have been placed in a one word category:

Hope. Believe. Inspire. Imagine. Dream.

Each day I will post a new category with pictures or moments I believe truly define those words. Feel free to email me if you have a photo you think needs to be in one of those lists!


This is a tricky one. How do you define Hope? How do you put a finger on how it feels? Yesterday marked a day of Hope for Americans, and for the world. Hope that a change is coming. Hope that anything can happen. Hope that if we work hard, one day our dreams will come true.

I picked today’s moments because they too, had the same effect. They gave hope to millions of people all over the world in times when they needed it the most.

James Braddock, aka The Cinderella Man, and his fight against Max Baer.

I just recently watched Cinderella Man and the impact that this man, this fight, had on America was profound. The fight took place in the height of the Great Depression. Like most, Braddock had lost everything and in this fight, he was the quintessential Every Man. He represented the hope of every man, every family, that they too, could fight back and win.

Like Braddock, Seabiscuit was another figure that gave great hope to America during the Depression.

The little horse that was a nobody, who became a somebody. The race in Pimlico against favored War Admiral became the “match of the century.” Over 40,000 people came from all over the country to watch race. To give you a reference–the new Yankee Stadium holds a little over 52,000 people.  Over 40 million listened to the race on the radio. And this was in 1938! Not the technology and transportation friendly times of today. After the win, Seabiscuit was proclaimed Horse of the Year. The other story that inspired hope in all of the country was the tale of Seabiscuit and his down-on-his luck jockey, Red Pollard. The two overcame so much together–twice–to become legendary.

Muhammed Ali lighting the cauldron at the 1996 Olympics.

People were devastated to find that great legend Muhammed Ali had advanced Parkinson’s disease. People didn’t want to imagine him old and frail. They needed to see him as the fighter. And they got their wish in the Summer Olympics when Ali was the surprise finale of the carrying of the Olympic torch to light the cauldron. Ali stood powerful and tall as he once again ignited the hope of people all over the world.

The 1992 USA Dream Team, Magic Johnson, and being proud to be and American

And, a slight bit of humor. The moment is definitely symbolic and icon but well…… 🙂

Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio show that once upon a time, the Red Sox and the Yankees could co-exist peacefully. I hope one day……

Up next tomorrow IMAGINE

About the author: Jennifer Taglione is the owner of this fabulous website Stiletto Sports. Despite writing well over 500 posts, she still maintains that she is not a sports writer! She is however a huge fan of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Mark Sanchez, the Celtics, and totally kicks butt on March Madness brackets! Connect with her by following her on Twitter @StilettoSportsJ and subscribing to her weekly newsletter. For more info check out the About the Editor page!

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2 Responses

  1. isabella mori Said,

    came here through wordless wednesday. you have a really interesting series going here. will you keep it up?

    Posted on January 29th, 2009 at 12:28 am

  2. Stiletto Jen Said,

    I’m glad you liked it! The series is finished but there are other pieces in the series besides Hope. There is Imagine, Inspire, Believe, Dream and Courage.

    Posted on January 29th, 2009 at 10:29 am

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