The Amazing Year That Was 1986 Sports

This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the most dramatic years in sports history, that of 1986. Consider the following…

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*It was the year of the legendary Penn State-Miami college football national championship game and the Bill Buckner error that haunted Red Sox Nation for 18 years. Either of these events is on the short list in the discussion for most dramatic sports moment of the modern era. To have both of them in the same year puts 1986 sports right at the forefront of greatness. But there was more…
*The baseball postseason was already shaping up as one of MLB’s best ever, even before the Buckner play. The ALCS matchup of the Red Sox and Angels, along with the NLCS battle between the Mets and Astros were each filled with drama and plot twists.
*John Elway delivered The Drive for which he is most remembered, the 98-yard march in the closing minutes of the AFC Championship Game at Cleveland to tie a game the Broncos eventually won in overtime. Think about this—this is a Hall of Fame quarterback authoring his signature moment and it was, at best, the third-most dramatic event in the year of 1986 sports.
*The college football season had plenty of action outside of Penn State and Miami. It was the time of Switzer and The Boz at Oklahoma, of Jim Harbaugh quarterbacking Michigan and guaranteeing a win at Ohio State.
*How about college basketball? The NCAA championship game was a nailbiter between Louisville and Duke. It’s noteworthy in that it was the first appearance on the national stage for Mike Krzyzewski and the last one for Denny Crum, who heretofore had been considered “Mr. March.” Monday night in Dallas represented two ships passing in the night.
*The NBA and NHL didn’t have incredible drama, but they did have two proud franchises winning championships. The Boston Celtics were perhaps the greatest champion of all time as they demolished the league. And the Montreal Canadiens briefly interrupted Wayne Gretzky’s domination of the NHL to capture a Stanley Cup.
TheSportsNotebook has preserved all the great memories of 1986 sports through the following content offerings…
*The season-long narrative of the 1986 college football season. This download starts from the beginning and the championship hopes of Penn State, Miami and Oklahoma and goes through the entire year. You’ll look back on not just the national championship push, but the key games in conference races week-in and week-out and every major bowl game. Download the story of the 1986 college football season today.
*A compilation of articles that tell the story of the 1986 MLB season from the eyes of its best teams. We look at the four division winners—Mets, Red Sox, Angels and Astros on their paths through the regular season. Then it’s time to go game-by-game into the postseason, all the historic moments and including the little ones that time forgot. Download the 1986 MLB season today.
*The 1986 NFL season is shared through a compilation of articles that tell the story of nine different playoff teams—from the Super Bowl champion New York Giants to Elway’s Broncos, to Marty Schottenheimer’s Browns to a lot more. We also look at the Dallas Cowboys in the year that the excellence of head coach Tom Landry finally ended after two decades of playoff teams. Download the 1986 NFL season today.
You can also read individual articles on…
*The Road To The 1986 Final Four—see how Louisville, Duke, Kansas and surprising LSU made their way to Dallas.
*The season-long narratives of the Celtics and the Canadiens, starting from the early days of October and November and going game-by-game through their postseason runs.
The year of 1986 sports was one that created moments that defined a generation. Read about all of them and a lot more at