What’s not to like about football? There’s skill, there’s head bashing and there are cheerleaders–all things that men love. But the true spirit of the game comes from the emotion, the drama and the tears. MTV2′s new show “The Ride” will provide those things in droves, and to get you in the spirit we’ve put together this list of the greatest heartwarming moments in football history. Caution: Have a tissue ready.
5. The day after he lost his father, Brett Farve played one of the greatest games of his career, throwing four touchdowns in a Monday night game against the lowly Raiders. Favre has certainly got his issues, but the man’s guts cannot be denied. When Raiders fans root for an opposing player, you know something special is happening.
4. Holding Superbowl XLIV in New Orleans was already emotional considering the city’s rough recovery from Katrina. The Saints winning the game made it that much better. The icing on the cake, though, was this scene with Drew Brees and his son sharing the win together. Excuse us. We have some confetti in our eyes.
3. Witness true sportsmanship at its best. Accomplishing every high school football player’s dream of scoring a touchdown, Ike Ditzenberger, who has Down syndrome, can be seen here running for his life as the crowd cheers him on all while four players attempt to tackle him in the process. Ike scored. The world cried.
2. When the San Diego Chargers released LaDainian Tomlinson after a nine season stint with the team, everyone felt it. But LT2 felt it most of all. These days, though, we can’t help but think that the Chargers are regretting their decision to let go one of the greatest running backs to play the game.
1. When America came under attack on Sept. 11, Pat Tillman left his career in the NFL to join the army. He served multiple tours in combat before getting killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire. We’ll leave the story of how Tillman died and the ensuing government cover-up for another day, and instead focus here on Sept. 19, 2004, the day on which Tillman was honored by the entire NFL. There was a ceremony in Arizona that day, and all teams wore a number 40 decal on their helmets to honor him. Touching stuff.
For more tear-jerking football moments, and some not-so-tear-jerking ones too, watch “The Ride” on MTV2 Saturday, Nov. 13 at 11 p.m.