Tomorrow is the 38th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic basketball gold medal game between the United States and the Soviet Union. In an unconscionable travesty neatly fashioned by game officials to resemble an actual competition, the Soviets were awarded a 51-50 victory that day. (Thanks to their performance, the referees went on to wildly successful professional wrestling officiating careers.)
(Thursday: USA-Russia game is 38th anniversary of USA-USSR travesty)
The game is generally regarded as the most disappointing and disputed loss in the history of American international competition. In the aftermath, the entire U.S. Olympic basketball contingent refused its silver medals. (Reggie Bush wasn’t suited up.)
You want the Cliffs?
With three seconds remaining in the game, the U.S. went up 50-49 on two free throws by Doug Collins. (Yes, same dude with the primped, bad dye job.)
The Soviets botched the ensuing inbounds pass, which should’ve given the Americans the win. But the refs inexplicably recognized an official timeout by the Soviets that they claimed was taken before the turnover. (It wasn’t.) The clock, which was down to one second, was then reset to three seconds. (Crack East German engineering.)
Then things really got fun. Read more…