January 7, 1972: The LA Lakers won their 33rd straight game on January 7, 1972 beating the Atlanta Hawks 134-90 and setting a record for longest NBA winning streak. The would go on to lose their next game against the Milwaukee Bucks two days later, but their record still stands today.
January 7, 2012: On January 7, 2012 Argentine footballer Lionel Messi won the FIFA Ballon d’Or Award for the third year straight. Messi won 48 percent of the vote, while runner up Cristiano Ronaldo won only 22 percent. The superstar would go on to add two more Ballon d’Or’s to his collection, one the following year and another for the 2016 season.
January 8, 1993: On January 8, 1993, Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan became the 18th NBA player to reach 20,000 career point, and the second fastest to reach the milestone. Jordan scored his 20,000th point in his 620th game. The only person to score 20k faster was Wilt Chamberlain, who did it in 499 games. Point no. 20,000 came on a three-pointer in the fourth quarter.
January 8, 2000: Tis the season for late season and NFL playoff heroics. On January 8, 2000, in a Wild Card Playoff game, the Tennessee Titans were able to pull off what is now known as the “Music City Miracle.” Buffalo’s Steve Christie kicked a 51-yard FG, giving the Bills a 16-15 lead with just 16 seconds left in the game. Then Tennessee’s Kevin Dyson returned a lateral on the kickoff 75 yards for a TD, scoring the winning touchdown with just three seconds on the clock, winning 22-16.
January 8, 2012: This is remembered as one of the wildest Wild Card games of all. On January 8, 1012, the underdog Broncos, led by Tim Tebow, defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on an 80-yard pass in the first play of overtime. What made it the 3:16 game? It came three years to the day after Tebow’s BCS National Championship game in which he wrote John 3:16 in paint on his cheeks, sending fans everywhere to Google what it means. But even more than that: in that Wild Card game, Tebow threw for 316 yards and averaged 31.6 yards per completion. Eerie enough for you?
January 8, 2013: On January 8, 2013, while a member of the LA Lakers, Steve Nash became only the fifth player in league history to record 10,000 assists. Assist no. 10,000 was a pass to Antawn Jamison in a game against the Houston Rockets. The four other guys on the 10k list? Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Mark Jackson and Jason Kidd.
January 9, 1958: Oscar Robertson made his Madison Square Garden debut on January 9, 1958, while playing for the University of Cincinnati. It was the Big East Tournament, and Robertson scored 56 points against Seton Hall, setting a new Garden record for both pro and college ball. He scored more points than all of Seton Hall’s players combined, who managed just 54. The Bearcats won the game 118-54.
January 9, 1979: The Boston Bruins honored the great Bobby Orr on January 9, 1979 by retiring his #4 jersey. Orr played in Boston for ten years, winning two Stanley Cups and a long list of awards.
January 9, 1991: On January 9, 1991, legendary college basketball coach Dean Smith of UNC became only the sixth coach to reach 700 career coaching wins. The W was a 105-73 victory over Maryland in front of the home crowd. He finished his career with 879 wins in 36 years of coaching.
January 10, 1982: You could argue that standing inside of a freezer was actually warmer than the temperatures at the “Freezer Bowl,” when the Cincinnati Bengals met the San Diego Chargers in -59°F degree weather – with wind chill – with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. The Bengals beat the Chargers 27-7 that day, advancing to the Super Bowl but eventually losing to the 49ers.
January 10, 1982: “The Catch” is considered one of the greatest and most iconic moments in NFL history. With less than a minute to play in an NFC Championship game between the 49ers and Cowboys, Niners QB Joe Montana was facing three defenders, forcing him to fade backwards before throwing a pass to Dwight Clark in the end zone. Clark made the miraculous catch with his fingertips, sending San Francisco to the Super Bowl, where they beat the Bengals who had just survived the Freezer Bowl.
January 11, 1987: On January 11, 1987, Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway led the team to an AFC Championship after a drive that is now simply known as “The Drive.” The Broncos were trailing the Cleveland Browns 20-13 with just 5:32 remaining in the game. Denver started the drive on their own 98 yard line, and Elway masterfully led the team on a 15-play drive that resulted in a touchdown to tie the game. They would go on to win with a 33-yard field goal in overtime.
January 13, 1962: Wilt Chamberlain could score, we all know that. On January 13, 1962, Wilt put up 73 points against the Chicago Packers in a 135-117 win. He added another 36 rebounds and wasn’t the only member of the Warriors in double figures.
January 13, 1999: On January 13, 1999 basketball legend Michael Jordan announced his retirement for the second, yet not final, time. The six-time NBA Champion stayed in retirement for three years before returning to the league and playing two seasons in Washington.
January 7, 1985 F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton was born in Stevenage, England
January 7, 1991 Belgian footballer Eden Hazard was born in La Louvière, Belgium
January 9, 1978 Former American football player Chad Johnson was born in Miami, FL
January 10, 1949 World Heavyweight champion George Foreman was born in Marshall, TX
January 12, 1930 Canadian hockey player Tim Horton was born in Cochrane, Ontario, Canada
January 12, 1944 Heavyweight champion Joe Frazier was born in Beaufort, SC