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Monday, December 14, 2009
Updated: December 15, 10:58 PM ET
A game with absolutely everything

Page 2

In the end, it's the games that matter. The anticipation that this game may produce something special. It's why we sit through Titans 47, Rams 7. It's why we sift through blogs and trade rumors and box scores. We like the games. We picked the 25 best games, matches and races of the decade -- believe us, it wasn't easy -- and listed them in reverse chronological order. We want you to rank the best. Enjoy the look back as ESPN.com writers remember these classics.

ESPN.com's 25 best games of the decade: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25

Boise State

When it was over, there was nothing left to do but stand up and scream.

In the press box.

That's a no-no.

But really, who could maintain decorum at a time like that? Who could maintain working professionalism after watching Boise State unspool every trick play in the book to upset mighty Oklahoma 43-42 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl? Who could dryly take notes on a hook-and-lateral touchdown, followed by a halfback pass touchdown, followed by a Statue of Liberty two-point conversion?

Not I, that's for sure. After the last play won the game, I found myself involuntarily on my feet yelling to everyone and no one in the University of Phoenix Stadium press box, "The Statue of Liberty?! They ran the Statue of Liberty!"

Then, of course, the entire evening veered even further into the surreal. By the time I arrived down on the field for the postgame mob scene, I learned that the guy who scored the winning two points, Boise running back Ian Johnson, had gotten down on bended knee right afterward and proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend.

Of course. Why not?

But as dazzling as the final play was, the most amazing moment was the hook-and-ladder touchdown that forced the game into overtime.

Boise had blown an 11-point fourth-quarter lead and faced a fourth-and-18 from midfield with seven seconds left. The game was over -- until Broncos coach Chris Petersen and offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin went sandlot.

Quarterback Jared Zabransky dropped back and hit Drisan James at the Oklahoma 35. As the defense converged, James lateraled to Jerard Rabb, who sprinted down the sideline untouched to score.

After Oklahoma scored in OT, Boise responded with a touchdown on a halfback pass from Vinny Perretta to Derek Schouman on fourth-and-2 from the 6. Then, Petersen made the fateful decision to play for the win -- and the inspired call of "Statue."

Jared Zabransky. Drisan James. Jerard Rabb. Vinny Perretta. Derek Schouman. Ian Johnson. You won't hear about them much in the NFL. But those names will never be forgotten in Boise, Idaho, or by those who lost all professionalism in the press box that night in Glendale, Ariz.
-- Pat Forde

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