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07-07-07

How lucky can you get?

July 07, 2007|Los Angeles Times

Those who believe in such things say you need only know one thing about July 7 (07-07) to understand how much luck is connected to that day: That is Ringo Starr's birthday.

Add the extra element of the year '07 and you have today, the luckiest day of the century.

For what it's worth, none of the luckiest events in sports history occurred on July 7. A sampling:

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Cal vs. Stanford, 1982: "Only a miracle could save the Bears" was the radio call as Stanford prepared to kick off to California. Everyone knows what happened next, a 25-20 Bears win after the kickoff was returned, with the help of some lucky laterals, through the Stanford band.

N.C. State vs. Houston, 1983: Lorenzo Charles caught Derek Whittenberg's airball and scored the winning basket in the final second for a 54-52 upset over the Cougars for the NCAA basketball championship.

Pittsburgh vs. Oakland, 1972: Franco Harris was a blocking back on the play who wandered downfield. The next thing he knew, Terry Bradshaw's pass had bounced off someone -- we still don't know who -- and into his hands. Harris carried it for the winning touchdown in a 13-7 victory over the Raiders in an AFC playoff game. NFL Films later called it "the greatest play of all time." Others call it the Immaculate Reception.

Short-track speedskating, 2002: Australia's Steven Bradbury made the final in the 1,000 meters at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics only because a competitor in the semifinals was disqualified. Badly outclassed, Bradbury hung back, just trying to stay out of the way of the four other finalists. He managed that so well that he was not close to the pileup when all four went down. He was the only one standing at the finish, giving the Aussies their first winter gold medal ever. "Maybe I'm not the most deserving guy," he said.

NBA coin toss, 1979: The Chicago Bulls called heads. When it came up tails, the Lakers had the first draft choice. They took Magic Johnson. It was perhaps the luckiest day in the history of the franchise. Ultimately, it didn't turn out so badly for the Bulls either. They remained a downtrodden franchise, assuring them more high draft choices. In 1984, they used the third pick overall on Michael Jordan.

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Los Angeles Times

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