ESPN Australia/NZ: The best live sporting moments we've witnessed

The pause button has been hit on live sport across the globe. But the memories of the great moments will never fade, as journalists reveal the best live sporting moments they've witnessed.

In no particular order, here are our selections:

2011, Tour de France: Cadel Evans makes history

Stuart Randall: It was my first Tour. There as a producer for SBS, driving around France for three-and-a-half weeks, from the Vendee on the Atlantic coast, through the Massif Centrale, the Pyrenees, into the Alps and back to Paris. The scale of the event blew me away. It's like nothing else. The number of people roadside, the size of the climbs, the sheer fact that you were basically taking a stadium set up on the road for 21 successive stages.

And the beauty of the sport and the environment. Breathtaking. It was an unforgettable journey, capped off by the fact we got an Aussie winner! From watching Cadel claw back the time as the snow hung in the air on the Galibier, to being transfixed by the Grenoble time trial, no one daring to move or talk as we saw Evans take back all the time from Andy Schleck to guarantee the win.

The emotion as he crossed the line, and then the adrenalin to have to go live and make sense of it all just moments later. And then it's a TGV, Paris, the jersey, Tina Arena singing Advance Australia Fair. Amazing moments. Historic moments. The magic of sport.

1998, Bledisloe Cup, Game 3: Australia vs. New Zealand, Sydney Football Stadium

Sam Bruce: Being from the bush, trips to Sydney were a big deal when I was a kid. And they didn't come any bigger than when you got to go to the footy. The year was 1998 and I was 12 at the time; I'd been looking forward to this trip for some time and the prospect of watching a Bledisloe Cup decider. But Australia had already regained the Cup with victories in the first two games. I remember telling my old man how bummed I was that I wasn't going to a decider. His response: "Don't say that, don't ever say that, the Bledisloe is ours and that's all that matters." Some 22 years later, in the middle of a 17-year drought, that now makes perfect sense.

Anyway, in a packed Sydney Football Stadium, the Wallabies trailed New Zealand 11-0 before John Eales kicked Australia back into the contest. Still trailing 14-9 as the clock wound down, George Gregan darted down the blindside and then offloaded to Matt Burke; the fullback cutting back on the angle and touching down just as Christian Cullen arrived in cover. The Stadium erupted. I'd never experienced anything like it.

When the elation finally died down, the crowd realised Burke had done his shoulder in the act of scoring. John Eales then slotted the conversion, and a further penalty for a 19-14 win. A Bledisloe sweep. Good times. Oh how I long for their return.

2017, Boxing: Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn, Suncorp Stadium

Jake Michaels: As an avid sports fan and journalist for ESPN, I've been lucky enough to attend some incredible events all over the world, but there's one experience which comfortably sits head and shoulders above the others. The day was July 2nd, 2017. Little-known Queenslander Jeff Horn was squaring off with Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight world title fight and I was playing the role of ESPN boxing reporter.

I remember being one of the first to arrive at the stadium and gazing around the empty grandstands - with each passing hour they began to fill to capacity, as did the playing surface around the ring which was soon jam-packed with thousands of, um, lubricated fans. As the fight drew closer, I stationed myself ringside (lucky, I know!) and I'll never forget the emotion which suddenly came over me when Horn walked out and Advance Australia Fair rung around the stadium.

The moment I remember most from this day was the ninth round where a series of Pacquiao punches had Horn on the ropes. Never in my life have I heard a crowd so loud and so passionate. The atmosphere inside was electric as locals willed on their man. Horn refused to throw in the towel and finished with a flurry to earn one of the most remarkable, albeit controversial, wins in boxing history.

Not a week goes by where I don't think about that day.

2005, AFL Grand Final: Sydney vs. West Coast, MCG

Mike Wise: Re-watching the final four minutes of the 2005 AFL Grand Final so I can write these few lines, and my eyes STILL well up.

This was a match that had everything: A fierce rivalry, some genuine Hall of Famers in Chris Judd and Adam Goodes, an underdog victory and, of course, drama in the dying second with Leo Barry and that mark.

For me, however, the memory will always be a personal one. Tickets were scarce, even for members, and my dad and I had to sleep overnight in line out the front of the SCG to make sure we got enough for the whole family -- eight standing-room only tickets. Exhausted from the long drive down from Sydney the day before, by the time it got to the fourth quarter everyone -- Swans, Wises, Eagles -- were out on their feet. That's why the emotion was so raw when the final siren went after Barry's mark. Seventy-two years Bloods fans had waited for that moment. SEVENTY-TWO! The longest drought in AFL history was broken.

My dad reminded me at the time that some people go their whole lives not seeing their team win a premiership, let alone seeing it in person, so I needed to cherish it. And I do.

2016, NFL: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field

Matt Walsh: There's nothing easy about trying to watch your NFL team on the road, especially if they're playing Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field - in frigid November weather. But lucky for me, a Dallas Cowboys fan, literally everything that could go right, did.

In fairness, the ticket cost me A$350. It was one of the year's most anticipated match-ups. But waking up to a beautiful 12 degrees Celsius day was putting a smile on my face, as was the fact I found some friendly fans to tailgate with before the game. Then the game turned out to be arguably the year's best contest. The Cowboys, led by Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott, took at 29-24 lead with less than two minutes remaining.

Enter Big Ben. The Steelers quarterback marched his team down the field, pulled out an OUTRAGEOUS fake spike and then threw a perfect ball to Antonio Brown for the go-ahead TD with only 42 seconds to go. The place was going bananas. I had strangers yelling at me, slapping me on the back and filming my reaction. All I could do was laugh. Steelers up 30-29.

Then Dak orchestrated one of the best game-winning drives you'll see. Combined with a little bit of help from a 15-yard facemask penalty, it set up Zeke to bulldoze his way 32 yards for the winning TD with just nine seconds left on the clock. Unbelievable scenes.

To cap it off, walking back to my Airbnb, I found a $20 note on the ground. *chefs kiss*

1997, 1st Ashes Test, Day 1: Australia vs. England, Edgbaston Oval

Darren Arthur: As the tour group filed through the old brick gateway at Edgbaston Oval for the first Test of the 1997 Ashes, the hairs on the back of my neck were already dancing in anticipation. The group I was with had been in England for just over a week and had played a couple of games against local teams, so we were well-acclimatised and suitably hydrated. It was my first time attending an international cricket game outside of Australia and as we found our seats in the Eric Hollies Stand, we were greeted by jeers and chants from the locals. Beers in hand, we settled in for the experience of a lifetime as Australia won the toss and batted first on the notoriously difficult pitch.

The atmosphere was incredible, with the Barmy Army lifting the enthusiasm of their fabled singing as Mark Taylor walked to the centre with partner Matthew Elliott. No one, not even the most fervent local, expected what was to follow. A steady stream of wickets saw the tourists slump to 8 for 54, including the loss of Steve Waugh, Ian Healy and Michael Bevan with the score stuck on 48. With each victim, the volume of the home crowd noise rose and the grandstand shook a little harder. A late fightback from Shane Warne (47) and Michael Kasprowicz (17) saved some face with Australia scraping to a total of 118.

Before stumps, the Australians gave us something to cheer about as they picked up a couple of early wickets, but Nasser Hussain steadied the ship as he started an innings that would progress to 207 the following day. Australia fought back in the second innings, but ultimately lost the Test by nine wickets. That first day will live long in my memory as one of the best and worst live sport spectating experiences of my life.

2009 AFL Grand Final: St Kilda vs. Geelong, MCG

Niall Seewang: A full MCG is always awe-inspiring, especially for something as important as an AFL Grand Final, but this was next level. It was the first Grand Final I'd ever covered professionally and while most journalists strictly adhere to the 'no cheering in the press box' rule, that was soon thrown out the window during a gripping, edge-of-your-seat decider played at an intensity I'd never witnessed before or since.

Geelong were of course striving to win a second flag in three years to establish a dynasty, while perennial strugglers St Kilda were trying to secure just their second premiership in more than 100 years. The contest itself was brutal from start to finish - the greasy conditions ensured this was never going to be a high-quality, end-to-end contest. Instead, bodies crashed into each other from the first minute to the last, with St Kilda's 118 tackles setting a new record (at the time) as the highest by any team in any game, and the combined total of 214 tackles the second highest ever at the time.

Several times, the MCG grandstands shook while I couldn't just hear the guttural roars emanating from the 'G, I could feel them, like the deep bass line at a gig when you're standing in the front row and the volume is turned up way too high.

As the match reached its crescendo, those in the press box abandoned all ambitions of acting professionally. Instead, we were screaming pained roars at the action on the ground and the replays on TV, leaping, tensing, covering our eyes and staring wide eyed at each other as if to ask 'is this actually happening?'

Of course, the Cats would go on to win 12 points (the biggest lead of the entire match) and despite having no dog in the fight, as they say, it's still the best live sporting event I've witnessed.

2020, Super Bowl LIV: Kansas City vs. San Francisco, Hard Rock Stadium

Laurie Horesh: For all the drama of a Test century, a golden point field goal or a drought-breaking Grand Final win, nothing compares to the grandiose splendour and explosive energy of a Super Bowl live.

Analysts love to discuss whether 'momentum' has a real impact on games, but if you didn't believe in it before, witnessing Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins ignite a fourth quarter comeback against the Niners made you a convert.

Feeling the 'Chiefs Kingdom' physically shake the Hard Rock beneath our feet as the San Francisco sideline faded in the final exchanges, it was hard not to feel the NFL flex the magnitude of their showpiece night. Between J-Lo and Shakira turning grizzly football tragics into hip-shakers in their seats and The Rock cutting an Attitude Era WWE promo to introduce the stars, pageantry and showmanship doesn't come with more glittering neon lighting.

2014, 2014 Super Rugby Final: Waratahs vs. Crusaders, ANZ Stadium

Brittany Mitchell: It was my first year working as a sports journalist and my first game to ever report live.

As a long-suffering Australian rugby fan who has only vague memories of the Wallabies' glory days, the Waratahs' spectacular run to the 2014 Super Rugby final and the ensuing victory remains one of the highlights of my life.

I can vividly remember how nervous I was as I got to the stadium and watched the crowd pack the stands as the Waratahs and Crusaders warmed up on the pitch. More than 61,000 people flooded through the gates and the 'Waratahs' chants were deafening.

Kick-off to the final minutes felt like seconds. I was on my feet for both Adam Ashley-Cooper's tries, while I resorted to biting my nails whenever the Crusaders hit back. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack as Bernard Foley lined up his match winning penalty. Even to this day I cry rewatching those final moments as Foley slotted the 45m penalty to get one point ahead before Brendan McKibbin put the ball into touch after the fulltime hooter to seal the Waratahs' first Super Rugby title.

The victory was made sweeter considering it was a Richie McCaw's side entry penalty that gave the Waratahs the chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

2019, UFC 243: Whittaker vs Adesanya, Marvel Stadium

Jamie van Leeuwen: I've never felt such electric anticipation quite like the minutes leading up to the UFC middleweight title fight at Marvel Stadium in 2019. After months of speculation, fiery press conferences and expert predictions, a record crowd was packed in and primed to watch New Zealand's Israel Adesanya dethrone Robert Whittaker and announce himself as a genuine star.

The 60,000 strong crowd erupted when Adesanya darted into the spotlight and performed a choreographed, pre-fight dance routine unlike anyone had seen before. His slick display continued into the Octagon where Whittaker, who had earned a reputation by bashing and crashing his way through opponents on his way to claiming the UFC title two years prior. But the Australian couldn't land a clean hit on his opponent and found himself face down on the canvas early in the second round. In terms of pure entertainment - this one ticked all the boxes.

It's a special thing when an event lives up to the hype and it'll be hard to top an atmosphere like that one.