Today, "The Greatest Game Ever Played" opens in movie theaters around the country. It's a film about Francis Ouimet, a young amateur who won the U.S. Open in 1913 against the best professional golfers in the world.
I know the folks at Disney gave the movie its name because they are trying to get people to go see the film. Who would go to a movie called "A Pretty Exciting Golf Match From Long Ago"? But there is no way Ouimet's win is "The Greatest Game Ever Played."
So what was? That's a tough one. There have been lots of great games in different sports.
Pro football fans always talk about the 1958 NFL championship game between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts. As the shadows lengthened at Yankee Stadium and final seconds ticked away, Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas passed Baltimore into position for a field goal that tied the game. In overtime, Unitas led the Colts down the field again for the winning score. No wonder there is a statue of Johnny U outside the Baltimore Ravens football stadium.
In baseball, it's tough to top the sixth game of the 1975 World Series, when Carlton Fisk of the Boston Red Sox hit his famous arm-waving home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 7-6. But I think last year's Red Sox-Yankees American League Championship Series might have been even more exciting.
There must a million great hoops games. Every NCAA tournament has one or two with a heart-pounding finish. I think the best was the 1992 "Christian Laettner game" when the Duke all-American made every one of his shots (10 field goals and 10 free throws), including a basket at the buzzer to beat the Kentucky Wildcats, 104-103.
Hockey has one game that stands above all the rest -- the 1980 Olympic classic between the United States and the Soviet Union, when a bunch of U.S. college kids beat the greatest team in the world. I can still hear the crowd chanting "USA . . . USA . . . USA . . ."
But wait a minute. The pros and big-time college and Olympic teams don't play every great game. Kids play great games, too. My son Liam's last high school baseball game was a four-star classic. Liam hurled a three-hitter, but Blair High School still lost to Sherwood in a heartbreaker, 2-1.
And there was the time my daughter Kerry's recreational league softball team played with only seven girls. They beat a good team, even without anyone at third base or in center field.
If you keep playing, you might be in a great game: one of those memorable games when the lead goes back and forth and the winner isn't decided until the very last moment.
Maybe your game will not be "The Greatest Game Ever Played," but it will be "The Greatest Game You Ever Played." And that's the greatest game of all.
Fred Bowen writes KidsPost's Friday sports opinion column and is the author of sports novels for kids.