Sports fans disagree about the most stunning games of their lives

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Sports fans of every generation remember the stunning endings to the most memorable games of their lives. For some fans old enough to see it live, it was Don Nelson beating the Lakers in the 1969 NBA Finals; others never forgot Bill Buckner's blunder in the 1986 World Series, while today's younger crowd will always remember David Tyree's helmet catch from Super Bowl XLII. Regardless of the spectators' ages and memories, two things ring true for all of them; the fans always remember the situation in which they watched the improbable finishes and they'll never agree with other people as to which was the most spectacular.

Howard Peretz hopes to capitalize on the latter of those two certainties with his new book The Sports Finish Index, in which he ranks 204 of the most memorable endings to sporting events by using a set of five specific criteria. The criteria, designed by Peretz, 74, in an effort to judge the events as objectively as possible, includes considerations such as the event's surroundings, importance and outcome of the final play.

Peretz hopes that The Sports Finish Index will not only spark conversation among sports fans of all ages, but could also teach the younger generation a thing or two about history. "Sports history is a way for young people to learn about the country," said Peretz, "I think there's very little sports history being taught, even though it's the same as art history or music history."

In part because of his 66 years of experience watching sports and the knowledge he built from writing his first book, It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Lady Sings, Peretz considers himself "the world's expert" on dramatic sports finishes. "The biggest fear for me is that I missed an event," said Peretz, "I hope people will contact me if I did; there's an email form on the website."

Peretz is also quite proud The Sports Finish Index was created from start to finish in the Phoenix area. The research, writing, editing, design and printing for the book, as well as the website, were all done by local companies and individuals.

The Sports Finish Index can be purchased at