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5 Memorable Coin Flips

In honor of Flip Night (every Wednesday at The Front Porch), we have put together a list of the five most memorable coin flips in recent history:

5. THE PODIUM OF 1984

The NBA Draft of 1984 featured a coin flip between Houston and Portland to decide which team got the No. 1 overall pick. Houston won the toss and chose Hakeem Olajuwon as the number one pick. Portland lost and picked Sam Bowie. The real winner of the ’84 draft was Chicago who took Michael Jordan as the third overall pick.

4. BOLD STATEMENT

“We want the ball and we’re going to score!” Those were the words of Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck when he won the coin toss before the start of overtime on January 4, 2004, versus the Green Bay packers. What he didn’t know was the referee’s microphone picked up those words for everyone to hear. During Seattle’s second possession, Hassleback threw an interception that was returned 52 yards for the winning touchdown.

3. THAT’S NOT WHAT I SAID

On Thanksgiving Day 1998, Pittsburgh’s Jerome Bettis called “tails” while the coin was in the air. The coin toss resulted with “tails” facing up. Referee Phil Luckett announced Bettis had called “heads” and a controversy followed. Detroit ended up winning the game. As a result the NFL rewrote its coin-flip rule – now you have to call the flip before the coin is tossed.

2. TALE OF TWO CITIES

In 1851, two men founded a large city in Oregon together. One was from Maine and wanted to name it “Portland.” The other was from Massachusetts and wanted to name it “Boston.” A coin flip decided “Portland” as the winner.

1. THE WRIGHT STUFF

In December 1903, the Wright brothers were on the verge flying. The aircraft was not big enough for the both of them. Orville and Wilbur settled who would go first by conducting a coin flip. Wilbur won the toss and his attempt on Dec.14, 1903, stalled out, lasted barely over three seconds and wasn’t successful. Orville, the loser of the coin flip, had a flight lasting 12 seconds and 120 feet in Kitty Hawk, N.C., three days later to begin the aviation era with the historic “first flight.”

So whether you win or lose the coin flip tonight, it won’t matter much. Because unlike any of the flips we examined above, at The Front Porch you have the opportunity to keep flipping during Flip Night!