15 Moments to Remind You That Nothing Held a Mirror to Sports Like “Seinfeld”
News that’s sure to make you feel old: the last episode of Seinfeld aired on this date 15 years ago. (Damn.) The common refrain is that Seinfeld was a show about nothing; what that actually means is that it was a show about everything. Universalities were identified and deconstructed with such thoroughness that they were elevated into absurdity, yet all the while retaining their relatability. It was one of the most impressive feats in TV history, and one NBC would love to recreate right about now. Being that the Seinfeld covered everything, sports regularly made its way into the plots—so much so that it was tough to select just 15 of the best scenes to highlight. But we fought through it, for you. Grandpa.
15. The Pledge Drive (1994)
George is driving the Yankees’ then-rightfielder Danny Tartabull to a fundraiser, but veers off course in pursuit of a man who gave him the finger. (Begins at the 2:30 mark.)
14. The Comeback (1997)
Seinfeld agrees to let Milos — a tennis racquet salesman who can’t play tennis — beat him in order to save Milos’ marriage, but Milos takes the gloating a little too far.
13. The Lip Reader (1993)
Kramer aces his tryout to become a U.S. Open ball boy. (The 3:20 mark.)
Later in the episode, he’d lose the job after accidentally knocking out Monica Seles. If you have a clip or GIF of that scene, I’ll trade a non-vital organ for it.
12. The Chaperone (1994)
George convinces Buck Showalter to let the Yankees wear cotton uniforms.
11. The Abstinence (1996)
George, who at this point is a genius because his mind is completely off sex, gives Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter some hitting tips.
10. The Jimmy (1995)
“These? These are Jimmy’s training shoes. Jimmy couldn’t jump at all before he got these.”
9. The Opposite (1994)
As George experiments with doing the opposite of what he’d normally do, his harsh words for George Steinbrenner are countered with a job offer.
8. The Understudy (1995)
Bette Midler heckles George in a softball game.
(Unfortunately the rest of the scene, in which George runs her over in a play at the plate, does not readily exist in embeddable video. Unless it does, in which case the organ offer applies here, too.)
7. The Race (1994)
In a rematch of a race from high school, which Jerry was accused of winning due to an inadvertent head start, Kramer’s car backfires and it happens again.
6. The Hot Tub (1995)
George entertains a group of foul-mouthed Houston Astros executives, who are in New York to discuss Interleague Play.
5. The Face Painter (1995)
Elaine was not too pleased when her boyfriend, Puddy, painted his face for a Devils-Rangers game.
Actor Patrick Warburton reprised the role at a 1995 Devils game:
4. The Wink (1995)
Kramer promised a kid in the hospital that Paul O’Neill would hit two home runs.
3.The Caddy (1996)
George’s co-workers at the Yankees mistakenly believe that he is dead, and when Steinbrenner informs the Costanza family, Frank has just one question for the Boss: “WHAT THE HELL DID YOU TRADE JAY BUHNER FOR?”
2. The Millenium (1997)
Trying to get fired from the Yankees so he can take a job as head scout with the Mets, George drives around the Yankee Stadium parking lot with the World Series trophy affixed to the back of his car.
1. The Boyfriend (1992)
Did Keith Hernandez spit on Kramer and Newman? The story gets analyzed like the Zapruder film; was there a second spitter?
And some greatest hits in still form, for anyone who suffers from motion sickness: