1944 — Maurice Richard has five goals and three assists to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 9-1 rout of the Detroit Red Wings.
1947 — The Chicago Cardinals, behind Elmer Angsman’s two 70-yard scores and Charlie Trippi’s 44-yard TD run and 75-yard punt return, beat the Philadelphia Eagles 28-21 for the NFL title on a frozen Comiskey Park field.
1952 — Doak Walker’s 67-yard third-quarter touchdown run leads the Detroit Lions to a 17-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns for the NFL championship.
1958 — The Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants 23-17 in overtime to win the NFL championship at Yankee Stadium. Quarterback Johnny Unitas takes the Colts 80 yards in 13 plays, the last a 1-yard carry by Alan Ameche at 8:15 of sudden-death overtime. Regulation ends 17-17 when Baltimore’s Steve Myhra kicks a 20-yard field goal with 20 seconds left. Played before a national television audience, this game is believed to have made the NFL a challenger to baseball as the national pastime.
1968 — Arthur Ashe leads the U.S. to its first Davis Cup title since 1963 with a 4-1 victory over Australia.
1975 — The Dallas Cowboys beat the Minnesota Viking 17-14 on Roger Staubach’s desperate 50-yard pass to Drew Pearson in the final minute of an NFC divisional playoff game. Staubach connects with Pearson down the right sideline with 24 seconds remaining after the Cowboys had second-and-10 with no timeouts left. Staubach later says he got knocked down on the play, closed his eyes and said a Hail Mary. The term “Hail Mary” is born.
1988 — Division II Alaska-Anchorage, behind Michael Johnson’s 20 points, pulls the biggest surprise of the college basketball season by stunning No. 2 Michigan 70-66 in the opening round of the Utah Classic.
2000 — Robby Portalatin becomes the fourth bowler to roll a 900 series, according to the American Bowling Congress. Portalatin, a 28-year-old worker for an auto parts company, accomplishes the feat at Airport Lanes in Jackson, Mich.
2003 — Jamal Lewis becomes the fifth player in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards in a season. He gains 114 yards on 27 carries in Baltimore’s 13-10 overtime victory against Pittsburgh, finishing the year with 2,066 yards for the second most in NFL history.
2003 — San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson rushes for a career-high 243 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-14 win over Oakland.
2003 — Kansas City’s Priest Holmes sets an NFL record with his 27th touchdown of the season when he scores twice in a 31-3 victory over Chicago.
2008 — The Detroit Lions lose to the Green Bay Packers 31-21, making them the first team to go winless through a 16-game season. Green Bay’s Donald Driver (111) and Greg Jennings (101) total 100 yards receiving. Combined with Ryan Grant and DeShawn Wynn’s 106-yard rushing days, it is the first time a team has a pair of 100-yard rushers and 100-yard receivers in a single game.
2008 — The New England Patriots become the NFL’s first team with an 11-5 record to miss the playoffs since Denver in 1985 and the first since the NFL expanded to six playoff teams per conference in 1990.
2008 — The Cleveland Browns lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-0, setting an NFL record by failing to score a touchdown for six straight games.
2014 — Roman Harper and Tre Boston return interceptions for touchdowns, leading the Carolina Panthers to a 34-3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons to win the NFC South. Carolina (7-8-1) won four straight to become the first team to enter the playoffs with a losing record since 2010, when Seattle was 7-9.
2017 — Al Horford makes a hook shot with 3.7 seconds left to give Boston its only lead of the game, and the Celtics rally from a 26-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 99-98. Houston opened the game on a 12-0 run and led 62-38 at halftime.