Sports in the real world

Dylan Fogel

If you were one of the 97.5 million people last night that had the pleasure of watching the Super Bowl, what you got to experience was one of the greatest upsets in the history of all sports. Better yet you were the witness to one of the greatest losses in the history of sports. The game was a textbook David-and-Goliath scenario. The invincible offensive juggernaut New England Patriots, who had yet to blemish a perfect record this season; and the twelve point underdog New York football Giants with their sheepish quarterback with the constant deer-caught-in-the headlights stare, the banged up receiving core, and the coach who was one more second-half season collapse from getting the boot. What transpired during the breaks between the screaming squirrel, Richard Simmons, Will Ferrell, the giant Doritos mouse, and Tom Petty was a loss so immense that it may replace the original “David and Goliath story” as the “Giants and the Patriots story.” After the game I began to brainstorm some of the other great losses, choke jobs, or upsets from the past. I came up with seven that I think are worth mentioning.1969 Super Bowl III: New York Jets defeat the Baltimore Colts — the Jets were a fourteen point underdog going up against the 15-1 Colts. However, behind the bold prediction of Joe Namath the Jets pull off the win 16-7. Namath wins Super Bowl MVP despite not throwing a touchdown pass.

1980 Miracle on Ice: Russia loses to US Olympic hockey team — the powerful veteran-dominated Russians fall 4-3 to a US team made up primarily of college and amateur players. US goes on to win the gold medal.

1985 NCAA basketball championship: Georgetown loses to Villanova – Patrick Ewing and the Number 1 ranked Hoyas lose 66-64 to the eighth-seeded Wildcats in the NCAA national basketball championship game.

1999 British Open: Jean Van de Veld loses to Paul Lawrie — Van de Veld held a three-stroke lead going into the eighteenth hole. A triple bogey sent the match into a playoff where Van de Veld finally lost to Lawrie.

2004 American League Championship Series: Boston Red Sox defeat New York Yankees 4-3 — The Yankees win the first three games of the series before the Red Sox come storming back to win the next four behind the sutured ankle of Curt Shilling and late game heroics by David Ortiz.

2006 First Round of the NBA Playoffs: Dallas Mavericks lose to the Golden State Warriors – The Mavericks were many people’s pick to win the title after finishing the season with the NBA’s best record. Golden State squeaked into the playoffs on the last day of the season. The Warriors won the series 4-2.

2007 USC football Trojans loses to Stanford — The Trojans were thought to be the greatest team ever on paper. They were 44-point favorites at home going into the game against the Cardinals. Stanford, behind the coaching of former NFL quarterback Jim Harbough, pulls off the upset. Stanford used a late touchdown pass to win 24-23 and end the Trojans 35-game home winning streak.