May 29, 2002

Its not only NBA that has astounding comebacks this week..: 25-0 down to the Wales team in the Welsh national stadium (the Millenium stadium, Cardiff), and completely outclassed at half time, Barbarians end up winning the game 25-40. Must've been a team talk and a half.. What have been the most memorable sporting comebacks you've seen?

posted by Mossy to other at 05:26 PM - 10 comments

It was a pretty decent game of rugby. A pitty that the welsh public din't come out for it in the same way the english did at the weekend. I'm going to put the Baa-baa's secons half turnarond entirely down to some qulaity Saracens players. :-) As for the best comeback, it's got to be the Australia, New Zealand game a couple of years back the John Eales, the kicking second row captain won in the last seconds.

posted by nedrichards at 06:15 PM on May 29, 2002

My user page here talks a bit about the Duke-Carolina game in 1997, where we were down 17 early in the second half, and did not lead until the final minute. This with the teams ranked 1 and 2 in the polls, and having waited seven weeks in line to get in- one could say energy levels and expectations were high :) I suppose I've seen better comebacks, technically speaking (Bills-Oilers comes to mind, as does FSU-UF a few years back) but the energy in that place was... Salman Rushdie, in 'The Ground Beneath Her Feet', says being in a crowd is the closest one can come to sex because you are losing yourself in someone else. [Or a group of someone elses.] So, yeah... it was a lot like that. :)

posted by tieguy at 09:09 PM on May 29, 2002

I still can remember the 3rd round FA Cup match between Middlesbrough and Man City ten years ago, when we went from 1-0 down with ten minutes left, to 2-1 up, after two goals in two minutes. Packed terraces on a cold January day, the kind of atmosphere that only comes when your home team's down but playing out of its skins, and we were still riding the wave of celebration from the equaliser when the second goal went in. Yeah: the closest I'll get (as a bloke) to multiple orgasm, I suspect. I still have the video from Match of the Day, and though it's nothing like the experience of being there, it brings back the feeling. There's something about the collective spirit of a terrace that you can't get in an all-seater... Of course, watching the box as Man Utd came back from 2-1 down to beat Bayern Munich in injury time in the European Cup final probably counts as a greater comeback, and was pretty damn astonishing, but it wasn't nearly the same.

posted by etagloh at 09:22 PM on May 29, 2002

(Misremembered that last match: again, it was 0-1 to 2-1 in minutes. But that just goes to show.)

posted by etagloh at 09:24 PM on May 29, 2002

The single greatest NFL playoff comeback in history: Buffalo, down 35-3 after one play in the second half, roars back to win 41-38 (in overtime) over the Houston Oilers in the wildcard game. They did it without their starting quarterback (Jim Kelly), an important member of their defensive corps (Cornelius Bennett) and their running back (Thurman Thomas left in the 1st half with an injury). I was watching the game in a bar filled with "anti-Bills" fans and they were taunting me unmercifully when it was 35-3 (I was wearing my Tasker jersey at the time). Sweet justice was mine, two hours later.

posted by grum@work at 11:42 PM on May 29, 2002

1984. Holy Friday. Canadiens-Nordiques. End of the second period. The Canadiens are down by 3 goals. At the siren, one of the ugliest brawls in the history of the NHL starts. 45 minutes of grabbing and punching all over the place. Dale Hunter tries to rip off his brother Mark's head. Things calm down. Intermission. Game misconducts ahoy. Players come back for the 3rd period, and the brawl restart for another 30 minutes. More game misconducts. Each team is left with 11-12 players. The Canadiens rally, one goal at a time, win the game, and go on to win the series. It's been called the ugliest game in the history of hockey, but it was also one hell of a comeback.

posted by qbert72 at 11:49 PM on May 29, 2002

Um, look at my name and tell me what game I'm going to bring up. Red Sox fans, close your eyes. October 25th, 1986, the Mets are down three games to two in the World Series and down two runs in the bottom of the ninth. After Backman and Hernandez account for the first two outs in the inning, the Mets are down to their final out. And yet, the last-chance Mets pull off three singles in a row (down by 1), followed by a wild pitch (tied), and the error. Grum's Bills game probably beats it for remarkable comeback, but when you add in the drama and the importance of the game as a Championship-decider, I think the Mets can still stake a claim for most "memorable".

posted by 86 at 08:59 AM on May 30, 2002

So, 86... the only thing about that is that no one* remembers that game as a great comeback. They remember a mistake. It isn't exactly something heroic like Hail Flutie or Titans-Bills or Laettner at the buzzer**- the highlights are never the guy crossing the plate, they are Buckner. Seriously- every baseball fan over 10 years of age knows who Buckner is, and I'd venture to guess very few know who Mookie Wilson is, or who actually scored the run. So, yeah... utterly, incredibly memorable [like I said, everyone knows who Buckner is] but not a memorable comeback for most people. *except Mets fans, I guess... **not exactly a Big Comeback but still about as memorable as college basketball gets.

posted by tieguy at 03:28 PM on May 30, 2002

The cricketing comebacks stand out for me - Butchers 173 odd on the last day against the Ozzies last year.. Laxman's 281 when India were following on against the Ozzies last year.. And of course, Lara's 156 in the final innings against the Ozzies to win with 1 wicket to spare. Poor Australians, they do get it bad sometimes - although that Butcher 173 must have gutted Steve Waugh seeing as he declared.. :) Anyone see that African Nations cup match a couple of years back when Congo came back from 3-0 down in the 88th minute to win 4-3 by the 4th minut of extra time? That has to go down as one of the most hilarious comebacks if nothing else :)

posted by Mossy at 07:02 PM on May 30, 2002

You forgot the modern cricketing comeback, Mossy: England v. Australia, Headingley, 1981. Everyone talks about Botham's astonishing second innings, but the real story, at least from my memory as a wee bairn, was Bob Willis skittling Aussie after Aussie. Damn, it's going to take another 20 years to take another Ashes from them.

posted by etagloh at 09:55 PM on May 30, 2002

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