The Phantom Voice
Everyone loves a comeback. It tells a great story, turns players into legend, and most importantly it gets the fans excited. So, I‘ve decided to create a list of the top ten sports comebacks of all time. To qualify for this list it has to be a successful comeback in a sports game or playoff series. I’ve also ranked comebacks on this list based on how big the comeback was, the intensity of the comeback, and on how important the comeback was.
#10. 1995 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinal Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks.
Imagine this your team is down by 6 points with 8.9 seconds left on the clock? It seems impossible to even think of a comeback. However, Reggie Miller didn’t think this in game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals when he scored 8 points in 8.9 second to win the game 107-105. It was truly unbelievable and the Pacers would end up winning the series and go to the Eastern Conference Finals where they lost in 7 games to the Orlando Magic.
#9. Paul Lawrie in the 1999 British Open
Going into the final day of play in the 1999 British Open Paul Lowrie found himself 10 strokes behind leader Jean van de Velde. However, Velde shot a poor game of golf allowing Lowrie to tie him in 18 holes to force a four hole playoff. Lowrie beat Velde by three strokes to win his first and to this date only Major.
#8. 2010 NHL Eastern Conference Semifinal Philadelphia Flyers vs Boston Bruins
In a best of 7 game series the Boston Bruins took a 3 games to none lead over the Philadelphia Flyers. Then in game 4 Philadelphia showed life by beating Boston in Overtime. Philadelphia then won the next two games as well to force a game 7 in Boston. Boston took a 3 goal to none lead in the beginning of the game but, Philadelphia came back and won the game 4-3 becoming the third NHL team to come back from a 3 games to none deficit and they would end up making it to the Stanley Cup Finals only to lose to Chicago in 6 games.
#7. 1954 World Cup Final West Germany vs. Hungary
Like it or not Soccer is without a doubt the most popular sport in the world and it doesn’t get more intense than the FIFA World Cup finals. In this game Hungary was the odds on favorite and they had beat Germany in the group stage 8-3 so no one expected the team to lose. Just 8 minutes into the game Hungary was up 2-0 and looked like they were closing in on an easy win but, West Germany didn’t give up and scored the next 3 goals to win 3-2 in an emotional comeback to capture their first World Cup Championship ever.
#6. 1996 Manchester United Wins English Premier League Championship
Questions were raised about Manchester United going into the 1995-1996 season for many critics believed the youth of Manchester United wouldn’t be able to keep up with experienced veterans. In January of 1996, Newcastle United held a 12 point lead over Manchester United in the Premier League standings and showed no signs of slowing down. However, Manchester United showed resilience with their young squad and manages to go on a streak of 12 games without a loss to gain their 10th Premiere League title proving their critics wrong in the process.
#5. 1969 New York Mets Season
If anyone told you they believed the Mets would win the World Series in 1969 they were lying to you. The Mets never had a record over .500 before the 1969 season and were 10 games out of first in the middle of August. However, the Mets went 38-12 in their final 50 games and managed not only to win the National League Pennant but, they won the entire World Series and are known throughout the sports world as the Miracle Mets for it.
#4. Super Bowl LI New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons
The most recent comeback on this list happened a few months ago and shocked everyone who watched it. The Patriots were down 28-3 early in the 3rd quarter but that didn’t phase Tom Brady one bit. The Patriots scored three touchdowns and a field goal in the second half to send the game into overtime. The Patriots scored on their first possession in Overtime to become Super Bowl champions and create the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
#3. 2005 Champions League Final Liverpool vs. AC Milan
The Champions League Cup is where the best teams from each soccer league in Europe battle it out for supremacy and this game was no different. AC Milan scored 3 goals in the first half and were leading Liverpool 3-0 at halftime. However, Liverpool refused to be beaten and scored 3 goals in six minutes to tie the game 3-3. The game would go to overtime and then penalty kicks and Liverpool would end up actually winning the game much to everybody’s surprise.
#2. 1993 NFL Wild Card Playoffs Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Oilers
The Buffalo Bills had just come off two Super Bowl losses coming into this first round playoff game and were determined to make it back to the Super Bowl for a third straight year. However, Houston had a 35-3 lead in the third quarter of play and showed no signs of slowing down. Also, Bills quarterback, Jim Kelly, was injured leaving backup quarterback, Frank Reich, to lead the comeback. The Bills scored 35 points in the second half to tie the Oilers and won the game into overtime leading the infamous football game to gain the nickname, “The Comeback”.
#1. 2004 American League Championship Series Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The Boston Red Sox hadn’t won a World Series in 86 years in 2004 and had gone down to the New York Yankees 3-0 in the series. However, Boston would come back in game 4 tying the game in the bottom of the 9th inning and win the game in 12 innings. In game 5 Boston tied the game in the 8th inning and won in 14 innings. Then game 6 and game 7 were landslide wins to lead the Boston Red Sox back to the World Series where they beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 4 games.