The Easter weekend brought to mind the thrill of a great
comeback. I mean, Jesus was beat beyond recognition, then
crucified, then buried and still he rises a few days later
completing the greatest comeback ever.
Athletes have been trying to recreate such turnarounds ever
since, like Connecticut sneaking up to steal the game from Duke
last weekend or Elway staring 90-some-odd yards toward the winning
Few moments in sports rival the chance to see someone or some
team see the goal and not the odds. Victory is the elusive babe
enticing you with her soft smile. Comeback kings are the Wayne
Campbell of athletics, they choose to follow his motto, “She will
be mine, oh yes, she will be mine.”
So, in honor of such studly heroes I’m unveiling my top three
sports comebacks of all-time.
No. 3: We probably all remember the 2000 Music City Miracle
involving the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans, when the
Titans’ Frank Wycheck threw a questionable game-saving, cross-field
“lateral”- I must admit I fell asleep during the game and only saw
the replay after my bro stormed into the room to ask if I saw what
is now one of football’s most memorable moments.
What we may not remember so vividly is the playoff game seven
years earlier involving the Houston Oilers, which later became the
Tennessee Titans. Down 32 points and playing with their backup
quarterback, the Buffalo Bills needed something amazing, something
divine. What they got was Frank Reich and Andre Reed.
The Bills scored four touchdowns in 7 minutes including three
Reich-Reed hook-ups. They won the game in OT and rode their
momentum wave into the Super Bowl where they eventually came to a
crash on the Dallas Cowboys’ shore.
No. 2: The 1999 Ryder Cup. The United States sluggishly golfed
through the tournament’s first two days allowing the underdog
European team to hold a 10-6 lead. No team had come back from four
down on the final day, a fact not lost on the Americans.
On Saturday night, dejected team captain Ben Crenshaw sought a
way to improve his team’s attitude.
“I’m going to leave you with one thought,” he said at the press
conference. “I’m a big believer in fate.”
Fighting against harsh commentary from ABC’s Johnny Miller and a
four-shot deficit, the red, white and blue rallied behind
knicker-clad Payne Stewart and Tiger Woods to begin with a strong
start that Sunday morning.
When struggling Justin Leonard hit a 45-foot putt on the 17th
the match was all but over and the team rushed the green in an
out-of-control, frat-boy style.
No. 1: Less of a specific game and more of a mind-blowing
accomplishment. Lance Armstrong is wicked-awesome.
His status as an up-and-coming cycling phenom took a giant blow
in 1996 when he discovered he had testicular cancer, one that
spread to his lungs and brain. He underwent brain surgery and…
ehh hemm… surgery to remove his cancerous testicle. His chances
of survival were 50/50, not to mention his prospect of returning to
My words do no justice to the amazing comeback he then began in
1998. Pretty much he rocked the face of the cycling world from then
He has won five straight Tour de France titles, a feat only
accomplished once before. Not bad for a man with one bout with
cancer, one goal to win and one… you know.
He’s no Jesus, but his comeback is still rad.