Apr 112004
 
Authors: John Teten

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

score.

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

the road.

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

on.

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.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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