What defines a great win in sports? I think more than anything it is the manner in which the game played itself out in relation to the expectations coming into the contest itself. When a team clearly exceeds what is expected of them to seize a championship which to me defines a great game. I have chosen a few of these games that I deem the best of all time. I would not need to find discount tickets online to watch these great contests unfold.
The 2001 New England Patriots were not expected to be very successful as a team. When their quarterback Drew Bledsoe was injured in the second game of the season, things certainly looked gloomy. The team was forced to look for leadership from their unheard of second year quarterback, Tom Brady. The upstart Patriots made their way through that 2001 season, showing signs of improvement and making the playoffs. The Patriots beat the Oakland Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers to earn a trip to the Super Bowl where The Greatest Show On Turf, the St. Louis Rams awaited them. Nobody gave Brady and the Patriots a chance in this game, but to the surprise of all, the Patriots shocked the world when Adam Vinatieri kicked a game winning field goal and the Patriots were champions of the NFL. Because nobody gave them a chance and the Patriots won it made this game one of the greatest victories ever.
In 2004 the Boston Red Sox trailed the New York Yankees by three games in a seven game series. No team in baseball history had ever come back from a three game deficit. Since it had never been done before, everybody, including the most diehard of Red Sox Fans gave the team little chance. That is why it was a great victory. The comeback came when the Sox were down to their last at bat in game four. A walk to Kevin Millar, a Dave Roberts steal and a Bill Mueller single later the game was tied and wore on into the wee hours of the morning until David Ortiz decided to win it in extra innings. This was the beginning of four nerve bending, heart stopping victories that allowed the Red Sox to slowly but surely march back into relevance and win the 2004 American League Championship Series. This propelled them to go on and beat the St. Louis Cardinals in four straight games to win their first World Series in eighty six years. I was able to get below face value tickets to see the ring ceremony at the first home game the next season. Overcoming long odds and ending an eighty six year old curse make this one of the great victories in sports.
In 1985 the National Championship game in college basketball came down to two teams from the east coast of the United States, the Villanova Wildcats and the Georgetown Hoyas. Georgetown was a significant favorite, the undisputed number one rated team in the country. Villanova had no business being in this game but they had followed a mad march through the NCAA tournament and wound up in the finals. Through stingy defense, and a little luck the Wildcats managed to keep the game close throughout, but watching it you really felt there was no doubt that Patrick Ewing and his Georgetown teammates would inevitably overcome Villanova. They were the defending champions, after all. Villanova led by Ed Pickney used a “slow down” philosophy to patiently drive the more talented Georgetown Hoyas to defeat. This Villanova team remains the lowest seed to ever win the NCAA Basketball Tournament. This was also a notable victory because it was the last NCAA game played without a shot clock. Because of these factors that makes this one of the greatest victories of all time.
It doesn’t really matter what your own personal feelings are about a certain team, when it comes to great victories in sports. When a team overcomes huge odds to come out on top, you can draw significant inspiration from their victory. No matter what your situation in life, you have a chance to achieve whatever you desire.
Did I forget any other Great Sports Victories? Please share.
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