Today’s #TBT sports blog recounts three of the most improbable upset victories in sports history.
Popular stories about improbable, upset victories got their start centuries ago when a physically over matched shepherd boy named David squared off as an unlikely combatant on the battlefield against the feared, mighty Philistine warrior Goliath.
Ever since David’s fateful encounter, people have rooted for implausible winners and yearned to see improbable upsets in sports happen.
Since that defining day in Israel, sports fans have also witnessed that inferior athleticism, undersized lineups or lack of star players have never daunted highly purposed teams, much like young David, with eyes fixed on making sports history.
In spite of incredible odds stacked against them, teams of destiny have overcome immense obstacles, thus capturing the hearts of sports fans for generations. And, this #TBT sports blog chronicles three such upsets.
In the book’s chapter, I feature three teams of destiny. Certainly, there are many more. But, these squads are my favorites. They won championships when no one gave them a chance. And, they etched their place in sports lore for their courageous, yet unexpected success.
Here are my three favorite improbable upsets in sports.
Legendary QB Broadway Joe Namath talked big, played bigger and lived life even larger. He brazenly “guaranteed” a Super Bowl victory for his underdog New York Jets team against the vaunted and heavily favored Baltimore Colts.
Amazingly, Namath led his highly motivated team to a stunning Super Bowl III upset victory in 1969 over the NFL’s best team, the Baltimore Colts, in Miami’s famed Orange Bowl.
The upset shocked football fans because many believed that no team from the former AFL could ever compete against any team from the NFL – until the Jets pulled off their improbable upset.
1985 Villanova NCAA Title Game – College basketball fans have called it the closest a team has ever come to playing a perfect game.
Others have named it the greatest upset victory in the history of NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship Games.
I’ve chosen that classic 1985 Villanova Wildcats improbable 66 – 64 NCAA title game victory over the deep and talented Georgetown Hoyas because the iconic win captivated college basketball fans.
At #8, Villanova remains the lowest ranked seed to ever win an NCAA title. The team bested #9 seed Dayton Flyers, #7 seed UNC Tar Heels, #5 seed Memphis State Tigers and #2 seed Michigan Wolverines to advance to the Big Dance’s biggest party.
On that special Monday night on April 1, 1985, Villanova played brilliantly against the previous year’s defending NCAA champion and dominating #1 overall seed in the field, allowing the Wildcats to come away with an improbable victory.
Miracle on Ice in 1980 Winter Olympics – February 22, 1980 marked a national day of pride for Americans as it brought forth a miracle in the highly competitive arena of international sports.
Known as the Miracle on Ice, an unlikely hockey victory took place at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY and lifted America out of its funk. The event birthed one of the most amazing upsets in sports.
Team USA’s stunning upset over the heavily favored Soviet Union National Hockey Team still stands as one of the greatest victories in the history of team sports. This USA win also remains an unforgettable highlight of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games.
Improbable upsets – there are not too many things better in sports than highly unlikely victories by underdog teams.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!