The 50 Most Ridiculous Comebacks in Sports History

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIApril 12, 2013

The 50 Most Ridiculous Comebacks in Sports History

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    When our team gets buried deep, we may despair, but a wisp of hope still trickles through us. History has proven a game is never over until the final buzzer sounds. In fact, comebacks are rather common.

    A select few though, are just so improbable, so dramatic, so ludicrous that they play out more like a scripted story than a real-life sporting event.

    Click on to see trenches dug and then filled in again and then raised up into victory podiums.

The Monday Night Miracle

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    The date: October 23, 2000

    The Sport: NFL Football

    The players: NY Jets and Miami Dolphins

    The deficit: Jets down by 23 points (4th quarter) 

     

    Why was it ridiculous? For this Arnie quote: "I think the Dolphins have to be terminated."

Patriots vs Giants

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    The date: February 3, 2008

    The sport: NFL Football

    The players: New England Patriots and New York Giants - Super Bowl XLII

    The deficit: Giants by 4 points in the fourth quarter

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? It was because of how much time was left when the drive started, because Eli almost gets sacked and yeah, this catch. While it was not a big comeback points-wise (and, in fact, the Giants were leading for much of the game), any comeback win against the undefeated New England Patriots seemed beyond the beyond.

Fedor vs Randleman

3 of 50

    The date: June 20, 2004

    The sport: Mixed Martial Arts

    The players: Fedor Emelianenko and Kevin Randleman, PRIDE: Critical Countdown 2004

    The deficit: One gargantuan suplex

     

    Why was it so ridiculous?  You saw Fedor on the receiving end of that suplex and you just knew this fight was over. Your only question was how many inches shorter he would be after that spine compacting. Never did you think he would open up his bag of tricks, pull out some sick kimura, and turn this fight around. 

Rockets vs Spurs

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    The date: December 9, 2004

    The sport: NBA Basketball

    The players: Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs

    The deficit: Houston was down 74-64 with just over a minute remaining (at which time crestfallen Rocket fans exited in droves).

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Tracy McGrady went into ultimate beast mode. He scored 13 points in 35 seconds. That's an average of about .37 points per second. (Imagine if he kept that up for a whole game; he'd clock in with 1,065 points by the final buzzer). 

    T-Mac also hit the game-winning three-pointer with just 1.7 seconds remaining.

    Final score: Rockets 81, Spurs 80


Red Rum vs Crisp

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    The date: March 31, 1973

    The sport: Steeplechase

    The players: Red Rum and Crisp, others - 1973 Grand National

    The deficit: Twenty lengths at the penultimate fence

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? The deficit was insurmountable and late in the race. Also, Red Rum was bred to be a sprinter, not a distance runner. Yet the Grand National was a "gruelling four-and-a-half mile chase."

Knicks vs Bucks

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    The date: November 18, 1972

    The sport: NBA Basketball

    The players: New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks

    The deficit: The Knicks were down 86-68 in the fourth quarter.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Dancing Harry put a curse on the Bucks. Then, with just over five minutes left to play, the Knicks outscored the Bucks 19-0 and won the game 87-86.

Jason Lezak vs Alain Bernard

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    The date: August 11, 2008 

    The sport: 4x100 Free Relay Swimming

    The players: Team USA, Team France, others, 2008 Summer Olympics

    The deficit: Lezak trailed Bernard by 0.5 seconds at the start of the anchor leg.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Lezak unleashed his inner sailfish and swam the fastest relay leg in history. The American team ended up obliterating the world record by almost four seconds.  

Ryan Lochte vs Yannick Agnel

8 of 50

    The date: July 29, 2012

    The sport: 4x100 Free Relay Swimming

    The players: Ryan Lochte, Yannick Agnel, others - 2012 Summer Olympics

    The deficit: Agnel was down more than 0.5 seconds at the start of the anchor leg

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? It was sweet revenge for France. (See previous slide)

Steve Davis vs Dennis Taylor

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    The date: April 19, 1985

    The sport: Snooker

    The players: Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor, World Snooker Final

    The deficit: Taylor was losing 7 frames to 0 (championship is out of 35 frames, so the first to 18 wins it).

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Steve Davis, who Taylor beat, was a legend of the game. He already had claimed three world titles, and in subsequent years, he would go on to win three more. 

Team STX vs Team Sole

10 of 50

    The date: November 13, 2012

    The sport: LXM Pro Lacrosse

    The players: Team STX and Team Sole, Game 5 - LXM Pro Tour

    The deficit: STX was down  9-1

     

    Why was it so ridiculous?  STX finished the game with 11 unanswered goals. Final score: 16-10.

    This was the biggest comeback in LXM history.

Scott Smith vs Pete Sell

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    The date: November 11, 2006

    The sport: MMA

    The players: Scott Smith and Pete Sell

    The deficit: One epic crippling body shot 


    Why was it so ridiculous? That body shot was a rib pulverizer. I mean Smith must have been sneezing out rib dust for weeks. Sell came in for the easy finish, and it finished then, no doubt about that. This was just not what anyone expected.

Colette Besson vs Lillian Board

12 of 50

    The date: October 16, 1968

    The sport: Women's 400m

    The players: Colette Besson (France), Lillian Board (Great Britain), Nataliya Pechyonkina-Chistyakova (Soviet Union), others

    The deficit: Besson was in fifth place and far behind expected winner Lillian Board with just 100 meters left in the race.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Besson put forth an insane kick and beat Board by a tenth of a second. 

    Also, Besson was not considered as real contender. In fact, she was so unknown that she wasn't really considered at all prior to the competition. 

Kimi Räikkönen vs Giancarlo Fisichella

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    The date: October 9, 2005

    The sport: Formula One

    The players:  Kimi Räikkönen, Giancarlo Fisichella, others, 2005 Japanese Grand Prix

    The deficit: Finnish racer Räikkönen (a.k.a. "The Iceman") started the race in the bleak 17th position. 

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Midway through the race, Räikkönen was a full 20 seconds behind the leader, Italian racer Giancarlo Fisichella. 

    On the final lap, the Iceman made a sudden and insane pass to take the win. The move has been described as “a sharp Finnish knife cutting through a tender piece of Italian Salami.”

    Kimi won by just under two seconds, though he led for only six laps in total.

Paul Lawrie vs Jean Van De Velde

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    The date: July 18, 1999

    The sport: Golf

    The players: Paul Lawrie, Jean Van de Velde, others - 1999 British Open 

    The deficit: 10 strokes going in to final round

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? The planets, the asteroids and even the cosmic dust aligned for this win. Despite Lawrie's wicked round of golf that made up for his ridiculous deficit, Van de Velde still had it locked up at the 18th hole. The Frenchman needed just a piece-o-cake six on the par-4 18th hole. Kid's play, right?

    Van de Velde went on to make one of the biggest botch ups in sports history. His triple-bogey will live on in infamy.

    The Claret Jug went to Lawrie.   

Wildcats vs Tigers

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    The date: February 15, 1994

    The sport: NCAA basketball

    The players: University of Kentucky Wildcats and Louisiana State University Tigers

    The deficit: The Wildcats were down by 31 points with 15:30 left to play.

    Why was it so ridiculous? Not only did Kentucky make up the deficit, but they won by four points (99-95). It was the biggest point turnaround in college basketball history. 

Flyers vs Bruins

16 of 50

    The date: May 14, 2010

    The sport: NHL Hockey

    The players: Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins, Game 7, Eastern Conference semifinal 

    The deficit: Philadelphia was down by three goals 17 minutes into the game.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? This was the comeback within a comeback. The Flyers had lost the first three games of the series and had been pinwheeling their arms, about to tumble off the precipice of elimination.

The Choke at Doak

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    The date: November 26, 1994

    The sport:NCAA football

    The players: Florida State Seminoles and Florida Gators

    The deficit: Florida State was down by 28 points in the fourth quarter

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Florida didn't just choke; they marched themselves up a gallows, they cinched a noose around their necks, and they threw the trapdoor lever.

    Their awful play energized the Seminoles who readily took the role of assisted-suicide facilitator. 

    The game ended in a 31-31 tie.

    One reporter wrote, ""It was the best of ties. It was the worst of ties."

Miracle of Istanbul

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    The date: May 25, 2005

    The sport: Club soccer

    The players: Liverpool and Milan in the UEFA Champions League Final

    The deficit: Liverpool was down by 3 at halftime.


    Why was it so ridiculous? Liverpool was not expected to make it to the finals at all, and they were certainly not expected to beat Milan.

    Also, the game went to penalties. Dietmar Hamann, who had been playing with a broken toe, took Liverpool's first shot and scored.

Maple Leafs vs Red Wings

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    The date: April 4 to April 18, 1942

    The sport: NHL Hockey

    The players: Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, 1942 Stanley Cup Finals

    The deficit: The Leafs were down 3-0 going into Game 4.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Leafs Coach Hap Day benched his regular squad for Game 4. In their place, he let loose the rookies, and it was they who worked the magic.

The Miracle on Manchester

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    The date: April 10, 1982

    The sport: NHL hockey

    The players: Kings vs Oilers - 1982 Smythe Division Semifinals, Game 3

    The deficit: The Kings were down 5-0 in the third period.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? With a regular season record of 24-41-15, The Kings were huge underdogs against the omnipotent Oilers, who were helmed by an ice lord known as "The Great One."

    The Kings went on to win the series, oh, and eventually to meld The Great One into one of their own.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Minnesota Golden Gophers

21 of 50

    The date: December 29, 2006

    The sport: NCAA football

    The players: Texas Tech Red Raiders and Minnesota Golden Gophers, 2006 Insight Bowl

    The deficit: The Red Raiders were down by 31 points midway through the third quarter.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? The Red Raiders put up 31 unanswered points in less than 20 minutes. They won the game in overtime 44-41. It was the largest comeback in Division I-A bowl history.

Thrilla in Manilla

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    The date: October 1, 1975

    The sport: Boxing

    The players: Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier - World Heavyweight Championship

    The deficit: Ali started out dominant, but Frazier soon got ferocious on him. 

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? It was because of this exchange at the start of the seventh round:

    Ali: "Old Joe Frazier, they told me you were washed up."

    Frasier : "They lied, pretty boy."

    Ali made a comeback of his own and Frazier's trainer called an end to the bout.

Dave Wottle vs Yevgeniy Arzhanov

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    The date: September 2, 1972

    The sport: Men's Athletics - 800 meter

    The players: Dave Wottle, Yevgeniy Arzhanov, others, 1972 Olympics

    The deficit: Wottle was STILL IN LAST PLACE at 500 meters.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? See "the deficit" above. 

Duke vs Tulane

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    The date: December 30, 1950

    The sport: NCAA basketball

    The players: Duke Blue Devils and Tulane Green Wave, 1950 Dixie Classic

    The deficit: Duke was down by 32 points in the first half. 

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Even after chipping away at that ridiculous lead, the Blue Devils still found themselves down by 20 points with just over 11 minutes left to play.

    Then Duke flipped on their berserker button. Tulane panicked. Duke scored the game's final 22 points to win 74-72. It goes down as a record for the biggest deficit overcome to win a game in college basketball history. 

    And keep in mind that three-pointers were not yet part of the game.

Mike Weaver vs John Tate

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    The date: March 31, 1980

    The sport: Boxing

    The players: Mike Weaver and John Tate, WBA heavyweight championship bout

    The deficit: Weaver was down on the AP scorecard 137-132 through the 14th round.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Weaver was a "no-hope challenger," and the first 14 rounds were proving it. He was getting pummeled silly. By late in the fight, there was no way he could win by points.

    So Weaver did what he had to: he "uncorked a gorgeous short left hook that exploded off the side of the champion's face."

Lasse Virén vs Emiel Puttemans

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    The date: September 3, 1972

    The sport: Running

    The players: Lasse Virén, Emiel Puttemans, Miruts Yifter, others - 1972 Olympics - men's 10,000 meters

    The deficit: Finnish runner Virén was approximately 20 meters behind on the 12th lap

    Why ridiculous? The reason Virén fell so far behind was he had wiped out. In pretty much every dimension of every universe, wiping out in a competitive footrace means game over. But Virén must have slipped through a wormhole and found that one narrow channel in the space-time continuum that allows the impossible to become possible.

    Not only did he leap up and keep running, not only did he win, but he set a world record.  

Indians vs Mariners

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    The date: August 5, 2001

    The sport: Major League Baseball

    The players: Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners

    The deficit: Cleveland down by 12 runs (as late as 7th inning).

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? No MLB team had overcome a 12-run deficit since the Philadelphia Athletics in 1925 (and the Detroit Tigers before that in 1911).

    Also, the Mariners were the best team in the majors at the time.

Michael Maze vs Hao Shuai

28 of 50

    The date: May 5, 2005

    The sport: Table tennis

    The players: Michael Maze and Hao Shuai - Volkswagen 48th World Championships, quarterfinal match

    The deficit: Maze was down three games to zero. In the fourth game was three match points down. He was at the "precipice of defeat."

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? He saved all three match points. The third he saved ON HIS KNEES. Maze then went on to win the round and advance to the semifinals. 

India vs Australia

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    The date: March 11-15 2001

    The sport: Cricket

    The players: India and Australia

    The deficit: India tanked in the first innings, trailing at one point by more than 250 runs.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? India proved that the sub in subcontinent stands for substantial. They won by 171 runs after a follow-on—something that is deemed near impossible and has only happened two other times in the history of the sport. 

Miracle Minute

30 of 50

    The date: Jan. 27, 2001

    The sport: NCAA basketball

    The players: Duke Blue Devils and Maryland Terrapins

    The deficit: Duke was down 10 points with less than a minute left to play.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? At one point in the literal last minute rally, Duke fouled and Maryland had a chance to put a couple of nails in the coffin. But "the Terrapins’ Drew Nicholas, an 80 percent free-throw shooter on the season, missed back-to-back shots at the line.

    After the titular miracle minute, Duke forced over time and won the game 98-96.

    In March of that year, Duke would achieve ANOTHER comeback win against the Terrapins and then go on to claim the national title.

Foreman vs Moorer

31 of 50

    The date: November 5, 1994

    The sport: Boxing

    The players: George Foreman and Michael Moorer, World Heavyweight Championship bout

    The deficit: All 3 judges had Moorer winning (88-83, 88-83, 86-85)

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Because Moorer was 26 and Foreman was 45. Folks, this is the basketball equivalent of Michael Curry playing one-on-one against Dwight Howard.

    Prior to the fight Foreman was "unranked and in no position to demand another title shot." It was only his high profile that made the fight happen.

Poul Erik Hoyer-Larsen vs Dong Jiong

32 of 50

    The date: : May 25, 1996

    The sport: Badminton

    The players: Poul Erik Hoyer-Larsen and Dong Jiong, 1996 Thomas Cup, semifinal match

    The deficit: Denamrk's Hoyer-Larsen lost the first set 6-15. He was down a pitiful 1-13 in the second set.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Then world No. 1-ranked Dong Jiong of China had the match all but locked up. But then the badminton gods infused Hoyer-Larsen with some serious shuttlecock juju; he turned that second set around and won it 18-17. Then he took the second set 15-11.

    The momentum juiced up the Danish team. They went on to defeat China 3-2 and advanced to the final.

Wolverines vs Wildcats

33 of 50

    The date: May 16, 2010

    The sport: NCAA baseball

    The players: University of Michigan Wolverines and Northwestern Wildcats

    The deficit: Michigan was down 14-0 in the third inning.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? After eating into the Wildcats lead and eventually equalizing, the Wolverines won the game 15-14 with a walk off homer in the 10th inning.

Silva vs Sonnen

34 of 50

    The date: August 7, 2010

    The sport: MMA

    The players: Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, UFC 117

    The deficit: Silva down by 15 points (total from three judges over four rounds)

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Read these posts from a live-action blog:

    "Sonnen utterly controls the round"

    "Anderson hasn't been able to do much of anything in the way of offense"

    "...we head toward the championship rounds with Chael still in dominant control."

    "I hate to say it, but Anderson Silva looks gassed as the round ends."

    "Unless Anderson Silva can pull a dramatic reversal in the next 100 seconds, we're going to have a new middleweight champion."

    (Oh dear blogger, you'll get your reversal. And dramatic it will be.)

Celtics vs Lakers

35 of 50

    The date: June 12, 2008

    The sport: NBA basketball

    The players: The Boston Celtics and The Los Angeles Lakers, 2008 NBA Finals - Game 3

    The deficit: Celtics were down 24 points. Down 18 points at halftime. 

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? "No team had ever overcome more than a 15-point deficit after the first quarter."

    The Celtics didn't just tie it up, they won the game soundly, 97-91. They would go on to become 2008 NBA Champions.

Australia vs England

36 of 50

    The date: July 22 -27 1948

    The sport: Cricket

    The players: England and Australia - Ashes Test of 1948

    The deficit: "England had looked well on top until the final stages."

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Donald Bradman was a batting genius. He hit 173 not out while Australia lost a mere three wickets in response to England.

    In 1930, the London News Chronicle had printed this: "As long as Australia has Bradman she will be invincible ... It is almost time to request a legal limit on the number of runs Bradman should be allowed to make."

Jimmy Connors vs Mikael Pernfors

37 of 50

    The date: June 30, 1987

    The sport: Tennis

    The players: Jimmy Connors and Mikael Pernfors - 1987 Men's Singles, Wimbledon, fourth round

    The deficit: Connors had lost the first two sets: 6-1, 6-1 and down 4-1 in the third.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Connors histrionics during the incredible comeback made it ridiculous (that is ridiculously fun). Fist-thrusting. Arm-pumping. And this: "At one point in the third set, when Connors was beginning to gain control, he turned around and tried to locate his towel. When he couldn't, he simply jogged to the sideline and took the one off Pernfors' chair.

Lions vs Panthers

38 of 50

    The date: November 26, 1994

    The sport: High School Football

    The players: John Tyler High School Lions and Plano East Senior High School Panthers

    The deficit: Panthers were down 41-17 with just over 3 minutes remaining.

     

    But then after an amazing comeback that included three successful onside kicks, the Lions were down 44–41 with only 24 seconds remaining.

    Why was it so ridiculous? The Lion's won 48-44 after Roderick Dunn returned the Panther's final kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.

Battle of Brookline

39 of 50

    The date: September 24-26, 1999

    The sport: Golf

    The players: US captain Ben Crenshaw, European captain Mark James, others, 28th Ryder Cup

    The deficit: The US team was down by four points entering the final round of play.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? "No Ryder Cup team had ever come back from a deficit of two points or more."

    But American Justin Leonard tapped home a 45-FOOT UPHILL PUTT to secure the win. 

Miracle at Medinah

40 of 50

    The date: September 30, 2012

    The sport: Golf

    The players: US captain David Love II, European captain José María Olazábal, others, 39th Ryder Cup

    The deficit: Europe was down 10-6 after two day's play.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Europe's golfers "turned 56 acres of Illinois into a bloodbath as they reversed the events at Brookline in 1999."

    On this gory warpath English golfer Ian Poulter had a run of 5 birdies

Islanders vs Penguins

41 of 50

    The date: 

    The sport: NHL hockey

    The players: New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins, 1975 Conference Semifinals

    The deficit: The Islanders were down 3-0 in the series.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Only one team had rallied to win a series after losing the first three games: the Toronto Maple Leafs. And that was more than three decades earlier.

    The Islanders won the series 4-3, then in the semifinals AGAIN CAME BACK FROM A THREE-GAME DEFICIT. This time is was against the Philadelphia Flyers. Miracles ended with Game 7. The Flyers won and then went on to claim the Stanley Cup.

Munster vs Gloucester

42 of 50

    The date: January 18, 2003

    The sport: Rugby

    The players: Glouster and Munster, Heineken Cup Quarter-finals

    The deficit: Munster needed to score four tries and win by a margin of at least 27 points to nab the last quarter-final spot. If you aren't up on rugby, then let's just say if it were a mountain Munster had to climb, this wouldn't even be Everest; it'd be Olympus Mons.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? In the LAST MINUTE of normal time, Ronan O'Gara converted a try giving Munster a lead of 27 points—the exact number they needed.

Terrapins vs Hurricanes

43 of 50

    The date: November 10, 1984

    The sport: NCAA Football

    The players: Maryland Terrapins and Miami Hurricanes

    The deficit:  Terrapins down 31 points at halftime.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Terrapin QB Frank Reich—only marginally recovered from a separated shoulder—came off the bench and led the comeback. 

Charlton Athletic F.C. vs Huddersfield Town F.C.

44 of 50

    The date: December 21, 1957 

    The sport: Association soccer

    The players: Charlton Athletic F.C. and Huddersfield Town F.C. 

    The deficit: Charlton was down 5-1 with less than half an hour remaining.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Charlton left-winger Johnny Summers' scored five of the six comeback goals (Huddersfield scored once more in the interim) and assisted the other two. His scoring blitzkrieg included a six-minute hat-trick.

    Also, Charlton captain Derek Ufton was injured in the 17th minute. Charlton played most of the game with just 10 men. 

Spartans vs Wildcats

45 of 50

    The date: October 21, 2006

    The sport: NCAA Football

    The players: Michigan State Spartans and Northwestern Wildcats

    The deficit: The Spartans were down 38-3 in the third quarter.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? This became the greatest comeback in NCAA Division I-A history, topping the epic-ness of two 31-point comebacks: Maryland beating Miami 42-40 in 1984 and Ohio State defeating Minnesota 41-37 in 1989.

Greg Lemond vs Laurent Fignon

46 of 50

    The date: July 23, 1989

    The sport: Cycling

    The players: Greg Lemond, Laurent Fignon, others -1989 Tour De France

    The deficit: In the final time trial, Lemond was 50 seconds behind Fignon.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Lemond not only made up the 50 seconds, he put eight more between he and Fignon by the end of the time trial. 

    But the reason this is obscenely ridiculous is this: Three months earlier, Lemond took a shotgun blast to the back in a hunting accident. His kidney, his liver, his diaphragm, his intestine, and even his heart lining took pellets. His lung collapsed.

    No one expected him to compete, let along pull off the greatest comeback in Tour history for a win.

Miracle at Rich Stadium

47 of 50

    The date: January 3, 1993

    The sport: NFL football

    The players: Buffalo Bills and Houston Oilers, wildcard playoff game

    The deficit: 32 points in the third quarter

     

    Why was it so ridiculous? Not only is it the largest comeback in NFL history, but "The Bills were playing without Jim Kelly, their franchise quarterback; linebacker Cornelius Bennett, the N.F.L.’s defensive player of the year; and running back Thurman Thomas, the offensive player of the year, who injured his hip early in the third quarter.

Scott Jurek vs Heat

48 of 50

    The date: July 11-13, 2005

    The sport: Running

    The players: Scott Jurek, Ferg Hawke, others, 2005 Badwater Ultramarathon 

    The deficit: Seventy miles into the 135-mile race, the excruciating heat got a KO. Jurek collapsed to the ground, shaking and puking. He didn't move for 10 minutes. 


    Why was it so ridiculous? Hey, the race itself is ridiculous: 135 miles. In the summer. Through DEATH VALLEY. And that's the easy part. The latter part of the race features three different ascents to 13,000 feet. 

    After Jurek's collapse, he got up and whizzed through the remaining 65 miles, shattering the course record by more than half an hour.

    Two weeks earlier, he had won the Western States 100 ultramarathon for the seventh consecutive year.  

Red Sox vs Yankees

49 of 50

    The date: October 12-20, 2004

    The sport: MLB

    The players: Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, American League Championship Series

    The deficit: In the ninth inning of Game 4, the Red Sox were down one run (in the game) and three games (in the series).


    Why was it so ridiculous?

    (1) No team in the history of MLB had ever lost the first three games and then gone on to win a seven-game series.  

    (2) The Yankees had close to $60 million more in payroll.

    (3) The Red Sox would go on to win the World Series. After 86 years, the Bambino finally decided it was time to forgive and forget. Curse lifted!

Dynamo Dresden vs Bayer Uerdingen

50 of 50

    The date: March 19, 1986

    The sport: Association soccer

    The players: Dynamo Dresden and Bayer Uerdingen, 1986 European Cup Winners' Cup, quarterfinals

    The deficit: Uerdingen was down 0–2 after the first leg away and behind 1–3 at half-time at home in the return leg.

     

    Why was it so ridiculous?

    (1) This was a Cold War battle: Communist East Germany (Dresden) vs. West Germany (Uerdingen) and the East was heavily favored.

    (2) Uerdingen scored five unanswered goals in 23 minutes, then capped it off with a sixth goal to win 7-3.

    (3) To cap off the capping off, after the game that night, Dresden forward Frank Lippman slipped out of his hotel room and defected from East Germany—a colossal embarrassment to the Marxist-Leninist socialist state.