It’s honestly been a while since I watched a full edition of SportsCenter in the morning. And a lack of live sports (sorta) has certainly contributed to that. This morning the program ended, as always, with the Top 10 plays, but this edition of the Top 10 focused on the worst blown leads in sports history. Here’s the complete list:
SportCenter’s Top 10 collapses in sports:
10. 2011 Red Sox blow a 9 game AL East lead in the month of September
9. 1962 Brooklyn dodgers blow a 13 game lead in August and lose to the Giants in tiebreaker.
8. 2017 PSG blow a 4-0 lead in aggregate to Barcelona, losing 6-1 in the second leg.
7. 2010 Bruins blow a 3-0 lead in the east conf finals to the Flyers.
6. Golden State Warriors blow 3-1 lead in 2017 to LeBron and the Cavs
5. 1992 Houston oilers blow 32 point lead in wild card game vs bills
4. Yankees blow a 3-0 series lead in the 2004 ALCS to the Red Sox
3. 2016 Falcons lose 28-3 lead in super bowl 51 vs Patriots
2. Jean van de Velde loses 3 stroke lead on the final hole in the 1999 British open
1. 1964 Phillies lose a 6.5 game lead with just 12 games to play in the regular season
My reaction to this list certainly has some recency bias and Boston sports fan bias, but if I were to rerank these, the 2004 ALCS and the Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl would definitely be my 1 and 2, respectively. The 2004 ALCS is probably the greatest series in the history of sports. An unprecedented comeback featuring two extra inning comebacks/walk-offs in Games 4 and 5 to stay alive. The Yankees had the best record in the American League and were coming off a World Series loss in 2003. The story was written for them and they blew it despite a 3 game lead.
I’d also add to this list AC Milan losing the 2005 Champions League final despite a 3-0 lead at the half. Liverpool came back to tie the game 3-3 (scoring 3 goals in a 6 minute span in the second half), and then won 3-2 on penalties thanks to Steven Gerrard.
Also to not have any college sports in here seems to be a big miss. In recent years I think of 2017 Miami football going undefeated before losing to unranked and sub-.500 Pitt, a blowout loss to Clemson, and then a loss to Wisconsin in their bowl game. Or college basketball teams like Virginia as a #1 losing to a #16 UMBC. Or 2007 Clemson basketball started 17-0 before missing the tournament entirely.