Use the word comeback or choke. Unfortunately it means the same thing.
One team has won and won team or person has spectacularly lost.
I don’t know if it was the famous Oracle, Apollo, looking down on Team Oracle in San Francisco or simply San Francisco’s favourite son/Oracle known as Joe Montana, but whatever it was, there was definitely some devine intervention.
Team Oracle has come back from a 1-8 deficit to beat Team NZ, 9-8 in the America’s Cup. I believe it is the greatest comeback in sport history.
I don’t know if Team NZ forgot which was port and which was starboard, but either way they have been left right out of the celebrations in this America’s Cup. I have a feeling Team NZ might be relocating with the Cronulla Sharks up to Rockhampton after this fall from grace.
To come back from seven races down has certainly knocked the wind out of the sails of Australia II’s infamous comeback when they were two races behind.
The beauty and romance of sport is about come from behind wins. Here are a few more examples of bigger comebacks than John Farnham’s comeback tours.
We all remember poor Greg Norman’s choke when he led the US Masters in 1996, by six shots and Nick Faldo came back. This was a comeback and not just Norman choking. Faldo shot an incredible 67, which is tough any day, let alone on the final day of the games greatest tournament.
Steffi Graf came back from a near impossible position in the Wimbledon final in 1993. She was down 7-6, 1-6, 1-4 and Jana Novotna was serving to make it 1-5 in the third set. Novotna double faulted and then Graf won five unanswered games, to take the deciding set 6-4.
In the 1972 Olympic 10,000m race, Lasse Viran tripped over during the race leaving him 30m behind. He caught up to the leaders in only a few hundred metres and then continued to power on and still take gold.
Using the most horrible word in sport ‘choke’, rather than ‘comeback’, the list is endless. Australia in the 1981 Ashes, where Ian Botham took the bowlers apart, the All Blacks losing to the French in the World Cup rugby semi final in 1999 after leading 24-10 at half time and the South Africans losing to Australia in the semi final of the cricket World Cup, when Allan Donald forgot to run.
In the Super Bowl in 1991, the kicker for the Buffalo Bills had a 47 yard field goal attempt to win the Super Bowl. He pulled it right and he is now pulling beers at his local pub in Virginia.
Congratulations Oracle Team USA. You make number two on the list of all time greatest sporting comebacks.
Number one is this editor, as I fought back from 0-19 down against Nic McRae at the year 7 athletics camp, in table tennis. The crowd of zero was left speechless with my tenacity and determination to win. While I didn’t get the acclamation I felt I deserved and no green jacket, huge trophy or keys to the city, the coca cola and kit kat I won, was more than enough.