Calgary’s shocking defeat in the final minutes against the Montreal Alouettes got Al Dannity thinking and that’s always dangerous. Here’s Al’s look at some of the greatest ever collapses in sports inspired, for want of a better word, by the Stampeders.
Setting the scene
Memorable failures where defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory tend to have that one moment that makes fans go ‘Oh no’. It’s not quite the moment of defeat. Instead it’s an act that makes fans heart drop in a way that they know the inevitable will soon be with them. That’s what happened when Kevin Glenn threw a pass directly into the arms of Jerald Brown last night. Glenn, for one brief moment, had caught a violent case of the derps and once that happens doom is sure to follow.
As the Stamps only dropped a Week 3 regular season game, the manner of this defeat won’t sting too long. Others have failed in much more dramatic style on far grander stages.
The British Open in 1999 played host to arguably the most spectacular Golf collapse of all time. Jean Van de Velde reached the 18th at Carnoustie needing only a double-bogey to take the title. Once he hit the water, his title hopes soon sank. The memorable image of the Frenchman pulling up his trousers to investigate is scorched in the memory of fans around the world. He eventually forced a playoff but Paul Lawrie of Scotland emerged as the unlikely victor.
Whereas Van de Velde’s moment happened over a few minutes, the failure of Greg Norman at the 1996 Masters was a drawn-out epic of failure. Leading by 6 shots going into the final day, the Great White Shark fell apart and the title went to Nick Faldo.
Football has not been without its spectacular meltdowns. The Bills comeback in 1992 AFC Wildcard game is more famous for Buffalo’s comeback but spare a thought for the Houston Oilers. They led 35-3 in the third quarter only to eventually lose in overtime. Not to be left out in the cold, College Football’s most epic turnaround came in the 2006 Insight Bowl. The Minnesota Golden Gophers had a 38-7 lead with just 8 minutes on the clock but Mike Leach’s air raid fuelled Texas Tech tied the game before the final gun and then won in overtime.
We can’t however send you into your weekend on such a low note so the last such failure ends in redemption. Jana Novotna was well on course to claim the Wimbledon title in 1993 with a 4-1 and 40-15 lead in the final set. Graf rallied to win the set and with it the title, leading Novotna to break down in tears in the arms of the Duchess of Kent. Novotna however would eventually have her day in the sun, winning Wimbledon in 1998.
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