Some years there are upsets in sports and other years there are “gigantic” upsets in sports.
Fans generally love the underdog unless one of the teams they cheer for is in the favourite’s role.
Recently, two upsets in two different sports come to mind that we’re not just eye-popping but “shockers”.
First, there was the biggest upset in WHL history followed a short time later by the second-biggest upset in the long and storied Kentucky Derby.
The Vancouver Giants barely made the Western Conference playoffs with 53 points, one more than the Victoria Royals, who failed to qualify for the post-season.
The Everett Silvertips finished with 100 points on the nose, good for the top spot in the West, yet the 8th-seeded Giants beat the Silvertips in six games despite the 47-point difference.
The series concluded on Monday, May 2nd.
If you are wondering about the second-biggest upset in league history (based on point spreads) that would be the 1997 Prince George Cougars who knocked off the Portland Winterhawks in six games despite a 36-point spread in the standings.
Biggest Point Spreads In WHL Opening Round Upsets (Not Counting Round-Robins)
47 – 2022 Giants/Silvertips
36 – 1997 Cougars/Winterhawks
30 – 2002 Thunderbirds/Winterhawks
30 – 1993 Rockets/Chiefs
29 – 1989 Warriors/Tigers
28 – 2009 Hurricanes/Blades
27 – 1993 Tigers/Wheat Kings https://t.co/jsOyAqjL98
— Lucas Punkari (@lpunkari) May 3, 2022
There was a horse-racing stunner on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Rich Strike, an 80-1 longshot, won the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of the 4-1 favourite Epicenter.
The victory by Rich Strike was the second-biggest upset in the race’s history, paying $163.60 to win.
Only Donerail in 1913 had a higher payout of $184.90.
In an astonishing upset, underdog Rich Strike had a remarkable come-from-behind win at the Kentucky Derby — and his trainer, Eric Reed, is celebrating a comeback victory of his own: “I’m glad I chose to fight back one more time.” https://t.co/pLDGReQjjT pic.twitter.com/7fuU8DmPTN
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) May 9, 2022
WHERE DID HE COME FROM!?
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 7, 2022
Going back in time, there are many gigantic upsets that will stand the test of time.
Here are just a few.
In 1990, Buster Douglas was a 42-1 underdog against Mike Tyson, yet it was Douglas who knocked out the heavyweight boxing champion in the 10th round in the Tokyo Dome.
February 11, 1990: 42-1🥊
Buster Douglas shocked the world with a KO victory over Mike Tyson…
What is the greatest sporting upset of all time?pic.twitter.com/ETSsuHL8ee
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) February 11, 2021
In 1980, there was the Miracle on Ice, as the US National Hockey Team, made up of college students, beat the star-studded Soviet Union 4-3 at the Olympics to advance to the Gold Medal game (which they won 4-2 over Finland). The victory over the Soviets was the basis for a feature film on the winning American team.
“Do you believe in miracles? YES!”
This Al Michaels call will just never get old🔊pic.twitter.com/DJ5QajpZga
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) February 22, 2022
In 1982, the LA Kings beat the Edmonton Oilers and the Great Gretzky three games to two in a best-of-five first-round series. The high-scoring Oilers finished with 111 points (48-17-15 record) 48 more than the Kings (24-41-15).
On April 13, 1982, the @LAKings completed the biggest upset in NHL history by eliminating the Edmonton Oilers in round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Charlie Simmer scored two goals and Daryl Evans scored his fifth goal of the series in a 7-4 win in Game 5.#LAKings #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/ZxG6wJVuGQ
— The Kingstorian (@Kingstorian) April 13, 2022
Considering the magnitude of the game and the circumstances around it, the New York Giants’ 2007 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots is arguably the biggest upset in NFL history.
Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots put their perfect 18-0 record on the line.
They were 12-point favourites against the Giants but New York won 17-14 thanks to a late touchdown drive that featured one of the most iconic catches in sports history. David Tyree caught a long pass from Eli Manning by pressing the ball against his helmet.
Feb. 3, 2008: The New England Patriots were one win away from completing the 2007-08 season 19-0 but, despite being favored by 12 points according to Vegas odds, ran into a pesky NFC Champion New York Giants squad in the thrilling Super Bowl XLII from Gl… https://t.co/JQDXka8o97 pic.twitter.com/mEwnaYVDUv
— Programming Insider (@PIUpdate) February 4, 2021
The beauty of sports is there will be many more memorable upsets to come.
You can bet on that, whether you are given 80-to-1 odds or not.
FROM THE QUOTE RACK:
Tom Brady says he will join FOX Sports as an analyst when he retires. Well, better than him running for the Senate as another unqualified celebrity Republican.
*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com
Phil Mickelson racked up gambling losses of $40 million from 2010 to 2014, according to author Alan Shipnuck in his forthcoming biography of the PGA star. You just know some wiseacre will be screaming “Get out of the hole!” the next time he putts.
*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/
Phil Mickelson reportedly lost 40 million dollars in gambling debts. Good thing someone named him Lefty—they sure couldn’t call him Lucky.
*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California
The new Grambling women’s volleyball coach cut the entire team. Upon hearing this, New York Jets coach Robert Saleh said, ‘Wait, you can do that?’
*Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg
In Case You Missed It:
Seven NHL clubs that ranked in the top 10 for overall team height missed the playoffs. Who says winning the Stanley Cup is a tall order?
*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com
Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He also is the radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars’ home games. Hartley has been on the Prince George airwaves since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).