Losses Ranked

After last night I tried to come up with the worst losses I have suffered as a sports fan. This is called catharsis.

1- Game 5 1995 ALDS- So many things make this the worst starting with the fact that the Yankees had the series in hand the day before when they jumped out to a 5-0 lead in Game 4. They blew that and then came into the 11th inning of this game with a one-run lead. Three batters later the game and the series were over.

2- 2002 NFL Playoffs- Start with the fact that the Giants led 38-14 with less than five minutes to go in the third quarter, but then consider this. The 49ers rally and cut the lead to 38-30 with two TD’s and two 2-point conversions. They then kick a field goal to make it 38-33, but the Giants drive deep into SF territory only to miss a field goal on a bad snap.

Then things really got nutty. The 49ers drive down and score a TD, but the 2-point conversion fails. The Giants have a minute left and get into position for a 42-yard field goal to win the game. Bad snap #2 ensues and the Giants have the heave the ball downfield in desperation. Everyone in the world sees the Giants’ receiver get tackled before the ball arrives and the flag on the play. But, the call is ineligible man down field and the game is over. The following day the NFL apologized to the Giants because the player flagged as ineligible had in fact checked in and was eligible and for missing the obvious pass interference call. <sigh>

3- Game 3 1980 ALCS- George Brett off of Goose Gossage, tears flowed.

4- Game 5 2004 ALCS- What people forget about this game, which went 14 innings, is how many times the Yankees bent, but didn’t break as the extra innings progressed. Made it that more painful when things finally ended.

5- Villanova 77 UNC 74. The cruel part of this game was the fact that it was “over” with a few minutes left. UNC trailed by 10 and had no shot. But Marcus Paige refused to accept that and hit one of the craziest three-pointers you will ever see with 4.7 seconds left. But then….

6 and 7- Games 1+2 2014 Stanley Cup- Both games see the Rangers up 2-0 early. Both games see LA storm back. Both games go to extra time. Both games end with LA winning.

8- Game 5 2011 ALDS- I saw this one in person and I will never forget the quiet after the game ended.

9- 1989 NFL Playoffs- Rams come behind in the 4th quarter to tie the game and then win the coin toss in OT. Flipper Anderson catches a pass, gets to the end zone, runs down the tunnel, and disappears.

10- Games 1 and 7 1995 NBA Semifinals- Pick your poison. Game 1 is Reggie Miller’s “8 points in 9 seconds” where the Knicks blow a 6-point lead over the final 18. Game 7 is Patrick Ewing missing a layup at the buzzer and the Knicks losing their first ever Game 7 at home.

Honorable Mention- 2002 Olympic Hockey Finals- The 1980 Men’s Team lights the torch and you can feel the gold medal finally coming back to U.S. soil. The 2002 team beats the Russians in the semis, just like 1980, and then gets bombed by Canada on home ice to lose the gold medal.


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  • Greg  On April 5, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Feel better?

    • nysportsfanatic  On April 5, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      I do. All pain is relative, and this pain is easier to handle once I put it into context.

      Thanks for “listening”

  • Greg  On April 5, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    You’re welcome. I find brandy sometimes helps.

  • Greg  On April 5, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Hmm. I just noticed the timestamp on here is either EST or CDT.

    Anyway, your recent posts have gotten me thinking about disappointing losses. I don’t much follow football, basketball or hockey, so I don’t have the same opportunities for disappointment as you do. My biggest ones include:

    1. 2004 ALCS. Didn’t sleep the night after Game 7. I knew after Game 5 they were in deep trouble after Game 5. I figured the Red Sox had just proven thet could win two; why not another two? COme to thin of it, I didn’t sleep well for quite a few days.

    2. 1980 ALCS. I literally screamed at the TV when Randolph got thrown out at the plate in Game 3. The Royals brutally exposed that team’s weaknesses in the :LCS, in a way no other team had all season. I was crushed.

    3. 1997 ALDS. I still can’t believe they lost Game 4 to the Indians. But then again, I think that loss helped to light the fire that led to the utter domination of 1998, which has helped to blunt the sting. But at the time, I was stunned. I really and truly felt at the time that the Yankees could have beaten the Orioles (I mean come on, Armando Benitez was their closer. Armando Benitez! Of course they would have beaten the Orioles). To this day I occasionally find myself wondering if they would have won 5 WS and 6 pennants in a row had it not been for that damn HR by Alomar.

    4. 2011 ALDS. Could have beaten the Tigers that series. That’s all I’m sayin’.

    5. 2012 ALCS. I hate to say this, but the Yankees just laid down for the Tigers. It was embarrassing. Maybe the loss of Jeter in Game 1 took all the fight out of them, but they didn’t acquit themselves well at all.

    6. 2002 ALDS. After the regular season the Yankees had, to get their heads handed to them that way was a bitter pill to swallow.

    7. 2005 ALDS. I really felt the Yankees could/should have beaten the Angels. No way they were getting past the White Sox. Not that Yankees team, not that White Sox team.

    8. 1988 NLCS. I never subscribed to the belief that as a Yankee fan I was obliged to hate the Mets. Heck, I grew up three subway stops from Shea. I followed the team extensively in 1985, watching as many of Gooden’s starts as I could. I really believe he would have had a great shot at the HOF if he’d stayed clean (Strawberry too, BTW). What a waste. Anyhow, I was somewhat invested in that time and I felt they could/should have beaten the Dodgers.

    • nysportsfanatic  On April 6, 2016 at 8:00 am

      Thanks for pointing that out. For whatever reason, these websites do not “Spring Forward” so if I forget, that happens.

      Great list, if I had confined mine to baseball, there would have been a lot of overlap including 1988 NLCS. 2002 ALDS is a great one, we had forgotten what it was like to lose a playoff series before the World Series at that point.

      I would also add the 2006 ALDS. Kenny Rogers dominated us. Kenny Rogers!

  • Greg  On April 6, 2016 at 11:28 am

    The website administrators didn’t configure the virtual machine correctly. Linux, and UNIX and Windows all support DST.

    Ah, yes. Kenny Rogers. I meant to include that one, but it was late, I was tired and I accidentally omitted it. Losing to Kenny Rogers and then having to watch Jeff Weaver win a WS was all a bit too nauseating.

    LOL — I just noticed I wrote “I knew after Game 5 they were in deep trouble after Game 5”. Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department.

  • Greg  On April 6, 2016 at 11:29 am

    The timestamp from my previous post is correct.

    • nysportsfanatic  On April 6, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Yup, when you reminded me I went back in and changed it to “UTC-4”. Now I just have to remember to change it back in November!

  • Greg  On April 6, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    MS Outlook and many freemail apps have a calendar tool where you can set reminders for yourself.

  • Greg  On April 6, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Thank you for posting that link. I’ve been aware for some time of the tensions amongst the various Christian groups there, of the way each group jealously guards their prerogatives, and specifically of the fights that broke out in 2008. Not exactly in keeping with the teachings of Christ, is it? So many Christians, so few followers of Christ.

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