I was sitting my desk at work today, bored out of my mind, and came across a Reddit post that said, “what is the greatest sports miracle of all time?”
Well here we go, the three greatest miracles in sports history:
3. “THE MOUNTAINEERS HAVE JUST BEATEN THE MICHIGAN WOLVERINES!!!!!!!”
Michigan was looking at a run at the national title heading into the first game of the season against FBS Appalachian State. Wolverines Quarterback Chad Henne returned for his senior season in the hopes of bringing home a national title for the maize and blue.
Before the season when the schedule came out, some of the Wolverines asked head coach Llyod Carr when he announced the schedule, “who?” in regards to the first game of the season, which was against the Mountaineers.
The game was being broadcasted on the Big 10 Network, and it was the first game on the new network. Some of the major cable and satellite providers were unable to air the game as some of the providers did not strike a deal with the Big 10 Network before the first game of the season.
For some lucky Michigan fans, this was a blessing in disguise.
Having played awful all game, the Wolverines still had a chance to come away with the victory against an FBS opponent (at the Big House too, mind you.)
As Michigan lined up a 37 yard field goal, you felt the Wolverines were just going to knock it through the uprights, and escape with a victory on week 1.
But what happened next, was almost beyond belief.
2. “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?”
It was the peak of the cold war. The Americans vs. the Soviets, freedom vs. communism, college students vs. the greatest hockey players in the world. The Americans had not beaten the Soviets in hockey in a generation at the Olympics.
Lake Placid was the setting, hockey was the game. The American team comprised of college hockey players, squared off against the greatest hockey team maybe ever compriesed, the professional Soviets, which included one of the best goaltenders of all time in Vladislav Tretiak. Tretiak was widely regarded as the best in the world, so good that the Montreal Canadians offered $1 Million to the Red Army for him.
But after the first period, the Soviets for some inexplicable reason, pulled Tretiak from the game with the game tied at 2, thus inserting the much less experienced Myshkin.
The Soviets took the lead in the second period, leading 3-2 going into the third, with the game still plenty in reach for the Americans.
In the third, after some sloppy defending from the Soviets, Mark Johnson ended up with the puck right infront of the net after a deflected pass and slid it five hole on Myshkin.
A few shifts later, Snider shot a rifle from center ice which Myshkin shaved, broke to Eruzione at the top of the slot after a rebound, and sniped it past the Soviets. The Lake Placid crowd went absolutely insane, and the Americans had to only hang on four a few more minutes.
“You’ve got ten seconds… the countdown going on right now, Morrow up to Schutlz, five seconds left in the game… do you believe in miracles… YES!!!!!”
1. “Leicester City… LEICESTER CITY… Are The Champions Of England”
Quite simply, it is the greatest sporting miracle ever. It was tough choosing between the “Miracle on Ice” and Leciester City winning the Premier League in 2016, but when I sat down and thought about which was more impressive, there was no doubt in my mind, Leciester’s was a miracle that somehow lasted for ten months.
Leicester the previous season was in 20th place with eight games to play, it was certain they were going to go down and be relegated to the Championship. They pulled off one of the greatest escapes of all time, and stayed in the Premier League for the 2015/2016 season.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri was the first name on the “Sack Race” list by the bookies over in England. What happened over the next ten months, is almost indescribable.
Heading into their game against Liverpool in the beginning of February, Leicester were top of the league and had a massive test against the Reds at the King Power Stadium. The cracks in Leicester were starting to show, and if Liverpool could get a result, you had to feel the wheels were going to fall off the wagon. Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez thumped a 60 yard pass up the field to striker Jamie Vardy (who would mix vodka and Red Bulls before playing games), hit it on the half volley and smacked in from 30 yards out past Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet. I remember texting my best friend Jake, saying, “they’re going to win the fucking league”. It was right then and there, you knew they were going to do it. If you are scoring goals like that, you aren’t losing the title.
Gaining a point at the mighty Manchester United at Old Trafford, and with Chelsea drawing with 2nd place Tottenham at Stamford Bridge, Peter Drury uttered out at full time, “Leicester City… LEICESTER CITY… are the champions of England. And you have to ask yourself, how on earth did that just happen?”
5000/1 odds to win the league to start the season, half of the team was not playing professionally a couple years prior, barely staying up in the Premier League the season prior. It shouldn’t have happened, it couldn’t have happened, but it did. And you will never, ever, see anything like it ever again.