Jamie Edmonds: Great sports comebacks

(Original photo by Vince Fleming)
(Original photo by Vince Fleming)

DETROIT – Last week, I was down four through six holes. It was round one of the Lochmoor Club Ladies Bracket Match Play.

I was pretty sure the match wouldn’t make it to 18 and I would have to tell all my golf friends of my epic collapse. But then, something happened. Like all great athletes, I dug deep. I got back in it after 10 holes. I got it to EVEN going in to 18 and somehow, I won it on the last hole after narrowly hitting my drive into the water. I would later tell my husband and close friends, ‘that was one of the great comebacks in sports history.’

I’m JOKING of course! Well, kind of. 

Anyway, it did get me to thinking: What are the greatest comebacks in sports history? It turned into a fun discussion in the sports office. So here is  the list we came up with, complete with videos so we can all relive the moments. Do you agree with us? 

Blocked punt MSU:

The No.7 Wolverines hosted the No. 12 Spartans at the Big House on October 17, 2015. With the Wolverines leading by 2 with 10 second remaining, it seemed all but certain that the Paul Bunyan trophy would head back to Ann Arbor. That was until the Spartans blocked the last down punt and returned it for a touchdown.

Jordan Poole Buzzer Beater:

Trailing by 2 points with four seconds remaining in the second round of March Madness, Michigan basketball needed a miracle.  Freshman Jordan Poole delivered a 3-pointer at the buzzer to advance the Wolverines to the Sweet Sixteen.

Magglio Homer Vs A’s:  

Looking to complete a sweep over Oakland in the 2006 ALCS, Magglio Ordóñez launched a walk off home run deep into the left field bleachers to send the Tigers to the World Series.

Cleveland comeback over warriors:

In 2016 the Cleveland Cavaliers were behind the Golden State Warriors in series down 3-1. Lebron James along with Kyrie Irving led the charge winning 3 games in row for Cleveland’s first championship.

Stafford Fake Spike:

The Detroit Lions got the last laugh in a 2013 shootout with the Dallas Cowboys. Down by 6 with a minute remaining, the Lions marched down the field courtesy of a couple big gains from Calvin Johnson. Matt Stafford put the exclamation point on the drive, scoring a touchdown off of a fake spike.


“Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” The 1980 USA men’s hockey team netted two third-period goals to defeat the powerhouse Soviet Union en route to an Olympic gold medal win. 

Tiger Woods Comeback:

After multiple personal setbacks and a back injury, Tiger Woods returned to his former glory – winning the 2019 Masters 13 under.

USC Track Comeback:

The USC women’s track and field team needed a first place finish in the 4x400 to seal a National Championship. In third place heading into the final leg of the 4x400, the first place finish seemed impossible. Kendall Ellis turned on the burners after the final turn of the lap to narrowly cross the finish line in first place. 

Not real life, but still really good movie comebacks:

Mighty Ducks:  

After acquiring Adam Banks as a result of shady district lines being brought to the league’s attention, the Mighty Ducks beat their rival Hawks in “Flying V” formation.

Karate Kid:

As Daniel LaRusso was told he was not able to compete before his championship match with Johnny Lawrence, Mr. Miyagi performed a healing action on his knee so he was able to compete. LaRusso and Lawrence are tied, and with barley anything left in the tank, LaRusso lands a crane kick to win the All-Valley karate championship.

Was there something we missed? What do you think is the greatest sports comeback?