“Down but not out”. “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” and many more sayings are a result of “the comeback”. We love to see the team that is down rally and end up the victor (unless you are rooting for the eventual loser). Between Cinderella stories, to David verses Goliath moments sports provides some of the best conversation fuel. Here are some examples of the great comebacks in sports history.
NCAA tournament: BYU (25-10) pulled off the biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history in Dayton three years ago, rallying from a 25-point first-half deficit to a 78-72 win over Iona.
MLB: Aug. 5, 2001, one of the great teams of all time let a 12-run lead get away.
Seattle was up, 12-0, against Cleveland in the fourth inning. It was 14-2 in the seventh. A team that had eight All-Stars held a 12-run lead with nine outs to get.
They couldn’t make it stand.
What may stand out most about this game is that the Mariners never turned to their scrubs. Lou Piniella used the best relievers from a great bullpen, and still the M’s fell.
After John Halama, the only non-late-inning guy who pitched, Piniella turned to Norm Charlton, Jeff Nelson, and closer Kaz Sasaki, and they all gave up runs. It went to extras tied at 14, and in the 11th, Jolbert Cabrera singled home Kenny Lofton to end the marathon.
NFL: Joe Montana became synonymous with “comeback” during his Hall of Fame career, but perhaps none of his heroics were finer than the day he led the 49ers back by scoring on a 1-yard run, connecting on a 71-yard bomb and added another TD pass to rally San Fran from a 35-7 halftime deficit against the New Orleans Saints on December 7th 1980.
And who can forget last year’s come from behind win for the Seahawks. Green Bay dominated most of the game, but played “not to lose”. Then… Down 16-0 at halftime, the Seahawks scored 15 points in the final 2:09 of regulation to force overtime, then got a 35-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse to beat the Packers, 28-22, in the NFC Championship.
All of these awesome examples have a common theme. Don’t quit! When we are faced with adversity we have really only two options: lose or win. When Israel had just lost a battle against Ai, Joshua fell face down and complained to God about their circumstance. Someone had sinned in the camp and God wasn’t pleased, but instead of asking how to win Joshua wanted to retreat and go back across the Jordan where he thought they’d be safe. God responds like the trainer “Mick” from Rocky might, “The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face?” – Joshua 7:10. God doesn’t want us to stay down! When you are faced with adversity don’t stay down. Look to God, listen for guidance, and win the game! Let God guide you to the next great comeback story.
What is your great comeback story? Share with us what God has graced you with.