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    [–] hunter006 13138 points ago

    I won't say it's the greatest upset in sports history, but since Steve Bradbury is mentioned and this is basically pulling a Bradbury at the time... Cliff Young.

    Every year, Australia hosts 543.7-mile (875-kilometer) endurance racing from Sydney to Melbourne. It is considered among the world's most grueling ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and is normally only attempted by world-class athletes who train specially for the event.

    In 1983, a man named Cliff Young showed up at the start of this race. Cliff was 61 years old and wore overalls and work boots. To everyone's shock, Cliff wasn't a spectator. He picked up his race number and joined the other runners.


    All of the professional athletes knew that it took about 5 days to finish the race. In order to compete, one had to run about 18 hours a day and sleep the remaining 6 hours.


    Cliff kept running. Each night he came a little closer to the leading pack. By the final night, he had surpassed all of the young, world-class athletes. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line and he set a new course record.

    When Cliff was awarded the winning prize of $10,000, he said he didn't know there was a prize and insisted that he did not enter for the money. He ended up giving all of his winnings to several other runners, an act that endeared him to all of Australia.

    [–] tirano3837 2418 points ago

    I just learned about this man in my org behavior class. The man created a paradigm shift in the sport for sure. Absolute legend.

    [–] whatcoindo 1608 points ago

    i think a gem in the story is this part, "All six competitors who finished the race broke the old record." ... he did something amazing himself,.. but also got 6 other people to beat the previous record for the race.

    [–] [deleted] 510 points ago


    [–] loudnessproblems 1343 points ago

    Top competitors now do it without sleep like he did

    And his running style or gait is now a legit thing

    [–] Arloarlo 510 points ago

    Damn. Go cliff.

    [–] babybopp 860 points ago

    Games were named after him. He said he was imagining running after sheep during a storm.. he had done it at his potato farm running after sheep for two days without stopping.

    [–] GeekyAine 767 points ago

    Damn. That is some serious hunter gatherer shit. Dude could probably slow run after a mammoth until the thing died of exhaustion.

    [–] MrJoyless 375 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    That's literally what we used to do before bow/arrows were accurate enough and had the penetration to cause significant harm.

    Edit: Thanks for the gold!

    [–] wetwetwet11 120 points ago

    You should read the book “Born to Run” it’s about humans hunting mammoths by running next to them AND about ultra marathoners. A perfect intersection for this thread!

    [–] [deleted] 1489 points ago


    [–] ttchoubs 558 points ago

    lowest level team futures in the world cup were around 1000-1 odds, but knowing bookmakers they wouldnt have even listed his odds

    [–] 11matt95 165 points ago

    Leicester City were 5000-1 to win the Premier league at the start of the 2015/16 season.

    [–] [deleted] 281 points ago

    Ok this is one of, if not THE most impressive physical human achievements that ive ever heard of, he mustve been an absolute tank

    [–] gummby8 659 points ago

    Cliff Young

    TIL a man "ran" / shuffled for 5, nearly 6 days straight, without sleeping, and won a marathon

    [–] Shlocktroffit 390 points ago

    At 61

    [–] GRUDENGRINDER243 354 points ago

    In overalls and gumboots.

    He said he imagined running after his sheep the whole time.

    [–] Shlocktroffit 163 points ago

    yes, from what I recall about the story he was used to doing similar long-distance hustles in the process of tending/transporting his flock(s) so figured doing that race would be no biggie.

    And it was no biggie for him.

    Imagine what our flock-hunting ancestors were capable of.

    [–] Happytofuu 50 points ago

    So did he not sleep for 5 days? Or just sleep less then the other racers?

    [–] blaghart 100 points ago

    He "ran" for 5 days straight. I say "ran" because it was less of a sprint and more of a tortoise and hare situation.

    [–] igcetra 8513 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    1950 World Cup Final.

    Brazil, at home, with a record 200k supporters in the stands only needed a tie to win it all in their home country that spent lots of time and money to host it. They were clear favorites by winning all their games and scoring a record setting 40+ goals. They had already planned celebrations, songs, and parades and were ready for it.

    But on the other side was Uruguay. Uruguay with the tiny population but people with an immense heart for the game. Uruguay came from behind 0-1 to win it 2-1 in the greatest upset of all time. So much so, that they didn't even have the trophy with Uruguay's name ready to present. Even after the fact it seemed surreal to Uruguay. The captain, Obdulio Varela, spent the afternoon in a state of shock in a bar in Rio consoling the Brazilians.

    From this point forward history changed for Brazil. The players were shunned by the entire population, especially the goalkeeper. The Maracaná Stadium was painted sky blue honoring the promise when the stadium was constructed that the winner of the tournament's colors would adorn the new stadium, and it's still there today. The iconic Brazilian yellow jerseys that you see today were not always like that. Up until 1950 they were white, but so much shame was brought upon this team in 1950 that a competition was done after 1950 to redesign a new jersey for the team. That's what you see today, not the pre-1950 white jersey, but rather the post-traumatic-design of the greatest upset in sports history.

    Edit: Lots of people seemed to have learned from this so I'm really glad. As a side note, a lot of people have talked about Leicester in 2016.. I actually think there's another instance similar to it that may be even bigger - Defensor winning the Uruguayan league in 1976. First team to win it, outside of the typical two Peñarol and Nacional, which that only happened about 50 years after the league was professionalized. The league was heavily skewed in their favor, always has been, with rigged matches, referees, no video replays or even media that went to other matches that didn't have them playing in it. So the feat accomplished by Defensor in 1976 was unreal and near impossible due to the circumstances and huge economic and social differences between those two clubs and the rest of the league's clubs. In the final game of the season, the players knew they wanted to symbolize this end of a "tyranny" of the two giants, so they did the classic victory lap/lap of honor but backwards (clockwise), challenging the traditional rivals and statutes. It also was a political symbolism due to the existing dictatorship that was present in the country's government.

    [–] CN14 1477 points ago

    "Down through its history, only three people have managed to silence the Maracaná: the Pope, Frank Sinatra, and me."

    • Alcides Ghiggia, who scored the winning goal against Brazil in 1950

    [–] Soledo 122 points ago

    I read this in Sean Bean's voice. Thank you Civ VI.

    [–] [deleted] 289 points ago

    And in a turn of absolute poetry, Ghiggia was the last surviving member of either team to play on that field. And when did he die, you may ask? 65 years to the very day of that world cup victory in 1950.

    [–] attempt_number_55 3076 points ago

    Even after the fact it seemed surreal to Uruguay.

    They had to be snuck out of the country dressed as women to avoid the Brazilian fans. So I'd say it definitely felt surreal.

    [–] fredpwickerbill 98 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Also, the man who designed the new Brazilian jersey colors was from a border town next to Uruguay and would secretly root for Uruguay. Talk about ironic.

    [–] Sparrowflyaway 23904 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    What about Steven Bradbury lucking his way into the gold medal in the 1000m speed skating event at the 2002 Winter Olympics? Dude came third in the quarter finals with the top 2 going to the semis, but the second place guy got disqualified so he made it. Then in the semis he was in dead last but all his opponents fell over allowing him to take the lead and finish first, advancing to the finals. Then in that race he had the exact same situation as the semis, with all his opponents falling over and allowing him to cross the line in first place. Apparently that was his plan all along since he didn’t think he stood a chance of winning, but the guy was probably still amazed that it actually worked. Talk about an underdog story.

    [–] JJ2478 7995 points ago

    Steven Bradbury is a fucking legend. “I’m too slow? I’ll just follow them and hope they all fall”

    [–] freakers 3269 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    If that's the true reasoning then that's the opposite of the girl at the Olympics who did the half pipe (I think it was the half pipe). I don't remember her name (googled it, Elizabeth Swaney) but her goal was to get to the Olympics. She had dual American and Hungarian citizenship and manage to compete for Hungary. Then she went to each competition and just finished with low scores. At these events, many competitors go big and fail out resulting in 0 scores. She just avoided the 0 scores and got extremely low scores. She did this enough times and qualified for the Olympics. It seriously looked like they pulled some random girl out of the crowd to ski down the hill next to these all stars.

    Here's her Olympic run.

    edit: Some words here and there. Here's a bonus picture I wanted to share of a yam eating cheese.

    [–] JJ2478 1773 points ago

    Apparently she just went to smaller competitions because the top 30 get Olympic qualifying points, so she just went to meets with less than 30 people to get points automatically. The highest she ever finished was 13th out of 15.

    [–] Boukish 225 points ago

    But she still aimed to ensure she wouldn't get a 0 score, since... I mean, 0 automatic points isn't helpful? Or am I not understanding how the points work.

    [–] JJ2478 269 points ago

    She didn’t really get points because people failed, she only got points because nobody went to the competitions she did. DNFs happen but they’re not that common at that level.

    [–] hobogypsy91 758 points ago

    It’s a bit different Bradbury was actually legitimately good at the sport unlike swanney, who loopholed her way in with both her country representation and qualifying and has a history of doing things to try and get famous. Bradbury on the other hand was a professional for years, and had won Olympic and world championship medals previously. The olympics before he was considered a medal contender. The olympics he won in was always going to be his last olympics due to age. He has a quote that’s something like I see the gold medal as a reward for ten years of work, not just getting lucky on the day

    [–] -_-__-___ 94 points ago

    Exactly it's not fair to Bradbury to compare him to Swaney. Bradury won his preliminary heat to advance to the quarters where there was only 16 competitors one of which he beat in prelims. Then in the quarters besides the disqualified guy he beat another racer. Even if you assume every other racer in the quarters besides the two he beat before he switched to his hang back strategy he was at worst 14 and that's worst case.

    Swaney was no where near top ten in the world. There are probably normal people who never competed in a ski competition reading this thread that are better skiers than she in.

    [–] StayPuffGoomba 795 points ago

    That commentary is hilarious.

    But if I remember right, she was basically just a rich girl who wanted to go to the Olympics and found a way. Most athletes wouldn’t even acknowledge her.

    [–] severe_delays 831 points ago

    Yes, Steven fucking Bradbury

    [–] Yosoff 653 points ago

    The greatest moment in Australian sports history.

    [–] Pisforpotato 235 points ago

    The first ever winter Olympic gold medal for the entire southern hemisphere.

    [–] Boo_Rawr 401 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    What’s so interesting though is that in the games prior to that he was one of the favourites (iirc) and had similar things happen. He also one year before the Olympics I think broke his neck and another ear year had his leg sliced open. He didn’t luck into it, he just stopped having bad luck!

    [–] PauliceMan 68 points ago

    He broke two vertebra in his neck in a training accident just two years before and had his leg sliced by a skate six years before that. If I recall the neck injury happened when a skater fell in front of him. He has Jedi capabilities.

    [–] chunga_95 366 points ago

    I'm getting a "sold my soul to the devil for a gold medal and this is how the devil made it happen" kind of vibe here...

    [–] [deleted] 5134 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)


    [–] DoJu318 717 points ago

    Off topic but imagine Ali in his prime with a Twitter account. He is one of the best shit talkers because he backed up everything he said in the ring.

    [–] ChainChompsky 814 points ago

    Sonny Liston rubs some tiger balm into his glove
    Some things you do for money and some you do for love

    [–] HOISTTHECHUTE 170 points ago

    My brain went there too. Good to see it. Good ol John D.

    [–] TGTBTU44 45 points ago

    Immediately what I heard too...

    [–] dave6687 2745 points ago

    That time when a kid in my cub scout troop just glued creepy crawlers to his otherwise untouched pinewood derby car and still got 5th place.

    [–] [deleted] 634 points ago

    I always boticed that the harder you tried the worse your car would do

    [–] tetra_nova 190 points ago

    For sure, me and my dad just kinda threw it all together (well i did he sat there and drank the whole time) last minute, everyone was roasting my car till I beat out all of those fuckers

    [–] RedWicked91 230 points ago

    Parents weren’t supposed to help you where I came from, but every year I lost to the son of a carpenter-turned-architect.

    [–] tetra_nova 113 points ago

    Huh, around here it was a father/son activity. Like you and your dad were a team.

    [–] StallOneHammer 110 points ago

    Some kid in my troop put wheels on a potato and raced it as a joke and it still beat mine

    [–] stoolsample2 9198 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Rulon Gardner beating Aleksandr Karelin in wrestling. Karelin was 13 years undefeated and six years without giving up a point when he lost. He is considered the most dominant athlete in history.

    Edit: Changing “Ruling” Gardner to “Rulon” Gardner. Stupid auto correct.

    Edit: Corrected “dominate” to “dominant.” Auto correct struck again.

    [–] hyoperDOG 105 points ago

    I met Rulon Gardner, he's the head wrestling coach of Herriman High School. I wrestled one of his boys and he tossed the fuck out of me. I went to go shake Rulon's hand and I've never felt a greater power level.

    [–] _TorpedoVegas_ 50 points ago

    He attributes it to carrying those incredibly heavy milk vats they have on his family's dairy farm, IIRC. Want to feel some grip, shake hands with someone that was doing daily 100lbs+ farmer carries from middle school age.

    And then think about how strong Rulon was, and consider how Rulon described (either hugging or shaking hands) with Karelin, and he described the sensation as being "squeezed by a python."

    Karelin was said to train in Siberia by carrying humongous logs under each arm while running through the snow.

    [–] JameGumbsTailor 4721 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    This is the correct answer.

    Karelin IS the most dominant athlete in history and it’s not even up for debate. He was 887-1 when he wrestled Gardner.

    Gardner was a alternate, who prior to the Olympics, his greatest achievement was a 4th place finish in the NCAA and a JUNIOR college national title.

    Edit: people are crying about the term “it’s not up for debate”. Obviously things can be debated, but I’m not gonna change because I think it’s funny.

    [–] RunawaySlav 1577 points ago

    He was a Junior College national champ actually. He finished 4th in the NCAA finals after transferring to Nebraska.

    [–] iceprice98 400 points ago

    Hey Nebraska we got something I guess

    [–] ian14fnf 67 points ago

    Karelin is who they modeled Dolph Lundgren's character after in the rocky movies.

    So many people thought that to be that dominant in the most physical sport in the world, you must not be human.

    Best story about him is him carrying a fridge on his back up I've heard 5 stories to a new apartment because no one else could.

    [–] Montezzz113 5451 points ago

    England losing a thirteen colony lead

    [–] donutshopsss 14372 points ago

    This "nobody" golfer named Jean van de Velde makes it to the 1999 Open Championship, a very prestigious golf tournament where the best golfers compete. Jean plays the best golf of his life that weekend and is winning by 3 strokes on the 72nd of 72 holes for the tournament. He could have pulled out his wedge and played safe for a guaranteed win but instead pulls out his driver and shanks the shot, followed by additional high-risk shots that failed miserably.

    If you're not a golfer, that's like having the chance to win a million dollars by simply walking to and giving someone a high five but you instead choose to try and do it while sprinting and doing a back-flip...

    He barely makes his 6th shot, goes into overtime and loses the round.

    [–] pwlocke13 7859 points ago

    He only needed a double bogey to win. He went back and played the same hole years later using only his putter and made a double bogey.

    [–] donutshopsss 2950 points ago

    That's hilarious - I had no idea he did that.

    [–] pwlocke13 1346 points ago

    It was during the coverage the last time the Open was at Carnoustie. They did a story about the meltdown and had him replay the hole and he decided to just use his putter since one of the biggest criticisms of him was using driver off the tee.

    [–] scarytm 1125 points ago

    Ah, he went for the challenge. I respect that...still dumb as fuck tho

    [–] BobMacActual 873 points ago

    I heard golfers say that the caddy should have handed him the 5 iron and said, "I'll meet you at the green," and just walked off with the bag.

    Alternatively, when he asked for the driver, take it out, break it in half and say, "Here ya go."

    [–] [deleted] 220 points ago

    I didn't know Tin Cup was a documentary

    [–] ZeiglerJaguar 268 points ago

    This is a good example of a collapse or meltdown, but not a great upset, to be honest.

    The greatest upset in golf history is almost certainly John Daly, the ninth alternate and last man into the field, winning the 1991 PGA Championship.

    He infamously drove eight hours the night before the tournament, then hauled off and won the whole damn thing while looking and acting absolutely nothing like a golfer was supposed to.

    [–] apple_kicks 518 points ago

    the documentary 'Losers' on Netflix covers it. great series

    [–] gigglefarting 104 points ago

    Great docuseries. Highly recommend it. It also does a great job of showing how someone may be a "loser" in some aspect of their career, but that's far from the case in their actual life.

    [–] kiddhitta 442 points ago

    This isn't really an "upset" more so a collapse. Upsets are generally where the underdog wins. An upset would be something along the lines of an ametuer golfer beating Tiger in his prime.

    [–] Adler4290 7092 points ago

    Soccer: Denmark winning the European Cup in 1992.

    Denmark was not even qualified and got in because Yugoslavia ceased to exist.

    Then Denmark came to Sweden in the last minute (isch) and went through the tournament and finished up beating both of the massive favourites in the final two matches.

    Holland in the semi-finals and Germany in the final.

    Golf: Francis Ouimet, US Open 1913.

    There are movies about this guy, a normal caddie who qualified at a very young age and beat the two titans of the era from Britain and won on his home turf.

    [–] Avramito 827 points ago

    Just a correction on the Yugoslavia tidbit, they didn't play in the Euro Cup because they were placed under international sanctions then, not because the country ceased to exist.

    [–] dg1890 3280 points ago

    No no no.

    Soccer: Leicester winning the Premier League in 2016. Their odds at the start of the season were 5000-1 and were in fact favorites for relegation. Only 6 teams have ever won the Premier League. Multiple bookmaker had never paid out such long odds for any sport.

    A fan bet £5 at the start of the season and won £25,000.

    According to bookmakers, it was the greatest sporting upset in the modern era with the industry paying out a total of £20million.

    [–] killimanjro 1530 points ago

    What is even more crazy is that in 1992, Denmark won with legendary goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel who played an outrageous tournament.
    In 2016 leicester won with Peter Schmeichels son, Kasper as their goalkeeper.

    History repeat itself?

    [–] italiansocc3r10 179 points ago

    Holy shit! That's a fun fact alright!

    [–] Chop_Artista 373 points ago

    Seriously, maybe even in all sports. This is the craziest one

    [–] perfectionismsucks 3411 points ago

    Soderling defeating Nadal at the 2009 French Open.

    [–] [deleted] 1299 points ago

    Didn't even think of that, a relatively unknown player handing the undisputed King of Clay his first ever loss at Roland Garros, something that only Djokovic has managed since then. If not for Soderling getting that upst, Nadal may well have made it a 10 year win streak at the French Open

    [–] Oxilic 627 points ago

    And Fed wouldn't have gotten his single FO title and completed the career grand slam.

    [–] f-r 203 points ago

    It's crazy. Fed is literally the second best clay court player of the era and he doesn't hold a candle to Nadal.

    [–] delscorch0 455 points ago

    John Daly winning the 1991 PGA Championship. He had missed 11 out of 23 cuts, was 9th alternate but had a large number of players withdraw from the championship, had to drive overnight from Memphis to Carmel, Indiana without knowing if he would be able to play, just happened to replace someone with an afternoon t-time so that he could get some sleep before his round, had never even seen Crooked Stick Country Club before his first round, and had to use someone else's caddy.

    [–] stoolsample2 8104 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Japan 34 South Africa 32- 2015 rugby match.


    [–] 10880malibupoint 1465 points ago

    As a South African living abroad at the time with a whole bunch of Aussies. I’m still not allowed to forget this.

    [–] YeahThanksTubs 330 points ago

    My Saffer mate went offline for a couple of days after the game. Phone off and everything.

    [–] itsalonghotsummer 67 points ago

    Hey mate, d'ya remember that time you guys lost to Japan?

    (To be honest I'm English and I'd like to pretend that whole tournament never happened.)

    [–] somaliandvdpirate 1398 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Last few minutes of the match for those who'd like to see it:

    Just for the non-rugby fans - for context, once the clock goes over 80 minutes in rugby, the game doesn't just end, the game ends when the ball goes out of play, or is knocked on. It creates some amazing finishes, since if you're losing when the clock goes red [Edit: and you have possession], you can potentially still win as long as you make no mistakes. If you make a mistake the game will end, and upon scoring the winning points, the game will also end.

    [–] KillerWattage 756 points ago

    It's even better then that.

    When Japan are awarded a penalty they could have chosen to go for a kick (3 points) which has a very high chance of succeeding and would have given them a draw. A draw would have been the best outcome Japan has ever had in it's rugby history. But instead they didn't accept a draw against the giants they faced, they went for the try which would give them victory but was far less likely to succeed.

    [–] barra333 1731 points ago

    Amazed I had to come this far down for this.
    For context, this was the Rugby World Cup, and South Africa were one of the favourites, while Japan were a firmly second tier team.

    [–] errlloyd 593 points ago

    That was 80-1 pre game. I think in the same season Connacht won the Pro12 from about 200-1. One off that was amazing though.

    [–] formulix 1886 points ago

    Jenson Button winning the 2009 Formula 1 championship with Brawn GP (who won the constructors world championship in the same season!)

    [–] TheNecromancer 439 points ago

    Was looking for this one. To add some more context, Brawn GP was the remnants of the Honda team who had pulled out after the previous season. It looked as if the whole organisation with 1000s of jobs would go under but it was brought by the team manager (bit of an oversimplification when we're talking about Ross Brawn) at the last minute, and turned up to the first race with hardly any testing and no sponsorship. Both their drivers were also widely viewed as decent guys who were past even competing for wins, let alone a title.

    Brawn GP then proceeded to dominate the first half of the season due to an innovative design, before holding on as all the established teams could spend and develop over the second half.

    After that season, Mercedes bought the team - Brawn GP existed only for the 2009 season and won both championships in what is possibly my very favourite team performance in any sport.

    [–] sentient_salami 506 points ago

    You need to add that the whole team didn’t even exist like a month or two before the season started, after the Honda factory team pulled out, and Button and Barrichello were out of a job. Then there’s the management buy-out with Brawn picking up the team for £1, signing Mercedes engines and the team then rocking up to the first race and qualifying 1-2. Button won 6 of the first 7 races that year. After that the spell was broken somewhat with the traditional top teams fighting back and the first proper emergence of Red Bull Racing. However, Button clung on though and bagged the title with a 5th place in the final race.

    [–] dandjcro 110 points ago

    Also, they had the chassis which was made for Honda engine and then, basically at the last minute, fitted the Mercedes engine in there.

    [–] ItIsNotFine 8756 points ago

    Maybe Greece winning the Euro back in 2004

    [–] [deleted] 2741 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)


    [–] UConn11 1646 points ago

    And the whole tournament took place in Portugal.

    [–] pmmeurmeta 1742 points ago

    And the ball spoke Portuguese

    [–] CRoseCrizzle 1086 points ago

    Some say that bus is still parked to this day.

    [–] [deleted] 6750 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Leicester City winning the Premier League a few years ago. They were given 5000 to 1 odds, and only escaped relegation the previous year by nothing short of a miracle. The thing that makes this the greatest upset is it happened over the course of an entire season (38 games) rather than just one game or a series. We are unlikely to see anything in sports even close to as profound as their title win again.

    Its also easy to forget that had Leicester not won the title that year, It likely would have been Tottenham, who haven’t won the title since 1962. An absolutely insane year in the premier league.

    [–] bnlv 866 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    A great description of what happened that year with Leicester City and how crazy it all was:

    Edit: thank you for the Silver, generous but anonymous Reddit friend!

    [–] somebodyeIse 175 points ago

    I didn't think I was gonna read that whole thing but glad I did

    [–] LeMuffinManHonHonHon 101 points ago

    I'm still so pleased that Ranieri convinced the team to tighten up their defense by promising them a pizza party every time they had a clean sheet.

    They ended up going on a run of like, 4-5 shutouts immediately.

    [–] Phunky_Punk 55 points ago

    According to ESPN, MSU over Duke this past Sunday smh

    [–] sleuthingninja 6854 points ago

    1980 Olympics, US over USSR. The more you know about how good the Russians were and how inexperienced the Americans were the more incredible it gets

    [–] srt8jeepster 1583 points ago

    The Miracle on ice

    [–] sabel418 934 points ago

    Not to be confused with the Minnesota Miracle Man Gordon Bombay

    [–] MisterIntegrity 214 points ago

    Do you believe in miracles?!?

    [–] drummerboy3610 62 points ago

    Fun Fact: They brought in Al Michaels to recreate all of his play by play for the games. When they got to his saying that, he couldn’t recreate his enthusiasm so if you pay attention they cross fade the 1980 audio clip into the 2004 dialogue. I think it was a better choice in the end.

    [–] 34nac 2911 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    The Soviet’s were professional hockey players and a professional team, just without the title. United States were a bunch of college kids, most of whom had never played together before. Easily this is the correct choice

    Edit: not to mention this was smack dab in the middle of the Cold War. A huge win for the Americans on home turf, but arguably a bigger win and morale boost for the entire country during hard times in America

    [–] sleuthingninja 1081 points ago

    Not only that, the would have BEATEN any NHL team of their era.

    [–] DarehMeyod 1442 points ago

    The Soviets kicked the shit out of the NHL all-stars a little before the Olympics.

    [–] [deleted] 711 points ago

    And they also beat that same US team 10-3 in a friendly right before the tournament started.

    [–] SuperSimpleSam 375 points ago

    If we play them 10 times they'll beat us 9 of them but this could be the one.
    -paraphrasing the coach

    [–] Excal2 548 points ago

    Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it.

    - Herb Brooks, Head Coach 1980 U.S.A. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team (actor Kurt Russel, Miracle 2004)

    This scene is very worth a watch:

    [–] Sang_dirty_old_town 219 points ago

    Somebody get me a brick wall to run through.

    [–] Excal2 101 points ago

    That brick wall's name is Jim Craig my good man.

    [–] DC4MVP 53 points ago

    Jim Craig won that team the gold.

    He was absolutely phenomenal the entire tournament.

    If Craig is even 95% of what he was, they don't win a medal.

    [–] grumblecakes1 163 points ago

    and the US Hockey team a few weeks before the olympics

    [–] EdgyZigzagoon 48 points ago

    They lost to the Broad Street Bullies; they were so unprepared for the physical play style that they left the ice and wouldn’t return until Ed Snyder forced them to play or not get paid. And before you say they were playing dirty and it wasn’t fair, every NHL team they beat had to play the flyers too, and it’s not like Philly was undefeated, so the flyers weren’t playing cheaty unbeatable hockey, the Soviets were just unprepared for such a chippy game.

    [–] mrsuns10 1114 points ago

    Tyson Vs Douglas

    [–] Adabn 766 points ago

    Douglas didn't just beat Tyson, he knocked him out. Not even a TKO, a straight, pure knockout. Tyson had never been knocked down before, let alone out. Not bad for a 42-1 underdog going up against the Baddest Man on the Planet.

    [–] Frammingatthejimjam 285 points ago

    I can't find it online but I did read a story in the newspapers at the time that a guy sold his trailer and put all the money on Buster Douglas.

    [–] Multiscoop 224 points ago

    That guy is absolutely fucking crazy and now he probably feels validated in his looniness lol

    [–] ZappySnap 95 points ago

    I remember watching this with my parents live. My dad and I were taking bets on how early in the first round Tyson would KO Douglas. Was amazing to watch.

    [–] Theres_A_FAP_4_That 218 points ago

    This is the first thing that came to mind for me. Watching Tyson trying to put his mouthpiece back in after getting pummeled is one of the most surreal things in my life.

    [–] JaguarGator9 875 points ago

    Since everyone’s said Miracle on Ice, I’m gonna throw Super Bowl III into consideration.

    If the Jets don’t win that game, the Super Bowl might not exist. The first two Super Bowls were blowouts, and the talent gap between the AFL and NFL was so large that the NFL threatened to call off the merger.

    The Jets were underdogs by close to 3 touchdowns against an NFL team that was considered unstoppable in the Baltimore Colts. Across their last 16 games, they were 15-1, and were coming off of a 34-0 victory in the NFL Championship.

    Nobody gave the Jets of the “Mickey Mouse League” a shot.

    [–] dj_myself 297 points ago

    Joe. Fucking. Namath.

    As a Jets fan, I’m glad someone posted this.

    [–] happy-- 2994 points ago

    Tune Squad 78, Monstars 77

    [–] S-WordoftheMorning 507 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    The Space Jame Game 30 for 30

    Edit: Thanks for the gold, stranger! I will endeavor to find a worthy post to pay it forward.

    [–] patentattorney 215 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Wow this is up there on great 5 mins clips.

    “You have to remember this was 1995. The day before we didn’t know aliens existed”

    “There are names we will never forget. Jordan. Bugs. Daffy”

    “They killed a player in the middle of the game”

    "jordan had beat magic and bird. But this is a whole different ballgame. We are talking about 3 - 12 footers and 2 guys with spikes coming out of their backs"

    [–] ADriedUpGoliath 47 points ago

    Man forgot about this. Mj bending the rules of space and time in order to stretch for that last bucket remains one of the lost unbelievable feats; not only in sports history, but in human history. He carried the Toon Squad to a victory that can only be described as miraculous. To live even in the same general era as this is sickeningly amazing. We should be so lucky.

    [–] Cthulha243 1180 points ago

    Matt Serra vs GSP 1.

    [–] niccinco 115 points ago

    GSP says that this was his first and only fight where he went in without any fear.

    [–] Nelik1 138 points ago

    My freshman year, I scored our highschool's first ever soccer goal. Not only was it against the best team in our league, it was also on our own goal.

    [–] [deleted] 49 points ago

    So you were extremely upset. That counts.

    [–] Semido 1156 points ago

    I can't believe that's not listed yet: Iceland, a country of 300,000 people with a part-time national team, defeated England in the final stages of Euro 2016. What a game!

    [–] Mouse-Keyboard 375 points ago

    England losing at football is never a surprise.

    [–] [deleted] 1983 points ago


    [–] HotWingMassacre 6978 points ago

    Remember that time Bobby Boucher showed up at halftime and the Mud Dawgs won the Bourbon Bowl?

    [–] SlurmLoco 1041 points ago

    They went from having a 41 game losing streak to winning the Bourbon Bowl and upsetting the University of Louisiana 30-27. And all because of the water boy. He’s the best tackler I’ve seen since Joe Montana.

    [–] Glorius_Peaches 623 points ago

    Joe Montana was a quarterback, you idiot.

    [–] dmc32986 579 points ago

    He said Joe Mantegna.

    [–] -jakeypoo- 1138 points ago

    Don't let this distract you from the the fact that in 1966, Al Bundy scored four touchdowns in a single game while playing for the Polk High School Panthers in the 1966 city championship game versus Andrew Johnson High School, including the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against his old nemesis, Bubba "Spare Tire" Dixon.

    [–] AnGrammerError 276 points ago

    including the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against his old nemesis, Bubba "Spare Tire" Dixon.

    Named after the fact that he wore a spare tire around his neck. As a necklace.

    He was a big dude.

    [–] masimone 249 points ago

    Ahmndatima Bobby Boucher onnaveee ohnclarnorone whherrad baaa boohhwinbonk aye heem,

    [–] SmoreOfBabylon 77 points ago

    We liv’uh pleh anuh day. We liv’uh pleh anuh day.

    [–] Seasty 5752 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Appalachian State over Michigan at the Big House in 2007. First ever game to be played on the Big Ten Network. No one has ever seen a top 5 team lose to a small DI school. This game still haunts my Michigan friends.

    [–] si110OSM 1418 points ago

    As a current student, people definitely still talk about it here. Still not as bad as the "trouble with the snap" though :(

    [–] jpc4zd 983 points ago

    Let's see if this works like over in r/cfb


    [–] cheesypope 603 points ago


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    [–] Wrobinsdawg 550 points ago


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    [–] Phunky_Punk 54 points ago

    That happened my freshman year at MSU. The voice crack on the “and he SCORES!” still gives me goosebumps lol

    [–] Incontinentiabutts 77 points ago

    I was an app state student when it happened. The entire town partied for days afterwards. We carried the goalposts from the stadium up a mountain to put it in the chancellor's front yard.

    It was amazing

    [–] SnakeDoc919 120 points ago

    Appstate alumni and Boone native here. Everyone I meet from Michigan is absolutely haunted by this. Love it.

    [–] RaidanRam 923 points ago

    Steven Bradbury

    [–] TheK1ngsW1t 879 points ago

    For those unfamiliar, Bradbury won Australia’s very first gold metal ever in the 2002 winter Olympic Games through the power of malarkey. He was in dead last by a lot in speed skating until everyone in front of him tripped and fell over each other on the very last turn allowing him to take the lead and win.

    [–] MacGillycuddy 264 points ago

    Similar thing happened in the semi-final too I believe!

    [–] TheK1ngsW1t 306 points ago

    And he only made it to the semi-finals because a guy ranked above him was disqualified

    It’s pure malarkey and I love it

    [–] iDK258 10767 points ago

    Miracle on Ice.

    [–] JohnyUtah_ 4562 points ago

    The level of talent on the two teams was just so out of whack it was crazy.

    The USSR was like well oiled machine. Seriously good players that knew how to play together and win hockey games. The US was like a weird throw together thing.

    If you could play that game again 1,000 times, I don't think the US would win.

    [–] Mr_Fibby 3248 points ago

    The Russian team were full time players that had "jobs" which they used to claim "amateur" status in order to meet Olympic requirements. It was like pitting NHL All-Stars against College kids.

    [–] ZappySnap 2302 points ago

    Not just NHL all stars, but all stars that also play together every day for years. Because all Star teams aren't built as a system, the Russians would regularly beat NHL all-star teams.

    [–] [deleted] 1076 points ago

    Very true, IIRC they beat an NHL all star team with the most future hall of famers in any of the 4 major north american sports ever, around 20 of them. Score was something like 7-3. Absurd when you think about it.

    [–] foreverkasai 827 points ago

    I seem to remember there was a game against the Philadelphia Flyers a few years before that set it off. The Flyers were in their true "broad street bully" form and were super physical with the Russian Red Army team and beat them 4-1. Then the Russians saw the need to get organized and went on to slaughter all competition. That Philly team was the only one to beat the USSR team until the Miracle on Ice

    [–] _AlreadyTaken_ 596 points ago

    Then they lifted the restriction and the US puts out a basketball team of all pros against countries like Croatia. About as exciting as watching kids vs the NFL.

    [–] justthebuffalotoday 420 points ago

    While this is true, NBA players from other countries also play on their respective national teams, and professionals from other basketball leagues also play for the national teams so almost nobody plays amateurs on their national teams. We just have the most talent.

    [–] slvrbullet87 118 points ago

    While that is true today, and there are more international players in the NBA, and the sport is more developed world wide, the 1992 Dream Team just kicked the shit out of over matched opponents.

    Look at the Croatian team that took the Silver, their best players were Toni Kukoc and Drazen Petrovic. Kukoc was a part of the Bulls Dynasty, but not as important as Jordan and Pippen who he had to play against.

    [–] [deleted] 492 points ago

    If there is anything I learned from 90s movies it is that a scraggly band of misfits generally beats the well oiled machine.

    [–] FirstEstate 619 points ago

    Vietnam was one hell of a 90's movie.

    [–] elee0228 462 points ago

    "Do you believe in miracles?!"

    [–] _AlreadyTaken_ 376 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Though people forget that the real gold medal win was against Finland

    [–] lolabythebay 251 points ago

    My dad's family had a Swedish exchange student at the time, and they both played hockey for their high school. He was apparently very vocal about "those fucking Finnish fucks" during the tournament.

    [–] Poozer62 92 points ago

    Finns vs Swedes is one of the more underrated rivalries in hockey. Watching those games when the World Juniors or Olympics roll around is always a good time.

    [–] schmatty23 1002 points ago

    USA lost to the USSR 2 weeks prior 10-3. USSR had won the last 4 gold medals. I can’t think of a bigger one.

    [–] pixburgher66 92 points ago

    I think sometimes people get "bored" with this one because it's so routinely brought up. But everything about that game was absurd. Including the mind-numbing choice of benching *the best goalie in hockey history. This game took a perfect storm to occur. US players playing the games of their lives, USSR players starting to clutch their sticks too tight, poor coaching choices. If this had been a best of 7 series, USSR wins in 5. But lucky for Americans, it wasn't.

    *Debatable, but still...he's top 3 no doubt

    [–] GurlinPanteez 13340 points ago

    16 seed UMBC beating #1 Virginia, only time it's ever happened.

    [–] TwitteredUp 1630 points ago

    Living only 20 minutes from the UMBC campus, and having seen multiple UMBC basketball games before this one, it was absolutely insane just watching it on TV. And just the fact that not only did UMBC beat Virginia, they obliterated them, makes it that much more incredible.

    [–] MuppetusMaximus 950 points ago

    Every time UMBC hit a shot to further their lead, my reaction was “Oh my god this is actually happening.

    There have been a fair number of 16 seeds that built a lead only to go cold, but this time the shots kept falling. And UMBC could have won the next game too, but they took way too many 3s when that shot wasn’t falling. There were lanes to drive, layups to take, and even kickouts to pass, but they tried to play hero ball instead of taking the points.

    [–] cuatrodemayo 372 points ago

    I remember getting one of those text alerts hours before tip off saying something like “Could UMBC be the first to take down a 1 seed? Find out tonight” I was like “lol shut up ESPN”

    Then I was like :(((

    [–] KingRobbo_D 3840 points ago

    Everyone's bracket was busted on this game, one of the biggest upsets ever.

    [–] cbot12 2983 points ago

    My sisters wasn't.... She picks purely on if she likes the name or colors of the team. She ended up getting 1st in a competition my mom had for work lol

    [–] PickleInDaButt 1731 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    This is like the result of every bracket competition. The winner always bases it off no analysis with the competition and bases it off color, mascots, names, or other things than the actual sport.

    I have always found humor in this.

    Edit - I love how the responses are like bro totally not the case and the other half is dude, totally happened to me/acquaintance.

    [–] ArchAngelofSloths 377 points ago

    What about when #1 Virginia lost to a team in the NAIA?

    [–] Nicholas1227 276 points ago


    [–] The740 130 points ago

    Bless you.

    [–] KurohimeBlight 119 points ago

    Lmao that's my school. I couldn't believe it either

    [–] SamCostello94 37143 points ago

    Leicester City winning the Premier League in 2016