5) 1999/2012 Ryder Cup
In fairness, we have to include both the 1999 and 2012 Ryder Cups because both times the winning side had to turn around a 10-6 shortfall heading into final day singles. On this side of the Atlantic, it was a lot better when the Americans were on the side making the comeback in 1999 instead of giving it up in 2012. The defining stroke of either event (coming from an American, at least) is Justin Leonard’s winning putt on the 17th green, which is still one of the great moments in golf history.
4) Flyers vs Bruins – 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals
The 3-0 series comeback had happened before in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but never with the added mountain that the Philadelphia Flyers had to climb. After winning Games 4, 5, and 6 to force a Game 7, the Flyers decided they might as well give the Bruins a 3-0 head start in the deciding game. It still didn’t make a difference. The Flyers scored the last four goals of the game and the series to win both 4-3.
3) Celtics vs Lakers – 2008 NBA Finals Game 4
Given the stakes of the series, the importance of the game, the stars involved, and the history of the rivalry, Boston’s legendary comeback over Los Angeles ranks as one of the biggest comebacks and biggest games of consequence in NBA history. The Celtics came back from 24 points down, the biggest Finals turnaround since 1971, to win Game 4 97-91. The victory gave the Celtics a 3-1 series lead and was the biggest reason Boston went on to win their first title since 1986.
2) Bills vs Oilers – 1993 AFC Wild Card Game
A comeback so famous that it’s literally the Wikipedia article for The Comeback. The Bills came all the way back from a 35-3 deficit in the second half of their Wild Card game on January 3, 1993 to shock the Oilers and win 41-38 in overtime behind the heroics of backup quarterback Frank Reich. Impossible comebacks were Reich’s thing, as he previously set the record for the greatest comeback in college football history while at Maryland. Click that video to go back in time to 1993 to when Chris Berman was cool and we all grew up watching NFL Primetime.
1) Red Sox vs Yankees – 2004 ALCS
The greatest comeback in sports history was just three outs from never happening. But when the Red Sox came back from a 4-3 deficit in the Bottom of the 9th in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS to win in extras, they began a journey that we’d never experienced before or since. The Red Sox went on to win Game 5, Game 6, and Game 7 to complete the impossible. When we add on top of that comeback the intensity of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, the Curse of the Bambino, the Bloody Sock, walk off victories, and everything else in that crazy series, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that we were all privileged to witness, and the greatest comeback in sports history…unless you’re a Yankees fan, that is.