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Biggest Sporting Upset


Murtz
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I don't understand Rugby Union, so I can't make comment. Is Japan beating South Africa in Rugby like, I dunno, San Marino beating Brazil in football? I haven't got a clue. I know South Africa are good (are they defending World Champions, or did I dream that?) but I haven't got a clue how good Japan are, except that they play enough Rugby Union to have a national team.

 

In my world the biggest upset ever was in the 1992 FA Cup 3rd Round when Wrexham, who came 92nd out of 92 football league teams the previous season, knocked out the Arsenal, who had come top of the tree. I was 9 and while I fully understand now that these things happen in football, at the time my head nearly exploded.

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I can only speak for football (and SPORTZ ENTERTAINMENT!!) but I think England v USA from the 1950 World Cup is still considered the biggest shock victory. Saw a docu on it ages ago, quite the story. Also worth mentioning the final from that year where few would've looked past a Brazil home victory, certainly not the Brazilians in attendance.

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I don't understand Rugby Union, so I can't make comment. Is Japan beating South Africa in Rugby like, I dunno, San Marino beating Brazil in football? I haven't got a clue. I know South Africa are good (are they defending World Champions, or did I dream that?) but I haven't got a clue how good Japan are, except that they play enough Rugby Union to have a national team.

 

It's huge in the Rugby world.  South Africa aren't defending champions, but they are two-time World Champions, their most recent win coming in 2007.  They are always regarded as one of the top three teams in the world though.  They've been largely unimpressive for the past year or so mind - they lost to Wales and Ireland in the autumn series, then didn't pick up a win in the Rugby Championship this year.

 

Japan, however, have always been a bit of a nothing team.  If you're playing Japan and you're one of the top ten teams in the world, you've historically been likely to put over 50 points on them.  They've been improving in recent years though, having beat Wales in 2013 (granted, it was a third-string Wales team, but still impressive).  The idea of them beating South Africa was incomprehensible until Saturday.  They have a Super Rugby team starting, I believe, next season, so a bulk of the team will be mixing it up with South Africans, New Zealanders and Australians on a regular basis and will only get better.  It's a bit of a worry for Scotland who they play on Wednesday.

 

Tl;dr, it's massive.

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Mike Tyson vs Buster Douglas, surely?

 

Tyson goes into the fight absolutely unstoppable, on a 37 fight unbeaten run and only ever going the distance 4 times Douglas goes into the fight a 42-1 underdog with some bookies, KO's Tyson, and then loses his title in his defence to Evander Holyfield who KOs him in the third.

 

(I'd like to thank Wikipedia for help with some of the stats).

Edited by Grecian
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Sutton United beating Coventry (previous years winners) in the FA Cup is probably what I consider the biggest shock.

 

Not quite, Wimbledon were the holders that year. Cov had won it two years earlier.

 

I don't think many football surprises really compare to Rugby Union to be honest. Football is a game were many, many factors come in to play which is why "surprises" happen so often. All marvellous but not that unusual. Rugby Union very rarely produces a surprise. Lots of teams are reasonably even so things like luck and discipline can sway the result but this sort of upset just does not happen. Especially considering they scored so many points, they didn't just grind it out.

 

That 1988 Cup Final comes high on the list of football shocks for me. While it didn't have the disparity of some games, particularly the one Baz mentioned, you had the best team in two decades who just did not lose big matches against a team with so little style, so little history and so little chance on the biggest stage possible at that time. It was a bit like Wigan beating Man City in 2013 except man City just have a history of fucking up so that wasn't that unusual. Liverpool didn't lose games like that. Not in a million years.

Edited by tiger_rick
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I think the best football equivalent of Japan's victory on Saturday was when North Korea defeated Italy in the 1966 World Cup at Ayresome Park.

 

Both Italy and South Africa were 2X winners of the World Cup against unfancied Asian opposition. North Korea went on to the quarter finals and gave Portugal a huge scare before getting beat 5-3 at Goodison Park. I hope Japan go on a similar run!

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yep, on the boxing front it has to be this:

 

Buster-Douglas-001.jpg

 

I vaguely remember it happening at the time, the image of Tyson trying to put the gumshield back in his mouth was on the front pages from what i can remember. The stories going into the fight are well documented and if they are too be believed it shouldn't have come as so much of a shock that Douglas won, but without knowing that and looking from the outside this was the biggest shocker in the history of the sport.

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Surely Goran Ivanisevic winning Wimbledon has got to be up there? A wildcard, ranked outside the Top 100 winning a tournament of however many games rather than just winning one game.

 

I wouldn't say so. Sure he was a wildcard and ranked lowly, but he had reached the final only three years prior to winning it in 2001. A tremendous story, but far from the biggest upset in tennis over the past 20 years, let alone up there as one of the biggest sporting upsets ever.

 

In my world the biggest upset ever was in the 1992 FA Cup 3rd Round when Wrexham, who came 92nd out of 92 football league teams the previous season, knocked out the Arsenal, who had come top of the tree. I was 9 and while I fully understand now that these things happen in football, at the time my head nearly exploded.

 

Get out.

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I always question the odds for the Tyson Douglas fight. I have never ever seen odds like that in boxing. Even just recently Andre Berto was only 16-1 to beat Mayweather. I could imagine Tyson being 1-50 to win, but not Douglas being 50-1 to win. At a hunch i would think with Tyson being 1-50 to win, people just say Douglas was a 50-1 underdog.

Especially with it being heavyweight boxing as well. I may be wrong though.

I would have that as the biggest upset as well.

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I know it's Tyson and all, but boxing seems like the sport where somebody winning should least be considered an upset. A one-on-one sport is inherently more likely to have an upset because the favourite turns up drunk/injured/tired/stressed/just has an off day. And boxing -- especially heavyweight boxing as Porkchopcash points out -- is a sport where the favourite doing badly or the underdog doing well can lead to victory in an instant unlike, say, tennis where you've got a chance to recover from a bad spell. I'd say it was much more of an upset that Douglas survived to the 10th round than that he then KOd Tyson.

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