Crunch Time: The Best Final 60 Second Comebacks In Sports History

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One minute. 60 seconds. 60,000 milliseconds. Not a lot of time…yet, so much time. Look at me. I’m the “Jewish-mother-before-camp” of being able to pack those 60 seconds to their capacity (with an assortment of pointless tasks). Sure, in the grand scheme of things, what’s one minute? But, in my humble opinion, they add up. This is why I make the most of each minute. I’ve even timed myself.

On days where I want to hit that snooze button (an extra 6 times), I bring my toothbrush into the shower (along with a bowl of Cap’n Crunch), and 50 seconds later — I’m ready for my morning commute. Slight work. Am I the cleanest dude in the office? Probably not…but I’m definitely not the dirtiest, and you know what? That’s fine with me.

The Chicago Blackhawks did their best impression of my 50 second shower by winning the legendary Stanley Cup in well less than a minute. Naturally, their rendition of “saving time” was a bit more impressive — cutting out the often-capricious “Game 7” by scoring 2 goals in a span of 17 seconds and beating the Boston Bruins 3-2, Monday night (after trailing 2-1 with about a minute to go).

See what I mean? Especially in the world of sports, a minute is an eternity. We’ve seen time and time again, the entire complexion of a game turn within seconds, only to leave one (if not both) team’s jaws dropped. In commemoration of the Chicago Blackhawks 60-second heroics last night, I’ve compiled the Top 10 Minute-or-Less comebacks in sports history. Take a quick look, they don’t last too long.

Lakers vs. Kings 2002 Western Conference Finals Game 3

Down 26 points, with just under 8 minutes to go, the Lakers come storming back to defeat the Sacramento Kings en route to their 3rd consecutive title. In a span of 50 seconds, the Lakers scored 14 unanswered points, on torrid 3-point shooting and an assortment of creatively devised turnovers by Sacramento.


Pacers vs. Knicks 1995 Eastern Conference Semi Finals Game 1

One of the greatest “f*ck you moments” in all of sports: Reggie Miller scoring 8 points in just over 8 seconds is pretty unparalleled. Spike Lee baited the marksman, only to have him strut back down the court with his hands around his neck (followed up with another gesture), as if to tell Spike, “Choke on this.”


Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs 2004

This is why when Arby’s tweeted “clown comments bro” at Tracy McGrady, I took offense to it. If you score 13 points in 35 seconds, you’re good — for life. This is one of the more epic comebacks in NBA history, and it was thanks to one man. Shut up Arby’s forever.


Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants 1978

Before Herman Edwards came to be the obnoxious ESPN analyst he is today, he was the pesky defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles of the 70s. What is now known as “The Miracle at the Meadowlands” or simply “The Fumble” truly exemplifies what can happen in 60 seconds or fewer. All the Giants had to do was “kneel the damn football” (possessing the ball with under one minute to go, and no timeouts remaining for their opponent), but instead, one botched handoff later — and Herman Edwards was streaking down the sideline for 6 (and a Philadelphia victory).


Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills AFC Wild Card 2000

Talk about roller coaster rides. After losing the lead on a field goal with 16 seconds left to play — Titans fans were just about to head for the exits. What could they do? An 80 yard Hail Mary pass doesn’t come around too often. Their solution: play a little “hot potato” on the kick return and hope for the best. Well, they got the best all right. This game’s been dubbed “The Music City Miracle.”


Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders AFC Divisional Round 1972

One of the most widely disputed calls in the history of professional football: the “Immaculate Reception.” On a 4th and 10 (from their own 40), with 22 seconds to go, the game was all but over. I’m not even sure what, or how, this happened. Just watch it for yourself.


University of California vs. Stanford Cardinal 1982

Only to top “The Music City Miracle,” Stanford took the lead (on a field goal) with 4 seconds remaining on the clock. Four bleeping seconds. Cal decided to run back the kickoff, look for a miracle, which is what they got. Can you believe it? Don’t feel bad, apparently the Stanford marching band didn’t either.


Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich UEFA Champions League Final 1999

Munich led ManU by a goal for 90 full minutes. To be exact — 90 minutes and 35 seconds. Manchester fans, at Camp Nou (in Barcelona), had all but given up on their club. In the 36th second of the 90th minute, striker Teddy Sheringham put the ball in the net for ManU, tying the game. But they weren’t done. Less than 2 minutes later, in the 93rd minute, Ole Gunnar Solskjær completed the unthinkable, putting in another — breaking the hearts of Munich fans all over.


New York Giants vs. Brooklyn Dodgers Pennant Playoff Series 1951

Bottom of the 9th. Interstate rivals. For the pennant. Down 2 runs, with 2 men on base, and 2 out — Robert Brown Thompson of the New York Giants fired off the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” — in the form of a 3-run, walk-off, home run to advance the Giants to the World Series (against another interstate rival, the New York Yankees). In a matter of seconds, the Giants and Dodgers reversed their roles of winners and losers.


UIllinois Illini vs. UArizona Wildcats Elite 8 2005

I mean, this comeback was pretty unfathomable. Down 15 points with 4 minutes left to go, to say the Illini had their backs against the wall would be an understatement. Under the leadership of guards Deron Williams, Dee Brown and Luther Head –t he Illini cut the lead to 5 with under a minute to play. I’ll let the footage do the talking. Two words. Deron. Williams.

Photo Credit: Tumblr 

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Dan Scotti

Dan is your quintessential Long Islander. He enjoys his bagels with schmear and lox, and his sushi with extra spicy mayonnaise. Dan enjoys to write about sports, specifically basketball (and his beloved New York Knicks), because he is able to argue all the hot topics without anyone interrupting. However, if you want to argue with him, he’ll be more than happy to accommodate.

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