Additional Information: five upset victories

adam.dompierre

When Northern Michigan hockey welcomes No. 13 Notre Dame to the Berry Events Center, the ‘Cats will be looking to move up in the CCHA standings by upsetting the Irish. As any sports fan can tell you, stranger things have happened. Here are the top five upsets of all-time.

5) Giants over Patriots

The Patriots were an unheard of 18-0 and just one win away from a perfect season heading into Super Bowl XLII. All that stood in the way was an Eli Manning-led Giants team that couldn’t even win its own division. With the golden boy, Tom Brady, and Bill Belicheck’s evil genius at work, the Patriots were expected to meet little resistance on their way to a fourth Super Bowl. The Giants got the upper hand in the closing minutes, when Manning made a desperate Houdini-like escape, David Tyree hauled in a “Mindfreak” of a catch and the Patriots dynasty lost a little of its prestige.

4) Upset over Man O’ War

Our next upset brings us back to 1919, a time when Prohibition was in its infancy, women couldn’t vote and a crafty John McCain had just secured the Louisiana Purchase. Man O’ War racked up a ridiculous 20-1 record in his day, with the only loss coming to a 100-1 shot horse named Upset. Records of the race have Man O’ War starting the race facing the opposite way, and the horse still only lost by a half-length. Contrary to popular belief, the “upset” was not named for the horse, but the results likely helped popularize the word.

3) Appalachian State over Michigan

Michigan was one of only a few college football powers who had never stooped to playing a I-AA opponent, but when a scheduling conflict left them one game short heading into the 2007 season, they threw on their Bad Idea Jeans and invited Appalachian State to the Big House for the opener. The embarrassing loss inspired Michigan to take its program in a new direction by hiring Rich Rodriguez prior to the 2008 season. I haven’t really followed the team this year, so I can only assume the move put an end to all of Michigan’s bad losses.

2) Buster Douglas over Mike Tyson

It’s hard for anyone who didn’t live through it to appreciate how dominant Mike Tyson was in his early years. Iron Mike won 26 of his first 28 fights by knockout, 16 of which came in the first round. He was the heavyweight champion of the world by age 20. Buster Douglas was a relative unknown, but unleashed a punching combination to make Mick (of Rocky fame) proud in the tenth round. Tyson went down for the first time in his career, and by the time he got up, Douglas was the new world champion. And knocking out Tyson in Punch Out was no longer a unique experience saved for Nintendo gamers.

1) United States over The Soviet Union (1980 Olympics)

The previous four upsets were mortal locks compared to the hockey showdown between these two. The Soviets had a roster full of hockey legends; the Americans were a gritty group of college kids. Throw in the whole Cold War angle and all of a sudden the matchup felt like a lot more than a hockey game. Lake Placid was electric; and as the closing seconds ticked away on the U.S.’s victory, Al Michaels made perhaps the most famous sports call in history with his: “Do you believe in miracles?”

We do now.