Worst Late-Lead Collapses in Pro Sports History
- 2002 World Series, Game Six, Angels 6, Giants 5: Leading 4 games to 2 San Francisco takes a 5-0 lead into the 7th, then promptly gives back 6 runs to the Anaheim Angels in the span of two innings. They lose the game, and the next day, the series.
- 1991 NFL AFC Playoffs, Bills 38, Oilers 35: This one is completely unforgivable. The Oilers take a 31-3 lead into the half, and with future Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly of the Bills sidelined with an injury, Houston thinks it's got this one wrapped up. Wrong. Backup QB Frank Reich rallies the Bills to an unprecedented comeback which ends on a sudden-death field goal, thus eliminating the Oilers.
- 1986 World Series, Game 6, Mets 6, Red Sox 5: The Sox, on the brink of winning their first WS since 1918, take a 5-3 lead over the Mets in the 10th inning. After the first 2 Met batters go quietly in their half of the 10th, what follows is the all-too-surreal sequence that prompted the Sox's demise: single, single, single, runner scores, wild pitch, runner scores, error, runner scores. The normally sure-handed Bill Buckner failes to make a routine grab of a slow grounder to first, and as the ball dribbles weakly into the outfield, Ray Knight of the Mets runs madly towards home to score the winning run. Oh, and the Red Sox lost Game 7, too.
After having watched the San Francisco Giants both blow a 5-run lead in the 7th inning in Game Six, then wilt like an ice cube in a microwave in Game 7, I was reminded of some late-game chokes I've seen before. These chokes are worse if the chokers go on to lose their playoff series or end up eliminated from contention. Here goes...