wow 05-06-14Willy

11 Great Sports Upsets Of The Past 11 Years

Every sporting fan is pretty aware of specific sports upsets in history that have become quite tiring and boring to hear about every time the conversation goes there. And to be more specific we’re referring to the “miracle on ice,” the USSR beating the US basketball team at the 1972 Olympics, Mike Tyson getting KO’d by Buster Douglas, and Alexander Karelin finally losing after a decade and a half to Rulon Gardner. However, life goes on and there have been many more sporting upsets in recent history and to be quite honest some of them might be even bigger than the so called popular ones. So let’s get ready to rumbleeeee!!!!

11. GREECE BEATS LEBRON JAMES AND THE REST OF THE NBA

2006 FIBA World Championship

Why it’s here:

All right, one could argue that Greece is one of the three or four basketball-playing nations in the world with many titles in major tournaments and has produced some of the greatest players in the history of the sport, with Nick Galis being a prime example, but still the fact is that Team USA that year included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, and Chris Paul among others and were the absolute favorites to win the tournament. However, on the court the Greeks proved too hard to die and managed to destroy Team USA by scoring an astonishing 101 points against them.

The aftermath:

The poor Americans are still crying and making excuses about it, even though they won gold at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, in two dramatic finals against Spain which could go either way if the referees didn’t favor the US team in such a blatantly obvious way, especially in the 2008 final. 

10. ROGER FEDERER LOSES US OPEN TO DEL POTRO

US Open 2009

Why it’s here:

I know, you will probably think “it’s not like Federer doesn’t lose big finals quite often, especially lately and especially against Rafa Nadal,” but this is the thing: he lost this one from Del Potro right after he had become the player with the most Grand Slam victories in history (fifteen at the time, seventeen as of 2014) and was the absolute favorite to destroy the Argentinian. The final, however, turned out to be one of the most competitive in recent history and Del Potro made history winning in five sets and becoming only the second Argentinian to win the US Open after thirty-two years (in 1977, the legendary Guillermo Vilas beat Jimmy Connors).

The aftermath:

Federer won a couple more Grand Slams reaching a total of seventeen (more than any player in history), but he is no longer the dominant player he used to be a decade ago. Del Potro hasn’t won a Grand Slam since and still struggles with injuries.

9. FEDOR EMELIANENKO LOSES FOR THE FIRST TIME

Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum, 2010

Why it’s here:

The greatest MMA fighter of all time finally losing after a ten-year reign and twenty-eight consecutive victories, with most of them in brutal fashion, is undoubtedly an upset. Fedor, also known as the Last Emperor, is synonymous with greatness and dominance and his legacy can only compare with the likes of Alexander Karelin or Rocky Marciano. Unfortunately, however, we all found out that aging can damage even the Gods of the “Arena.”

The aftermath:

He retired a couple of years later after winning his last bout in front of President Putin, who entered the ring after Fedor’s last victory to pay tribute to him and call him a Russian icon. 

8. THE US SOCCER TEAM BEATS SPAIN

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup

Why it’s here:

Well, let’s get the facts straight here: The US sucks at soccer and the fact that someone like Landon Donovan, who wouldn’t make it on a list of the 500 greatest footballers ever globally, is considered America’s greatest player ever is fascinating, to say the least. On the other hand, Spain had already won the Euro 2008 at the moment of losing and in the following three years would make history winning the 2010 World Cup and the Euro 2012, becoming this way the first football team in history winning three major titles, one after the other.

The aftermath:

Spain won two more major titles (look above) while the US continues to suck big-time at soccer. Nothing has changed pretty much other than Spain’s players will have to live with such a shameful loss. 

7. MANNY PACQUIAO GETS KO’D

MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2012

Why it’s here:

Manny Pacquiao is considered by most boxing experts and fans the people’s champion, the greatest boxer of his generation, and a national icon in his native Philippines. He’s the only boxer in history who has won world titles in eight different weight divisions and his rivalry with Juan Manuel Marquez is one of the most epic in history. His previous three battles with JMM were epic, ending in two very close victories and a draw for the Filipino star. Pacquiao was the favorite in their fourth fight and was leading all scoreboards before he got caught by a massive shot that knocked his lights out.

The aftermath:

Pacman came back stronger than ever and destroyed Brandon Rios and Tim Bradley, winning yet another world title. Pacquiao vs JMM V, maybe? 

6. MATT SERRA BEATS GSP

UFC 69, 2007

Why it’s here:

Let’s put it this way, if Fedor isn’t the greatest MMA fighter who ever lived then the title definitely goes to the amazing GSP, the definition of the word champ and the one who broke pretty much every record in the UFC during his reign. But back in 2007 GSP lost the title in a knockout by Matt Serra, a decent but not spectacular fighter, in probably the biggest upset in UFC history.

The aftermath:

GSP came back, whipped Serra’s butt like there was no tomorrow and he never lost again, retiring a few months ago as the most dominant UFC champ in history. 

5. RAFAEL NADAL LOSES AT ROLAND GARROS

French Open 2009

Why it’s here:

Rafa was going through some rough times with injuries while his parents were divorcing at the moment and all this drama obviously made him carry extra weight on his body and in his soul. Söderling took full advantage of this and became the first and only man (as of 2014) in history to defeat Rafael Nadal at the tournament. Nadal had previously never lost since his debut in 2005 and was the four-time defending champion. The shock of Rafa’s loss was so immense within the tennis community that women’s tennis legend Martina Navratilova described the match as one of the greatest upsets in tennis history.

The aftermath:

Rafa came back stronger the next year and ironically met Söderling in the final of the Roland Garros, whom he easily whipped in three straight sets. We haven’t heard much since from or about the Swede, but Rafa is the #1 player at the moment and is about to win his ninth French open and fourteenth Grand Slam this year.

4. Y.E. YANG DESTROYS TIGER WOODS

PGA Championship 2009

Why it’s here:

Before Tiger Woods turned into the mediocre player who chocks badly in big tournaments, he used to be a dominant player and his fans claimed it was only a matter of time before he broke Jack Nicklaus’s epic record with eighteen victories in the Majors. It’s always big news in the American media when over-promoted, and, let’s be honest, overrated Tiger Woods doesn’t win a Majors, so him losing after he was clearly leading into the final round was quite a shock. Woods blew a three-stroke lead while wearing his usual red shirt for the first time ever in a major tourney, and it came at the hands of the 110th-ranked player in the world, Y.E. Yang.

The aftermath:

Tiger Woods hasn’t won a major tournament since 2008 and the hopes of his fans and worshipers to break Jack’s record looks kind of impossible now. As for the dude who beat him back in 2009—what’s his name again?

3. LOS ANGELES KINGS WIN STANLEY CUP

2012 Stanley Cup Finals

Why it’s here:

One of the reasons it’s here could be the fact that Los Angeles is a warm city and we didn’t even know they have a hockey team. The main reason they are on this list though is that on June 11, 2012, the Kings beat the New Jersey Devils 6–1 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals to win the franchise’s first-ever Stanley Cup, becoming the first ever eighth-seeded team in either NHL or NBA history to win a championship. If that isn’t an upset, then we don’t know what is!

The aftermath:

The Kings have become a solid team in the NHL and actually this year are battling to win the title again as they currently playing against Chicago at the Western Conference Finals for a position in the Stanley Cup Finals against the NY Rangers. 

2. GREECE WINS EURO CHAMPIONSHIP

EURO 2004

Why it’s here:

Greece arrived in Portugal for Euro 2004 as the 150-1 outsiders who had never won a match at a major tournament. And they didn’t participate in many major tournaments until then: Euro 1980 and FIFA World Cup 1994 were their only notable appearances and without any particular success. However, they won Euro 2004 in what might be the greatest upset in the history of football (if not all sports) by beating such giants as Portugal (twice), France, and the Czech Republic. Various media around the world later described the summer of 2004 being as epic as the building of the Parthenon for the Greeks since during the same summer they hosted the most successful Olympics of all time and won an astonishing 16 medals, quite an achievement for a country with Greece’s population. 

The aftermath:

The Greek national football team earned the title of team of the year (in all sports) at the Laureus World Sports Awards, participated in the Confederations Cup of 2005 as European champions, failed to make it to the World Cup in 2006, which, however, was the only competition they missed since then. They were present in the Euros of 2008 and 2012 (making it to the quarterfinals by eliminating Russia) and qualified for the World Cups of 2010 and 2014.

1. THE NEXT . . .

You know our style by now. Considering that there’s an upcoming World Cup this summer, all we can do is hope for an even bigger upset so we can include it in a similar list next year. wink

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