Rank 'Em: Greatest Sports Collapses

Created: May 14, 2010, 10:22 PM

Did the Bruins just have the worst collapse ever?

Boston is no stranger to teams coming back from 3-0 deficits, but this time, it's on the wrong side of that peculiar accomplishment.

The Boston Bruins have completed one of hockey's most epic collapses, losing four games in a row to the Philadelphia Flyers after being up 3-0 in the series. Boston lost overtime matches, close games and blowouts, running the gamut of terrible ways to blow a huge lead. The Bruins have now joined an ignominious club of teams and players who let a certain victory disappear into the distance.

Are the Bruins the victims of the worst sports collapse ever? Cast your vote now!


 
 
  • Detroit has the distinct advantage of being the first team in major sports team history to blow a 3-0 series lead. The Red Wings fell victim to the Toronto Maple Leafs despite leading in the final period of Game 4.
  • The Phillies enjoyed a comfortable 6.5-game lead with 12 games to play but watched it all evaporate in a disastrous road trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis.
  • How does a team that starts the NFL season 6-0 wind up out of the playoffs? It ends the season with five straight losses to finish a very average 8-8.
  • Things were moving along quite nicely for the Red Sox in the summer of '78, as they were sitting on a nice 14-game lead. If losing the lead and coming back to force a one-game playoff wasn't stressful enough, watching Bucky Dent hit a home run to send the archrival Yankees to the playoffs would do the trick.
  • Eight straight wins and an 8-1 record is a good recipe for an enjoyable second half and a playoff berth. Unless you forget how to win, lose your last six games and start your offseason early.
  • In one of the all-time historic NFL collapses, the Oilers watched a 35-3 lead disappear in the second half of a 1992 AFC wild-card game against the Bills.
  • After pulling even with a 6-1 second-set victory, Novotna was one point away from a 5-1 lead in the defining set against Steffi Graf when she seemingly forgot how to play tennis. She wouldn't win another game.
  • An 11-game lead in August is supposed to be safe. Despite losing nine straight, the Angels salvaged a one-game playoff only to lose to Seattle and watch the season come to an abrupt end.
  • The Shark took a 6-stroke lead into the final round at the 1996 Masters but a bogey, bogey, bogey and double-bogey on four straight holes tends to erase such leads.
  • Van de Velde just needed a double-bogey on 18 at the 1999 British Open. Just a double-bogey. That's all. He served up a triple-bogey and thus became golf's ultimate collapse.
  • Portland built up a 15-point fourth-quarter lead over the Lakers in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference finals only to miss 13 straight shots on the way to the loss.
  • The 2004 ALCS in which the Red Sox erased a 3-0 series deficit against the Yankees is so historic and memorable that it almost made the Red Sox's eventual sweep in the World Series an afterthought.
  • Minnesota built up an impressive 38-7 lead over Texas Tech with 7:37 left in the third quarter but watched the Red Raiders post 31 unanswered points on their way to an OT victory and the largest comeback in bowl history.
  • The Mets enjoyed a seven-game lead in the last month but lost 12 of their last 17, committing 21 errors in the process, to get to a win-or-go-home game on the final day of the regular season. Veteran Tom Glavine took the hill and was immediately shelled, as were the team's postseason hopes.
  • The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the Flyers and nearly had the Philadelphia squad beat. A 5-4 overtime loss in Game 4, however, sent the Bruins into a tailspin, and the Flyers won the next three matches.