Underdogs Win it All

Jake Plotkin

Every year in sports there are numerous upsets that make the top lists of all-time best games in sports history and the best plays on SportsCenter. For some sports there are more because there are more opportunities to make an upset. However, most people do not think of these upsets as something worth talking about. Without upsets, sports would not be exciting to watch and enjoy. There are many upsets that have changed sports and how people look at them.

One of the most memorable upsets in the last 40 years includes the 1980 Olympic defeat that featured the U.S. hockey team beating the heavily favored Soviet Union team. They were previously undefeated until they lost to the U.S. Another big Olympic upset was in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics, when Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin lost to the unknown American Rulon Gardener.

In football in 2007, the Michigan Wolverines lost their opener to a Division II school, Appalachian State. Many people expected Michigan to win that game easily but the Mountaineers proved everyone wrong. It was said to be one of Michigan’s worst defeats in school history.

Even golf has upsets, which might seem impossible. In the 1955 U.S. Open, Ben Hogan, one of the best golfers in the world, lost to Jack Fleck. Fleck was a no-name golfer who was on the tour and was not expected to win. He won in a three-hole playoff, beating the favorite of the tournament. One of my personal favorite upsets happened just four months ago in January. Serena Williams, one of the best tennis players in the world, was suffering at the time from one of her yearly injuries. Teenager Sloane Stephens from America had just entered the top 50 and was playing some of her best tennis since she started playing on the tour. The two played a match at this year’s Australian Open and to many people’s surprise, Stephens pulled off one of the biggest tennis upsets in the modern era. It was amazing because Williams was Stephens role model and she had the chance to beat her, which she undoubtedly enjoyed.

Sports are entertaining to watch and they are filled with exciting games that get viewers on the edge of their seats. These are some of the upsets that are considered historic but are not getting enough recognition by a lot of people. These upsets in sports history play a large role in how people will view them in the future and people should take more notice.