ONE OF the most effective film quotes of all time comes from Maxwell Scott on the finish of “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” and it goes one thing like this: “When the legend turns into reality, print the legend.”
If solely we might. Two of the most effective sports activities tales I’ve ever heard, sadly, are unfaithful.
One concerned Rickey Henderson, who, as a Met, performed with John Olerud, a primary baseman who famously wore his helmet within the discipline as a result of, as a university participant, he’d suffered a mind aneurism. A number of years later, Rickey wound up in Seattle, the place Olerud was once more his teammate. Rickey noticed Olerud put on his helmet onto the sector.
“Hey!” Rickey is alleged to have mentioned, “I used to play with a dude in New York who did that!”
Sadly, that turned out to be apocryphal, as Olerud confirmed just a few years in the past on the New York Baseball Author’s dinner.
However, man, you positive need that to be true.
The opposite one? On Aug. 13, 1919, the good thoroughbred Man O’ Conflict misplaced for the one time in his 21-race profession, to a horse named “Upset,” and thus was one of many best phrases within the historical past of sports activities created.
That is really partly true: Upset did defeat Man O’ Conflict at Saratoga Race Observe within the Samford Memorial — aided, by all accounts, by a beginning barrier that price Man O’ Conflict a few strides early within the race.
However the phrase “upset” as we all know it really dates to the 1870s. Upset didn’t invent the upset, he merely honored his title by beating Large Crimson that day.
As Charlie Brown may say: “Sigh.”
Nonetheless, what Upset did to Man O’ Conflict turned one thing of a template, due to all of the issues we get pleasure from about sports activities, seeing a legit, real upset stays the top.
This isn’t fairly so true if you happen to occur to root for the group that’s victimized by an upset.
Whereas most of America went to mattress Friday evening composing odes and sonnets dedicated to the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, we are able to assume that the 40,000 or so college students enrolled at Purdue or the 575,000 dwelling Purdue alumni noticed that 63-58 FDU win considerably in a different way.
This, after all, is the time of 12 months once we are likely to rejoice upsets, most of all as a result of the NCAA Match is an ideal incubator for such issues. The tough reality is that over the lengthy haul, nice groups nearly at all times beat the little man on this occasion. We get some close to misses, however the reality is, earlier than FDU, 16 seeds had been 1-150 all-time within the NCAA Match.
Fifteen seeds aren’t fairly as uncommon, however it nonetheless shakes the world when a Princeton knocks off an Arizona, because the Tigers did Thursday, and it particularly leaves a loud echo when a group like Saint Peter’s does what it did final 12 months, profitable 3 times earlier than working out of steam towards North Carolina 40 minutes from the Ultimate 4.
You simply don’t see these sorts of upsets in faculty soccer, although each once in a while, you’ll see an Appalachian State knock off a Michigan. Even then, App State was a two-time champ in FCS and Michigan was certain for a pedestrian 9-4 season.
The primary upset that resonated for me was again in 1982 when Chaminade College of Hawaii someway beat Ralph Sampson and Virginia within the common season. It helped that my highschool shared the identical title.
(Although the faculty’s nickname, the Silverswords, is way cooler than Flyers.)
It’s laborious to think about something that occurs in professional sports activities an upset as a result of, as Buck Showalter and a thousand managers earlier than him wish to level out, “The opposite guys are getting paid, too.” The ’69 Mets are about as shut as you will get to qualification.
The exception to that rule needs to be Buster Douglas who, it’s true, was going to be paid for preventing Mike Tyson in Tokyo on Feb. 11, 1990, it doesn’t matter what occurred, however it additionally appeared conceivable that Tyson might blast Douglas again to Kingdom Come. So the upset wasn’t simply that Douglas made it out of the ring in a single piece, however he really beat the Baddest Man on the Planet.
Possibly we should always’ve began a marketing campaign then to name all such future surprises “Busters.”