Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Heck, The Red Sox Did It

The Boston Red Sox were down 3-0 to the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS before rallying to win that series. I guess if they can do it, we ought to have some faint glimmer of hope for the Cavs. The good news is that the Sox aren't the only team in pro sports history to lose the first three games but still win a playoff series, but the bad news is that the list of other teams that have accomplished that feat is very, very short. In fact, here it is, in its entirety:

The 1975 New York Islanders - The Islanders came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins and Win the Wales Conference. You think the Cavs have played poorly? The Islanders never even had a lead in the first three games of that series. The Red Sox notwithstanding, some consider this to be the greatest best of seven comeback in sports history.

The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs - The 1942 Leafs remain the only professional team in North America to lose the first three games of a championship series and still win the title. Their victim was the Detroit Red Wings.

The list of teams who have been down 3-0 and have rebounded to force a Game 7 is a little bit longer. In addition to the Leafs and Islanders, the 2003 Trail Blazers, the 1994 Nuggets and the 1951 Knicks all forced NBA Game 7s, while over in the NHL, those pesky 1975 Islanders almost did the same thing to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup finals that they did to the Penguins in the semis. The 1945 Detroit Red Wings and the 1939 New York Rangers also pushed their playoff series to the limit. (You can find the list of these teams in this article).

The Cavs admittedly face very long odds, but the Spurs still have one more game to win. What we need now is for Mike Brown to shed his Shooter Flatch persona and substitute Ferdinand Foch. Now, you may well ask just exactly who the hell is Ferdinand Foch? Well, he was a French Field Marshall during World War I.

The Cavs are supposed to follow the example of a French general...?? Yeah, I know. Work with me on this, okay?

In August of 1914, the Germans were rolling through France on what seemed to be an unstoppable advance toward Paris. Almost miraculously, the Germans were stopped at the First Battle of the Marne. Foch played a pivotal role in that victory, and at the height of the battle, when things seemed to be at their worst, he sent the following dispatch back to headquarters:

“My center is giving way, my right is in retreat; situation excellent. I shall attack!”

Hey, if you want to beat a team led by a Frenchman, maybe it's not a bad idea to take advice from one. On the other hand, maybe it's more inspirational to remember the immortal words of John Blutarsky: "It isn't over until WE say it's over...Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO!!"

Either way, at this point, the Cavs have nothing to lose. All they have to gain is immortality.


Hardaway Hates Pittsburgh said...

Can I have some of whatever it is you're drinking?

Hornless Rhino said...

Sure. It's kool-aid, and it's delicious. The great thing is, the Browns prospects get better with every sip too, and I no longer worry about the fact that the Indians can't hit the baseball anymore.

What do I really think? Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here.

Still, we need to keep a stiff upper lip about it.

yeats said...

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Phil Leotardo's Head said...

The Second Coming? Is that you AJ?

The Omnipotent Q said...

Where there's life, there's hope my friend. As a fan of both the Red Sox and Islanders, the Sox comeback was more spectacular, but a little known fact about the Islanders in 1975 is that they nearly did it TWICE in the same postseason. The Isles came back from 0-3 and won against Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals, but against Philly they again fell 0-3 behind. They once again fought back to Game 7, only to lose that game.

As a Red Sox fan it will bring me satisfaction for the rest of my life that whenever a team goes down 0-3 in a seven-game series in baseball, basketball and hockey, the unbelievable 2004 comeback will be invoked.

And of course the best part: THEY DID IT TO THE YANKEES.

All the best to your Cavs.
The Omnipotent Q

Tony Soprano said...

"Don't Stop Believing"

tony soprano said...

"I wouldn't kick her outta bed for purgin' cookies."