Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Updated: June 21, 3:20 PM ET
Readers: Championship blowouts
From the Page 2 mailbag
Earlier this week, Page 2 listed our top 10 biggest championship blowouts in sports history, and we asked you to send us your choices.
We traipsed through nearly 600 e-mails, and here is how Page 2 readers ranked the various scoreboard binges. Be sure to vote in the poll at right to crown the biggest championship blowout in sports history.
1. Nebraska has fiesta with Florida, 1996 (83 letters)
Anyone remember when Nebraska made a nice handbag and matching shoe ensemble out of the Gators?
How can you leave out the "Fiasco Bowl" blowout in 1996?! Nebraska destroyed Florida 62-24. Florida mustered a pathetic 269 yards (minus-28 on the ground), while surrendering 629 (524 on the ground!).
Nebraska 62, Florida 24. Not too often a score like that makes the game sound closer than it actually was. Lots of great moments from this one ...
1. Steve Superior tossing the visor and caught on camera mouthing, "G***ammit, Danny!" at Danny Wuerffel. But the skipper had to take just a little bit of of the blame himself, spreading five receivers on his own 1-yard line and conceding safeties on two consecutive plays (only the second one counted) on the way to a 35-10 halftime deficit.
2. Tommie Frazier shrugging off seven Gator defenders on 70-plus-yard TD run that came to epitomize the game.
3. Coach Tom Osborne doing everything in his power to keep it under 70. This included Husker Matt Turman taking a knee at the 1-yard line as time expired.
2. Cowboys beat up on Bills, 1993 (55 letters)
You managed to overlook one of the biggest blowouts in pro football history. When the Jimmy Johnson-coached Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 52-17 with ease, as MVP Troy Aikman threw four touchdowns to lead his team to the first of three Super Bowl wins during the 1990s and handed the unlucky Bills their third of four losses.
Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin proved far superior to Buffalo's trio of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed, who never had a chance in this one-sided contest. Sadly, the highlight everyone remembers more than the game is the fumble by an unsuspecting Leon Lett caused by a hustling Don Beebe to break up a sure touchdown. This lone blooper, in an otherwise perfect performance by the Cowboys, is shown several times around Super Bowl time.
Still, the Dallas defense intercepted four passes, knocked Hall of Fame QB Kelly out of the game, and held all-pro RB Thomas to only 19 yards rushing. The Cowboys dominated Super Bowl XXVII against a team that was supposed to put up a good fight.
How can you forget the Cowboys over the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII? The 35-point margin could have been even worse if the Cowboys had not started clowning around (Big Cat!). A blowout is more than just a score, it is an attitude.
3. Secretariat runs away with the Belmont, 1973 (50 letters)
I've seen a ton of blowouts in a ton of sports, and more often than not, they're either boring or painful to watch. Very rarely do I watch one with my jaw on the floor. But that was Secretariat's 1973 Belmont win. It floors me every time I see it. Tiger's win at Pebble Beach is the only other blowout I can think of that provokes some of the same feelings, where you marvel at what you're seeing. That race was unreal.
In 1973, after Secretariat had won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, the hype leading into the Belmont was unbelievable. Secretariat had received movie-star attention and the eyes of the entire nation were on him, expecting him to win the race.
So often we see events fail to live up to the expectations. Secretariat not only met the expectations, but he took the expectations out to dinner, got the expectations drunk, and spent the night in bed with the expectations. The result: A mind-numbing 31-length victory.
M. Zaiem Beg
4. Bears pummel Pats, 1986 (34 letters)
The Super Bowl is notorious for its history of blowouts, but no team has been devoured like Christians to the lions (or bears, for that matter), as the Pats were in Super Bowl XX.
I still remember the sight of Steve Grogan lying on the ground, shaking his head in humiliation after being taken down in the end zone for that last safety. Even as a 13-year-old kid and rabid Bears fan, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him.
No team in NFL history was as big and bad as the '85 Bears, and no championship contender as severely overmatched as the Patriots.
Brian G. Hiatt
Super Bowl XX. Da Bears. Da Shuffle. Ditka.
If there ever was a Super Bowl that was over before it started, this was it. The Bears proved everyone right in dismantling the Patriots. Jim McMahon mooning the press summed up the Bears' "we can do whatever we please, and there is nothing you can do to stop us" attitude.
If you were to look hard enough, I think you would be able to find Steve Grogan's jock strap somewhere under the Superdome turf. Bear Down!
5. Tiger Woods rules U.S. Open, 2000 (28 letters)
In conventional sports, a team must beat another team. In boxing, it's one man vs. one man. In horse racing, we saw Secretariat beat five other horses his own age.
But at the U.S. Open, Tiger beat a field of 100-plus of the world's best golfers of any age and the closest to him was still 15 strokes away. Wow.
C'mon. No one else breaks par and Tiger ends up 12-under? That's sick. One thing that sticks out in my mind about that win was afterward, at the press conference. The stunned look on the face of runner-up Ernie Els pretty much spoke for the PGA tour. I remember thinking, here's this guy, Els, who was formerly touted as the next king of golf. He wasn't even close.
The 1997 Masters was Tiger's coming-out party. His win at the U.S. Open was the moment he let his colleagues know that they had better get used to playing for second.
6. Redskins bow to Bears, 1940 (27 letters)
Ten different Bears scored in this game, it was a total domination in every facet (as the 73-0 score indicates). And ... it was played at Washington. Ouch.
One of my favorite sports comments of all time comes from this rout. A Redskin was asked if a dropped TD pass early in the game would have made a difference. The player responded, "Yeah, it would have been 73-6."
7. Orioles deaden Dodgers, 1966 (26 letters)
Whether it was the Orioles' great pitching, the Dodgers' lousy hitting, or a combination of both, the 1966 World Series was a blowout by any definition.
The Dodgers didn't score a run after the third inning of Game 1! That's 33 consecutive scoreless innings (out of the total of 36 played). The Dodgers hit only .142 the entire series, scoring only two runs, and enduring three shutouts. The numbers speak for themselves.
8. 49ers buck Broncos, 1990 (23 letters)
That was the championship?! You gotta be kiddin' me. Drink an Original Coors, Elway, and wait a while. One Denver positive in Super Bowl XXIV -- gotta love those orange jerseys, huh, fellas? Memo to T. Davis: Please hurry ... need help ... West Coast ... ahhhhh ... getting dark ... can't see end zone.
San Antonio, Texas
9. Tyson topples Spinks, 1988 heavyweight championship, (20 letters)
Has to be the Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks fight. Tyson dismantled, intimidated and destroyed Spinks en route to a first-round KO in 91 seconds. Before Tyson became a circus act, he was actually a devastating fighter.
Kings Park, N.Y.
Spinks was out cold in less than the time it took me to write this e-mail.
10. Reds rout A's, 1990 World Series (18 letters)
One of the bigger upsets in recent history.
Everyone was talking dynasty for the A's. They said the Reds had no chance.
Well, not only did the Reds win, they swept those cocky bums in four.
Also receiving votes (10 or more letters)
Nebraska to Miami, '02
Broncos to Redskins, '87
Vikings to Giants, '01
Tiger at Masters, '97
Red Wings to Devils, '95
Chargers to Niners, '95