Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 178: Holy America's Cup, Batman!

The 35th America's Cup is officially over and the Auld Mug is unbelievably staying on American soil after a stunning Oracle Team USA victory over Emirates Team New Zealand Wednesday afternoon. For just the third time in the Cup's history, it came down to a winner-take-all race and Oracle took that race by 44 seconds after trailing at the start.

But that's almost not the real story here. The USA team began the America's Cup behind after a two point penalty for "juicing" their boat. So in a first to nine wins contest, the Oracle team needed to win 11 races. After the first 11 races, the Team USA crew found themselves in a deep hole trailing the Kiwis 8-1. It was starting to look as if the Cup was making a long trip down under.

And then something miraculous happened. Something that's never before happened in an America's Cup contest. In its 162 year history, no team has ever overcome a deficit so large to win... and no team has ever won eight straight races.

This collapse by the Kiwis has to be the biggest of all time in any sport. Bigger than the New York Yankees losing a 3-0 series lead to the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS. Bigger than the New England Patriots losing in the Super Bowl after an undefeated season. Bigger than Phil Mickelson's failure at Winged Foot in 2006. Huge.

Oracle Team USA deservedly erupted in celebration after their win with hugs, high-fives and champagne showers for the team members and owner Larry Ellison aboard the winning yacht. Nineteen days is the longest the contest has lasted since its inception in 1851.

I would like to say I cozied up to a bar somewhere and watched this miracle unfold, but I didn't. You see... I didn't watch a single race live. If you know me at all, you know of my severe sports superstitions. I couldn't be the jinx that stymied this historic comeback.

You're welcome.

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