Much is being made of how lopsided everyone expects Sunday's game to be between Peyton Manning's Denver Broncos and the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars.
One team, after all, is 5-0 and scored 51 points last weekend. The other is 0-5 and scored a grand total of 51 points all season. One team has Manning and his TD-interception ratio of 20-1. The other has backup quarterback Chad Henne and his 2-2 ratio.
So how big a deal would it be if the Jaguars actually beat the Broncos? The stakes are not high — it's simply Week 6 in a 16-game regular season — but it sure would be unexpected. That sort of thing does happen occasionally. It's called an "upset," and the chance of one is a big reason we watch even the supposedly unfair matchups (at least until the score is 42-6 at halftime ...).
Here's a Pick 6 of memorable, major upsets around the world of sports:
NEW YORK JETS BEAT BALTIMORE COLTS, 1969 SUPER BOWL: Let's start with an example from professional football, and a step on the way to the NFL's stratospheric popularity. Joe Namath, the quarterback of the Jets, famously issues a "guarantee" that his AFL upstarts will beat the NFL's Colts despite being more than two-touchdown underdogs — and he's right. New York's 16-7 victory shows the AFL is ready for a merger and helps make "Broadway Joe" an icon.
U.S. BEATS THE U.S.S.R. IN ICE HOCKEY, 1980 OLYMPICS: The Miracle on Ice. Jim Craig, Mike Eruzione and the rest of coach Herb Brooks' squad of amateurs stuns the feared Soviets 4-3 en route to — although not for — the gold medal. The game's significance stretches beyond a rink in Lake Placid because of the Cold War, the hostages in Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the energy crisis, and a general malaise hanging over the United States.
CHAMINADE BEATS RALPH SAMPSON AND VIRGINIA, 1982. Chaminade boasts all of 800 students, plays at the NAIA — not NCAA — level at the time, and does not even have its own gymnasium (it rents one from a high school). And yet the Silverswords, coming off a loss to Wayland Baptist, manage to shock No. 1-ranked Virginia and the 7-foot-4 Sampson, a three-time national college basketball player of the year, 77-72.
JAMES 'BUSTER' DOUGLAS BEATS MIKE TYSON, 1990: Douglas knocks out Tyson in the 10th round of their scheduled 12-round fight in Tokyo. Tyson, the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history, comes into the bout 37-0 with 33 knockouts, while the unknown Douglas is 29-4-1 with 19 KOs.
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