Photo: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast
Once again, the Capitals’ backs are against the wall, staring smack-dab at another second round playoff elimination. A lot of Caps fans have already lost hope and put away their Capitals jerseys. However, history shows that coming back from 3-1, against your biggest rivals, isn’t impossible.
2004 Boston Red Sox (MLB)
The Red Sox were under the unfortunate spell of the “Curse of the Bambino” and, prior to that magic 04 run, hadn’t won a World Series since 1918. That’s an 86 year drought. Many of their playoff runs ended at the hands of their biggest rival, the New York Yankees (sound familiar, Caps fans?). In 2003 they looked like they would finally get over the hump, but proceeded to surrender a late lead in game 7, with the Yankees Aaron Boone becoming the latest villain in Boston sports lore. Again, sound familiar?
One year later they earned a rematch with their nemesis in New York. They trailed 3-0 in the series and even trailed in the 9th inning of Game 4. No team in baseball had ever come back from a 0-3 deficit in a best-of-seven series. I’ll just let the video speak for itself.
The Red Sox went on to win the World Series that year.
2016 Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Cleveland sports has historically been very much like DC sports. So many years of misery and disappointment caused by each of the local teams. Cleveland’s last sports title came in 1948. In the summer of 2014, hope returned to the city as Lebron James left the Miami Heat to go back to the team that drafted him. That following season they lost to the Golden State Warriors in the finals, but earned a Finals rematch the very next year.
The Cavaliers trailed in the finals 3-1 and, at that time, no team in NBA Finals history had ever come back from that deficit. But, Lebron put the city on his back and delivered a title.
2016 Chicago Cubs (MLB)
The Cubs had the curse of the Billy Goat. Legend has it that an owner of a Chicago tavern tried to bring his goat to a game during the 1945 World Series. He was denied entry because the goat “smelled bad”. The owner subsequently put a curse on the team saying they’ll never make it to the World Series.
There were numerous times the Cubs came close, but couldn’t get over the hump. In 2003, they were five outs away from clinching the pennant, then Bartman happened.
1908 was the last time the Cubs won the World Series, a 108 year drought that lasted until 2016, when they overcame a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Cleveland Indians.
2017 UNC Tar Heels (NCAA Basketball)
UNC fell in the NCAA National Championship game with a buzzer beater. It was a memory that stuck in the heads of the team all offseason.
The Tar Heels had redemption on their minds this past season and the “redeem team” accomplished their mission.
The Caps hope to become the NHL “redeem team”, but just like all those teams mentioned above, the Capitals need to take it one game at a time. You never know.
By Michael Marzzacco