The MLB World Series and NBA Finals this year made being down, three games to one, appear to be the winning formula on road to success. The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Cavaliers made history during their championship runs this year in dramatic come from behind fashion.
After solid performances over the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Divisional and Championship Series’, the Chicago Cubs went into this year’s World Series with aspirations of breaking the 108 year Billy Goat Curse, (a Chicago urban legend considered by many to be the reason behind the Cubs century long World Series drought).
Surrendering the first game to the American League Pennant Champion Cleveland Indians 6-0, the Cubs quickly rebounded taking game two, 5-1, and evening up the series at one a piece.
The next two games would prove dismal for Chicago getting outscored 9-2 in the span of 18 innings and now in survival mode, on the ropes down 3-1.
Only 12 MLB teams of the 81 that have ever been in the same situation, have come back to win the series – giving Chicago a 14.8% chance of upsetting.
A pitching duel in game five resulted in a 3-2 victory giving Chicago fans a farewell on the final home game of the season.
The bats caught fire in game six and the Cubs cruised to a 9-3 victory.
In game seven a comfortable 5-2 lead going into the eighth inning evaporated as the Indians rallied back knocking in three runs and tying the game as the haunting echoes of the Billy Goat began to resonate.
In extra innings atop the 10th, Chicago put hits together to take an 8-6 lead with a half inning remaining. The Cubs bullpen held an 8-7 final score, alleviating the Curse of the Billy Goat and solidifying the 3-1 comeback and World Series tile.
Similar to the Cubs, the Cavaliers and all of the major professional sports (Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Hockey) franchises in Cleveland for that matter, had also been eluded by a Championship Title in decades, until the 3-1 deficit of 2016.
Behind the shadow of the Golden State Warrior’s record breaking 73 win season, the Cavaliers quietly dominated the 2016 Eastern conference playoffs and waited in the wings for the result of the Western Conference finals.
A rematch of the 2015 NBA Finals seemed unlikely after Golden State found themselves in a 3-1 hole against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the conference finals. The Warriors battled back to defy a 3.86% success rate of teams in the same situation before them and won three straight to outlast Oklahoma City and move on to defend their NBA Title.
This time, Golden State took a 3-1 lead over the Cavaliers in the championship series as Cleveland’s hopes to halt their 50 plus year dry spell began to slip away. Three of 33 teams have been posed with the same 3-1 deficit in an NBA Final, none have pulled off the comeback.
LeBron James took to the helm picking apart Golden State one game at a time, averaging a double-double for the series at 29.7 points, 11.3 assists, and 8.9 rebounds.
The cavaliers would not be denied behind the King’s Finals MVP performance to overcoming the 3-deficit, take game seven, and bring home the NBA Finals title; giving Cleveland their first major title since 1964.