In all sports you will get the occasional one sided victory where one team or individual outscores their opponent by a large margin, but over history there have been some blowouts so lopsided that they have stunned the sporting world. Whilst a high scoring match can be entertaining, when it is so one sided it can also be painful to watch as the loser completely crumbles to their opponent. In some cases a team or individual will suffer psychologically due to the heavy defeat, and these blowouts have the ability to damage careers.
For the victor, it is of course a huge confidence boost to convincingly defeat an opponent as it is a testament to your abilities. However, many athletes will not feel comfortable completely destroying a fellow competitor, and ethics and sportsmanship comes into play here. On one hand you are supposed to compete to the end, but on the other it can be cruel to continue to play at 100% when the match was over almost immediately. In most sports, once the coach has decided that the win is in the bag they will pull off their key players and give the reserves a chance. This is known as “garbage time” and seeing as the competitive edge has gone these games often become dull to watch.
Blowouts are inevitable in all sports as sometimes the gulf in class, skill and ability is enormous between two teams or individuals. Blowouts can also occur between two evenly matched teams, and it is these ones which will typically have a lasting impact on the loser as they were not expected to be dealt such a heavy defeat by their opponent.
Here are the 20 most lopsided blowouts in sports history.
20 Steffi Graf vs. Natasha Zvereva (June 5th, 1988)
19 USA 156 – Nigeria 73 (2012 Olympics)
18 Germany 7 - Brazil 1 (2014 World Cup)
The summer World Cup in Brazil had a party like atmosphere throughout the competition, right up until the hosts played Germany in the semi finals. The host nation suffered a humiliating, shock defeat at the hands of a ruthless German team, who were 5-0 up after just 30 minutes of play and would go on to win 7-1. It was the lowest point in Brazilian football history, and left many of the fans and players in tears as they left the pitch with the scoreboard displaying such a heavy defeat. The talented German team dismantled a poor Brazilian defense and showed no mercy for their hosts, and they would then go on to win the final.
17 Denver Nuggets 121 – New Orleans Hornets 63 (April 27th 2009)
Even in the 1st round of the playoffs, the competition is supposed to be fierce every single night. In 2009, the 2nd seeded Nuggets were in New Orleans for Game 4 with the series at 2-1. With New Orleans claiming a victory already, fans felt that they could even up the series on their home court and push Denver to 6 or 7 games, but they were very wrong. Instead, the Nuggets would hand out one of the biggest defeats of all-time with a 58 point victory. The Nuggets completely dominated on both ends of the floor, holding New Orleans to just 31.5% from the floor whilst they would shoot a sizzling 50% from behind the arc and 56.6% from the field.
16 New Zealand 402 – Ireland 112 (July 1st 2008)
15 Ned Jarrett - Southern 500 (1965)
14 Texas Rangers 30 – Baltimore Orioles 3 (August 22nd, 2007)
13 Australia 142 – Namibia 0 (October 25th 2003)
12 San Francisco 49ers 55 – Denver Broncos 10 (Super Bowl XXIV)
The Super Bowl is one of the greatest sporting events in the world, and it is watched by millions all over the globe. Due to the enormous platform that the Super Bowl provides, it makes this blowout particularly damaging for the Broncos and it remains the most lopsided Super Bowl to date. The Broncos had a terrible track record in the Super Bowl having lost three times already, but this would be an even worse performance. Joe Montana won the MVP and threw what was a record 5 TDs in the blowout, and the only mistake made by the 49ers was a missed extra point attempt.
11 Detroit Red Wings 15 – New York Rangers 0 (January 23rd 1944)
10 Slovakia 82 – Bulgaria 0 (September 8th 2008)
9 Michigan Wolverines 1901 season
8 South Korea 92 – Thailand 0 (March, 1998)
7 Cleveland Cavaliers 148 – Miami Heat 80 (December 17th 1991)
6 Chicago Colts 36 – Louisville Colonels 7 (1897)
5 Man United 9 – Ipswich 0 (March 4th, 1995)
4 Chicago Bears 73 – Washington Redskins 0 (1940 NFL Championship)
3 Tiger Woods - U.S Open (2000)
Tiger may not command the respect that he used to, but there is no denying his brilliance and this is best epitomised by his dominant performance in the 2000 U.S Open. In his first U.S Open victory, Tiger stunned the world of golf with a 15-stroke win over runners up Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez. This remains the most dominant victory in any major championship, and he also became the first player in U.S Open history to finish in double figures under par.
2 Secretariat – U.S Triple Crown (1973)
1 Georgia Tech 222 – Cumberland 0 (1916)
You can’t talk about lopsided blowouts with mentioning this astonishing game between Georgia Tech and Cumberland in 1916. Cumberland had discontinued their football program but would face a hefty fine if they were to forfeit their game with Georgia Tech, so they were forced to round up a random group of 14 students for the game. It may seem unsportsmanlike for Georgia Tech to run up the score to such a humiliating number, but John Heisman (yes, that one) was out for revenge after Cumberland destroyed Georgia Tech’s baseball team (which he also coached) the year before, 22-0. The blowout is one of the most famous in sports and Heisman certainly got his revenge.
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