History Main / DownToTheLastPlay

4th Sep '16 9:53:57 PM Lirodon
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* The 2010 Music City Bowl between North Carolina and Tennessee had a similar last-second gambit that was even ''more'' awkward. Trailing 20-17 in the 4th, a North Carolina field goal would tie the game and send it to overtime. In the dying seconds, the Tar Heals sloppily rushed a field goal unit with ''way'' too many players onto the field, and T.J. Yates spiked the ball with only one second left. The point of the play was to stop the clock on the ensuing penalty, so the Tar Heels could make a field goal attempt. Confusion ensued when time ran out: much like the Grey Cup incident described above, Volunteers fans were convinced that they had won the game, until the officials finally clicked in to what was going on, giving North Carolina a 10-yard penalty and putting a single second back on the clock. North Carolina got their field goal, and won the game 30-27 in double overtime. This led to an ObviousRulePatch by the NCAA in subsequent seasons, in which 10 seconds must run from the clock if a foul which stops it is assessed.

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* The 2010 Music City Bowl between North Carolina and Tennessee had a similar last-second gambit that was even ''more'' awkward. Trailing 20-17 in the 4th, a North Carolina field goal would tie the game and send it to overtime. In the dying seconds, the Tar Heals sloppily rushed a field goal unit with ''way'' too many players onto the field, and T.J. Yates spiked the ball with only one second left. The point of the play was to stop the clock on the ensuing penalty, so penalty (as Yates had spiked the Tar Heels could ball before time ran out) -- giving the team a chance to make a their field goal attempt.goal. Confusion ensued when time ran out: much like the Grey Cup incident described above, Volunteers fans were convinced that they had won the game, until the officials finally clicked in to what was going on, giving North Carolina a 10-yard penalty and putting a single second back on the clock. North Carolina got their field goal, and won the game 30-27 in double overtime. This led to an ObviousRulePatch by the NCAA in subsequent seasons, in which 10 seconds must run from the clock if a foul which stops it is assessed.
4th Sep '16 9:50:08 PM Lirodon
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* The 2010 Music City Bowl between North Carolina and Tennessee had a similar last-second gambit that was even ''more'' awkward. Trailing 20-17 in the 4th, a North Carolina field goal would tie the game and send it to overtime. In the dying seconds, the Tar Heals sloppily rushed a field goal unit with ''way'' too many players onto the field, and T.J. Yates spiked the ball with only one second left. The point of the play was to stop the clock on the ensuing penalty, so the Tar Heels could make a field goal attempt. Confusion ensued when time ran out: much like the Grey Cup incident described above, Volunteers fans were convinced that they had won the game, until the officials finally clicked in to what was going on, giving North Carolina a 10-yard penalty and putting a single second back on the clock. North Carolina got their field goal, and won the game 30-27 in double overtime. This led to an ObviousRulePatch by the NCAA in subsequent seasons, in which 10 seconds must run from the clock if a foul which stops it is assessed.
16th Aug '16 3:26:50 PM Blazer
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* In ''Film/SpaceJam'', the [=TuneSquad=] is in a pinch - 10 seconds to go in the final quarter, down by one and they're a man down. Sports/MichaelJordan has just learned that, in Looney Tune land, he can use the cartoon-y physics to his advantage, but without the extra man, they forfeit and Swackhammer gets him and the Tunes. Creator/BillMurray [[BigDamnHeroes arrives just in time]] and Jordan's able to pull off a half-court slam dunk to win the game.
2nd Aug '16 12:14:26 AM bt8257
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* The "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_at_the_Meadowlands Miracle at the Meadowlands]]" involved the Philadelphia Eagles playing TheRival New York Giants. Down 17-12, the Eagles turned the ball over on downs deep in Giants territory, giving the Giants an apparent victory since all the Giants needed to do was [[InstantWinCondition run out the clock]]. However, to do this required running one more play.[[note]]The play clock ran for 30 seconds up until the 1987 season, not 40; that's why New York needed to run another play, because if they took a knee on third down, there still would have been one second left in the game once the play clock ran down, requiring a fourth-down play to be run.[[/note]] The Eagles [[DoNotGoGentle were not content to give up]] despite their seemingly hopeless situation. The Giants' offensive coordinator called a stock rush play to protect the QB from the Eagles, who ran a full-scale 11-man blitz to provoke a fumble. Instead, the play call [[HoistByHisOwnPetard resulted in a fumble]] that Eagles cornerback Herman Edwards promptly picked up and returned for the game winning touchdown. This result did two things; it immediately ended the career of that offensive coordinator, and it completely changed the way the final few plays of football are played with a special [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarterback_kneel#Defense victory formation]] designed to ''specifically avoid another such "miracle"''.

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* The "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_at_the_Meadowlands Miracle at the Meadowlands]]" involved the Philadelphia Eagles playing TheRival New York Giants. Down 17-12, the Eagles turned the ball over on downs deep in Giants territory, giving the Giants an apparent victory since all the Giants needed to do was [[InstantWinCondition run out the clock]]. However, to do this required running one more play.[[note]]The play clock ran for 30 seconds up until through the 1987 season, not 40; that's why New York needed to run another play, play; because if they took a knee on third down, there still would have been one second left in the game once the play clock ran down, requiring a fourth-down play to be run.run on fourth down.[[/note]] The Eagles [[DoNotGoGentle were not content to give up]] despite their seemingly hopeless situation. The Giants' offensive coordinator called a stock rush play to protect the QB from the Eagles, who ran a full-scale 11-man blitz to provoke a fumble. Instead, the play call [[HoistByHisOwnPetard resulted in a fumble]] that Eagles cornerback Herman Edwards promptly picked up and returned for the game winning touchdown. This result did two things; it immediately ended the career of that offensive coordinator, and it completely changed the way the final few plays of football are played with a special [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarterback_kneel#Defense victory formation]] designed to ''specifically avoid another such "miracle"''.
2nd Aug '16 12:08:04 AM bt8257
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* ''Series/FullHouse'' did this thrice, with hockey in "Nice Guys Finish First," boxcar racing in "Michelle a la Cart," and with baseball and a twist in "Stephanie Plays the Field."

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* ''Series/FullHouse'' did this thrice, with hockey in "Nice Guys Finish First," First", boxcar racing in "Michelle a la Cart," and with baseball and a twist in "Stephanie Plays the Field."Field".



[[folder:American Football]]
* Hail Flutie, the 1984 BC-Miami game that ended with a Hail Mary pass from Doug Flutie to Gerard Phelan, giving Boston College a 4745 win.
** Two other famous game-winning college Hail Marys: 1980 Holiday Bowl, BYU's Jim [=McMahon=] to Clay Brown for a 4645 win over SMU; 1994, Colorado at Michigan, Kordell Stewart to Michael Westbrook, Colorado wins 2726.
* Real life is stranger than fiction example. Boise State University, a huge underdog to the perennial-powerhouse Oklahoma Sooners, won the 2007 Fiesta Bowl by scoring on three trick plays on the last play of the game and in overtime. The touchdown scoring ones (a hook and ladder, and a halfpack pass) and the final 2-point conversion to win in overtime (a statue of liberty) were all well-known trick plays that fail more often than they succeed. To add to the theatrical quality, the player who made the winning score popped the question to his cheerleader girlfriend after the game (on national TV). She said yes.
* American Football has had plenty over the years... but one stands head and shoulders above all others in terms of sheer insanity. It is known, even to Wikipedia, simply as "The Play". In 1982, college football teams representing arch-rivals California[[note]]the flagship campus in Berkeley, to be specific - nine of the ten undergraduate campuses of the University of California system run their own NCAA-affiliated programs (UC-Merced was founded in 2005 and is a part of the NAIA) [[/note]] and Stanford played their season-ending game. After a spectacular drive led by John Elway, Stanford took a 2019 lead on a field goal with four seconds left, meaning Cal had to return the ensuing kickoff all the way or they'd lose (theoretically, they could down it promptly and try for a Hail Mary, but that's much more difficult). In the equivalent of a rugby play, Cal used five laterals to keep the play alive until they ran it into the end zone and scored a touchdown. Bonus points because the Stanford band and team thought they had ''already won'', and were filing onto the field at one point, they were at least 20 yards downfield for their victory tune and got clobbered in the process. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fZCCAqoSwY It has to be seen to be believed, really.]] - (One of the passes may have been thrown after the player was already down by contact, and so Stanford to this day refuses to acknowledge the game as a Cal win.)
* Also older, and a rare example of both sides of the trope showing up: 1994 Texas HS football: Plano East pulls off a near-impossible 24-point comeback with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. With only seconds on the clock and only the final kickoff to perform, John Tyler High takes the kickoff right back up the field, pulling off the Miracle Win[=/=]DownerEnding combo. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHkABO0VwCg The play-by-play is almost as entertaining, for different reasons.]]
* In October 2007, the [[UsefulNotes/CollegiateAmericanFootball Trinity University football team]] recovered from a two-point deficit with two seconds remaining in one play, to win the game 2824. They moved the ball sixty yards to reach the end zone, and they only needed ''15'' laterals to pull it off.
* In UsefulNotes/SuperBowl XXXIV, the favored St. Louis Rams took a 2316 lead just after the two minute warning in the fourth quarter. The underdog Tennessee Titans started their final drive of regulation at their own 10 yard line in an attempt to tie the game and force the first ever Super Bowl overtime. The Titans manage to move the ball 80 yards in 1:48. On the Rams' 10 yard line with time for one last play, Titans QB Steve [=McNair=] completed a pass to wide receiver Kevin Dyson, who was wide open and set to make the game-tying touchdown. At the last moment, Rams linebacker Mike Jones ran towards Dyson, grabbed him by the legs and dragged Dyson to the ground. Dyson stretched the ball out in an attempt to reach the goal line (the rule states that only the ball has to cross the plane of the goal line for a touchdown), but the ball stopped only a few inches shy of the goal line and time expired. So, after an 80 yard, 1:48 rally, the Titans fell inches shy of tying the game and the Rams won the Super Bowl 2316.
* In the 2009 Grey Cup (final of the UsefulNotes/CanadianFootballLeague) game, the Montreal Alouettes were down 2725, 43 yards from the Saskatchewan Roughriders' goal when time ran out (and this was, indeed, after a comeback from 2711 early in the fourth quarter). Their attempt at the field goal actually ''missed''. There was a moment where most everyone was actually convinced the game was over and Saskatchewan had just won the Grey Cup. Then it began to filter to people that a 10-yard penalty had just been called against Saskatchewan (for having one too many players on the field), and Montreal got to try again. They won 2827.
** Actually, it's even more clever. The Alouettes knew the Roughriders had one too many players, and they went in as fast as possible and rushed their kick before the other team realised they were in fault. It was a XanatosGambit: Either they scored and won, or they missed, called the penalty, and got to try again much closer.
* The tendency to seemingly always ''lose'' in these types of situations tends to mark whole franchises as being cursed. The aforementioned Red Sox were the poster children here. As are the Buffalo Bills for things like Scott Norwood missing the potential game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXV for the Bills to lose 2019, and losing by way of the infamous "Music City Miracle" against Tennessee. Cleveland also has been similarly victimized across the sports spectrum. The Browns' Ernest Byner fumbling at the 2-yard line on a potential game-tying score late in the 4th quarter against the Denver Broncos, the Cleveland Cavaliers being victimized by Michael Jordan with ''The Shot'' over Craig Ehlo, and the Bulls blocking Charles Smith's possible game-winning layups 4 straight times at the very end of Game 5 in the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals against the Knicks, it can drive a fanbase insane. Especially with Norwood, who had been clutch all year, and Byner, who was having the game of his life, the moments are even more gut-wrenching because they were two guys expected to come up big when it counts. Just like Casey at the Bat.
* Another example in which the Buffalo Bills were a victim came near the end of the 1999 AFC wild-card game against the Tennessee Titans in what became known as the Music City Miracle. With seconds left, Steve Christie hit a 41-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 1615. Then came the kickoff, which was a squib kick first fielded by fullback Lorenzo Neal, who handed the ball to tight end Frank Wycheck. Wycheck then threw a controversial lateral to receiver Kevin Dyson, who took the ball 75 yards for a touchdown (which was confirmed after instant replay showed that Wycheck had not thrown an illegal forward pass), resulting in a 2216 win that led to the Titans march to SuperBowl XXXIV (as well as providing a measure of revenge for several older players who were members of the team when they were known as the Houston Oilers and lost the 1992 wild-card 4138 to Buffalo after leading 353). The Bills have not appeared in the postseason since then, and with the [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams Toronto Blue Jays]] making it to the [=ALCS=] in 2015, the Bills now have [[MedalOfDishonor the longest current playoff drought of any team in the "big four" North American sports leagues]].
* In the 1998 NFC Championship Game between the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons. Late in the game, Vikings ahead by 7, they bring out Gary Anderson, the only kicker to make every field goal during the regular season. But he missed a routine 38 yard field goal wide left, allowing the Falcons to get a touchdown to tie the game in the final 2:07. The Falcons won in overtime.
* In week 15 of the 2009 NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers trailed the Green Bay Packers 3630 and faced a 3rd-&-10 at the Green Bay 19-yard line with three seconds remaining. Ben Roethlisberger dropped back and fired a pass toward the sideline, and Mike Wallace made a falling catch in the endzone to tie the game as time expired. The play stood as a touchdown after an official review, and Jeff Reed kicked the extra point to give the Steelers a 3736 win.
* In week 15 of the 2010 NFL season, the Giants were leading the Philadelphia Eagles 3110 midway through the 4th quarter. The winner of the game would gain a lead in the division race with two games to go. When all hope seemed lost for Philadelphia, QB Michael Vick, himself on a RedemptionQuest like many fictional protagonists in sports stories, led the team to three TDs in under 9 minutes to tie the game at 31. With less than 10 seconds left, the Eagles forced a Giants 3-and-out. All the Giants had to do was punt it out of bounds and the game would have all but certainly gone into overtime. But rookie kicker Matt Dodge apparently missed the memo, and kicked it straight to dangerous return man [=DeSean=] Jackson, who took it 67 yards to the house for a walk-off punt-return TD, the first in NFL history, to win 3831. The Eagles would win the division by one game over the Giants.
* 2007 Arena Football playoff game between the Chicago Rush and Colorado Crush. (Apparently the Arena League had never heard of the OneSteveLimit, as these two teams were even in the same division.) Colorado (the home team) had a three-point lead, but was forced to make a goal-line stand against Chicago on the final play. Colorado made an apparent game-winning interception, the confetti was dropped from the rafters...only to discover that a penalty had been called on the play (for holding the intended receiver of the pass), forcing a do-over. Chicago then went for a game-tying field goal, made it, and forced overtime...the start of which was delayed by over ''fifteen minutes'' to clear all of the confetti from the field. Fortunately for the Crush, they won in OT anyway.
* In Super Bowl XLVI (2012), the New England Patriots were down by 4 points with 5 seconds left on the clock. Tom Brady attempted to throw a Hail Mary pass in the end zone, but it was broken up.
** Relatedly, the Patriots got into the Super Bowl when the Baltimore Ravens missed a fairly easy 32-yard field goal on the final play, a field goal that would have otherwise tied the game.
* Say what you will about Tim Couch of the Cleveland Browns; he was able to have two awesome moments in his otherwise lackluster career, both on Hail Marys. On October 31, 1999, he hit Kevin Johnson on a 56-yard bomb to beat the New Orleans Saints for the expansion Browns' first win. Then, on December 8, 2002, he found Quincy Morgan on a 50-yard catch to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars (nearly a year after the infamous "Bottlegate" game against the Jags). To date, Couch is the only quarterback to win more than one NFL game on the final play of regulation with passes of 50 or more yards.
* In a regular season game in 2003, the New Orleans Saints trailed the Jacksonville Jaguars 2013 with 7 second remaining, but in a play involving multiple spur-of-the-moment laterals, scored a TD with no time remaining. But the game didn't go to overtime because the Saints missed the extra point somehow - making this one of the most anticlimactic last-second finishes of all time.
* The infamous "Fail Mary" at the end of the 2012 Monday Night tilt between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. With the game being officiated by replacements due to the regular officials being locked out by the league, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson launched a desperation pass into the end zone that was grabbed by both Seahawks reciever Golden Tate and Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings. Although Jennings appeared to have control of the ball as the two men fell to the ground, the play was ruled a touchback by one official, but a touchdown by another. The play was reviewed, but was unable to be overturned due to having been incorrectely ruled a case of simultaneous posession in which the receiver is awarded the catch. And to make it even worse, Tate shoved another Packers player, Sam Shields, to the ground before the ball was caught, which should have been called as offensive pass interference and made whether or not he possessed the ball at the same time as Jennings irrelevant. The ensuing controversy caused so many fans to call the NFL commissioner's office that the line was disconnected, and the regular officials were brought back the following week.
* The Minnesota Vikings went into the last week of the 2003 season needing a victory over the 312 Arizona Cardinals to win their division. They were up 1712 with two minutes left, but the Cardinals recovered an onside kick. QB Josh [=McCown=] drove down the field and completed a miraculous 27-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Poole. With no time left. On ''4th and 24''. The upset loss knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs.
* In the 2013 [[UsefulNotes/CollegiateAmericanFootball Iron Bowl]], the Alabama Crimson Tide were ranked number 1 in the nation, and they were playing their rivals, number 4 Auburn, for the first winner-to-the-SEC-Championship Iron Bowl in history. Following an Auburn drive that scored a touchdown, tying the game at 28 with only 34 seconds left, Bama took over in their territory. Auburn stopped them from scoring and even forced a player out of bounds just as time expired, which stopped the clock. The play was reviewed, and one second was put back on the clock. Alabama attempted a 57-yard field goal. If it missed, the game would just go to overtime. Their starter had missed three earlier that game, so they put in the backup. He kicked the ball well, but it fell short, where Auburn returner Chris Davis waited. Davis then took the ball all the way back to the Alabama endzone to win the game 3428.
** This play can be viewed [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4-9n9--_hg here]].
* Super Bowl XLIX (2015) ended with the Seattle Seahawks trailing the New England Patriots 2824 during the final two minutes of the game, needing a touchdown in order to win the game. Quarterback Russell Wilson started the drive by completing a 33-yard pass to Marshawn Lynch. Then after another 11-yard first down, Wilson threw a long pass that was tipped by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, but ended up in the hands of wide receiver Jermaine Kearse who was lying on his back; Kearse somehow managed to keep the ball from hitting the ground, placing the Seahawks at the Patriots' 5 yard line with a real shot at winning the game. But after a Lynch 4-yard run put the ball on the 1, Wilson's pass to Ricardo Lockette with 20 seconds left was intercepted by Butler, crushing any hopes Seattle had of winning.
* A Monday Night Football game in 2000 between the Vikings and Packers ended in overtime in crazy fashion: Brett Favre heaved a 3rd down pass to Antonio Freeman, which appeared to drop incomplete...and then Freeman got up and ran with the ball into the end zone. Turns out that while Freeman had fallen down, the ball hit him a couple of times and never hit the ground; he plucked it out of the air and, never being touched down, got up and ran it into the end zone for the game-winning score.
* Happened at the 2015 Michigan State vs. Michigan football game. Michigan was ahead 2321 when they were set to punt the ball away with 10 seconds left on 4th and 2. Except the snap was fumbled and the ball went straight to MSU's Jalen Watts-Jackson, who ran it back for the game-winning touchdown as time expired. Not a bad way to beat your in-state rival for the 7th time in 8 years. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBlgN85wB6U Here it is.]]
* The "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_at_the_Meadowlands Miracle at the Meadowlands]]" involved the Philadelphia Eagles playing TheRival New York Giants. Down 17-12, the Eagles turned the ball over on downs deep in Giant's territory giving the Giants an apparent victory since all the Giants needed to do was [[InstantWinCondition run out the clock]]. However to do this required running one more play and the Philadelphia Eagles [[DoNotGoGentle were not content to give up]] despite their seemingly hopeless situation. The Giants' offensive coordinator called a stock rush play to protect the QB from the Eagles who were rushing hard to provoke a fumble. Instead, the play call [[HoistByHisOwnPetard ''caused'' a fumble]] that an Eagle defender promptly snapped up and returned for a game winning touchdown. This result did two things: it immediately ended the career of that offensive coordinator, and it completely changed the way the final few plays of football is played with a special [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarterback_kneel#Defense victory formation]] designed to ''specifically avoid another such "miracle"''.
** 32 years later the Eagles and Giants [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_at_the_New_Meadowlands met again in the Giants' new stadium]]. Once again the Eagles appeared to be in a hopeless situation, down 21 points with only 7 minutes left to play. However a series of quick scores left the game tied with only 14 seconds remaining and the Giants forced to punt the ball on 4th down. The punter, Matt Dodge, was instructed to punt the ball out of bounds to prevent Eagles return man De Sean Jackson, any chance to run the ball back for a touchdown. Unfortunately the punt did not go out of bounds and after initially bobbling the ball[[note]]Which had the effect of distracting the punt defense team[[/note]], De Sean Jackson ran it back for a touchdown. Since Jackson also made sure to avoid entering the end zone before time had expired he because the first person in NFL history to score a walk-off punt return touchdown. Failure to kick the ball out of bounds ended the NFL career of Matt Dodge.

[[/folder]]


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[[folder:Football]]
* Hail Flutie, the 1984 BC-Miami game that ended with a Hail Mary pass from Doug Flutie to Gerard Phelan, giving Boston College a 4745 win.
** Two other famous game-winning college Hail Marys: 1980 Holiday Bowl, BYU's Jim [=McMahon=] to Clay Brown for a 4645 win over SMU; 1994, Colorado at Michigan, Kordell Stewart to Michael Westbrook, Colorado wins 2726.
* Real life is stranger than fiction example. Boise State University, a huge underdog to the perennial-powerhouse Oklahoma Sooners, won the 2007 Fiesta Bowl by scoring on three trick plays on the last play of the game and in overtime. The touchdown scoring ones (a hook and ladder, and a halfpack pass) and the final 2-point conversion to win in overtime (a statue of liberty) were all well-known trick plays that fail more often than they succeed. To add to the theatrical quality, the player who made the winning score popped the question to his cheerleader girlfriend after the game (on national TV). She said yes.
* American Football has had plenty over the years... but one stands head and shoulders above all others in terms of sheer insanity. It is known, even to Wikipedia, simply as "The Play". In 1982, college football teams representing arch-rivals California[[note]]the flagship campus in Berkeley, to be specific - nine of the ten undergraduate campuses of the University of California system run their own NCAA-affiliated programs (UC-Merced was founded in 2005 and is a part of the NAIA) [[/note]] and Stanford played their season-ending game. After a spectacular drive led by John Elway, Stanford took a 2019 lead on a field goal with four seconds left, meaning Cal had to return the ensuing kickoff all the way or they'd lose (theoretically, they could down it promptly and try for a Hail Mary, but that's much more difficult). In the equivalent of a rugby play, Cal used five laterals to keep the play alive until they ran it into the end zone and scored a touchdown. Bonus points because the Stanford band and team thought they had ''already won'', and were filing onto the field at one point, they were at least 20 yards downfield for their victory tune and got clobbered in the process. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fZCCAqoSwY It has to be seen to be believed, really.]] - (One of the passes may have been thrown after the player was already down by contact, and so Stanford to this day refuses to acknowledge the game as a Cal win.)
* Also older, and a rare example of both sides of the trope showing up: 1994 Texas HS football: Plano East pulls off a near-impossible 24-point comeback with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. With only seconds on the clock and only the final kickoff to perform, John Tyler High takes the kickoff right back up the field, pulling off the Miracle Win[=/=]DownerEnding combo. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHkABO0VwCg The play-by-play is almost as entertaining, for different reasons.]]
* In October 2007, the [[UsefulNotes/CollegiateAmericanFootball Trinity University football team]] recovered from a two-point deficit with two seconds remaining in one play, to win the game 2824. They moved the ball sixty yards to reach the end zone, and they only needed ''15'' laterals to pull it off.
* In UsefulNotes/SuperBowl XXXIV, the favored St. Louis Rams took a 2316 lead just after the two minute warning in the fourth quarter. The underdog Tennessee Titans started their final drive of regulation at their own 10 yard line in an attempt to tie the game and force the first ever Super Bowl overtime. The Titans manage to move the ball 80 yards in 1:48. On the Rams' 10 yard line with time for one last play, Titans QB Steve [=McNair=] completed a pass to wide receiver Kevin Dyson, who was wide open and set to make the game-tying touchdown. At the last moment, Rams linebacker Mike Jones ran towards Dyson, grabbed him by the legs and dragged Dyson to the ground. Dyson stretched the ball out in an attempt to reach the goal line (the rule states that only the ball has to cross the plane of the goal line for a touchdown), but the ball stopped only a few inches shy of the goal line and time expired. So, after an 80 yard, 1:48 rally, the Titans fell inches shy of tying the game and the Rams won the Super Bowl 2316.
* In the 2009 Grey Cup (final of the UsefulNotes/CanadianFootballLeague) game, the Montreal Alouettes were down 2725, 43 yards from the Saskatchewan Roughriders' goal when time ran out (and this was, indeed, after a comeback from 2711 early in the fourth quarter). Their attempt at the field goal actually ''missed''. There was a moment where most everyone was actually convinced the game was over and Saskatchewan had just won the Grey Cup. Then it began to filter to people that a 10-yard penalty had just been called against Saskatchewan (for having one too many players on the field), and Montreal got to try again. They won 2827.
** Actually, it's even more clever. The Alouettes knew the Roughriders had one too many players, and they went in as fast as possible and rushed their kick before the other team realised they were in fault. It was a XanatosGambit: Either they scored and won, or they missed, called the penalty, and got to try again much closer.
* The tendency to seemingly always ''lose'' in these types of situations tends to mark whole franchises as being cursed. The aforementioned Red Sox were the poster children here. As are the Buffalo Bills for things like Scott Norwood missing the potential game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXV for the Bills to lose 2019, and losing by way of the infamous "Music City Miracle" against Tennessee. Cleveland also has been similarly victimized across the sports spectrum. The Browns' Ernest Byner fumbling at the 2-yard line on a potential game-tying score late in the 4th quarter against the Denver Broncos, the Cleveland Cavaliers being victimized by Michael Jordan with ''The Shot'' over Craig Ehlo, and the Bulls blocking Charles Smith's possible game-winning layups 4 straight times at the very end of Game 5 in the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals against the Knicks, it can drive a fanbase insane. Especially with Norwood, who had been clutch all year, and Byner, who was having the game of his life, the moments are even more gut-wrenching because they were two guys expected to come up big when it counts. Just like Casey at the Bat.
* Another example in which the Buffalo Bills were a victim came near the end of the 1999 AFC wild-card game against the Tennessee Titans in what became known as the Music City Miracle. With seconds left, Steve Christie hit a 41-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 1615. Then came the kickoff, which was a squib kick first fielded by fullback Lorenzo Neal, who handed the ball to tight end Frank Wycheck. Wycheck then threw a controversial lateral to receiver Kevin Dyson, who took the ball 75 yards for a touchdown (which was confirmed after instant replay showed that Wycheck had not thrown an illegal forward pass), resulting in a 2216 win that led to the Titans march to SuperBowl XXXIV (as well as providing a measure of revenge for several older players who were members of the team when they were known as the Houston Oilers and lost the 1992 wild-card 4138 to Buffalo after leading 353). The Bills have not appeared in the postseason since then, and with the [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams Toronto Blue Jays]] making it to the [=ALCS=] in 2015, the Bills now have [[MedalOfDishonor the longest current playoff drought of any team in the "big four" North American sports leagues]].
* In the 1998 NFC Championship Game between the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons. Late in the game, Vikings ahead by 7, they bring out Gary Anderson, the only kicker to make every field goal during the regular season. But he missed a routine 38 yard field goal wide left, allowing the Falcons to get a touchdown to tie the game in the final 2:07. The Falcons won in overtime.
* In week 15 of the 2009 NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers trailed the Green Bay Packers 3630 and faced a 3rd-&-10 at the Green Bay 19-yard line with three seconds remaining. Ben Roethlisberger dropped back and fired a pass toward the sideline, and Mike Wallace made a falling catch in the endzone to tie the game as time expired. The play stood as a touchdown after an official review, and Jeff Reed kicked the extra point to give the Steelers a 3736 win.
* In week 15 of the 2010 NFL season, the Giants were leading the Philadelphia Eagles 3110 midway through the 4th quarter. The winner of the game would gain a lead in the division race with two games to go. When all hope seemed lost for Philadelphia, QB Michael Vick, himself on a RedemptionQuest like many fictional protagonists in sports stories, led the team to three TDs in under 9 minutes to tie the game at 31. With less than 10 seconds left, the Eagles forced a Giants 3-and-out. All the Giants had to do was punt it out of bounds and the game would have all but certainly gone into overtime. But rookie kicker Matt Dodge apparently missed the memo, and kicked it straight to dangerous return man [=DeSean=] Jackson, who took it 67 yards to the house for a walk-off punt-return TD, the first in NFL history, to win 3831. The Eagles would win the division by one game over the Giants.
* 2007 Arena Football playoff game between the Chicago Rush and Colorado Crush. (Apparently the Arena League had never heard of the OneSteveLimit, as these two teams were even in the same division.) Colorado (the home team) had a three-point lead, but was forced to make a goal-line stand against Chicago on the final play. Colorado made an apparent game-winning interception, the confetti was dropped from the rafters...only to discover that a penalty had been called on the play (for holding the intended receiver of the pass), forcing a do-over. Chicago then went for a game-tying field goal, made it, and forced overtime...the start of which was delayed by over ''fifteen minutes'' to clear all of the confetti from the field. Fortunately for the Crush, they won in OT anyway.
* In Super Bowl XLVI (2012), the New England Patriots were down by 4 points with 5 seconds left on the clock. Tom Brady attempted to throw a Hail Mary pass in the end zone, but it was broken up.
** Relatedly, the Patriots got into the Super Bowl when the Baltimore Ravens missed a fairly easy 32-yard field goal on the final play, a field goal that would have otherwise tied the game.
* Say what you will about Tim Couch of the Cleveland Browns; he was able to have two awesome moments in his otherwise lackluster career, both on Hail Marys. On October 31, 1999, he hit Kevin Johnson on a 56-yard bomb to beat the New Orleans Saints for the expansion Browns' first win. Then, on December 8, 2002, he found Quincy Morgan on a 50-yard catch to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars (nearly a year after the infamous "Bottlegate" game against the Jags). To date, Couch is the only quarterback to win more than one NFL game on the final play of regulation with passes of 50 or more yards.
* In a regular season game in 2003, the New Orleans Saints trailed the Jacksonville Jaguars 2013 with 7 second remaining, but in a play involving multiple spur-of-the-moment laterals, scored a TD with no time remaining. But the game didn't go to overtime because the Saints missed the extra point somehow - making this one of the most anticlimactic last-second finishes of all time.
* The infamous "Fail Mary" at the end of the 2012 Monday Night tilt between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. With the game being officiated by replacements due to the regular officials being locked out by the league, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson launched a desperation pass into the end zone that was grabbed by both Seahawks reciever Golden Tate and Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings. Although Jennings appeared to have control of the ball as the two men fell to the ground, the play was ruled a touchback by one official, but a touchdown by another. The play was reviewed, but was unable to be overturned due to having been incorrectely ruled a case of simultaneous posession in which the receiver is awarded the catch. And to make it even worse, Tate shoved another Packers player, Sam Shields, to the ground before the ball was caught, which should have been called as offensive pass interference and made whether or not he possessed the ball at the same time as Jennings irrelevant. The ensuing controversy caused so many fans to call the NFL commissioner's office that the line was disconnected, and the regular officials were brought back the following week.
* The Minnesota Vikings went into the last week of the 2003 season needing a victory over the 312 Arizona Cardinals to win their division. They were up 1712 with two minutes left, but the Cardinals recovered an onside kick. QB Josh [=McCown=] drove down the field and completed a miraculous 27-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Poole. With no time left. On ''4th and 24''. The upset loss knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs.
* In the 2013 [[UsefulNotes/CollegiateAmericanFootball Iron Bowl]], the Alabama Crimson Tide were ranked number 1 in the nation, and they were playing their rivals, number 4 Auburn, for the first winner-to-the-SEC-Championship Iron Bowl in history. Following an Auburn drive that scored a touchdown, tying the game at 28 with only 34 seconds left, Bama took over in their territory. Auburn stopped them from scoring and even forced a player out of bounds just as time expired, which stopped the clock. The play was reviewed, and one second was put back on the clock. Alabama attempted a 57-yard field goal. If it missed, the game would just go to overtime. Their starter had missed three earlier that game, so they put in the backup. He kicked the ball well, but it fell short, where Auburn returner Chris Davis waited. Davis then took the ball all the way back to the Alabama endzone to win the game 3428.
** This play can be viewed [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4-9n9--_hg here]].
* Super Bowl XLIX (2015) ended with the Seattle Seahawks trailing the New England Patriots 2824 during the final two minutes of the game, needing a touchdown in order to win the game. Quarterback Russell Wilson started the drive by completing a 33-yard pass to Marshawn Lynch. Then after another 11-yard first down, Wilson threw a long pass that was tipped by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, but ended up in the hands of wide receiver Jermaine Kearse who was lying on his back; Kearse somehow managed to keep the ball from hitting the ground, placing the Seahawks at the Patriots' 5 yard line with a real shot at winning the game. But after a Lynch 4-yard run put the ball on the 1, Wilson's pass to Ricardo Lockette with 20 seconds left was intercepted by Butler, crushing any hopes Seattle had of winning.
* A Monday Night Football game in 2000 between the Vikings and Packers ended in overtime in crazy fashion: Brett Favre heaved a 3rd down pass to Antonio Freeman, which appeared to drop incomplete...and then Freeman got up and ran with the ball into the end zone. Turns out that while Freeman had fallen down, the ball hit him a couple of times and never hit the ground; he plucked it out of the air and, never being touched down, got up and ran it into the end zone for the game-winning score.
* Happened at the 2015 Michigan State vs. Michigan football game. Michigan was ahead 2321 when they were set to punt the ball away with 10 seconds left on 4th and 2. Except the snap was fumbled and the ball went straight to MSU's Jalen Watts-Jackson, who ran it back for the game-winning touchdown as time expired. Not a bad way to beat your in-state rival for the 7th time in 8 years. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBlgN85wB6U Here it is.]]
* The "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_at_the_Meadowlands Miracle at the Meadowlands]]" involved the Philadelphia Eagles playing TheRival New York Giants. Down 17-12, the Eagles turned the ball over on downs deep in Giants territory, giving the Giants an apparent victory since all the Giants needed to do was [[InstantWinCondition run out the clock]]. However, to do this required running one more play.[[note]]The play clock ran for 30 seconds up until the 1987 season, not 40; that's why New York needed to run another play, because if they took a knee on third down, there still would have been one second left in the game once the play clock ran down, requiring a fourth-down play to be run.[[/note]] The Eagles [[DoNotGoGentle were not content to give up]] despite their seemingly hopeless situation. The Giants' offensive coordinator called a stock rush play to protect the QB from the Eagles, who ran a full-scale 11-man blitz to provoke a fumble. Instead, the play call [[HoistByHisOwnPetard resulted in a fumble]] that Eagles cornerback Herman Edwards promptly picked up and returned for the game winning touchdown. This result did two things; it immediately ended the career of that offensive coordinator, and it completely changed the way the final few plays of football are played with a special [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarterback_kneel#Defense victory formation]] designed to ''specifically avoid another such "miracle"''.
** 32 years later the Eagles and Giants [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_at_the_New_Meadowlands met again in the Giants' new stadium]]. Once again the Eagles appeared to be in a hopeless situation, down 21 points with only 7 minutes left to play. However a series of quick scores left the game tied with only 14 seconds remaining and the Giants forced to punt the ball on 4th down. The punter, Matt Dodge, was instructed to punt the ball out of bounds to prevent Eagles return man De Sean Jackson, any chance to run the ball back for a touchdown. Unfortunately the punt did not go out of bounds and after initially bobbling the ball[[note]]Which had the effect of distracting the punt defense team[[/note]], De Sean Jackson ran it back for a touchdown. Since Jackson also made sure to avoid entering the end zone before time had expired he because the first person in NFL history to score a walk-off punt return touchdown. Failure to kick the ball out of bounds ended the NFL career of Matt Dodge.

[[/folder]]
1st Aug '16 8:50:46 PM bt8257
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** at Wake Forest, 2016: Down 7 with 15 seconds left, Virginia goes on a 91 run to win 7271, [[http://www.streakingthelawn.com/2016/1/26/10838258/virginia-basketball-buzzer-beater-wake-forest-darius-thompson a statistical impossibility]]. Capped off with [[UpToEleven a buzzer-beater banked three-point shot]]. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0UTfRLAoCE&t=7m24s As the play-by-play guy put it]]:

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** at Wake Forest, 2016: Down 7 with 15 seconds left, Virginia goes on a 91 run to win 7271, [[http://www.streakingthelawn.com/2016/1/26/10838258/virginia-basketball-buzzer-beater-wake-forest-darius-thompson a statistical impossibility]]. Capped off with [[UpToEleven by banking in a buzzer-beater banked three-point shot]].three at the buzzer]]. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0UTfRLAoCE&t=7m24s As the play-by-play guy put it]]:
1st Aug '16 8:41:37 PM bt8257
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* The Chicago Bulls beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 in 1989. Michael Jordan hits the series winner at the buzzer. Famously known as ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5WUOnTxwPw The Shot]]''.

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* The Chicago Bulls beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 in 1989. Michael Jordan hits the series winner at the buzzer. Famously known as ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5WUOnTxwPw com/watch?v=3g2z1dLzTcM&t=1m56s The Shot]]''.



* In the 1988 NCAA Tournament Round of 32, Vanderbilt faced heavily favored Pittsburgh. Vanderbilt's Barry Goheen [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl3t7HLZMZ4&t=27s hit a 3 with 5 seconds left]] to make it 6766 after Pittsburgh's Jason Matthews hit two free throws with 12 seconds left. After Charles Smith hit two free throws with 4 seconds left, Goheen [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl3t7HLZMZ4&t=3m9s took the ball upcourt]], then hit a 3 at the buzzer to force OT. Vanderbilt won 8074.

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* In the 1988 NCAA Tournament Round of 32, Vanderbilt faced heavily favored Pittsburgh. Vanderbilt's Barry Goheen [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl3t7HLZMZ4&t=27s hit a 3 with 5 seconds left]] to make it 6766 after Pittsburgh's Jason Matthews hit two free throws with 12 seconds left. After Charles Smith hit two free throws with 4 seconds left, Goheen [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl3t7HLZMZ4&t=3m9s took the ball upcourt]], then hit a 3 at the buzzer to force OT. Vanderbilt won 8074.8074 to advance to the Sweet 16.
1st Aug '16 8:23:31 PM bt8257
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** at Wake Forest, 2016: Down 7 with 15 seconds left, Virginia goes on a 9-1 run to win 7271, [[http://www.streakingthelawn.com/2016/1/26/10838258/virginia-basketball-buzzer-beater-wake-forest-darius-thompson a statistical impossibility]]. Capped off with [[UpToEleven a buzzer-beater banked three-point shot]]. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0UTfRLAoCE&t=7m24s As the play-by-play guy put it]]:

to:

** at Wake Forest, 2016: Down 7 with 15 seconds left, Virginia goes on a 9-1 91 run to win 7271, [[http://www.streakingthelawn.com/2016/1/26/10838258/virginia-basketball-buzzer-beater-wake-forest-darius-thompson a statistical impossibility]]. Capped off with [[UpToEleven a buzzer-beater banked three-point shot]]. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0UTfRLAoCE&t=7m24s As the play-by-play guy put it]]:



* In a 2010 game between Georgia Tech and Maryland, Georgia Tech scores the go ahead basket with 3 seconds left on the clock. Maryland star PG Greivis Vasquez drives it down the court and makes what appears to be the game-winning basket from half-court, only for it to be called back because Maryland coach Gary Williams called a time-out with 1.5 seconds left. The game looks all-but squandered until the ball gets inbounded to Maryland's Cliff Tucker who promptly sinks the winning basket.

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* In a 2010 game between Georgia Tech and Maryland, Georgia Tech scores the go ahead basket with 3 seconds left on the clock. Maryland star PG Greivis Vasquez drives it down the court and makes what appears to be the game-winning basket from half-court, only for it to be called back because Maryland coach Gary Williams called a time-out with 1.5 seconds left. The game looks all-but squandered until the ball gets inbounded to Maryland's Cliff Tucker Tucker, who promptly sinks hits the winning basket.game-winning shot.
1st Aug '16 6:41:43 PM Gimere
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* American Football has had plenty over the years... but one stands head and shoulders above all others in terms of sheer insanity. It is known, even to Wikipedia, simply as "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Play_(American football) The Play]]". In 1982, college football teams representing arch-rivals California[[note]]the flagship campus in Berkeley, to be specific - nine of the ten undergraduate campuses of the University of California system run their own NCAA-affiliated programs (UC-Merced was founded in 2005 and is a part of the NAIA) [[/note]] and Stanford played their season-ending game. After a spectacular drive led by John Elway, Stanford took a 2019 lead on a field goal with four seconds left, meaning Cal had to return the ensuing kickoff all the way or they'd lose (theoretically, they could down it promptly and try for a Hail Mary, but that's much more difficult). In the equivalent of a rugby play, Cal used five laterals to keep the play alive until they ran it into the end zone and scored a touchdown. Bonus points because the Stanford band and team thought they had ''already won'', and were filing onto the field at one point, they were at least 20 yards downfield for their victory tune and got clobbered in the process. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fZCCAqoSwY It has to be seen to be believed, really.]] - (One of the passes may have been thrown after the player was already down by contact, and so Stanford to this day refuses to acknowledge the game as a Cal win.)

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* American Football has had plenty over the years... but one stands head and shoulders above all others in terms of sheer insanity. It is known, even to Wikipedia, simply as "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Play_(American football) The Play]]"."The Play". In 1982, college football teams representing arch-rivals California[[note]]the flagship campus in Berkeley, to be specific - nine of the ten undergraduate campuses of the University of California system run their own NCAA-affiliated programs (UC-Merced was founded in 2005 and is a part of the NAIA) [[/note]] and Stanford played their season-ending game. After a spectacular drive led by John Elway, Stanford took a 2019 lead on a field goal with four seconds left, meaning Cal had to return the ensuing kickoff all the way or they'd lose (theoretically, they could down it promptly and try for a Hail Mary, but that's much more difficult). In the equivalent of a rugby play, Cal used five laterals to keep the play alive until they ran it into the end zone and scored a touchdown. Bonus points because the Stanford band and team thought they had ''already won'', and were filing onto the field at one point, they were at least 20 yards downfield for their victory tune and got clobbered in the process. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fZCCAqoSwY It has to be seen to be believed, really.]] - (One of the passes may have been thrown after the player was already down by contact, and so Stanford to this day refuses to acknowledge the game as a Cal win.)
1st Aug '16 6:40:17 PM Gimere
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* American Football has had plenty over the years... but one stands head and shoulders above all others in terms of sheer insanity. It is known, even to Wiki/Wikipedia, as "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Play_(American football) The Play]]". In 1982, college football teams representing arch-rivals California[[note]]the flagship campus in Berkeley, to be specific - nine of the ten undergraduate campuses of the University of California system run their own NCAA-affiliated programs (UC-Merced was founded in 2005 and is a part of the NAIA) [[/note]] and Stanford played their season-ending game. After a spectacular drive led by John Elway, Stanford took a 2019 lead on a field goal with four seconds left, meaning Cal had to return the ensuing kickoff all the way or they'd lose (theoretically, they could down it promptly and try for a Hail Mary, but that's much more difficult). In the equivalent of a rugby play, Cal used five laterals to keep the play alive until they ran it into the end zone and scored a touchdown. Bonus points because the Stanford band and team thought they had ''already won'', and were filing onto the field at one point, they were at least 20 yards downfield for their victory tune and got clobbered in the process. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fZCCAqoSwY It has to be seen to be believed, really.]] - (One of the passes may have been thrown after the player was already down by contact, and so Stanford to this day refuses to acknowledge the game as a Cal win.)

to:

* American Football has had plenty over the years... but one stands head and shoulders above all others in terms of sheer insanity. It is known, even to Wiki/Wikipedia, Wikipedia, simply as "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Play_(American football) The Play]]". In 1982, college football teams representing arch-rivals California[[note]]the flagship campus in Berkeley, to be specific - nine of the ten undergraduate campuses of the University of California system run their own NCAA-affiliated programs (UC-Merced was founded in 2005 and is a part of the NAIA) [[/note]] and Stanford played their season-ending game. After a spectacular drive led by John Elway, Stanford took a 2019 lead on a field goal with four seconds left, meaning Cal had to return the ensuing kickoff all the way or they'd lose (theoretically, they could down it promptly and try for a Hail Mary, but that's much more difficult). In the equivalent of a rugby play, Cal used five laterals to keep the play alive until they ran it into the end zone and scored a touchdown. Bonus points because the Stanford band and team thought they had ''already won'', and were filing onto the field at one point, they were at least 20 yards downfield for their victory tune and got clobbered in the process. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fZCCAqoSwY It has to be seen to be believed, really.]] - (One of the passes may have been thrown after the player was already down by contact, and so Stanford to this day refuses to acknowledge the game as a Cal win.)
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.DownToTheLastPlay