The sports writer, Michael Wilbon, gets it right when he says there is no such thing as an “upset” in professional sports. Heh, clearly, that is not the effect on the fans out there — there is plenty of upset. But, when NFL media writers (I cannot elevate them to sports writer status) want to feed on that fanatic demographic, they write ludicrous “all-time rankings” such as this.
After reading that opinion, I am amazed how the old guys still insist on putting Joe Namath’s Jets upset of the Colts at #1. Certainly it belongs in the top five, if there is such a thing, but the payback for the 2001 Patriots’ colossal upset over the Rams that was dished out by the 2007 lowest-seeded Giants upset over the (then) undefeated(*) Patriots is clearly (or as the media put it, “no doubter”) the biggest upset in NFL playoff history. Factor in the AFC dominance over the NFC this past decade, it makes that Giant win even more statistically improbable. Or does it just prove Wilbon’s point?
But where is New England’s magical run through the playoffs from 1985-1986? Certainly Seattle’s home playoff win against last year’s Super Bowl champs (and an NFC matchup nonetheless where anything is possible) cannot be construed as an upset, especially when that 1985 Patsy team was the NFL’s first to go on the road for each of their games and make a Superbowl appearance. Given the criteria, it makes no sense to me, but then again, I guess the NFL media needed something new to “feed the frenzy”.