10 Biggest Collapses in Dallas Sports History

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth
Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

Jordan Spieth will be back. The Dallas-bred golfer has one multiple majors and recovered nicely after botching the end of the 2014 Masters, so it stands to reason he'll recover from his complete and utter disaster in Augusta this year, blowing a five-stroke lead on the final nine holes. Spieth's falling apart, for a fan base as damaged as Dallas', was bound to stir thoughts of previous pain. Rather than avoiding it, the Observer decided to indulge in some emotional masochism and look at the 10 biggest collapses in Dallas sports history.

10. Same Song, Different Verse — This one would be much higher on the list if the series had turned out differently. After slaying some playoff demons and winning the franchise's first ever postseason series against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Rangers led the Yankees 5-0 heading into the seventh inning of the first game of the American League Championship series thanks in large part to a three-run first inning home run by Josh Hamilton off CC Sabathia. The Yankees got one in seventh and five in an eighth inning highlighted by a brutal Michael Young misplay at third base and won 6-5, extending the Yankees playoff win streak against the Rangers to 10. The Rangers went on the win four of the next five to advance to their first World Series, though, so this one doesn't sting too bad. 

9. The Stars Punt Game 6 to the Ducks

  — The 2014 Stars were outmanned by the Ryan Getzlaf-led Anaheim Ducks. They'd sneaked into the playoffs and lacked the essential elements — namely strong goaltending and any sort of a defensive spine — to have any chance at winning the Stanley Cup. Still, with 20 minutes to go in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, they had a two-goal lead and looked set to force a deciding Game 7 in Anaheim. Then the Ducks scored two in the third period to force overtime before Nick Bonino scored less than three minutes into OT to knock the Stars out of the playoffs. They weren't quite ready to make the sort of run they look primed to make this year, and it showed.  

8. Rangers Fans Learn How Things Are — The 1996 Rangers, the first team in Rangers history to make the playoffs, wasn't snake bit. They won the first playoff game in franchise history at Yankee Stadium, and returned to Arlington having got the split they needed in the Big Apple. All they had to do to advance to the American League Championship series was win two out of three in Arlington. They couldn't win one. In Game 3, the Rangers led 2-1 heading into the ninth inning before starting pitcher Darren Oliver and closer Mike Hennemen conspired to give the Yankees a two-run rally and a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

7. The 2003 Mavericks Give Away Game 6 Against the Spurs — The 2003 Mavericks, playing without an injured Dirk Nowitzki, managed to drag themselves into position to force a deciding Game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs. After the Mavs came back from 19 down to win Game 5 in San Antonio, they led by 13 heading into the fourth quarter of Game 6 in Dallas. They would end up getting outscored 34-9 in the fourth, which included three three-pointers from washed-up San Antonio third-string point guard Steve Kerr and a 23-0 run by the Spurs. At one point, the Mavs failed to score for more than eight minutes. It was ugly. 

6. Elvis Boots It — The 2015 Rangers had no business being in the playoffs. The might have been the worst team in baseball in April and weren't much better until they caught fire during the summer, running down the AL West-leading Houston Astros after trailing them by as many as eight games in August. They also weren't supposed to have a chance against the Toronto Blue Jays, the consensus best team in the American League, in the American League Division Series. But the Rangers stole the first two games of the series in Toronto before losing the next two in Arlington. In the Game 5 decider, the Rangers had their ace, Cole Hamels, on the hill and scrapped to a one-run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. In the seventh, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus had the worst inning of his career, committing two errors and misplaying a third ball. The Rangers lost control of the game, and the series, eventually capitulating 6-3. 

5. Tony Romo Drops It — Tony Romo's January 2007 calamity wouldn't have happened if not for the weird circumstance of his being a starting quarterback who was also the Cowboys' holder on kicks. Romo had taken over for Drew Bledsoe at QB in the middle of the 2006 and led the Cowboys to the playoffs in what would be Bill Parcells final season with the team. He never stopped holding, and was on the field as the Cowboys' Martin Gramatica lined up to kick a 19-yard field goal with the Cowboys down 21-20 to the Seattle Seahawks near the end of the fourth quarter. Romo dropped the snap and couldn't scramble into the end zone, making sure the Cowboys wouldn't win their first playoff game since 1996. Romo's undeserved legacy as a choke artist begins here.

4. The 2012 Rangers Fall Apart — The 2012 Rangers led the AL West by five games with nine to play. They lost seven of their final nine games capped by a disastrous loss to Oakland on the final day of the season and gave the division to the A's. The team had the chance at redemption in the wild card game, but lost to the Orioles 5-1. 

3. Jordan Spieth Dunks It (Twice) — Spieth's meltdown around Amen Corner at the 2016 Masters was shocking because he's done it before. In 2015, Spieth won both the Masters and the U.S. Open, showing no signs of faltering the way he did last week. As me made the turn, Spieth was at -7, leading the tournament by five shots, thanks to four consecutive birdies. He bogeyed the 10th and 11th holes before going in to vapor lock on the 12th tee. He knocked his first shot and third shots into the water, leading to a quadruple-bogey 7 that he'd never recover from. 

2. The 2006 Mavs Throw Away Game 3 — The 2006 Mavs, the first team in franchise history to make the NBA Finals, were up 13 points midway through the fourth quarter of Game 3 against the Miami Heat. They'd won the first two games of the series without much of a sweat and appeared to be in complete control, heading toward their first championship. The Heat outscored the Mavs 22-7 on the way in. The series turned around and the Mavs lost in six. They'd get their revenge in 2011, when they executed a similar comeback in Game 2 of the finals on the way to their own six-game victory in the championship series. 

1. The Rangers Lose Game 6 of the 2011 World Series — It's the elephant in the Rangers' room that still hurts to talk about. Given a golden opportunity to win the team's first championship, the Rangers blew two-run leads in both the ninth and 10th innings of the 2011 World Series against the Cardinals. It was as if the 1986 Red Sox choke against the Mets had happened twice. Nelson Cruz played a tough fly ball into a triple in the ninth and Josh Hamilton's only home run of the 2011 playoffs in the 10th didn't stand up. When it was over, fans knew the Rangers didn't have a chance in Game 7, and they proved it the next day, losing 6-2.


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