Martin Kaymer captured the US Open by eight strokes, posting a nine-under 271 for the tournament, and the San Antonio Spurs closed out the Miami Heat in five games to end a substandard Finals round for Miami – which got us thinking about some other times that a championship ended in disappointingly one-sided fashion.
1. Seahawks 43, Broncos 8 (Super Bowl XLVIII)
After being taken down to the wire in the NFC title game by the 49ers, the Seahawks’ vaunted defense (boasting the most dominant secondary in the league) was faced with a unique challenge – Peyton Manning and his high-octane Broncos passing attack. This game was billed as a contest between an unstoppable force and an immovable object – a headline that lasted until the first play from scrimmage, when the Seahawks forced a safety. They would go on to intercept Peyton Manning twice, including one that would be returned for a touchdown, on the way to a 43-8 rout of Denver.
2. San Francisco Giants Sweep Detroit Tigers (2012 World Series)
The 2012 Giants had a remarkable postseason run. After falling behind two games to none in the Divisional Series against Cincinnati, San Francisco fired off three wins in a row to advance to face the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards took three of the first four games, again putting the Giants on the brink of elimination. Again, the Giants came through – thanks in big part to Barry Zito’s stellar performance in game five (7.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 6 K) – and capped in memorable fashion on a rainy night in San Francisco.
After a thrilling first two rounds, San Francisco would go on to quickly dispose of the AL Champion Tigers in four games.
3. Los Angeles Lakers Sweep New Jersey Nets (2002 NBA Finals)
In one of the most memorable Western Conference Finals series in league history, the Lakers battled with the Sacramento Kings for seven games – even after falling behind three to two after five games. Los Angeles fought through the adversity (albeit with some help from the officials) to defeat Sacramento in a series that was viewed by many as one that would decide the eventual NBA Champion. The Lakers proved the talking heads right, going on to send the Nets home for the offseason without a single victory in the Championship round.
4. Boston Red Sox Sweep Colorado Rockies (2007 World Series)
The Rockies were making their first World Series appearance, and were, entering the series, the hottest team in baseball. They had won 21 of the previous 22 games, dating back to the regular season, including sweeps in both the NLDS and NLCS. Everything seemed to be lining up for Colorado… until they ran into the Boston Red Sox. Boston outscored the high-powered Rockies’ offense 29-10 through the four games, as Colorado became the first National League team to be swept in the World Series after sweeping the LCS.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48, Oakland Raiders 21 (Super Bowl XXXVII)
Oakland entered the contest with the AFC’s best record and the top ranked offense. Tampa Bay entered with the league’s best defense – and the Raiders’ former Head Coach, Jon Gruden, whose rights had been traded by Oakland to the Buccaneers in the prior offseason in exchange for four draft picks. The Raiders were four point favorites, but Tampa came well prepared by Gruden to dismantle his former mates – and did so in convincing fashion. Tampa Bay returned three interceptions for touchdowns and picked off league MVP Rich Gannon five times on the way to a 48-21 blowout win.