The Greatest Texas Sports Stories Youve Never Heard

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Book Sample. Related Subjects Sports. The longest field goal in the history of football was kicked in Texas. But did you know it was love that first led a Swedish soccer player to Texas, where he still lives more than thirty years after his record-setting yard field goal?

That story is just one of dozens of unusual and behind-the- scenes stories veteran sports writer and broadcaster Al Pickett has compiled in more than twenty years of covering sports in Texas. With confidence in his players, Haskins' Miners went on to take the title from the Kentucky Wildcats, and sealed their place in history. While the team certainly wasn't bad—they finished the season —they were fighting against the odds, and the ideologies of many people who were fans of the game.

The story of Michael Oher is quite impressive, and while he wasn't an underdog once he hit the scene, his story is one that puts him into this company. Oher didn't come from a great home, as his mother was constantly running into problems with drugs and his father had problems with the law. With a tough place to grow up, Oher frequented many different homes as he continued to pursue a career in football as a high school student.

Eventually, he was not only fostered, but adopted by the Tuohy family. They helped him progress in school, which eventually gave him a real shot at playing football in college. Despite all his road blocks, Oher emerged from the dark cloud of smoke and was eventually brought on to play for the Mississippi Rebels.

While Oher was clearly talented throughout his life, he is a true inspiration to anyone who sees their living situation as a setback on their future. While the Jeremy Lin story is just beginning, and still has a chance to fade out, there is no doubt that New York Knicks' phenom guard has taken the NBA by storm. Since getting his first real shot on February 4th, Lin has had over 20 points in nine of his 12 games where he has played a good chunk of time. Lin has fought rejection his entire career, as he was never given a chance in his home state as a potential college athlete and had to take his talents to the East to join the Harvard Crimson.

While he was a stellar player there, he still went undrafted, but was eventually picked up by the Golden State Warriors.

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After spending the season with the Warriors, Lin was dropped before the season was underway. He was given a shot with the Houston Rockets, but they eventually dropped him. He finally found his way to the Knicks, and with the team in despair after injuries to Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, they needed to give the bench a shot.

Lin finally got his opportunity, and thus far, he has taken full advantage of it. It will remain to be seen where his career will go, but for now it looks like it's only getting better. It is hard to call a man who was a three-time runner-up at Wimbledon an underdog, but when Goran Ivanisevic shocked the world at the tennis tournament in , it was certainly considered a come-from-behind victory. As mentioned, Ivanisevic was not an unfamiliar name at the top of the tennis world. At one point in his career, he was ranked No. Still, he had never won a Slam title.

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After missing the entire season with a shoulder injury, Ivanisevic was ranked No. He was given a wild card into the tournament since he already had much success there, and it was clear that he wasn't going to give up this opportunity. It was not an easy road for Ivanisevic, as he had to go through Carlos Moya, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Tim Henman and then Patrick Rafter to win the title, but he made it through each one of them to claim the Wimbledon title. While he never claimed another title after that, the performance was a sweet end to the Croatian's career.

For a mid-major school to make the NCAA Men's final two years in a row—to even make the tournament two years in a row—is definitely not an easy feat. Unfortunately, they never walked away with a win, as they fell to the Duke Blue Devils in and the UConn Huskies in Still, the team represented everything that spoke for defeating the odds, as well as that the tournament really gives an opportunity to anybody who enters the pool. While it wasn't a happy ending, the Edmonton Oilers are one of the greatest underdog stories of all time. Coming into the playoffs, the team was the eighth seed in the Western Conference with an overall record of As the worst seed, they had to go through some of the best teams in the conference, as well as play most of their games on the road.

Funny thing is—as it would come to show in the playoffs—the Oilers actually had a better road record than at home during the regular season.


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  4. In the first round, the team was pitted against the No. The Oilers took that series , in nothing short of dramatic fashion.

    They did have a much easier time in the next round, but that wasn't until they won four straight games after dropping the first two to the San Jose Sharks. They continued to have success into the Western Conference finals, as they took down the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim , making their way into the Stanley Cup. In the Stanley Cup, the team finally fell at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes, but they at least took the series to seven games.

    It wasn't the best end to what the team accomplished, but the story is still an inspiration to any team that is put in front of difficult task from the very beginning. While the New Jersey Devils were not exactly an eighth seed, the fact that they took that year's Stanley Cup over the dominant Detroit Red Wings—who took home the Presidents' Trophy—was a true underdog performance.

    The Devils finished the season with a record of , as the season was shortened due to lockout. What made the story an underdog performance for the ages is not only did the Devils defeat the Red Wings, but they swept them to take home their first Stanley Cup.

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    At Northern Iowa, Warner didn't hit the field for the first time until his senior season, where proved to all that he had a real talent. Still, that wasn't enough, and he went undrafted in the NFL Draft. With no teams finding a real interest in the unproven quarterback, he took his talents to the Arena Football League, where he played from He would continue to impress overseas, and the following season he was brought back to take a role on the team.

    Warner was the team's backup, but was quickly inserted into the starting role after Trent Green was knocked out for the year during the preseason. With Warner under center, he took off with the team, which earned the moniker "The Greatest Show on Turf. During his first year, Warner threw for 4, yards and 41 touchdowns. The team won the Super Bowl that season, over the Tennessee Titans. Warner was finally released in , where he would then join the New York Giants.

    Eventually though, he would be replaced by Eli Manning. Following his stint with the Giants, Warner joined the Arizona Cardinals. There he would revive his career, as he took the team to the playoffs in and —the first of which he took the team to the Super Bowl, only to lose the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Greatest Texas Sports Stories You’ve Never Heard

    While he only won a single Super Bowl over his career, Warner constantly fought off his naysayers, only to come through again and again when the opportunity arose. Braddock was professional boxer early in his life, but after struggling to win matches, he was forced to move on the from sport and needed to find a way to support his family during the Great Depression.

    The Greatest Texas Sports Stories You'Ve Never Heard

    After a year away from the sport, Braddock was finally given a chance to fight. He was basically seen as a stepping stone for title contenders, but somehow he took out anyone who came his way. After taking down some of the toughest fighters, including Art Lasky, Braddock was given a chance to fight for the heavyweight title.

    That was against a man by the name of Max Baer—who also regarded Braddock as an easy take to the bank. Braddock won the fight by unanimous decision, which crowned him heavyweight champion of the world.