We just witnessed the greatest 24 months in sports championship history

If it seems like all major sports championships are dramatic or historic these days, it is because that has become the norm.

On Monday night, Alabama completed an improbable comeback with a backup quarterback to force overtime and beat Georgia to win the college football national championship. That was just the latest incredible championship-winning event among major North American sports in the last 24 months.

In fact, of the biggest sports — NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college football, college basketball — only two or three of the championship events in the past two years were not dramatic or historic.

We had overtimes, dramatic endings, blown leads, unforeseen heroes, the end of epic championship droughts, and some of the biggest comebacks in sports history featuring athletes who will go down as some of the greatest ever.

Here is a look back at the past 24 months in sports championships and why they stand up to any 2-year span in North American sports history.

The past 24 months have been the best in sports championship history
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The past 24 months have been the best in sports championship history

January 2016 — Alabama wins the college football national championship with a thrilling fourth quarter

Alabama and Clemson played the first of their three-consecutive college football playoff matchups. Clemson held a three-point lead after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, the two teams combined to score five touchdowns and 40 points as Alabama pulled out a 45-40 win.

(Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

April 2016 — Villanova wins the college basketball championship with a buzzer-beater

Villanova's Kris Jenkins hit a shot that will go down in sports history, winning the NCAA men's basketball championship with a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Read more: The Villanova player who hit the incredible buzzer-beater to win the NCAA Championship wasn't even supposed to take the final shot

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

April 2016 — Jordan Spieth collapses at the Masters

Jordan Spieth led after each of the first three rounds and had built a four-stroke lead with nine holes to go. He then played the next three holes at 6-over, including the infamous 12th hole where he hit two straight shots into the water.

Read more: Jordan Spieth hit 2 straight shots into the water to lose the Masters

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

June 2016 — The Golden State Warriors blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals and the Cleveland Cavaliers win Game 7 after trailing in the fourth quarter.

One of the few events we are not including is the ho-hum 2017 NBA Finals, despite including several future Hall of Famers and all-time greats. But that's OK because the 2016 matchup between these two teams was an all-timer itself. Despite losing Games 5 and 6 to even the series, the Warriors held a 4-point lead in Game 7 with just over five minutes to go. But the Cavs outscored the Warriors 10-2 over the final five minutes to win the title.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

October 2016 — The Cleveland Indians blow their own 3-1 lead and the Chicago Cubs end their 108-year championship drought in thrilling fashion.

After the Cubs won Games 5 and 6, it looked like they were going to cruise to an easy win in Game 7. They led 6-3 in the eighth inning, but blew that lead and the Indians forced extra innings. After the Cubs scored twice in the top of the tenth, things got tense again in the bottom half of the inning, but a grounder to Kris Bryant ended the most famous championship drought in sports.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

January 2017 — Clemson wins the college football national championship with a last-second touchdown

In the rematch of the 2016 championship game, it was Alabama who blew a second-half lead this time. The Crimson Tide led by ten late in the third quarter, but Clemson scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns. The last came in the final seconds to win 35-31.

(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

February 2017 — The Atlanta Falcons blow a 28-3 lead and the New England Patriots win the first overtime Super Bowl

Despite the greatness of the New England Patriots dynasty, they like to make things interesting in their Super Bowl wins. The combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady won its fifth championship in Super Bowl 51 after trailing 28-3 in the second half. For the Falcons and their fans, it was a championship meltdown that they won't soon forget.

Read more: PATRIOTS WIN THE SUPER BOWL! Here are the big plays and moments everybody will be talking about

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

June 2017 — The Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup with a goal in the final 90 seconds, but only after the Nashville Predators had a goal waived off because of an inadvertent whistle.

The 2017 Stanley Cup Final did not have a Game 7 like some of the other big series recently, but it was still a thriller. It had the Penguins going for a repeat and the upstart Predators and their fish-throwing fans. It also had controversy as the Predators looked like they might force a Game 7 when they scored to go up 1-0 in Game 6. But the official lost sight of the puck and inadvertently blew his whistle, negating the goal. The Pens then scored twice in the final 90 seconds — one an empty-netter — to claim the Cup.

Read more: Controversy hits the Stanley Cup Final as a Predators goal was waved off because of an inadvertent whistle

(Photo by John Crouch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

October 2017 — The Houston Astros win Game 7 to win first-ever championship just four years after losing 111 games.

Game 7 was not the most thrilling ever, but it was a Game 7 that ended an otherwise thrilling World Series. It was new Evil Empire versus the new Kings of Moneyball. It was a $250 million payroll versus the team that had lost 111 games just four years earlier. Five of the seven games were decided one or two runs and two of the games went to extra innings. In the end, the Astros won their first championship.

(Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

January 2016 — Alabama comes from behind with a backup quarterback to win the college football championship in overtime.


These are all things that happened to Alabama during the national championship game: A player collapsed on sideline. Another player tried to fight somebody on his own sideline. They scored no points in the first half. They missed two field goals, including one at the end of regulation. They couldn't stop Georgia on third-and-long. Their starting quarterback threw for just 21 yards and got benched. A true-freshman quarterback was forced into meaningful action for the first time all season. And oh by the way, they won the national title with a long touchdown in overtime.

Read more: ALABAMA WINS A THRILLER IN OVERTIME! Here are the top plays and big moments everybody will be talking about

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If we move beyond the team sports, the last 24 months also included the Rio Olympics and the historic performances of Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles, and Michael Phelps.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

And there was the 2017 Australian Open which Serena Williams won while pregnant.

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

And if we really want to go international, there was also the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko title fight and Eder's goal in extra time to win the 2016 Euros for Portugal, just to name a few. In other words, it has been a pretty good two years in sports.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Now check out how Tua Tagovailoa became the unlikely hero for Alabama's most-recent championship.

How Tua Tagovailoa went from Hawaiian star to backup quarterback to Alabama's national championship hero

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