Even the most ardent critics of the New England Patriots (hand up) have to concede, their Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons was mildly impressive.

When the biggest previous comeback in Super Bowl history was 10 points, to recover from a 25-point deficit and win in overtime was, I guess, a noteworthy achievement.

But, to avoid praising the Patriots too effusively, allow me to present three comebacks from three different sports that at least rival what Tom Brady and his teammates accomplished...

1 Oracle Team USA
That's right, Oracle. Another likable bunch. No matter our parochialism, there's no denying what Team New Zealand's tormenters managed to pull off in the 2013 America's Cup. Eight times Oracle were sailing in a do-or-die race in San Francisco and eight times they emerged triumphant, gradually eating away at Team New Zealand's 8-1 lead and eventually snatching the Auld Mug.


2 Mali
The Super Bowl would have reminded many football fans of either Manchester United's two stoppage time goals to claim the Champions League in 1999 or Liverpool's revival from a 3-0 halftime deficit to win the same competition in 2005. But to avoid playing favourites (United's was better) I'll plump for a less familiar footballing miracle: Mali stunning Angola at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations. After all, Mali's effort combined the speed of United and the goal glut of Liverpool, needing only 10 minutes to recover from a four-goal deficit and rescue a point against the host nation.

3 Boston Red Sox
I hate to pay tribute to another Boston team, I really do, but what the Red Sox accomplished in 2004 will live long in baseball sporting. Having been beaten up by the New York Yankees for all of 86 years, the Red Sox picked a hell of a way to find revenge over their hated rivals, winning four straight elimination games to overturn a 3-0 deficit in the American League Championship Series, the only baseball team in history to climb from such a hole.