David Aaron Gray

"Don't believe everything 
you hear on the radio"
- Charles Foster Kane

David Aaron Gray (Blog)

Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again - Second Acts in Life and the Art of the Comeback

Posted by davidaarongray on January 25, 2013 at 6:20 AM

The answer is “NO!” This is not another post dedicated to Nixon and I do not intend on making this little website of mine a launching pad for a Nixon appreciation society (though, lord knows the guy could use some better PR being that there are more pages on the internet devoted to the veneration of President Millard Fillmore and Josef Stalin.

The title above is simply a shout out to the legendary Billy Joel hit “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” and the fact that the topic of this particular post focuses on second chances in life. It includes a list of what I consider to be some of the greatest comeback stories of all time.

The idea came to me while I was reading some of the latest reaction from Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah last week. When typing in “Lance Armstrong” into Google and accidentally utilizing the never useful “I’m feeling lucky" search option I landed on a page that listed the 50 greatest comebacks in sports. When I saw Mr. Armstrong at #1 I had a little giggle, quickly concluded that the list was fairly dated and then continued my search for more stories. During the next 10 minutes or so of surfing, I kept getting redirected to similar sites and was stunned to see that not only was Armstrong still listed on hundreds of websites devoted to great comebacks, but that he always appeared at or near the top.

Fine, there’s a lot of dated crap out there in the public domain. If you look hard enough you can find brilliantly written articles by the NY Times about Elliot Spitzer being the “Moral Crusader” or hundreds of transcripts from the Rush Limbaugh show demonizing prescription drug users. All that said, I couldn’t help myself when I stumbled upon the following quote delivered by you know who after winning his third straight Tour de France:

“If you ever get a second chance in life for something, you’ve got to go all the way.”

The irony of that quote now is so perverse that it deserves no explanation. Google that exact phrase right now if you care to and what you’ll find is its inclusion in hundreds of websites with titles like “Most inspirational quotes of all time,” and its rank is usually somewhere after Churchill’s “Blood, Sweat and Tears” quote but modestly before the Old Testament’s “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” I just hope that when picking a quote for their high school yearbook photo, recent high school graduates did not do what I myself did - picking a well respected quote at random off the internet. PS… I should be safe since Charles Schulz can’t do much wrong while he’s six feet under.

Needless to say, I thought it was time for a new list of great comebacks. Luckily, when I settled on the following 25, I noticed that a safe number were either dead, fictional or simply unbreakable by now so I hope I don’t have to put my foot in my mouth some day soon when one of these people ends up banking on a third chance at life (which unfortunately, is exclusively reserved for cats, Colin Farrell and Lindsay Lohan).

So, without further ado, I give you my first chance of listing the top 25 second chances / comebacks of all time.

Categories: Top Comebacks of All Time

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