A career special-teamer and reserve wide receiver, Tyree's football-to-helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII will go down as one of the most unforgettable and miraculous plays in NFL history. The reception, which set up the Giants' game-winning touchdown that denied the Patriots a perfect season, proved to be Tyree's last for Big Blue. He missed the entire 2008 season with injury and was cut in September 2009.
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George Mason basketball | 2006 NCAA tournament
Not to diminish its success in the Colonial Athletic Association, but George Mason had never won an NCAA tournament game before a run for the ages in 2006. As an at-large No. 11 seed, coach Jim Larranaga's Patriots beat Michigan State, North Carolina Wichita State and top-seeded UConn en route to the Final Four (where they lost to Florida). George Mason returned to the Big Dance in 2008 but lost in the first round.
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Hasim Rahman | 2001 heavyweight title
Rahman was a one-hit wonder -- literally. With what Lennox Lewis called a "lottery punch," the 20-1 underdog Rahman knocked out Lewis to claim the WBC and IBF heavyweight titles in April 2001. Seven months later, Lewis avenged the loss with a fourth-round knockout. But Rahman walked away with a $10 million payday for his troubles.
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Tampa Bay Lightning | 2003-04 season
With one playoff appearance (a second-round loss) in their previous seven seasons, the Lightning made a surprising rise to the Stanley Cup, winning a seven-game final against Calgary. More was expected from Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Co. after that, but the 2004-05 lockout intervened and the team hasn't advanced beyond the first round. It failed to make the playoffs in 2008 and 2009.
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Maurice Clarett | 2002 season
As a true freshman, Clarett rushed for 1,237 yards and 16 touchdowns and helped Ohio State to a national title. Then everything went haywire. He was suspended for the 2003 season for violating NCAA rules. He unsuccessfully sued the NFL to enter the 2004 draft. After being drafted by the Broncos in 2005, Clarett failed to make the team out of camp. In 2006, he was arrested after a highway chase and sentenced to 71/2 years in prison for aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon. Clarett remains imprisoned in Toledo, Ohio.
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Greece national soccer team | 2004 European Championship
Greece had never won a game at a major tournament before stunning the soccer world as 100-to-1 underdogs at Euro 2004. A band of hard-working unknowns, the Greeks beat host Portugal 1-0 in the final.
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Hilary Lunke | 2003 U.S. Women's Open
The PGA Tour produced its share of one-Slam wonders in the 2000s -- including Todd Hamilton (2004 British Open) and Shaun Micheel (2003 PGA Championship) -- but the LPGA trumped them all with Lunke. She became the first qualifier to win the U.S. Women's Open when she beat Angelina Stanford and Kelly Robbins in an 18-hole playoff. That would not only prove to be her only victory but also her lone top 10 on tour. Lunke has made only 16 LPGA starts in the last three years.
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Aaron Small | 2005 Yankees season
The peripatetic Small had pitched in eight major league games in a six-plus-year span when the injury-plagued Yankees promoted him in July 2005. Small promptly went 10-0 with a 3.20 ERA. He picked up a loss in his only playoff appearance that year, Game 3 of a first-round series against the Angels. Small went on to struggle in 11 outings for the Yankees in 2006, his last taste of the big leagues. He retired in 2007.
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Giacomo | 2005 Kentucky Derby
Giacomo had won once in seven lifetime starts and was 0-for-3 in 2005 before coming from off the pace to win the Kentucky Derby as a 50-to-1 shot, the second-biggest upset in race history. Giacomo slipped to third in the Preakness and seventh in the Belmont, and did little of consequence following that Triple Crown season.
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Golden State Warriors | 2006-07 season
In their only playoff appearance in a 15-year span, the Baron Davis-led Warriors (42-40) became the first No. 8 seed to win a seven-game series when they upset the league-best Mavericks in the 2007 first round. The Warriors won 48 games the following year but missed the playoffs, and by 2008-09 they had reverted to their losing and dysfunctional form.
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Derek Anderson | 2007 season
Just 26, the 2005 sixth-round pick still has time to prove his staying power. But based on his play the last two years (including a 2009 season in which he has completed 42.9 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and nine interceptions in six games), it looks increasingly likely that 2007 will stand as a career outlier. That's when Anderson threw 29 touchdown passes, made the Pro Bowl as an alternate and led the Browns to their first 10-win season since 1994.
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Gaston Gaudio and Anastasia Myskina | 2004 French Open
They'll always have Paris. Gaudio has not been past the fourth round of a major with the exception of his victory at Roland Garros. He ended 2009 ranked No. 171. Myskina peaked at No. 2 the year she won the French, but injuries derailed her career. Unlike Gaudio, however, she advanced to the quarterfinals in all four Grand Slams.
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Michael Waltrip | 2001 Daytona 500
One of racing's most personable drivers took home the sport's biggest prize and snapped a 463-race winless streak in his first start with Dale Earnhardt Inc. One could argue he doesn't belong on this list considering he also won the Daytona 500 in 2003, but that rainy race was called near the halfway point. In five years with DEI, Waltrip never finished higher than 14th in points and had almost as many DNFs (32) as top 10 finishes (40). Switching to a driver/owner role in 2006 made things worse -- he has only one top five in four years.
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Florida Marlins | 2003 World Series
The Marlins have been a one-hit wonder in both the 1990s and 2000s: They won World Series in their only two playoff appearances, first in 1997 and then in 2003 with almost an entirely different cast. Led by a young rotation featuring Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Brad Penny and Carl Pavano, the 2003 Marlins won 91 regular-season games, beat the Giants and Cubs in NL playoff series and toppled the Yankees in a six-game World Series.
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Jose Theodore | 2002 season
The surprise winner of the 2002 Vezina (top goaltender) and Hart (MVP) trophies edged such luminaries as Patrick Roy and Jarome Iginla, respectively, by razor-thin margins before reverting to his usual so-so form with Montreal the next season. He has since struggled to establish himself as a bona fide No. 1 goalie in Colorado and Washington.
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Los Angeles Clippers | 2005-06 season
The Clippers capped their only winning season (47-35) and playoff berth of the decade by falling only one game short of the 2006 Western Conference finals. Before losing a second-round series to the Suns, Elton Brand, Sam Cassell and Co. got the Clippers past the opening round for the first time in 30 years. Alas, the Clippers' win total declined from 40 to 23 to 19 over the subsequent three seasons.
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Jonathan Cheechoo | 2005-06 season
With a career high of 28 goals in two NHL seasons, Cheechoo unexpectedly led the league with 56 in 2005-06 with the Sharks. Since then, his season totals declined to 37 to 23 to 12 to two in his first 20 games of 2009-10.
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Bud Smith | 2001 season
The Cardinals' left-hander threw a no-hitter against the Padres on Sept. 3, 2001, the highlight of a year in which he went 6-3 with a 3.83 ERA and finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. But he won just one more game the rest of his career and was out of the majors for good by age 22.
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Playmakers | 2003
ESPN's original series about a fictional professional football team drew solid ratings in its 11-episode run. But the NFL, which counted ESPN as a broadcast partner then and now, wasn't pleased with how the scripted drama portrayed the game, and the show was canceled after one season.
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Bob May | 2000 PGA Championship
Who can forget May's stirring duel with Tiger Woods at the final Grand Slam of the year? Tiger had already won the U.S. Open by 15 shots and the British Open by eight strokes that year, but he needed a three-hole playoff to put away May, a solid player getting his first taste of the national spotlight. A back injury later derailed May's career, and he's been toiling on the Nationwide Tour the last two years.
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Senegal national soccer team | 2002 World Cup
In its first and only World Cup appearance, Senegal made a surprising run to the quarterfinals, remembered most for a 1-0 opening victory against France, which controlled Senegal as a colony until 1960. Senegal failed to reach the World Cup in 2006 and 2010, and it didn't do much in the African Cup of Nations this decade, either.
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Jerome James | First round, 2005 NBA playoffs
The Seattle 7-footer averaged 17.2 points and 9.4 rebounds in a playoff series against Sacramento, a rare show of production that helped the 29-year-old earn a five-year, $30 million contract from Isiah Thomas and the Knicks that offseason. James proved to be arguably the worst NBA free-signing of the decade, as he averaged 2.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 89 games for New York before being traded to Chicago in February 2009.
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Edmonton Oilers | 2005-06
Backstopped by a suddenly hot journeyman goaltender, Dwayne Roloson, the Oilers came out of the weeds in the Western Conference to reach the Stanley Cup final, where they extended the Hurricanes to seven games. The Oilers, who hadn't made the playoffs the previous season or been beyond the first round since 1998, haven't been back to the postseason since their surprising run.
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