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A comeback refers to the return of a person of public interest after a long-term hiatus or when an entity recovers from a large deficit to achieve victory. The term is predominantly used in politics, sports and music. In the case of a band, the term reunion is used.
Well-known comebacks include the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final and 2005 UEFA Champions League Final, those of boxer Muhammad Ali after a three-year break from 1967 until 1970, and singer Yusuf Islam, who found earlier success as Cat Stevens and was not active from 1978 until 1995. Another widely regarded comeback is that of rapper Kanye West after the release of his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In the NBA, the Utah Jazz achieved a 36-point comeback over the Denver Nuggets in 1996.
In American football, the 2006 Michigan State vs. Northwestern football game was the biggest comeback in NCAA Division 1-A history, while The Comeback game between the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Oilers is the largest comeback in NFL history.
Playoff series comebacks
In the major North American professional team sports that use a best-of-7 series for playoff games (Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, and the National Basketball Association), there have been five instances in which teams have comeback to win the series after losing the first three games.:
- 1942 Stanley Cup when the Toronto Maple Leafs came back and won four straight over the Detroit Red Wings
- 1975 Stanley Cup quarterfinals when the New York Islanders came back and won four straight over the Pittsburgh Penguins
- 2004 American League Championship Series when the Boston Red Sox came back and won four straight over the New York Yankees
- 2010 Stanley Cup conference semifinals when the Philadelphia Flyers came back and won four straight, winning the fourth game 4-3 after being down by a score of 0-3 to the Boston Bruins
- 2014 Stanley Cup conference quarterfinals when the Los Angeles Kings came back and won four straight over the San Jose Sharks.
World Series comebacks
- 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates down 1-3 came back to win three in a row against the Washington Senators
- 1958 New York Yankees down 1-3 came back to win three in a row against the Milwaukee Braves
- 1968 Detroit Tigers down 1-3 came back to win three in a row against the St. Louis Cardinals
- 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates down 1-3 came back to win three in a row against the Baltimore Orioles
- 1985 Kansas City Royals down 1-3 came back to win three in a row against the St. Louis Cardinals
Use in the entertainment industry
- Korean entertainment companies regularly use the term each time an artist releases a new album, often with several months to a few years separating the "Comeback" from the previous album. The term is mainly used to describe the artist has 'comeback' on music shows with another round of promotions.
- "Top 10 Greatest Comebacks", October 3, 2010