They occur in every sport, and happen virtually every day.
Of all the sports we follow, none lends itself more to upsets than basketball.
Take last Saturday night, for example.
There were two scores that came across the sports desk that were downright stunning.
Parkersburg High's boys team had traveled to St. Albans on Friday night and lost to the Red Dragons, 55-53, to fall to 1-6.
On Saturday, PHS not only had to make yet another road trip, but laying in waiting was a 4-1 Woodrow Wilson team that many believe is a state title contender.
What happened? PHS not only won, but did so 65-57, behind a 28-point performance by Trevor Britton.
Actually, Parkersburg swept a doubleheader that night as the junior varsity team rallied from a huge deficit to win by one point.
While the Big Reds and Little Reds came out on the good end of rather improbable results, Magnolia's boys basketball team experienced what it is like to be on the wrong end of one those stunning upsets.
The 6-0 Blue Eagles were scheduled to play River in a home game at New Martinsville. River came to town with a credible 4-3 mark but also as a decided underdog to a Magnolia team many were saying would be No. 1 in the state's first Class A poll.
After three quarters, the underdog still was hanging around as Magnolia led just 54-51. The fourth quarter would be decisive. That's when River got hot. It not only won, it won, 79-68, behind a 40-point performance from Brett Price. Even though Magnolia's Mark Winters had accounted for 24 points and teammate Zach Willhoite had 23, it wasn't enough.
Working at the sports desk every night, we have come to expect the unexpected. Hardly a night goes by when you don't get at least one score that you feel like asking whether the caller had it backwards.
But that's what makes sports so interesting. You can't take any opponent or result for granted.
But I can't let go what I saw on Sunday without commenting.
Rookie sensation Robert Griffith III looked brilliant in leading the Washington Redskins to a 14-0 lead over the visiting Seattle Seahawks. Then, he got hurt. Obviously, he was in no shape to play, but play he did, even though he was totally ineffective.
The result was Washington never scored again and lost, 24-14.
I can't understand what the Redskins were thinking. RG3 is their franchise player, their future. Why risk it all for the sake of one game? They should have followed the example of the Washington Nationals, who gave up their first chance to win a World Series by shutting down ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg's young arm in September so as to protect his future.