So let's just say you're taking a walk, minding your own business, when you notice this shiny object off the path. You go to investigate and discover what looks like an old trophy but you cannot make out the inscription on it. You rub your shirt sleeve on the inscription to clean it off, which makes the trophy shake violently; and then out pops this ghostly figure who claims to be a genie but not like any genie you've heard of -- it claims to be a sports genie and is willing to grant you one wish.
The genie tells you that he can change sports history with a toss of a coin; he'll let you change the outcome of one sporting event and one event only. He warns you to pick wisely because changing the outcome of one game may change the outcome of unforeseen others thereafter, and he also tells you that you cannot pick a game that was a blowout. So if your team made a trip to the Super Bowl, for instance, and got squashed, you'll just have to live with that; but if a play or two (or a blown tire) would have likely made all the difference in the world, then pick that game you may.
Don't let me down...I'm expecting some good choices and interesting explanations.
Editor's note: I could've done this with one play, which in some ways would've been more interesting and maybe something we can do later; but I felt there's too many ifs for a simple conversation. Example, if Buckner fields the ball, is that enough? If Stanley doesn't throw the wild pitch, etc. But you know if you pick game 6 of the '86 World Series, the Red Sox would've won.
Believe it or not, I'm still pondering my choice. There's lots to choose from -- countless playoff games between the Bruins and Canadiens, '86 WS, '78 one-game playoff Sox vs Yanks, game 6? of the '03 playoffs Sox vs Yanks but I am leaning toward the Patriots' lost Super Bowl to the Giants and I'll explain if that's the one I choose.