Friday, August 27, 2010

The ultimate sports fan's wish come true

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.


R.J. said...

This one's easy. Reverse Marty McSorley's illegal stick penalty during the '93 Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings would have won the Cup that year. In turn, Gretzky and Co. never would have left the team two years later and the franchise never would have plunged into the dark ages afterward.

Anschutz Entertainment Group probably never would have bought the team and nearly killed it with its frugality during the past decade.

The San Diego Gulls, which needed NHL hockey to thrive for its own survival, would likely still be around with casual NHL fans likely attending games.

And Barry Melrose probably would still be coaching.

tpubgu said...

Void John Elway's trade to Denver. While it took a couple of years for him to become, some say, the "great" QB is is known as today, who says it wouldn't have happened with the Colts? I then believe Irsay wouldn't have moved the Colts to Indie, Modell wouldn't have moved the Browns to Baltimore, and you wouldn't have Eli going to the Giants for Rivers.

Zebster said...

Those are interesting takes on the question, for sure. Rick, I would've bet anything you'd have asked for one more Brewer win in the World Series.
Robbie, my memory wouldn't have been that that Cup was one play away from being that different.

Brent said...

Mine would be Tim Krumrie not breaking his leg in the Super Bowl against the 49ers. The '88 Bengals were a better team than the 49ers, but with Krumrie out, the pass rush and run defenses were not the same and the 49ers squeezed out another Super Bowl win.

I believe that the 49ers wouldn't have been the team of the decade in the 80's. The Joe Montana mystique wouldn't have been as bright. Boomer Esiason and Sam Wyche would have had their Super Bowl rings and the Bengals might have not been dismantled after the wheels fell off in the following seasons.

Zebster said...

While I was rooting for the Bengals to win that Super Bowl and Krumrie might've made the difference in that one, I'm uncertain how much else it changes...the 49ers were awfully good.
Now that the Sox have won 2 World Series, '86 doesn't sting like it used to but I feel the Pats Super Bowl loss to the Giants will always. That close to something that couldn't be done and to lose to the Giants of all teams.

tpubgu said...

The reason I didn't say the Brewers win in '82 is because Milwaukee as a city has won the Series albeit as the Braves. The Elway void would right a wrong that has upset the NFL universe since then -- much like the tuck rule. Ohhh, had to throw that one in.

Zebster said...

bwaahaa the tuck rule. Definitely a bad rule. What's strange about that is that stuff like that never happened to New England teams in a good way. Interesting how the Sox finally win the WS after the tuck rule incident.
But the Milwaukee Braves championship didn't happen in your lifetime.