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Alternate SPORTS! History Thread

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If the Rams do beat the Steelers, they may get back again the next year because the vibe around the team would have been much better. And, Warner probably stays a Ram for life. However, I don't know if they become a dynasty because of draft day retardation.

They won't. They may make the playoffs, but a couple FA decisions (not resigning London Fletcher remains the most catastrophic free agent decision of the St. Louis era) would keep them from getting past the Buccaneers. Especially since they suck against Tampa anyway.

Warner's still gone as well because you can't butterfly away the whole "Martz's offense gets QBs killed" issue. Which is why letting him go was the correct call in the first place...well that and the fact that the Rams' window was rapidly closing.

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If the Rams do beat the Steelers, they may get back again the next year because the vibe around the team would have been much better. And, Warner probably stays a Ram for life. However, I don't know if they become a dynasty because of draft day retardation.

They won't. They may make the playoffs, but a couple FA decisions (not resigning London Fletcher remains the most catastrophic free agent decision of the St. Louis era) would keep them from getting past the Buccaneers. Especially since they suck against Tampa anyway.

Warner's still gone as well because you can't butterfly away the whole "Martz's offense gets QBs killed" issue. Which is why letting him go was the correct call in the first place...well that and the fact that the Rams' window was rapidly closing.

Their O-line in 2001 was a little bit of a downgrade from their 1999 line. And, they really didn't have great lineman during that time period outside of Pace and Timmerman.

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Been reading about great teams in the early-70's that didn't make the Big Dance because they didn't win their conference tourney:

1970 South Carolina: http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2013/03/23/gamecocks-cremins

1974 Maryland: http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/03/08/best-team-not-make-ncaa-tourney-maryland/TsDVOuVRoebHkrKW0DZCwN/story.html#comments

By 1975, the NCAA decided to add 32 teams to the tourney and get rid of the "one team per conference" rule. However, what if they were motivated by South Carolina's loss, and made that change four years earlier?

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I was a big Ricky Rudd fan growing up and he said the toughest decision he ever made in his NASCAR career was leaving Rick Hendrick and forming his own team in 1994.

It ended up taking a few years of his prime away and I've wondered what if Rudd stayed at Hendrick up until 2000? Would he be the one lifting the Championship instead of Terry Labonte?

I've got a better Rudd what-if: What if he, not Ernie Irvan, had taken over the #28 car in 1993? Considering he still had enough juice to get 3 top-10 finishing years in that car down the line...

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If Kobe & Shaq actually liked each other? Another 3 titles, at least, guaranteed. Perhaps not in a row or bunched up... yet that duo & talent they could invite to the Lakers would be a winning machine.

It depends. Actually, that team had more talent around the two in 1998, when their relationship wasn't made as public (from what I remember). It seemed to me that the problem was team chemistry as a whole, not just their relationship. If I am correct, then Phil Jackson made more of a difference than I thought, and it wouldn't have mattered if they didn't like each other or not. Shaq even said in 2000 on ESPN that he would have wanted to be traded if they didn't get a better coach like Phil.

I never thought Del Harris was a good coach to "round up the troops" to begin with. They had Kobe and Shaq in year-2 of their platonic excursion, alongside some holdovers from the lean years of the mid-1990s (Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Elden Campbell). They only went 61-21 that year because of each player playing to their individual talents but not really showing team cohesion. It was a paper-fraud team, and even I knew it at the time. By the time Utah had swept them out of the West Finals, management and the players had butted heads to the point of no return, most infamously Van Exel being a whiny bastard about Derek Fisher replacing him, and him during a pregame scrimmage in that WCF series shouting "1, 2, 3, Cancun! Cancun!"

Kurt Rambis didn't quell up anything in the strike-shortened 1999 campaign, and it was only until Phil came along which whipped the Lakers team into mental shape for the start of the new decade. In retrospect though, player-management tensions were contained until the disastrous fallout during the summer of 2004.

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So, did those Lakers basically win 60+ games and beat a loaded Seattle team in spite of themselves?

Hell, if anything, maybe Seattle (A 60+ win team themselves) should have been playing Utah in the West Finals?

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16 pages and I'm shocked none of you NASCAR people have brought up the can of worms that is the alternate history of Dale Earnhardt not getting killed at the 2001 Daytona 500. Just off the top of my head:

  • If Earnhardt doesn't crash, how does he do the rest of his career?
  • Do all the safety enhancements that come to racing get delayed without his death?
  • Does Kevin Harvick's stint with RCR go as successfully as it did if he's thrown into the third car as planned instead of straight to Earnhardt's?
  • And for that matter, does Dale Jr's career arc take a different turn as well?
  • Although it's mostly due to the move to Fox and NBC as television partners, does NASCAR's resurgence in popularity still happen without all the mainstream publicity that comes with Earnhardt's death? As awful as that sounds, remember that Earnhardt's death was arguably the biggest news story of 2001 before 9/11

- If he had lived, he'd probably have won another couple championships.

Nope. I SERIOUSLY Doubt that. Not only had it been nearly a decade since he had last won a championship (1994), he also announced just a few weeks prior to that Daytona 500 that the 2001 season would be his last. That race was special for him because it was his swan song on the one track that was most important to him and his legacy. It was terrible that he died during a race, but in some ways it was almost poetic that it happend at Daytona.

I say this as a HUGE Dale Sr. fan who's NASCAR fandom literally died along with him when he hit that wall.

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In 1978, the Buffalo Braves were thinking about moving to Dallas, but decided against it:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19780621&id=ncpRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QG0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5209,3207423

If that move had gone through, the Braves would have turned into the Dallas Express. There would have been no Clippers, and maybe Donald Sterling never gets an NBA Team.

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This might have been asked before, but what if Gary Anderson makes the 38 yard FG at the end of regulation in the 1998 NFC Championship game? Who would've won a Broncos-Vikings match-up in Super Bowl XXXIII?

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This might have been asked before, but what if Gary Anderson makes the 38 yard FG at the end of regulation in the 1998 NFC Championship game? Who would've won a Broncos-Vikings match-up in Super Bowl XXXIII?

That's hard to say. Would have been a heck of a game. Maybe the best SB ever.

That makes me think about other alternate SB's that could have been. Who would have won these:

1. An earlier Super Bowl: 1963 Chargers vs. Bears.

2. An alternate Super Bowl I: 1966 Bills vs. Cowboys

3. Super Bowl III 1968: Colts vs. Raiders

4. Super Bowl VI 1971: Chiefs vs. Cowboys

5. Super Bowl XI 1976: Rams vs. Patriots

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This might have been asked before, but what if Gary Anderson makes the 38 yard FG at the end of regulation in the 1998 NFC Championship game? Who would've won a Broncos-Vikings match-up in Super Bowl XXXIII?

That is a good one. Would've been a hell of a Super Bowl.

I think everybody felt at the time that the Falcons robbed us of what would've been a great Super Bowl. The Falcons felt like a fluke leading up to the game, but that Falcons team was actually nothing to sneeze at. They were 14-2. It was like everybody on the Falcons that year had a career year in the same season and they won 16 out of 19 games. That's better than the Patriots and Seahawks this season.

I think Minnesota would've been a much tougher matchup for Denver. Outside of 1998 Jamal Anderson the Falcons didn't have a lot of offensive weapons that I can remember. The Vikings had rookie Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Robert Smith, and I'd take Randall over Chris Chandler every time. If they played that game again I'd take Minnesota every time.

Sidenote: Broncos went 14-2, Viking were 15-1, Falcons were 14-2. Has there been another season with that many really lopsided records?

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This might have been asked before, but what if Gary Anderson makes the 38 yard FG at the end of regulation in the 1998 NFC Championship game? Who would've won a Broncos-Vikings match-up in Super Bowl XXXIII?

I'd still have to pick Denver only because they were already coming off a SB victory & still pretty potent.

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16 pages and I'm shocked none of you NASCAR people have brought up the can of worms that is the alternate history of Dale Earnhardt not getting killed at the 2001 Daytona 500. Just off the top of my head:

  • If Earnhardt doesn't crash, how does he do the rest of his career?
  • Do all the safety enhancements that come to racing get delayed without his death?
  • Does Kevin Harvick's stint with RCR go as successfully as it did if he's thrown into the third car as planned instead of straight to Earnhardt's?
  • And for that matter, does Dale Jr's career arc take a different turn as well?
  • Although it's mostly due to the move to Fox and NBC as television partners, does NASCAR's resurgence in popularity still happen without all the mainstream publicity that comes with Earnhardt's death? As awful as that sounds, remember that Earnhardt's death was arguably the biggest news story of 2001 before 9/11

- If he had lived, he'd probably have won another couple championships.

Nope. I SERIOUSLY Doubt that. Not only had it been nearly a decade since he had last won a championship (1994), he also announced just a few weeks prior to that Daytona 500 that the 2001 season would be his last. That race was special for him because it was his swan song on the one track that was most important to him and his legacy. It was terrible that he died during a race, but in some ways it was almost poetic that it happend at Daytona.

I say this as a HUGE Dale Sr. fan who's NASCAR fandom literally died along with him when he hit that wall.

I'll disagree slightly, and from the outside perspective.

As a complete non-NASCAR fan who finds the sport largely boring, I found myself actually watching a few races AFTER Earnhardt died. Eventually, the sport still wasn't enough to hold my attention personally, but I have to think that there were a number of fans that entered into the sport afterwards. I actually know a bunch of people who got into the "modern" age of NASCAR, post-Earnhardt.

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I'll give you a currently happening one.

If Steve Pedersen, former Athletic Director for Nebraska had hired a more competent football coach than Bill Callahan - it wouldn't have cost him his job... TWICE.

It's pretty well documented that Pedersen hired his crony after Callahan famously lost the Super Bowl and called the Raiders the "dumbest team in America." But after the fan base got restless and ousted both Callahan and Pedersen from office, Tom Osborne was brought back and he hired Bo Pelini. You probably know some of that already.

Steve Pedersen, however, went back to Pitt - where he had originally come from - as their AD once again. And when Nebraska recently fired Bo Pelini and snagged Mike Riley from Oregon State, the following events happened in the coaching carousel:

  • Nebraska hires Mike Riley from Oregon State
  • Oregon State hires Gary Anderson from Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin hires Paul Chryst from Pitt
  • Pitt, having lost a number of coaches recently decides to call it quits on athletic director Steve Pedersen.

If Pedersen had spent more time vetting coaches and hired pretty much anyone other than Callahan, he'd likely still have a job with Nebraska. His hiring of Callahan actually cost him his job - once directly, and once indirectly when his successor at Nebraska kicked off a chain of events.

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I'll give you a currently happening one.

If Steve Pedersen, former Athletic Director for Nebraska had hired a more competent football coach than Bill Callahan - it wouldn't have cost him his job... TWICE.

It's pretty well documented that Pedersen hired his crony after Callahan famously lost the Super Bowl and called the Raiders the "dumbest team in America." But after the fan base got restless and ousted both Callahan and Pedersen from office, Tom Osborne was brought back and he hired Bo Pelini. You probably know some of that already.

Steve Pedersen, however, went back to Pitt - where he had originally come from - as their AD once again. And when Nebraska recently fired Bo Pelini and snagged Mike Riley from Oregon State, the following events happened in the coaching carousel:

  • Nebraska hires Mike Riley from Oregon State
  • Oregon State hires Gary Anderson from Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin hires Paul Chryst from Pitt
  • Pitt, having lost a number of coaches recently decides to call it quits on athletic director Steve Pedersen.

If Pedersen had spent more time vetting coaches and hired pretty much anyone other than Callahan, he'd likely still have a job with Nebraska. His hiring of Callahan actually cost him his job - once directly, and once indirectly when his successor at Nebraska kicked off a chain of events.

There are two different issues and I'll get to it as it related to Pitt.

When Pedersen fired Solish, there was going to be large collateral damage regardless of the hire since the instate population played with the Devaney/Osborne playbook. Nebraska didn't have the luxury to recruit the talent rich states with promises of being on TV since every team was on TV circa 2000.

As for Pitt, look at the last four plus years to see where he went "wrong":

Dec. 7, 2010: Dave Wannstedt fired after posting a 42-31 record in six seasons.

Dec. 16, 2010: Mike Haywood hired away from Miami (Ohio) after going 10-15 in two seasons.

Jan. 1, 2011: Haywood fired amid a domestic violence arrest.*

Jan. 8, 2011: Phil Bennett serves as interim head coach for Pitt’s 27-10 win over Kentucky in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Jan. 14, 2011: Todd Graham hired away from Tulsa after going 36-17 in four seasons.

Dec. 14, 2011: Todd Graham leaves for Arizona State after one 6-6 season.

Dec. 22, 2011: Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst hired as head coach.

Jan. 7, 2012: Keith Patterson serves as interim head coach for Pitt’s 28-6 loss to SMU in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Dec. 11, 2014: Chryst reportedly leaves for Wisconsin after registering a 19-19 mark in three seasons.

Jan. 2, 2015: Interim Coach leads Pitt against Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Jan. 3, 2015: 2015: New Head Pat Narduzzi officially takes over.

That is where the 'what if' needs to be inserted because the charges against Haywood were dropped. He handled the initial firestorm well, but he couldn't keep coached amid conference realignment and the move to the ACC.

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I have a different what-if from those 1998 playoffs: What if the Vikings faced the 49ers, not the Falcons, in the NFC Championship Game?

Vikings win big, especially if the Niners don't have Garrison Hearst.

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What if the Indianapolis Colts selected Ryan Leaf? Would he have had more success than with the Chargers? Would Manning have busted at San Diego?

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What if the Indianapolis Colts selected Ryan Leaf? Would he have had more success than with the Chargers? Would Manning have busted at San Diego?

This is talked about here: http://thesportspost.com/blogs/view/nfl-what-if-1998-nfl-draft-peyton-manning-ryan-leaf

If the Colts take Leaf, they probably end up 2-14, and they get the #2 pick (remember that Cleveland was the #1 pick) in the 99 draft.

Since Peyton isn't there, and because Leaf is already looking like a big bust, Polian decides to make the trade that he turned down in reality (they could have done the Ricky Williams trade with NO, but decided against it). They could have gotten more first rounders (from 99-02) than the Skins got, as well as getting NO's entire 99 draft.

That trade could have netted them several star players and key contributors over the next few years, like Anthony McFarland, Brian Urlacher, Shaun Alexander, Richard Seymour, and Drew Brees (while still getting Reggie Wayne in Round 2).

With those pieces (and others not mentioned), they go on to be the preeminent team of the 2000's.

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What if the Indianapolis Colts selected Ryan Leaf? Would he have had more success than with the Chargers? Would Manning have busted at San Diego?

This is talked about here: http://thesportspost.com/blogs/view/nfl-what-if-1998-nfl-draft-peyton-manning-ryan-leaf

If the Colts take Leaf, they probably end up 2-14, and they get the #2 pick (remember that Cleveland was the #1 pick) in the 99 draft.

Since Peyton isn't there, and because Leaf is already looking like a big bust, Polian decides to make the trade that he turned down in reality (they could have done the Ricky Williams trade with NO, but decided against it). They could have gotten more first rounders (from 99-02) than the Skins got, as well as getting NO's entire 99 draft.

That trade could have netted them several star players and key contributors over the next few years, like Anthony McFarland, Brian Urlacher, Shaun Alexander, Richard Seymour, and Drew Brees (while still getting Reggie Wayne in Round 2).

With those pieces (and others not mentioned), they go on to be the preeminent team of the 2000's.

So... you're saying it would've been better for the Colts to draft Leaf instead of Manning? :therock:

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