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What if instead of the New York Giants joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in the move to California, it was the Washington Senators?

Walter O'Malley essentially screwed the Griffiths' efforts to move west, but without two teams from the same league going to California, it wouldn't have been approved by the owners at the time. As it turned out the Senators were only allowed to go to Minneapolis if an expansion team were placed in D.C. What I wonder is if the Senators had moved, what AL team would've went with them?

An alternate one to think about: The St. Louis Browns got American League approval to relocate to Los Angeles. The only problem was that they got it on December 5 or 6, 1941, two days before America entered World War II. What if the Browns moved and the U.S. didn't enter WWII until, say, 1943?

1. What if the next six included Baltimore instead of Philadelphia as originally planned. Do the Flyers simple become a 70's expansion club?

2. If the above happens do we see the Captials still join the league?

3. What if the Cleveland Barons were a hit, do we ever see the expansion Blue Jackets?

Yes/No/No

I'm surprised nobody mentioned... what if Donald Trump didn't sink the USFL?

I'm just about the only one who says this, but there's reason for me to do so: Donald Trump didn't 'sink' the USFL.

The owners as a whole sank it; Trump merely made the proposal. There were 16 owners represented (Chicago and Los Angeles, at the meeting of the league at which it was decided, were already wards of the league), any one of which would have killed the proposed move to a fall season for 1986 with a "No" vote or even an abstention. Any one. And none objected.

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What if instead of the New York Giants joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in the move to California, it was the Washington Senators?

Walter O'Malley essentially screwed the Griffiths' efforts to move west, but without two teams from the same league going to California, it wouldn't have been approved by the owners at the time. As it turned out the Senators were only allowed to go to Minneapolis if an expansion team were placed in D.C. What I wonder is if the Senators had moved, what AL team would've went with them?

An alternate one to think about: The St. Louis Browns got American League approval to relocate to Los Angeles. The only problem was that they got it on December 5 or 6, 1941, two days before America entered World War II. What if the Browns moved and the U.S. didn't enter WWII until, say, 1943?

1. What if the next six included Baltimore instead of Philadelphia as originally planned. Do the Flyers simple become a 70's expansion club?

2. If the above happens do we see the Captials still join the league?

3. What if the Cleveland Barons were a hit, do we ever see the expansion Blue Jackets?

Yes/No/No

I'm surprised nobody mentioned... what if Donald Trump didn't sink the USFL?

I'm just about the only one who says this, but there's reason for me to do so: Donald Trump didn't 'sink' the USFL.

The owners as a whole sank it; Trump merely made the proposal. There were 16 owners represented (Chicago and Los Angeles, at the meeting of the league at which it was decided, were already wards of the league), any one of which would have killed the proposed move to a fall season for 1986 with a "No" vote or even an abstention. Any one. And none objected.

Then how about, "What if Trump hadn't led the lemmings to the cliff?"?

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What if the ref's hadn't cheated during the 2001 NBA Western Conference Finals? Would Sac-Town have a chamionship?

I actually think so.

As long as Peja gets the Finals MVP, I agree with this. One of the greats that never comes up when people speak of fantastic players of that era.

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Here's my list for others to chew on and speculate...

NFL:

1. What if the AAFC had been better capitalized, and able to sustain itself well into the 1950's?

2. What if the 1958 NFL Championship Game had been a 42-10 blowout rather than a 23-17 overtime final?

3. What if Austin Gunsel does a good enough job on an interim basis to be named NFL Commissioner rather than Pete Rozelle?

4. What if the AFL decides rather than to merge with the NFL, it'd rather continue competing with it under commissioner Al Davis?

5. What if the Baltimore Colts blow out the New York Jets in Super Bowl III?

6. What if it's the Seattle Kings group, rather than Nordstrom and the Seahawks, who get the city's NFL franchise in 1974?

7. What if Baltimore gets one of the 1995 expansion teams instead of Jacksonville?

8. What if the NFL had abandoned the AFC/NFC structure concept when they realigned in 1970, or in 2002 for that matter?

9. What if Los Angeles follows through on its responsibilities and keeps its tentative designation as a 2002 expansion team, instead of Houston?

MLB:

1. What if the St. Louis Browns move to Los Angeles for 1942, as had been approved by the American League?

2. What if the Washington Senators move west in 1956, rather than get beat to the punch by the Dodgers and Giants?

3. What if the Mack Brothers had been better businessmen, capable of keeping the A's in Philadelphia?

4. What if Bill Veeck had been able to move the St. Louis Browns to Milwaukee for 1953, instead of the Boston Braves?

5. What if the New York Yankees had gone without a World Series appearance during the 1940's-1950's?

6. What if the Continental League comes to fruition?

7. What if Curt Flood's court case obliterates the reserve clause?

8. What if the Seattle Pilots don't move to Milwaukee for 1970?

9. What if the San Diego Padres do move to Washington for 1974?

10. What if Fay Vincent isn't ousted as Commissioner in 1992?

11. What if the White Sox or Giants had been allowed to move to Tampa in the late 80's/early 90's?

12. What if MLB adopts WADA testing protocols as part of the 1995 collective bargaining agreement?

ABA/NBA:

1. What if the NBA had added the Spirits of St. Louis and Utah Stars as part of the ABA/NBA merger?

2. What if the NBA sticks to their original plan and adds only two teams (Orlando and Minnesota) instead of four (Miami and Charlotte) in the 1988 expansion?

3. What if the owners choose someone other than David Stern as commissioner once Larry O'Brien steps down?

4. What if Michael Jordan never steps on the court at UNC, opting to play baseball full-time instead?

5. What if the Timberwolves get approval to move to New Orleans, as was proposed in the mid-90's?

NHL:

1. What if instead of segregating them into their own division, the NHL incorporates the "new six" into an integrated divisional alignment for 1967?

2. What if the WHA been adequately capitalized to have stable franchises?

3. What happens if Wayne Gretzky plays his entire career as a member of the Indianapolis Racers?

4. What happens if Mario Lemeiux plays an uninterrupted career with the Pittsburgh Penguins?

OTHER THOUGHTS...

1. What if the City of Cleveland gives priority to a new Browns Stadium over the Indians or Cavaliers?

2. What if World Cup '94 was a flop? Does MLS get launched?

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There's many of these in NHL that I often think about.

1. What if the next six included Baltimore instead of Philadelphia as originally planned. Do the Flyers simple become a 70's expansion club?

IIRC St. Louis was the 6th team and was only added because the Wirtzes owned the Checkerdome.

They were the 6th team but originally it was Baltimore was in the place of Philadelphia and Snider convincedthe league that Philly was close enough.

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2. What if the NBA sticks to their original plan and adds only two teams (Orlando and Minnesota) instead of four (Miami and Charlotte) in the 1988 expansion?

The Vancouver Grizzlies would not have used teal as primary colour and they would've relocated to Miami.

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I hate these questions because they always make you mad when you think about what could have been.

That being said....

what if Ruben Amaro doesn't trade Cliff Lee to Seattle for absolutely nobody, for no reason, on the day he acquired Roy Halladay? Lee was only making $8M, so it shouldn't have been a financial necessity to move him, and Halladay was going to sign for under value anyway, so they had the cash. They got absolutely nothing in return for Lee - only one player who even made the major leagues, and he's terrible and will never make it back.

That team lost to SF in the NLCS when Ryan Howard just stood there like a big fat lump and looked at strike 3 with two outs in the 9th. The next season, with Lee back, they won 102 games, but lost in the first round because they couldn't hit. IN 2010, their core hitters would have been one year younger, and only begining their descent from the bell curve of their prime, as opposed to being completely impotent the following season.

I think it's very realistic that they win (or at least get to) the WS that year, which means that SF doesn't start its run. Not that they were having trouble attracting free agents at that time, but with a second WS on their shelf, they might have remained relevant a little longer and kept attracting top players and stayed at or near the top for a few more years, instead of fading in to obscurity due to gross mismanagement.

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Thinking of the local teams.....

Hawks: What if the Hawks drafted Chris Paul or Deron Williams instead of Marvin Williams?

Thrashers: What if Dany Heatley never got into that car accident shortly before the season?

Braves: What if the Braves did succeed in trading for Barry Bonds?

Falcons: What if Brett Favre weren't such a party hound his rookie season? Or, what if Michael Vick hadn't been involved with dog-fighting?

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What if McSorley's stick was legal in 1993? The Kings were leading game 2 and could have come home with a 2-0 lead.

Would the Canadian Cup drought be 24 years instead of 20? And the Candien's drought at 28 years?

I can't buy it. The Kings lost that series 4-1. The end result of that penalty was that the Kings came back to LA with the series tied 1-1; any team would be happy with that in a playoff series. If they were sooo destroyed after such a "meh" incident, I don't think they would have won the series even with a 2-0 lead.

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Then how about, "What if Trump hadn't led the lemmings to the cliff?"?

Trump wasn't alone, and those guys were far from lemmings. If the question is "What if the USFL doesn't try to move to the fall for 1986?" Honestly, the league still dies eventually.

At the time of the vote to the fall (11 Oct 1984, my 15th birthday), the league was already in a precarious position. The owners comprised three distinct groups: one of super-rich guys who used their teams as personal toys (headed by Taubman), one of guys who were underfinanced or who had acquired the money they had under rather shaky circumstances (Marvin Warner, William Oldenburg, Ted Diethrich, Berl Bernhard, Logan Young), and one of guys who got in to flip it quick and get out (Ron Blanding).

By the time of the meeting, the thrill of running a franchise had rubbed off for the super-rich guys, the underfinanced guys were nearly bled dry, and the shaky guys were on their way out (Oldenburg had the L.A. Express taken from him by the league, James Hoffman the same in Chicago, Marvin Warner had indictments impending) whether they wanted to stay on or not. The flippers found their suckers (Blanding found Doug Spedding in Denver), and so on.

The league also was getting into a legal mess, and not against the NFL. Their contract with ABC required that the league maintain franchises in the New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles media markets throughout its run. The Generals covered New York, but after 1984 there was no team in Chicago (a major default, for which ABC withheld money but honestly could've killed the deal), and had they gone to 1986 there would have been no Los Angeles team, either. The withheld money - presumably guaranteed money in the eyes of the owners - hurt them badly. Furthermore, ABC held an option to air games in 1986 under their contract, meaning that serious TV money - the kind that would have kept the league alive - wouldn't be available until 1987. And they couldn't hold out that long.

As it was, the 1985 (spring) season was one that limped to its finish line. Attendance was dropping, owners were losing money hand over fist, and roughly a half-dozen franchises were in such straits that during the final six weeks people were scared ****less a team was going to fold in mid-season. So while it's convenient to blame Trump for the USFL's downfall (not to mention fun), it's far more a case where the owners group saw the handwriting on the wall, said "What the hell?," and took the long-shot gamble that the combination of a move to the fall coupled with an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL would pay off somehow.

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NHL:

1. What if instead of segregating them into their own division, the NHL incorporates the "new six" into an integrated divisional alignment for 1967?

The Blackhawks would have made more Stanley Cup Final appearances in the late-60's and early-70's if they aligned it properly.

MLB:

2. What if the Washington Senators move west in 1956, rather than get beat to the punch by the Dodgers and Giants?

If no other AL team joins them, baseball may have added an expansion team in San Fran. Then, the Giants move to Minny, and the Dodgers settle for Shea Stadium.

I have a few NBA ones.

1. I don't know if this is true, but someone on another board said that the Knicks almost traded Charles Oakley to Utah for The Mailman in the early-90's. If this was around 1991, and if NY would have made other smart player decisions around him, they would have made it much more difficult on the Bulls.

2. Tim Duncan was thinking about going to the Magic in the summer of 2000. I don't know how close he came, though. If Orlando got Duncan instead of Grant Hill (who missed most of the 2000-01 season), I believe that the Magic beat the Lakers in the 2001 Finals. They would have had Duncan, Tracy McGrady, Mike Miller (rookie of the year), Bo Outlaw, Darrell Armstrong, and Troy Hudson (a guy that would go on to play the Lakers tough when he was with the T-Wolves). They also had three guys that were around seven foot. That means 18 fouls a game to run at Shaq.

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Can someone please tell me what's the deal with McSorley and his curved stick? I have no idea what's wrong with it and how it has planted a curse on Canadian teams.

Lots of players tried using sticks with ridiculous curves in them so the NHL limited them to 3/4 of an inch. Rumor has it that the some of the Canadiens training staff got into the Kings locker room and saw which players used sticks with illegal curves. Again that's just a rumor I've heard through the grapevine. Why McSorley would need a curve like that, I have no idea...

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