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Alternate SPORTS! History Thread

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here's a few for the Cubs:

what if Tribune Company never bought the Cubs?

what if the Cubs won the NLCS in 1984? do they go on and win the World Series (which would have been day World Series games at Wrigley Field since the Cubs didn't have lights until 1988)

also what if Wrigley Field never added lights in 1988, would they sooner or later.

what if the Cubs got to the World Series in 2003? do they Win (and what if they played the Red Sox instead of the Yankees?)

also

what if what Donald Sterling said a few months ago never come out. would his views on blacks come out sooner or later (and would he be banned). also what if his views came out when David Stern was running the NBA (would he be banned under Stern or would it have been something like George Steinbrenner)

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I got a few:

1. What if the Giants' attempt to move to Toronto in the 1970's succeeds? How would that have shaped the 1977 AL expansion (i.e. would Washington or maybe Miami have received an AL East team to match Seattle's AL West team)? How would that have affected the A's future in the Bay Area market, and what would their stadium situation look like now?

2. What if the Expos, had Loria sold them to a local investor group, were able to build Labatt Park? How would that have shaped the future of the franchise, and more importantly, would there be a team in Washington right now?

3. What if the PCL had been incorporated into the MLB? Would it have remained its own separate league, or would the teams have been split into the AL and NL? Also, how would this incorporation have affect future franchise relocations?

4. What if the Giants don't trade Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bosner for A.J. Pierzynski? Would the Giants have put together a better 2004 campaign without AJ being AJ, and have remained semi-salient in 2005 (where finishing a little over .500 would have given them that division) as Nathan and Liriano matured into their pitching roles? Would they have been as willing to make the changes that ultimately led them to their recent run of success? Also, would the Twins have been able to get past the Yankees at least once with AJ on their team, or would he still have found his way to the White Sox by 2005?

NBA

1. What if the 1986 Houston Rockets follow through with their potential in the following seasons (i.e. Ralph Sampson doesn't get injured and key members of the team avoid debilitating cocaine addictions)? Would their success have continued into the early-90's, despite the rise of Jordan's Bulls and other Western Conference powers?

2. What if the Chicago Bulls don't claim their draft rights on Artis Gilmore, thereby allowing the Kentucky Colonels to participate in the NBA/ABA merger? Would the Spirit of St. Louis also joined them, to keep the number of teams even?

3. What if the NBA never adopted the 3-point line during the merger with the ABA?

NHL:

1. What if the WHA merged happened before the 77-78 season? Would all the teams that were left out be let it (Birmingham, Cincinnati, Houston, and Indianapolis) and would they have been given measures to maintain financial stability? Would some of them have relocated right after the merger, and how would this have affected the Bettman's Sunbelt expansion initiative?

2. What if the Target Center had been built with a hockey layout in mind? Would the North Stars have stayed in Minnesota? If so, would there be a team in Texas right now?

3. What happens if True North buys the Coyotes and not the Thrashers? Would the Thrashers have become mired in the mess the Coyotes are in now, with the Bettman holding firm on them?

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- What if the Patriots won both Super Bowls against the Giants?

The United States Congress, by overwhelming, bipartisan majorities, enacts a federal law permitting the execution on sight of insufferable Bostonians.

What if Buckner scooped up that ground ball?

Mookie beats him to the bag, the ball stays in play, and the Mets still likely win the game, just in another fashion.

I got a few:

1. What if the Giants' attempt to move to Toronto in the 1970's succeeds? How would that have shaped the 1977 AL expansion (i.e. would Washington or maybe Miami have received an AL East team to match Seattle's AL West team)? How would that have affected the A's future in the Bay Area market, and what would their stadium situation look like now?

2. What if the Expos, had Loria sold them to a local investor group, were able to build Labatt Park? How would that have shaped the future of the franchise, and more importantly, would there be a team in Washington right now?

3. What if the PCL had been incorporated into the MLB? Would it have remained its own separate league, or would the teams have been split into the AL and NL? Also, how would this incorporation have affect future franchise relocations?

2. What if the Chicago Bulls don't claim their draft rights on Artis Gilmore, thereby allowing the Kentucky Colonels to participate in the NBA/ABA merger? Would the Spirit of St. Louis also joined them, to keep the number of teams even?

3. What if the NBA never adopted the 3-point line during the merger with the ABA?

1. What if the WHA merged happened before the 77-78 season? Would all the teams that were left out be let it (Birmingham, Cincinnati, Houston, and Indianapolis) and would they have been given measures to maintain financial stability? Would some of them have relocated right after the merger, and how would this have affected the Bettman's Sunbelt expansion initiative?

1. That one's really interesting. The AL expansion of 1977 was a direct result of a legal settlement after the Seattle Pilots relocation to Milwaukee for 1970. Baseball had to expand to Seattle, but there was considerable pressure applied involving the second franchise. The consensus at the time was that it was between Toronto and a third Washington franchise. So perhaps it's Washington Senators III.

2. Had Labatt Park been built, the Expos would certainly still be in Montreal. How that might have changed their fate on the field though, who could possibly say?

3. The PCL wouldn't have been added whole; six teams (viz., the Hollywood Stars, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Oaks, Portland Beavers, San Francisco Seals, and Seattle Rainiers) likely would have been split between the AL and NL. Just for fun, I'd hypothecate the AL would add the Angels, Seals and Rainiers, while the NL adds the Stars, Oaks and Beavers. Interleague play comes to reality as part of the change.

2. The Colonels participation in the ABA/NBA merger wasn't predicated on Artis Gilmore; had that been the sole sticking point, Colonels ownership simply would've agreed to trade his rights to Chicago or something. They wanted into the NBA and would've readily parted with Gilmore had that been the price. I'd have loved to see the Colonels and Spirits in, FWIW.

3. Honestly, the NBA dies. It was adopted in large part to help bolster scoring and inject some excitement into what had become dull, uninteresting NBA play. Remember, prior to the 1980's the NBA Finals were only on television thanks to a CBS exec being a basketball nut, and games weren't even aired in prime times, but late night. Without David Stern, on-court talent like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and some rules innovations, you can make the case that the NBA goes the way of Arena Football.

1. It's hard to say, but the only ones I could see being added from that group were Cincinnati or Indianapolis, and not both.

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here's a few for the Cubs:

what if Tribune Company never bought the Cubs?

what if the Cubs won the NLCS in 1984? do they go on and win the World Series (which would have been day World Series games at Wrigley Field since the Cubs didn't have lights until 1988)

also what if Wrigley Field never added lights in 1988, would they sooner or later.

what if the Cubs got to the World Series in 2003? do they Win (and what if they played the Red Sox instead of the Yankees?)

also

what if what Donald Sterling said a few months ago never come out. would his views on blacks come out sooner or later (and would he be banned). also what if his views came out when David Stern was running the NBA (would he be banned under Stern or would it have been something like George Steinbrenner)

The Cubs would not have won the Fall Classic in '84. The Tigers steamrolled everyone on their way to the pennant and their fourth World Series championship victory.

What if the Detroit Tigers lost to the Cardinals in the 1968 World Series? On the flip side, what if they beat St. Louis in 2006?

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-What if the Minneapolis Lakers don't move to Los Angeles? Would they have similar success in Minny? (My guess is no due to the allure of playing in SoCal).

-What if Anderson makes the field goal in the '98 NFC title game? Can they spoil Elway's last game and win their first ever Super Bowl?

-What if a hurricane doesn't destroy U.S. Virgin Island's only indoor pool? Does Tim Duncan continue his promising swimming career without considering basketball?? (I feel like this isn't talked about enough. It's been said Duncan had a shot at making the U.S. Olympic swimming team in 1992!!)

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

NFL:

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

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?

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

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?

(Snipped for focus)

NFL

1. If Baltimore lands one of the 1995 expansion teams then the Cleveland Browns, v1.0 likely gets their new stadium. I don't see it likely that the Browns consider moving when there's not a market without a concrete stadium plan in place. By this time, the Rams are in St. Louis. Maybe Los Angeles gets their act together and lands the Browns (IIRC the Seahawks nearly moved to Los Angeles around 1996-97), but it's hard to imagine Jacksonville getting the team. Of course this raises another set of "What if?" questions:

- What if the Seahawks do in fact get the approval to move to Los Angeles? Would Seattle or Houston get the 2002 expansion team and the loser remain the NFL's primary bargaining chip, or would the Oilers have moved to Seattle with the Texans still coming about in 2002?

- What if St. Louis and Baltimore get the 1995 expansion teams? Would we have the Carolina Rams/Browns if that happens?

NBA/ABA

1. The Spirits and Stars were planned to merge and continue play as the Utah Rockies. Given that the ABA was beginning to go under around this time and merger discussions with the NBA were right around the corner (if not already beginning), the Rockies would likely have joined the Nuggets, Spurs, Pacers, and Nets in joining the NBA if the merger went through (and if the NBA admitted 5-6 teams). Barring any trades or financial troubles, it's likely that the Rockies have Moses Malone for some time, but if the team struggles financially, do they last in Utah long enough for Larry Miller to eventually buy them? I believe that Miller would buy the Rockies provided they are still in Utah, given his the-team-has-to-stay mentality when buying the Jazz (and also considering his career shapes out the same way it did). But if not, the pro sports landscape in Utah may be entirely different--if existent at all--had the a Utah ABA team (be it Rockies or Stars) been admitted into the NBA. And of course, where does that leave the New Orleans Jazz? Do they stay, or do they wind up in St. Louis, Miami, Minneapolis, Dallas, or San Diego?

2. I think either (I) Miami and Charlotte come aboard with Toronto and Vancouver 1995 or (II) the league expands to just Miami and Charlotte in 1995 with Toronto and Vancouver being added around 2000.

3. Patrick Ewing is drafted by the Sacramento Kings and they manage to at least win a championship in 2002. No frozen envelopes! No officiating tinkering! (At least one would hope)

5. Whether or not taking (2) into account, it wouldn't surprise me to have seen the Hornets or Grizzlies move to Minnesota (provided they both wind up with their owners).

OTHER:

2. MLS (or some variation of it) still comes about but has nowhere near the popularity it does today, or is much slower in its growth in popularity; the term "Soccer Specific Stadium" does not enter the North American sports lexicon until 2020, at the earliest.

Edited by DustDevil61

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What if the WHA merged happened before the 77-78 season? Would all the teams that were left out be let it (Birmingham, Cincinnati, Houston, and Indianapolis) and would they have been given measures to maintain financial stability? Would some of them have relocated right after the merger, and how would this have affected the Bettman's Sunbelt expansion initiative?

The NHL actually had talks about this in the summer of 77:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=758860

It almost went through, but because of that jackwagon Harold Ballard (the Leaf's owner at the time) it didn't.

The Cincy Stingers and the Houston Aeros were supposed to be a part of the merger along with the Jets, Nordiques, Oilers, and Whalers. According to that thread, those teams would play in their own division to start.

Imagine if they were put in the league. By 1982-83, this is what the 23-team NHL may have looked like:

Wales Conference

Patrick Division: New York Islanders, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals

Adams Division: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Cincinnati Stingers, Hartford Whalers, Montreal Canadiens, Quebec Nordiques

Campbell Conference

Norris Division: Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Houston Aeros, Minnesota North Stars, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs

Smythe Division: Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, L.A. Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets

Then, in 91, San Jose fits nicely into the Smythe.

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If the Cincinnati Stingers were indeed admitted into the NHL you have to wonder how long before the Riverfront Coliseum would need replacing. The Bengals & Reds would get new stadiums but would the Stingers have? If they didn't, do they possibly relocate to Columbus in the late 90's/early 2000's?

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If the Cincinnati Stingers were indeed admitted into the NHL you have to wonder how long before the Riverfront Coliseum would need replacing. The Bengals & Reds would get new stadiums but would the Stingers have? If they didn't, do they possibly relocate to Columbus in the late 90's/early 2000's?

It would have been better for them to relocate to Portland than Columbus, in my opinion. I don't really know why they put a team there.

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Here are couple that come to mind:

What if Bo Jackson didn't get the career ending injury? Two sport HOF? Champ in both sports?

What if Grady Liddle had taken out Pedro against the Yankees on the 2003 ALCS?

What if the Cubs had won the 2003 NLCS? Cubs vs Sox: The Battle of the Cursed

What if Shaq didn't leave Orlando?

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What if the Martin Gelinas goal in the 2004 Stanley Cup Final had actually counted? Flames would be two time champions and Canada's cup drought would only be 10 years.

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What if Shaq didn't leave Orlando?

Orlando pretty much chased him out of town. However, for the sake of “What if?”, I'll just say it' said lot more difficult for Kobe and the Lakers to make it to as many Finals as they did, let alone even win those championships. I'm not sure that Shaq wins many championships in Orlando, because there weren't that many “star” players around him besides Penny Hardaway. I believe egos would clash as well, because both Shaq and Penny considered themselves the “leader” of the team (think Shaq vs. Kobe, just with less media attention. I think eventually Shaq would play for someone besides the Magic, cause it's kinda hard to keep superstar players in a relatively small media market.

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I don't really know why they put a team there.

Probably to try to start a rivalry with the Red Wings. We all know that didn't quite pan out though :P

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What if Shaq didn't leave Orlando?

Orlando pretty much chased him out of town. However, for the sake of “What if?”, I'll just say it' said lot more difficult for Kobe and the Lakers to make it to as many Finals as they did, let alone even win those championships. I'm not sure that Shaq wins many championships in Orlando, because there weren't that many “star” players around him besides Penny Hardaway. I believe egos would clash as well, because both Shaq and Penny considered themselves the “leader” of the team (think Shaq vs. Kobe, just with less media attention. I think eventually Shaq would play for someone besides the Magic, cause it's kinda hard to keep superstar players in a relatively small media market.

A good WI has to do with that Magic team keeping Webber instead of trading for Penny.

If they did that, they may also have added someone like Detlef Schrempf instead of Horace Grant, and maybe they even trade for a PG like Tim Hardaway, who would be expendable if Penny was in Golden State.

A team of Hardaway, Webber, Shaq, Anderson, Schrempf, and Dennis Scott may still beat Chicago in the 95 playoffs (because Grant probably still leaves Chicago since there was no sign of MJ ever coming back). Now, do they beat the Rockets? I don't know. Maybe they lose in six instead of get swept.

Then, after losing to the Bulls the next two years, they finally get over the Chicago hump in 98 after getting home court (by taking advantage of Pippen's injury which probably still occurs), and beat Utah for their first title.

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There is a USA Today article floating around now with Dominik Hasek's induction to the hall of fame; it says that when he was being traded from Buffalo, his two choices were the Wings and the Blues. The Blues offered more money and he thought the Wings were too old, but eventually came around to the idea. If he chose St. Louis, we could have easily seen the Blues win their first Cup that year.

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There is a USA Today article floating around now with Dominik Hasek's induction to the hall of fame; it says that when he was being traded from Buffalo, his two choices were the Wings and the Blues. The Blues offered more money and he thought the Wings were too old, but eventually came around to the idea. If he chose St. Louis, we could have easily seen the Blues win their first Cup that year.

Instead, we saw arguably hockey's version of the 1927 Yankees in the form of the 2001-02 Red Wings.

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There is a USA Today article floating around now with Dominik Hasek's induction to the hall of fame; it says that when he was being traded from Buffalo, his two choices were the Wings and the Blues. The Blues offered more money and he thought the Wings were too old, but eventually came around to the idea. If he chose St. Louis, we could have easily seen the Blues win their first Cup that year.

Most likely. Either that or Colorado moves through and wins the cup again.

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2. What if the Target Center had been built with a hockey layout in mind? Would the North Stars have stayed in Minnesota? If so, would there be a team in Texas right now?

I think so. I'm not familiar with what the mechanics of the situation were, but it always boggled my mind that it was built as basketball exclusive.

That being said, the Cup would most likely be won by the North Stars in 1999.

I think Dallas comes as an expansion in the late 90's quartet, possibly in place of Atlanta, which means that they'd be terrible for 15 years and who knows if they even stick around. Heck, the Stars have had ownership/attendance/financial issues and they've been one of the NHL's successful teams the better part of the past 20 years. Who knows what they'd be called. Maybe Rebels?

Also, what if Norm Green gets into L.A. before Disney and becomes the L.A. Stars as originally planned? Dallas still comes in as an expansion, but so would Minnesota. With the Mighty Ducks name never existing, do they go with that? Perhaps just Ducks? The movies were set there- it's worth pondering over.

So, we'd potentially have the Los Angeles Stars, the Minnesota Ducks and the Dallas Rebels.

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2. What if the Target Center had been built with a hockey layout in mind? Would the North Stars have stayed in Minnesota? If so, would there be a team in Texas right now?

I think so. I'm not familiar with what the mechanics of the situation were, but it always boggled my mind that it was built as basketball exclusive.

That being said, the Cup would most likely be won by the North Stars in 1999.

I think Dallas comes as an expansion in the late 90's quartet, possibly in place of Atlanta, which means that they'd be terrible for 15 years and who knows if they even stick around. Heck, the Stars have had ownership/attendance/financial issues and they've been one of the NHL's successful teams the better part of the past 20 years. Who knows what they'd be called. Maybe Rebels?

Also, what if Norm Green gets into L.A. before Disney and becomes the L.A. Stars as originally planned? Dallas still comes in as an expansion, but so would Minnesota. With the Mighty Ducks name never existing, do they go with that? Perhaps just Ducks? The movies were set there- it's worth pondering over.

So, we'd potentially have the Los Angeles Stars, the Minnesota Ducks and the Dallas Rebels.

First, I don't think the North Stars would have won the cup in 1999. But maybe I just choose to believe that.

Regarding the Target Center, the book "Minnesota North Stars History and Memories with Lou Nanne" by Bob Showers (which has great illustrations and is worth getting for North Stars Fans) includes a story by Lou Nanne (One-time North Stars GM) indicating that they were pretty close to a deal to move into the Target Center. The hurdle they could not clear was related to revenue from advertisements on the boards; the Timberwolves and North Stars both wanted it and neither would budge. I don't know that the hockey layout thing was a big issue. I've been to some college hockey games there and it works OK. The late-1980s timing of the building would be unfortunate (as it is for the T-Wolves) because there are no pricey mezzanine levels and not enough luxury boxes. But at the time, it looked OK for the NHL. The move would have been unpopular with some fans but the location may have more than made up for it. Would it have kept the North Stars here for the long haul? Who knows?

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First, I don't think the North Stars would have won the cup in 1999. But maybe I just choose to believe that.

What makes you say that?

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