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Alternate SPORTS! History Thread

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4. What if the Peoria Cat(erpillar)s and Phillips 66ers had accepted the invitation to join the NBA in 1952? The 66ers were based in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, but played a fair number of their home games in Tulsa and OKC. Both teams had the talent (if not the market) to compete in the NBA. I haven't given Peoria much thought, but I suspect the 66ers would have eventually moved to Tulsa, or at least had some sort of Green Bay/Milwaukee type relationship between Bartlesville and Tulsa.

The Peoria franchise would likely die in a few years at the hands of the Bradley basketball juggernaut, which was at the peak of its powers and popularity in the early 1950s.

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If the Steelers didn't get the #1 pick in the coin toss in 1970 with Chicago, what could have become of them?

Do they make a trade out of the #2 pick and get a #1 that could have had them in position to get one of the top three QB's in 71, or is Joe Gilliam the one that wins four SB's for them?

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Once Katrina hit, what if the Hornets had gone with their original planned site of Nashville instead of picking Oklahoma City?

Would the Sonics still be in Seattle because of the Grizzlies wanting to claim all of Tennessee as their own, blocking any relocations to the Music City?

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Once Katrina hit, what if the Hornets had gone with their original planned site of Nashville instead of picking Oklahoma City?

Would the Sonics still be in Seattle because of the Grizzlies wanting to claim all of Tennessee as their own, blocking any relocations to the Music City?

I think they go to OKC regardless. I think that was Clay Bennett's intentions all along, whether the Hornets were there or not.

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What if Drew Bledsoe doesn't get hurt in 2001, thus Tom Brady never gets called in to start? Bledsoe probably continues to play another couple of years with the Pats, and who knows if Brady even sticks around? Maybe another team scoops him up when he first becomes a free agent.

The Pats probably don't win the Superbowl that year, and the snowball effect that leads to the Pats dynasty that still continues today doesn't happen to the extent it did.

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In a world where the Buffalo Bills are taken into the NFL from the AAFC in 1950 instead of the Baltimore Colts (which should have happened because they were more successful and had better fan support), maybe the Braves end up in Kansas City by 1955, are purchased by Charlie Finley, and end up in Oakland by 1968.

In my scenario, the fact that Bill Veeck already owns the Browns/Brewers leaves the White Sox open for purchase. Charley O, a native of Northwest Indiana who already has business interests in Chicago, purchases the Sox and not the A's. They stay in Chicago, but their uniforms get the famous Charlie O treatment.

That likely would have happen. The Allyn family was looking to sell the Sox in the '70s and the AL was trying to push them to Seattle to end a lawsuit over the Pilots. If the Sox moved, Finley had it worked out that he would have moved the Athletics to Chicago and played in Comiskey Park.

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.

I've read that MLB had told the Cubs they wouldn't allow World Series Day games, and that they'd have to play the World Series in Comiskey Park.

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What if Drew Bledsoe doesn't get hurt in 2001, thus Tom Brady never gets called in to start? Bledsoe probably continues to play another couple of years with the Pats, and who knows if Brady even sticks around? Maybe another team scoops him up when he first becomes a free agent.

The Pats probably don't win the Superbowl that year, and the snowball effect that leads to the Pats dynasty that still continues today doesn't happen to the extent it did.

Brady does well enough in preseason in 2002, and in a relief appearance at the end of the year, and he forces a trade to his hometown 49ers in the spring of 2003 for Tim Rattay (the guy that Belichick wanted, but was talked out of when Dick Rehbein and Bobby Grier convinced him to get Brady).

By 2004, when Jeff Garcia goes to Cleveland in FA, Brady is the man. The Niners win a few more games than they did in reality, but it isn't good enough to save Dennis Erickson's job, and Mike Nolan is still hired.

In the 05 draft, they are picking 7th overall instead of first. The Bucs (who, according to Walter Football, were interested in Alex Smith), trade the 4th overall pick and an 05 second-rounder to the Fins for the #1 pick, and take Smith. After the Browns take Braylon, and the Bears take Ronnie Brown (who was rated higher than Benson), the Dolphins choose Cadillac Williams (let's say they wanted him more).

After the Titans take Cash Man, and the Vikes (from OAK) choose Troy Dropamson, the Niners are next. Mike Nolan wanted Alex Smith over A-Rod, but the Bucs beat him to it. Mike McCarthy, an assistant on that 49er team, talks Nolan into A-Rod, and they take him with the seventh overall pick because Brady, while playing OK, struggled on a bad team, and doesn't show a whole lot to the new coach.

Rodgers sits and learns for a year while Brady starts the 05 season. However, in Week 14, Brady tears his ACL, and will be out until training camp. A-Rod gets some experience at the end of the year, and with Norv Turner's guidance the next year, becomes the starter in 06 after Brady is still struggling somewhat with the ACL.

A-Rod does good with Norv Turner until he leaves a few years later (in this reality, SD doesn't lose to NE, and wins it all), but it takes Jim Harbaugh's arrival for Rodgers to finally lead the team to a SB title.

As for Brady, he remains the backup for a few years, but is forced to retire due in 08 due to another ACL tear suffered in a pre-season game.

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What if Trent Green didn't get injured in a preseason game in 1999 and Kurt Warner never got a chance to start?

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Mine include

  • College
    • What if the South would have won the Civil War.

This is interesting because you have to wonder if Football makes it beyond the Confederate border because its viewed as a "Yankee Sport." Because football began in the Northeast its plausible that the CSA never really accepts it in the form that it was at the time. Or maybe they latch onto another form of Football to be different like Rugby or Soccer. Maybe there are rules changes like how Canadian Football is different than American. Or even maybe the World's Biggest Cocktail party is all about watching a baseball game?

Obviously changing the Civil War changes a ton of sports related things today, but it certainly makes you wonder how sports that were invented or gained traction in free states after the Civil War would have been received in the South.

Probably the best interpretation of this is in the Southern Victory (a.k.a. "Timeline 191") series by prolific alternate history writer Harry Turtledove. It covers the history of an alternate timeline where the South won the civil war, in a series of 11 books, covering a period from the Civil War to a second World War.

In his timeline, baseball does become nearly as popular as football (in fact I do not recall it even being mentioned). Football, however, evolves differently in the north and south, as indicated in the following passage taking place in (U.S. occupied) Kentucky during their version of WWI:

“Boys in battered kneepants kicked a football up and down one dirt street. One of them threw it ahead to another, who caught it and ran a long way with it before he was dragged down. “Yankee Rules!” the two of them shouted gleefully. As football had been played in the Confederacy, forward passes were illegal. North of the Ohio, things had been different. This wasn’t the first such pass Cincinnatus had seen thrown. The U.S. game was catching on here.”

Turtledove also describes a brief Christmas armistice similar to what happened in our world in Europe in 1914, but instead of soccer, soldiers from each side play football. They play by each set of rules, and Turtledove (IIRC) has a southern point-of-view character mentioning that he prefers the forward pass-allowing “Yankee Rules”.

Following the Great War, it appears that the South does adopt the forward pass, and pro football seems to take the place of major league baseball as North America’s most popular sport. There is often mention of football games on the radio, and Turtledove mentions several team names: Seattle Sharks, Portland Columbias, New Orleans Tigers, Los Angeles Dons, and the Philadelphia Barrels. That last one is interesting—in this alternate timeline, what we think of as wartime “tanks” became known as “barrels”. Thus the Philadelphia Barrels (it should be noted that a semi-pro team that played NFL teams in 1930 in our "real" world was named the “Ironton Tanks”). The biggest star on the Barrels? Lou Gehrig. Jimmy Foxx and Hank Greenberg are also referred to as football players, as is Bronko Nagurski.

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What if Vinatieri misses the FG at the end of regulation in the Tuck Rule game?

Would the actual tuck rule play itself have faded away if Vinatieri misses and the Raiders win?

And what happens in a Raiders/Steelers AFC Championship Game? And what of the Rams, who probably wouldn't have taken either of those teams lightly.

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What if Vinatieri misses the FG at the end of regulation in the Tuck Rule game?

Would the actual tuck rule play itself have faded away if Vinatieri misses and the Raiders win?

And what happens in a Raiders/Steelers AFC Championship Game? And what of the Rams, who probably wouldn't have taken either of those teams lightly.

Yes. Nobody would have cared anymore and it would not have been addressed.

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What if the Toronto Maple Leafs kept the name Toronto St.Patricks?

*Would there be a sea of Irish green jerseys at the games?

*Would it have been Shamrock Gardens instead of Maple Leafs Gardens?

*Instead of Carlton the Bear, would a drunkin' Leprechaun be their mascot singing

Shave his chin with a rusty razor Shave his belly with a rusty razor Give 'im a hair of the dog that bit him

before he vomits green dyed ale all over the place?

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*Would annoying fans chant "Go Pats Go!" every 2 minutes?

*Would they sell nothing but Shamrock shakes and green dyed beers at the concession stands?

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6z3ngy.jpg

The questions are limitless!!

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And what happens in a Raiders/Steelers AFC Championship Game? And what of the Rams, who probably wouldn't have taken either of those teams lightly.

I hate the Raiders, but I have a feeling that they beat the Steelers, who were 1-2 at home in AFC Title Games under Cowher going into that game, and would eventually be 1-4.

Then, the Rams beat the Raiders 35-31 on a Warner to Bruce TD with 30 seconds left.

Gruden stays with the Raiders, and they get back and win the bowl against the Bucs (who beat the Rams in the playoffs), but the decline starts after that, as age catches up to them. Gruden is canned after the 2005 season, and replaced with Art Shell.

As for the Rams, they go back to the playoffs from 02-04, but never reach the dynasty level that they could have because their front office went full retard on draft day in the 00's.

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What if Drew Bledsoe doesn't get hurt in 2001, thus Tom Brady never gets called in to start? Bledsoe probably continues to play another couple of years with the Pats, and who knows if Brady even sticks around? Maybe another team scoops him up when he first becomes a free agent.

The Pats probably don't win the Superbowl that year, and the snowball effect that leads to the Pats dynasty that still continues today doesn't happen to the extent it did.

Brady does well enough in preseason in 2002, and in a relief appearance at the end of the year, and he forces a trade to his hometown 49ers in the spring of 2003 for Tim Rattay (the guy that Belichick wanted, but was talked out of when Dick Rehbein and Bobby Grier convinced him to get Brady).

By 2004, when Jeff Garcia goes to Cleveland in FA, Brady is the man. The Niners win a few more games than they did in reality, but it isn't good enough to save Dennis Erickson's job, and Mike Nolan is still hired.

In the 05 draft, they are picking 7th overall instead of first. The Bucs (who, according to Walter Football, were interested in Alex Smith), trade the 4th overall pick and an 05 second-rounder to the Fins for the #1 pick, and take Smith. After the Browns take Braylon, and the Bears take Ronnie Brown (who was rated higher than Benson), the Dolphins choose Cadillac Williams (let's say they wanted him more).

After the Titans take Cash Man, and the Vikes (from OAK) choose Troy Dropamson, the Niners are next. Mike Nolan wanted Alex Smith over A-Rod, but the Bucs beat him to it. Mike McCarthy, an assistant on that 49er team, talks Nolan into A-Rod, and they take him with the seventh overall pick because Brady, while playing OK, struggled on a bad team, and doesn't show a whole lot to the new coach.

Rodgers sits and learns for a year while Brady starts the 05 season. However, in Week 14, Brady tears his ACL, and will be out until training camp. A-Rod gets some experience at the end of the year, and with Norv Turner's guidance the next year, becomes the starter in 06 after Brady is still struggling somewhat with the ACL.

A-Rod does good with Norv Turner until he leaves a few years later (in this reality, SD doesn't lose to NE, and wins it all), but it takes Jim Harbaugh's arrival for Rodgers to finally lead the team to a SB title.

As for Brady, he remains the backup for a few years, but is forced to retire due in 08 due to another ACL tear suffered in a pre-season game.

This is just... Damn... But I like it.

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What if Ohio State had refused to go to a bowl game after the 2011 season? Would the NCAA have let them be bowl-eligible for the 2012 season and thus play for a national championship that year?

Also, how would Wisconsin (the 7-5 team that made it to the game and the Rose Bowl thanks to these technicalities) have fared? Would Bielema have stuck around instead of going to Arkansas?

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What if Grant Hill had remained in Detroit? All of their money would be used for Grant Hill. No getting Ben Wallace in the trade, probably can't afford Chauncey or any of the other major players that made them good. Orlando probably keeps Wallace around, and with McGrady, probably do pretty damn well. Could change the tides for eventually drafted Howard as well.

On the bright side, we'd still have Memphis' pick from to draft Darko.

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On The Sports Post, a writer named Sam Quinn is in the midst of posting a new NFL what if every Friday:

http://www.thesportspost.com/pages/view/the-52-greatest-what-ifs-in-nfl-history

Today's entry inspires this post: http://www.thesportspost.com/blogs/view/nfl-what-if-aaron-rodgers-alex-smith-2005-draft

In 2005, the Broncos traded out of the first round with Washington, and the Skins took Jason Campbell with their pick.

The next year, Denver got Cutler in the first round after some wheeling and dealing.

After these moves, I think that Shanny wanted a new QB, but didn't think that the 05 draft had one good enough to take in the first round.

However, instead of trading down, and doing all that wheeling and dealing for Cutler, he could have just moved up a few slots and drafted Rodgers in 05.

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Final week of 1993 NFL Season- what if the Giants beat the Cowboys and won the NFC East/1 seed/homefield advantage?

Does Dallas still repeat as SB champs if they have to take the long way as a Wild Card?

If the Cowboys fall short of back-to-back, does Jimmy Johnson still leave or does the failure to repeat keep him there for a year or two?

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Final week of 1993 NFL Season- what if the Giants beat the Cowboys and won the NFC East/1 seed/homefield advantage?

Does Dallas still repeat as SB champs if they have to take the long way as a Wild Card?

If the Cowboys fall short of back-to-back, does Jimmy Johnson still leave or does the failure to repeat keep him there for a year or two?

Dallas probably beats the Vikes at home by a huge margin in the WC Game, but then, they have to go to San Fran, while the Pack go to Giants Stadium.

I actually see SF beating the Cowboys since Emmitt doesn't get a week off to rest, and then they go to Giants Stadium for the NFC Title Game to play the 12-4 1-seeded Giants.

The Niners get revenge for three years earlier, and go to their first SB in four years.

Actually, though, let's take this further, and look at the AFC that year:

What if Cary Blanchard made that short FG in Buffalo in Week 16, and the Jets hold on for their 9th victory of the season?

What if the Broncos beat the Bucs and Raiders in Weeks 16 and 17?

What if the Fins beat the Pats in Week 17?

You have the Oilers (1 seed), Chiefs (2 seed), and Bills (3 seed) as division champs, and you have the Broncos (4 seed), Dolphins (5 seed) and Jets (6 seed) as Wild Cards.

The Bills and Broncos win in the first round, but Buffalo loses again at Kansas City like they did earlier, and the Oilers get payback against the Broncos for 1991.

Then, you have a Chief-Oiler AFC Title Game. Now, I know that KC beat the Oilers, but if they play a week later, I don't know if they beat the Oilers since they would have got some of their momentum back. I think that Houston wins, and heads to Atlanta and beats the Niners like they did earlier in the year in San Fran.

These results would have changed some things going forward. For one. there is a decent chance that the Oilers don't move to Nashville, and the team isn't broken up outside of some minor trades (like trading away QB Cody Carlson, RB Gary Brown, and WR Ernest Givins). They may have had a chance to repeat as AFC Champs because the AFC was weaker in 1994.

Then, I wonder if Simms and even LT try to push to come back for one more chance at the ring because they were so close.

And, we wouldn't have to see the Bills get blown out again in the Super Bowl (which would be a major blessing).

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Mine include

  • College
    • What if the South would have won the Civil War.

This is interesting because you have to wonder if Football makes it beyond the Confederate border because its viewed as a "Yankee Sport." Because football began in the Northeast its plausible that the CSA never really accepts it in the form that it was at the time. Or maybe they latch onto another form of Football to be different like Rugby or Soccer. Maybe there are rules changes like how Canadian Football is different than American. Or even maybe the World's Biggest Cocktail party is all about watching a baseball game?

Obviously changing the Civil War changes a ton of sports related things today, but it certainly makes you wonder how sports that were invented or gained traction in free states after the Civil War would have been received in the South.

Probably the best interpretation of this is in the Southern Victory (a.k.a. "Timeline 191") series by prolific alternate history writer Harry Turtledove. It covers the history of an alternate timeline where the South won the civil war, in a series of 11 books, covering a period from the Civil War to a second World War.

In his timeline, baseball does become nearly as popular as football (in fact I do not recall it even being mentioned). Football, however, evolves differently in the north and south, as indicated in the following passage taking place in (U.S. occupied) Kentucky during their version of WWI:

“Boys in battered kneepants kicked a football up and down one dirt street. One of them threw it ahead to another, who caught it and ran a long way with it before he was dragged down. “Yankee Rules!” the two of them shouted gleefully. As football had been played in the Confederacy, forward passes were illegal. North of the Ohio, things had been different. This wasn’t the first such pass Cincinnatus had seen thrown. The U.S. game was catching on here.”

Turtledove also describes a brief Christmas armistice similar to what happened in our world in Europe in 1914, but instead of soccer, soldiers from each side play football. They play by each set of rules, and Turtledove (IIRC) has a southern point-of-view character mentioning that he prefers the forward pass-allowing “Yankee Rules”.

Following the Great War, it appears that the South does adopt the forward pass, and pro football seems to take the place of major league baseball as North America’s most popular sport. There is often mention of football games on the radio, and Turtledove mentions several team names: Seattle Sharks, Portland Columbias, New Orleans Tigers, Los Angeles Dons, and the Philadelphia Barrels. That last one is interesting—in this alternate timeline, what we think of as wartime “tanks” became known as “barrels”. Thus the Philadelphia Barrels (it should be noted that a semi-pro team that played NFL teams in 1930 in our "real" world was named the “Ironton Tanks”). The biggest star on the Barrels? Lou Gehrig. Jimmy Foxx and Hank Greenberg are also referred to as football players, as is Bronko Nagurski.

Actually, Turtledove does briefly touch on baseball. He pretty much has it relegated to a niche game in the northeast/New England. Also, for those who haven't read any of them, the term "barrel" is what tanks are known as in the US since "tank" was a British word and the Confederates were allied with the Brits.

-----------

Let me throw a couple more:

*What if there was no construction accident and Miller Park opened a year earlier?

*What if the weather had not been abnormally pleasant on the day that New York Giants brass visited Candlestick Point?

*What if the Marshall plane crash never happened?

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