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Bleujayone

"What Ifs..." in sports

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Raiders beat Pats go on to AFC title game

The Raiders beat the Patriots in the Divisional Playoffs and go one to the AFC Championship game.

In the AFC title game the Raiders stun the Steelers by winning the game.

In Super Bowl XXXVI the Raiders beat the Rams and the start of the 1st Dynasty of the 21st century begins.

2002 season

John Gruden signs a 5 year contract extension and the Raiders go to the Super Bowl and beat the Eagles to win there 5th Super Bowl title.

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2003 season

Raiders go to the Super Bowl once again and beat the Panther to win there third straight title and 6th over all.

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Bo Knows MVPs

Jackson comeback rules both MLB and NFL

Jan. 18th 1994

After a freak injury to his hip that many beleived would required hip replacement surgury just to walk again, Bo Jackson has returned to pro sports after taking a year off to become yet again a king among peasants as he earned both comeback player of the year honors AND MVP honors in both football and baseball.

Jackson had injured himself in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in 1991. It was felt he may never walk again much less play sports. Jackson spent the entire 1992 season away from sports training to like never before seen, opting for minimal surgury and maximum rehab. It was rumored that much of the rehab included non-traditional Eastern healling arts.

Still under contract for the Kansas City Royals, Jackson started off his comeback by playing baseball in February of 1993. Jackson was voted to the AL All-Star team, and was in the top five in hits, batting average, homeruns, triples, and on base percentage. His performance led to MLB's "Comeback Player of the Year" honors and later several votes in the AL's MVP award.

After it was clear that the Royals had no chance of making the post season, Jackson joined the Chiefs with two weeks remaining in NFL preseason to commit to a full season of football. Jackson now playing for the Kansas City Chiefs after the Los Angeles Raiders cut him durring his sabatical, decided to make football his primary sport over baseball. He rejoined former Raiders teammate Marcus Allen and former 49ers QB Joe Montana. Jackson was to be Allen's backup as he was with the Raiders, but they switched roles after Allen took a tumble in Week 1. It was Allen that became both the 3rd down backer and punt/kick returner. The Chiefs went 14-2 for the year and went as far as hosting the AFC Championship where they again lost a heartbreaker to the Bills in the final moments 30-28.

In a single season, Jackson rushed for 2,173 yards for 16 TD's and caught 34 passes for 367 yards and 4 TD's. Hands down one of the strongest performances ever. He was named to the Pro-Bowl team and named League MVP at the end of the season.

But there are also rumors around the complex that Jackson is secretly harboring great physical agony. Whether he only prolonged surgery much less repeat his performance remians to be seen. However, even if he never plays again people will be talking about his 1993 season for many years to come.

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A nice little what-if thanks to a play that was missed in the 2002 World Cup...

Caught Red Handed

Frings' Handball Costs Germany, Helps Propels USA to Semis

June 21, 2002

ULSAN, Korea -- For a while, it looked as if Germany had their tickets punched for the semi-final round of the 2002 World Cup, especially after Michael Ballack blasted a shot past Brad Friedel late in the first half. However, those dreams came crashing down in a hurry after a massive blunder gave the United States new life.

German midfielder Torsten Frings was called for a handball in the box and given a red card by referee Hugh Dallas. US striker Brian McBride converted the penalty kick, just beating German keeper Oliver Kahn.

The game completely turned the US's way as they pressed their man advantage and wore down the Germans. Kahn came up with some key saves to keep the Germans alive, but was finally beaten in injury time by a strike by Landon Donovan from just outside of the 18.

The 2-1 win advances the US to the World Cup Semifinals for the first time since the inaugural event in Uruguay in 1930. They will meet the winner of tomorrow's match betwee South Korea & Spain for the right to advance to the Finals.

========================================

June 25, 2002

NEXT STOP, YOKOHAMA!

US Ousts Korea, Advances To Finals

SEOUL, Korea -- The 2002 World Cup has seen it's share of surprises so far, starting with Senegal's stunning win over France in the opening match and continuing with the stunning play of some sides that weren't highly regarded going into the tournament.

Two of the more remarkable teams met up tonight in Seoul as the United States met up with co-hosts South Korea in an improbable semifinal match.

In an evenly matched game, much like their encounter in group play Daegu just 2 1/2 weeks ago, the Koreans and Americans both played patiently and waited to exploit a mistake by their opponent.

In the 75th minute, the US took advantage of a breakdown in the defense for Korea and made the most of it as Claudio Reyna converted a free kick just outside of the box and gave the US a lead they would never relinquish.

The 1-0 win advances the US to the Finals of the World Cup for the first time ever, marking a strong recovery from their lackluster performance in France just 4 years ago.

=====================================

So Close....

Ronaldo Too Much For US

June 30, 2002

YOKOHAMA, Japan -- In the end, the brilliance of one player changed the complexion of everything.

The United States, who weren't even favored to make it out of their group when the tournament began a month ago, saw their Cinderella run come to an end, falling to Brazil 2-0. Brazil's superstar striker Ronaldo notched both goals, giving him 8 for the tournament and securing the Golden Boot (top scorer in the World Cup) and Golden Ball (World Cup MVP) awards.

The victory gave Brazil their 5th World Cup and their 2nd in the last 3.

However, the young American team has nothing to hang their heads about according to coach Bruce Arena.

"We surprised a lot of the experts this time around," he stated in the post-game press conference. "Coming into the tournament, nobody expected us to last in a group that had Portugal and Poland among the competition. Then, nobody really gave us a shot against Mexico in the round of 16. Then it was supposed to end against Germany in the quarters. Nobody thought we'd be able to defeat Korea in front of 60,000+ in Seoul either. Getting to the Finals was a major accomplishment and it's no dishonour to lose to a side like Brazil. They're the champions for a reason."

Even the world champion Brazilians were impressed by their opposition. "They played imaginatively throughout the entire tournament," commented Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. "It wouldn't have been a dishonour to lose them if the results were reversed." "The US has come a long way," Brazilian captain Cafu commented, "They're going to be a force in world football for a long time."

As a consolation, the media covering the World Cup elected goalkeeper Brad Friedel, midfielder Claudio Reyna, and midfielder Landon Donovan to the All-World Cup team. Also, Friedel captured the Lev Yashin Award as the tournament's top keeper. As a final consolation, the United States were judged to be the Most Entertaining Side of the tournament by the media.

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Roberto Clemente Survives Near Fatal Plane Crash

Waterlogged but no worse for the wear.

Pittsburgh Pirates superstar Roberto Clemente was plucked from the ocean after two days at sea when a plane he was in carrying aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua, went down on December 31, 1972 while en route to deliver. The plane crashed off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico and it was feared he would never be seen alive again.

But almost 42 hours later, the impossible happened as CLemente and two other survivors were found bobbing together in the ocean. "They were sunburned and dehydrated but otherwise in none too bad shape", said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Roy Bivens, "They bailed out at the last second and stuck together."

Clemente, 38 is not only known for a steallar career in baseball but for his humanitarian work as well. His near-death experience has brought new attention to both he and the humanitarian charities he sponsors. Major League Baseball has formed the Roberto Clemente Award for people that show outstanding acheivments in humanitarian causes.

Clemente who has already had a few prevoius season shortened due to injuries has declared that this upcoming season will be his last before retiring to concentrate on both his sons' baseball playing and his charity work. He says he hopes that as a parting gift to the people of Pittsburgh he can give them, "One more World Series."

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Garcia Calls Fan Interference O's Win Game 1.

The Orioles win game one of the ALCS in a rabid Yankee Stadium. Up 4 to 3 in the 8th a young Yankee fan interfered with a Derek Jeter fly that had the potential of being a homerun or at least a double. Umpire Rich Garcia ruled correctly that Mr. Maier interfired with Tony Torasco's ability to make a play on the ball. Upon the call Mr. Maier was tossed on to the field and was assaulted by unruly fans. The game was halted for over an hour before the stadium was evacuated and the game was completed in an empty stadium.

Game two saw empty bleachers in Yankee Stadium as no assurance could be made to the safety of the Orioles players.

The Orioles went on to sweep the demoralized Yankees and went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 4 games to 2. Starting a string of 3 consecutive World Series Victories. The Yankees have not had a winning season since. Mr. Maier is still suffering from the injuries he received that night but lives in the Hamptons as a result of his multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Yankees won by his Attorney Peter Angelos.

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Garcia Calls Fan Interference O's Win Game 1.

While, (sleepz), a :D crosses my face, as I dream this was true.

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O Canada - World Series Stays North of the Border

Montreal - For the third year in a row the World Series will reside in Canada as the Montreal Expos have completed their sweep of the New York Yankees with a 3-0 win in front of a sold out Olympic Stadium. Expos ace Perdro Martinez pitched a brilliant 1 hitter, going 7 inning, striking out 11 without giving up a walk. Larry Walker provided all the offence the Expos needed. Walker, who won the World Series MVP award, hit a 3 run hommer in the 4th inning to help lift the Expos to their 1st World Series Champioship.

Many in the world of baseball though this series would never happen with a players strike that threatened to end the season. However the strike only lasted 2 weeks as players and owners were able to reach an agreement . Which allowed the Expos to complete the season and win their 2nd NL East championship in franchise history.

The Expos, a team filled with young superstars, easily cruised through baseball's first ever divisional series round, sweeping the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers in sweet taste of redemption for Rick Mondays home run in 1981.

The Expos had a harder challange ahead in the NLCS, needing 7 games to defeat divisional rival, the Atlant Braves. The Braves, who claimed the wild card spot, had their hopes for a 3rd straight division title shattered by an upstart Expos team.

While still savoring their championship, the Expos front office now looks to keep togther a team that was put together with an 18 million dollar payroll. However, that payroll should get a boost as the Expos have announced planns for a new stadium to be built in downtown Montreal.

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