Deal or No Deal: Sports Edition

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January 14, 2013 by NowhereButPop

by Andrew Doscas

What we’re going to try here is a little something different for a change.  This is the prototype for a sort of interactive article where you, the reader, will be able to weigh in on and comment on a given hypothetical scenario.  It’ll work like the game show whose title I ripped off.  I will present one hypothetical setting in exchange for one that actually happened.  Hopefully, if all goes well, there’ll be an open and interesting debate about a given scenario.

Deal #1

Len Bias doesn’t overdose the night he is drafted by the defending champions, the Boston Celtics and goes on to have a career in the NBA.  Whether he turns out to be the next big thing or a draft bust is unknown.  In exchange for this, Michael Jordan permanently retires after the 1992-1993 season and never returns.  Jordan has already won three rings and three MVP awards, but the Bulls 1995-1996 season doesn’t happen, and they may or may not win the last three championships.  Deal or no deal?

Deal #2

Instead of the Mets going to the World Series in 1973, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry do not become addicted to drugs.  The 1973 Mets have the worst winning percentage of any team to make the World Series at an anemic .509.  While there is no guarantee that the Mets win another World Series in the late 80s or early 90s, it wouldn’t hurt to have a healthy and clean Gooden and Strawberry.  High risk, high reward scenario.  Certainly the potential of both Gooden and Strawberry would warrant another World Series appearance, but is it worth trading in an actual World Series appearance?  Deal or no deal?

Deal #3

Ray Lewis is convicted guilty of murder and aggravated assault prior to the 2000 season (the year the Ravens win their only Super Bowl).  However, the following year Mo Lewis does not maim Drew Bledsoe in week 2 of the 2001 season and Tom Brady never gets his chance to lead the Patriots.  Deal or no deal?  I realized as I came up with this that every Ravens and Patriots fan will stoutly say “Fuck no!”, while every Colts and Jets fan will lament that this isn’t our reality.

Deal #4

It’s the bottom of the 9th in game seven of the 2001 World Series, and this time Mariano Rivera retires the Diamondbacks in order for the save and secures the Yankees 27th championship, scant weeks after 9/11.  Oh and Mike Mussina gets the perfect game at Fenway Park on September 2 of that year.  The catch is that the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the 2003 ALCS, and as of the 2012 season the Yankees have not won another World Series.  Deal or no deal?

Deal #5

Bernard King doesn’t tear his ACL and MCL in the 1985 season, but Pat Riley never becomes head coach of the New York Knicks.  Short, sweet, but more complicated than it appears to be; deal or no deal?

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