What if . . .





More Sports

More Sports

What the F? Four what-if scenarios that need to be put to rest forever

by Kelvin C. Bias

Would the Cubs have broken the curse in ’03 if Bartman wasn't at Wrigley? Unlikely. That and three other What-ifs that are really So-whats.

WHAT IF ... Steve Bartman watches Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS between the Marlins and the Cubs at home, instead of in Section 4, Row 8, Seat 113 at Wrigley Field.

NEW ENDING: There’s no guarantee Cubs LF Moises Alou catches Marlins batter Luis Castillo’s foul ball, even without fan interference; in fact, Alou guessed he wouldn’t have (before recanting). Let’s pretend he does. The Marlins’ bats still come alive and SS Alex Gonzalez’s fielding error makes him the real goat.

WHAT IF ... Diego Maradona’s infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal (below) is disallowed in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal.

NEW ENDING: Four minutes later the Argentine legend still scores the Goal of the Century, dribbling past five English defenders. In real life, Gary Lineker scored in the 80th minute, but with only a one-goal lead La Albiceleste park the bus and hold on 1–0. A week later they hoist the Jules Rimet trophy.

WHAT IF ... The Seahawks hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch on second-and-one at the Patriots’ one-yard line, trailing four points in the waning moments of Super Bowl XLIX.

NEW ENDING: Remember, Lynch had been stopped on third-and-one from the Pats’ eight early in the third quarter; in fact, he was only one-for-five in goal line attempts in 2014. (Seattle was 29th in goal-to-go scoring.) New England, braced for a run, stuffs Lynch twice. Same result.

WHAT IF ... Michael Jordan sticks to basketball, and only basketball.

NEW ENDING: Do the Bulls rip off a Celtics-like eight straight championships? Dream on. In Chicago’s first three title seasons, plus the two sans-MJ, they were 3–7 against the Rockets. In our fantasy 1993–94 and ’94–95 Finals, a top-of-his-game Hakeem Olajuwon shreds Luc Longley and the Rockets keep the crown.