Trenchtown Sports: Greatest ‘What-If’ Moments in Sports History

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AFP PHOTO JOHN MOTTERN (Photo by JOHN MOTTERN / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN MOTTERN/AFP via Getty Images)

The year is 2001 and the New England Patriots are led by 3 time pro-bowl QB Drew Bledsoe. Robert Kraft loved Bledsoe so much that prior to ’01 he rewarded him with a 10 year commitment worth $100 Million. What would have happened if Bledsoe never got hurt? Tom Brady was able to flip the script in Foxborough on his way to NFL Glory. Bledsoe’s injury was one of the most unfortunate injuries in league history. It was a lot more serious than some originally thought to his lungs. While playing for the Patriots, Brady threw for 541 TDs, over 74,000 yards, and more rings than anyone else in the history of the NFL. Not to mention what would happen to Bill Belichick’s career resume if he stuck with the $100 Million Drew Bledsoe over the unknown, 7th Round pick from Michigan, Tom Brady. Although it mostly affected Belichick think of all the players that were apart of that Patriot Dynasty that won rings with TB12. Now, moving to the hardwood with another GOAT, the “Black Mamba.”

What if Kobe Bryant was never traded on draft night to the Lakers? Thanks Charlotte Hornets. In 1997 the Hornets finished 3rd in the division, then 5th, and in Kobe’s 3rd season they were number 2 in the division. Kobe and Barron Davis would have been a fun backcourt to watch in Charlotte. Instead, Kobe teamed up with Shaq to form a dynasty in LA. Would Shaq won those rings in LA without Kobe? Depends on who you ask! Shaq would tell you he could have won it by himself but I don’t think so! Shaq wasn’t a ‘closer’ like Kobe was!

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In reading “Upon Further Review” by Mike Pesca can you imagine if MLB implemented a drug-testing that tested for Steroids in 1990? In 1988, Ronald Reagan signed the Drug Abuse Act of 1988. This outlawed the sale of Steroids for non-medical reasons. In 1990, the Congress passed the Anabolic Steroids Control Act, making Anabolic Steroids a Schedule III controlled substance. This put Steroids in the same conversation as Opium, Meth, Morphine, and Amphetamines. So, why didn’t MLB begin testing for Steroids in 1990 or 1991? In 1988, Jose was accused of taking steroids, which he denied. That same year Canseco became the 1st player in history to have 40 Home Runs and 40 Steals in a season, also earning MVP that year. For the average baseball fan this would have made the game less exciting in the mid-to-late 90’s. The epic Mark McGwire Sammy Sosa Home Run race probably wouldn’t have happened and Barry Bonds probably wouldn’t have had a 73 homer season as well. The worst part about Bonds is that he didn’t need Steroids. His numbers before his body transformed was hall of fame worthy and now he’s still struggling to get votes to enter the prestigious club.

Thinking about those great ‘what-if’ moments in Sports are what makes Sports amazing. The Cinderella stories, the 7th round picks that end up winning 7 rings and counting, and so many more.