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'What Ifs' in NFL History

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by tripleoption34, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. My brother-in-law, his dad and I began tossing this around a few weeks ago, and I thought I'd share the subject and get your thoughts here.

    Among those that would have changed NFL History....

    *What if the officials correctly ruled Tom Brady's incompletion....errr, fumble, in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoffs?

    *What if Bert Jones had remained healthy as the Colts QB in the late 1970s?

    *What if Drew Pearson had scored (or at least put the Cowboys in FG range) after Dwight Clark made The Catch?

    *What if the Cowboys held Bart Starr on 3rd and goal in the Ice Bowl?

    *What if the USFL had remained a spring league and streamlined the product?

    Just a few, but please add yours.
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    What if Vegas stopped putting out lines on the NFL?
    What if there were no more fantasy leagues?
    Nobody would give two shits about the NFL.
  3. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    What if Red Grange decided to forgo a pro football career?

    He was the first one to put the NFL in any sort of mainstream thought and media, and Tim Mara said he single-handed convinced him to not give up on trying to keep the Giants afloat.
  4. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    What if the NFL had awarded expansion franchises to Baltimore, St. Louis or Memphis in 1993 instead of Carolina and Jacksonville?

    Maybe the Rams or Raiders stay in Los Angeles, the Browns in Cleveland, the Oilers in Houston.
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    What if the Colts had taken Leaf over Manning in 1998? Beyond the initial argument, in a lot of ways the last 12 years of the NFL have been shaped by that pick:
    1) The Colts remain a joke for at least a few more years. They re-sign their one franchise player, Marshall Faulk, and the the "Greatest Show on Turf" never gets going in St. Louis.
    2) The Chargers, meanwhile, don't end up with Tomlinson in the 2001 draft and end up building around Manning. They're not in a position to draft Eli Manning or Phillip Rivers in 2004, so two other teams work that deal and end up rebuilding themselves.
    3) Since the Chargers end up with Manning in 1998, that means Michael Vick may have become someone else's headache (the Falcons traded up with the Chargers to get him)...
    4) Drew Brees isn't drafted by and subsequently forced out of San Diego. He blossoms somewhere else and signs a long-term deal there, which means he never signs with the Saints...
    5) Which leads to the Saints having another terrible season in 2006. They leave New Orleans in the wake of Katrina and move to Los Angeles or San Antonio in 2007.
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    And spinning out of that last "What if?", how about "What if Drew Brees had signed with the Dolphins in 2006?"
    You end up with a Dolphins team rebuilt around its star quarterback, and Nick Saban becomes entrenched as coach. Not only do the Saints not turn things around and end up leaving New Orleans, but Saban spends at least another year or two in Miami and doesn't turn Alabama's program around.
  7. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    What if the Bears win a coin flip with the Steelers for the right to draft Terry Bradshaw?

    One I've always kind of wondered about. Would Bradshaw have led the franchise to greatness or become just another mediocre Bears QB?
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    More Red Grange What-Ifs?

    1. The Bears were in the bidding with the Rochester Jeffersons. What if Red signs with Rochester? The Bears may not have done as well (Halas had major financial problems the early years of the Depression), Rochester may have had an NFL franchise, which might mean no Buffalo Bills today. The Bears, in 1925, were the strongest franchise in the league. Rochester was in poor financial shape and ended up going out of business in 1925. They would not have been able to afford the national tour, and they weren't in one of the major media capitals.

    2. As I said earlier, Red basically kept the Giants afloat by playing them in one game that drew between 65,-75-000 people (no accurate count). Mara had lost about $45K during the season, according to "The Giants of New York" a book about the team in the early 1960s. The Grange game actually put Mara about $15K ahead. He ended up losing some money on their last couple of games, and ended up in the red (no pun intended).

    3. Grange and CC Pyle started an AFL league in 1926 and played for the New York team, which nearly bankrupted the Giants again. What if that league had been successful? The NFL could have died right there.
  9. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Heck, what if the Steelers never cut Johnny Unitas?

    The Steelers might have grown into a decent franchise. But then, the Colts may not have won with a different quarterback, not making the 1958 title game. The Giants play someone else, the game ends up a stinker, and fans figure they'll stick with baseball as their dominant sport.
  10. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Cleveland, in multiple sports, has its own section in this conversation. What if Elway didn't complete the third-and-18, or what if Ernest Byner didn't fumble. What if Jordan misses that foul line jumper? What if Edgar Renteria strikes out? Cleveland does not rock.
  11. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    No change here. The officials did rule correctly.
  12. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    What if Jim Thorpe tells the boys at Hub Motors to go kiss his Indian butt in 1920 and the league stalls in two years without a marquee name? How long would it before a real league formed and stayed? Maybe Grange six years later?

    And to pour some more salt on Cleveland, what if Paul Brown doesn't get rid of young defensive players Doug Atkins, Willie Davis, Henry Jordan, Dick LeBeau and Jim Marshall in bad trades and simply roster cuts? Same goes for Len Dawson?
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