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5 What If’s That Would’ve Changed Sports


Have you ever looked at your team and wondered why they never signed, drafted or traded for that certain player?

What would the outcome had been had Greg Popovich never sat Tim Duncan in the closing seconds of the 2012 NBA Finals, If Mariano Rivera never took Luis Gonzalez for granted or Monica Seles never got stabbed on the court.

These are questions we as sports fans have asked ourselves for years but will never get the answers to.

But What If…

What if Bo Jackson Never Played Baseball And Dedicated His Full Attention To The NFL?

I guess this question could go either way. He was great at both sports but when you think of Bo you think of football. He came into the league in 1987 after telling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that he would not play for them if he was selected.

The Bucs drafted him first overall anyway in 1986 but Jackson stuck to his word and didn’t report making way for the Oakland Raiders to draft him the following season. Jackson never played a full 16 games in the NFL in his 4 season as a player.

His most time on the field was in “89 when he played in 11 games (started 9) but still finished with 950 yards and 4 TDs. During his career he played in 38 games, rushed for 2782 and 16 TDs. Imagine what he would’ve done if his main focus was the gridiron instead of the diamond.

What if Tiger Woods Never Got Caught?

I’m not sure if this was the downfall of one of the greatest golfers of All Time but it sure didn’t help his chase for history.

Golf is about as mental a sport as there is as it’s just you on the field, no teammates to help you and no escape from pressure. Woods was well on his way to crushing all records by Jack Nicklaus and any other player who placed their stamp on the sport.

Tiger has been stuck on 14 Majors since 2008 which in golf is a long time but in Woods terms many see it as a failure. He was placed on a mantle the moment he hit the Tour and he has not disappointed. 75+ wins is nothing to laugh at but imagine where he could be if injuries and personal events never played a part in his mental downfall.

What If Sidney Crosby Remained Healthy?

His career is far from over as he may have another 10 seasons in him if he can stay on the ice. He has scored 900+ points in 700+ plus games, but those numbers could rival some of the games greats if he didn’t miss a huge chunk of the ’07, ’10, ’11, and ’12 season due to various injuries.

I know some may be thinking but how would he be placed with the greats if he is still in the middle of his career?

Easy. Crosby could easily be considered one of, if not THE most prolific scorer in NHL history.

Quick number run down. When healthy he has 5 seasons of 100+ points, for his career he has 938 career points at the age of 28, add what could have been if he was healthy, that’s another 190 points then count what he can accomplish in anther 10 years, another 1,000 and we are looking at 2,100+.

Yes I know that ranks him below Wayne Gretzky, but it places him above the legends like Mark Messier, Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemiuex and any other player that has laced them up.

What If The NBA Didn’t Have A Salary Cap?

If you thought that either Big 3 of the Boston Celtics with Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce or The Heatles with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh seem unfair to the rest of the league, imagine.

Imagine if a big market team like the Los Angeles Lakers could send Kobe Bryant out in style with teammates like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. How fair would that be? In baseball it’s common to spend, spend and spend some more with hopes of you getting that fantasy lineup.

The New York Yankees have done it forever but what if the NBA could? Each season the salary cap rises and soon they will do away with the luxury tax so teams like the Celtics and Heat Big 3 will be a distant memory to what will be placed on the floor in the near future. All Star lineups vs D-League rosters.

What if Ken Griffey Joined The Yankees Instead Of The Reds In 2010?

I know he wanted to go back home but imagine if he wanted to WIN instead. While with the Cincinnati Reds he still cemented his legacy but injuries and losing managed to take its toll on the Hall of Fame player.

What if he took a step back and thought about rings? Imagine if he took his talents to the Bronx and teamed up with Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jason Giambi and later on his old teammate from Seattle, Alex Rodriguez?

How many rings you think they would’ve squeezed out in 10 years?

The pitching was there, the position players, the coaching and George Steinbrenner was still alive and willing to spend. The possibilities of the ultimate dynasty was there but Griffey wanted nostalgia instead of rings.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]