This is the last day I will be at the bar for about three weeks, so treasure the witty banter today and this weekend as if it were a free keg.
Although you should get plenty of that (the banter, not free beer) in the next few weeks as Sun sports columnist Kevin Cowherd takes over here and blogs a couple times a week in the traditional Connolly’s format (hey, this dive is almost two years old. That’s a fledgling tradition in my opinion).
Kevin will be serving up drinks, jokes and Maryland basketball talk, among other things. I’m not sure whether I want to give him the key to the wine cellar, though. I am not sure I can trust him with the good stuff. I’ll be back mid-March, but I may check back once or twice to make sure the authorities haven’t closed Cowherd down.
To send me on my temporary way, I figure we’ll go hypothetical today, as we do here on occasion. Gatorade has been sponsoring a “Replay” campaign in which they recreate a great game of yesteryear starring the former participants, such as a high school football game played by 30-somethings.
I’m going to steal this concept, and put on my own twist.
I want you to pick out one game in Baltimore sports history to have replayed. It can be college, pros, whatever.
Here’s the catch, since we are working with fantasy here: The replay will be played now but with the athletes in their primes – they’ll jump on the dusty Connolly time machine. So if you want to recreate Game 7 of the 1971 World Series, you get Frank and Brooks in their glory but also Roberto Clemente at his clutch best.
Now, here’s the other wrinkle: The game you replay may not end up the way you want it to. You won’t know until it unfolds. For instance, let’s assume you pick the 1958 NFL Championship between the Colts and the New York Giants because you want to experience first-hand the Greatest Game Ever Played.
Would be a great choice, but perhaps this time Ameche gets stopped at the goal line. Or maybe Frank Gifford gets that first down and the Giants limp to victory. It would be awesome to witness that game with your own eyes, but it will come with a risk. The Colts might end up as bridesmaids if you mess with history.
The flip side is that maybe a game that crushed the Baltimore fan base – Game 7s versus the Pirates, anyone? – gets reversed in your favor.
It has to be a game. Understand? (I am typing slow and making things simple in case some of Cowherd’s loyal readers got here early).
Here’s my choice: Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS in Yankee Stadium. Maybe, just maybe, Richie Garcia gets a little bit better look at Jeter’s fly ball a second time around. Maybe the Orioles win that one, get to the World Series and delay – maybe completely halt – the Yankees’ dynasty of the late 90s before it starts.
Probably not, but we’re talking fantasy here. So play along. And have a good late February.
Daily Think Special: If you could replay one game in Baltimore sports history, which would it be?