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What if, Babe? A review of Harry Turtledove’s “The House that George Built”

Nowhere do the seemingly mutually exclusive entertainments of sport and science-fiction come closer than in that simple musing question “what if…?”

In sport, the question is often lamentably formed of second-guessing the decision of manager, general manager, umpire or player. To wit:

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Dispatch from parallel universe: Remembering Super Bowl XXV (Bills 22, Giants 20)

Norwood: Synonymous with "clutch"

O sure, this piece is completely untimely with the World Cup coming to a head, baseball in full gear, and everyone hype on both sides of the ocean about which basketball free agents are going where.

Nevertheless, it’s Buck Bokai’s blog and Buck Bokai pretty much misses NFL football whenever the regular Sunday dosage isn’t forthcoming. For this writer, the love of this game all goes back to 1991 and Super Bowl XXV or, as Buck Bokai prefers to think of it, The Perfect Game.

Wow, remember the Buffalo Bills…?

Those of us who saw this classic matchup of the Bills’ revolutionary hurry-up offense vs. Bill Parcells and defensive coordinator Bill Belichick’s soon-to-be revolutionary defensive schemes will never forget a moment.

There was MVP Thurman Thomas’ 31-yard pinball-bouncing TD run and the Giants’ masterful 9-1/2 minute fourth-quarter drive. There were QBs Jim Kelly and Phil Simms, piling up workman lines: 18-of-30 for 212 yards against 20-of-32 for 222 yards and one TD. Neither threw a pick. Neither offense turned the ball over.

And the game was won the only way it could have been: With a last-second field goal that made the words “Scott Norwood” synonymous with “clutch.”

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“What if?” sports moments (or Without “Without Bias”)

One sphere wherein science-fiction and sports meet nicely is in the realm of alternate universes. O sure, in sports they call it the “What If” game, but endlessly do fans debate what might have been…

Infinite are the parallel universes that splintered off from reality when Bobby Thompson missed Ralph Branca’s inside fastball for strike two, when Harry Frazee took the Chicago White Sox’ offer of $60,000 and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson for Babe Ruth; when Scott Norwood makes the field goal; when the Portland Trail Blazers draft Michael Jordan at no. 2.

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