I’m replaying the game in my mind, but this time, instead of ‘wide right’, the pigskin sails between the uprights and the Buffalo Bills win Super Bowl XXV in 1991.
I’m replaying it in my mind, and instead of a Nashville ‘miracle’ in 2000, the throwback is correctly ruled a forward pass and disallowed. The Bills win and continue their march to Super Bowl XXXIV.
The 13 seconds on the clock harmlessly expire with the Bills beating the Chiefs to advance to the next round as heavy favorites for Super Bowl LVI, here in 2022. That’s how I see it, when I replay it in my mind, my way.
If only it was that simple.
If only it was that simple, Bill Buckner stops the ground ball from going between his legs and my beloved Red Sox win the ‘86 World Series instead of waiting another 18 years.
If only it was that simple, Brett Hull’s winning goal in triple overtime of a Stanley Cup final in ‘99 is ruled ‘no goal’ *, my Buffalo Sabres go on to win the coveted Cup. They still haven’t won it.
All Curtis Strange had to do was par the 18th hole at Oak Hill for Team USA to win the ‘95 Ryder Cup. He didn’t, a pall fell over the course while the Euros danced in celebration, and the short walk home was devastatingly long. If only it was that simple.
Winning, like Life, just isn’t that simple. As fans, we know it all too well. Losses are gut wrenching, especially when the contest looked won, only to have “defeat snatched from the jaws of victory”. Nevertheless, we continue to follow our favorites, mourning the losses and celebrating the victories. As sport fans, we come to grip with the good and bad and wait for another day, a different fate, a better one.
And there are better ones!
“Do you believe in miracles” became a classic sports call in the 1980 Olympics when the underdog US team went on to beat the Russians and Fins to win gold. A wonderful moment for Team USA Hockey fans
My Buffalo Bills roared back from a 35-3 deficit to beat the Houston Oilers in the greatest comeback ever in NFL history on a cold January day in 1993. What a moment!
The Boston Red Sox defeated arch rival NY Yankees 4 games to 3 after trailing 3 games to 0, then moved on to win the 2004 World Series.
Sportscaster Jim McKay described sports as ‘the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat‘, so it is with fans who experienced both. And when the season is done, all that’s left are the high and low memories of close calls and ‘what ifs’ . Collectively, we share with other fans the universal mantra…
“WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!”
Steve B (srbottch.com)
for Pete Springer (petespringerauthor.WordPress.com) and sport fans everywhere
* the Brett Hull call that won the game was correct