Bottom Of The Tenth

by Admin

It’s the bottom of the tenth. The game is tied 2-2. Aramis Ramirez leads off the inning, and takes ball four. Kosuke Fukudome is up next, and reaches second on a throwing error by the second baseman, advancing Ramirez to third. Mark DeRosa hits a shallow fly ball to center, and Geovany Soto strikes out. After Reed Johnson is intentionally walked, Micah Hoffpauir steps in to pinch hit for reliever Bob Howry. Hoffpauir promptly hits a single to deep center, and Ramirez scores to help the 2008 Chicago Cubs beat the… 1908 Chicago Cubs?

Yes you read that right. How do you think that makes Cubs fans feel? That their 2008 squad, who recorded their most wins (97) in over 60 years, the same team that couldn’t get out of the first round last year, could’ve handedly beaten the legendary 1908 squad? It must suck. Thankfully I’m not a Cubs fan.

So, how do I know all this?

Because of the geniuses behind WhatIfSports, you are free to match up any two teams from any of the four major sports leagues, plus college basketball and football. Interested if the 2007-2008 Montreal Canadiens could’ve beaten the last Canadiens team to win the Cup? Apparently not. Thanks to stellar goaltending by Patrick Roy and a late third period scored by Kirk Muller (and assisted by Vincent Damphousse and Eric Desjardins,) the 1992-1993 Habs surged to a 3-2 victory over their 2007-2008 brethren. Cool eh?

A goaltending duel for the ages? (Think last season...)

A goaltending duel for the ages? (Think last season...)

What about football? With so many teams (over 100) competing each year, its often hard to tell who is the greatest college team in recent memory. Many people agree that the 2005 USC Trojans, featuring two Heisman winners (QB Matt Leinart and HB Reggie Bush) top the list. But they are very very wrong. No one can match up to the 2001 Miami Hurricanes, a team which I met while they were staying in the same hotel as me for the 2002 Rose Bowl. So what does WhatIfSports have to say about the subject?

A 45-16 blowout, even with the game being played in Pasadena. The Trojans could not stop Clinton Portis, who rushed for 194 yards and a touchdown, adding 30 yards and a touchdown through the air. Leinart was constantly harrased by the the vaunted Canes defense (Ed Reed, Johnathan Vilma, Vince Wilfork and more), getting sacked five times and completing only 29/46 for 281 yards and a pick.

The site does basketball too, even providing a play-by-play account of the game. Many people think the 2008 Celtics, led by Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, rank as one of the greatest teams of all-time. But could they beat the Phil Jackson-coached Jordan-Pippen-Rodman team of 1995-1996 (72-10)? Not even close. The Bulls cruised to a 99-86 victroy, led by Jordan’s 30 and Pippen’s 28, with Kevin Garnett spending most of the game on the bench due to foul trouble.

As a die-hard sports fan, I’ve been waiting for something like this for a very very long time. A huge fan of the ’01 Hurricanes, I’ve had to listen to endless people tell me how their team in a different year was much better. Though this is not entirely accurate (obviously), I now have proof that my Canes reign supreme.

With six-sport functionality, this is an ideal time-spender for the casual sports fan, especially perfect for die-hards like myself. Where else can you see matchups like this? I used to let my cousin play as the ’85 Chicago Bears in an an older Madden, while I played as some crappy team like the Lions. Thanks to my skill I’d easily beat her, but according to WhatIfSports, the Bears would OBLITERATE a team like the winless ’08 Lions, with Walter Payton finishing with over 200 yards and 4 TDs.

How about the endless 1972 Dolphins – 2007 Patriots debates we heard not too long ago? Thanks to the double-QB attack of Earl Morrall and Bob Griese, the Dolphins would win a close one , 21-14. But not to worry Pats fans, simulate it enough times and you’re bound to find a win for your Pats.

That’s the beauty of WhatIfSports. It truly is random, but still based on their own assigned skill levels for players. I could probably eventually have the ’08 Lions beat the ’85 Bears, but due to its near-impossibility, it would be pretty hard. There is also a “Leagues” feature which seems cool, but due to it not being free, I haven’t really checked it out. Like I’ve already said, this is a perfect website for any sports fan out there. For free, they can see any matchup. Ever. Just head over to their site, highlight “SimMatchup”, and enjoy.

P.S. I forgot to explain exactly how to do it. Once you’ve highighted “SimMatchup” and chosen your sport and your two teams, click “set away” and “set home”, and then the play button should appear. Make sure you have your pop-up blocker disabled. Enjoy.