Friday, August 24, 2012

Historical Revisionism

When did the Red Sox lift the "Curse of the Bambino"?  In 2004, when they won the World Series for the first time since 1918.  

Well, at least for now they won the title back in 2004, and again in 2007.  But for those who remember seeing the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004, remember that others saw Penn State win 4 games and USC win the BCS Championship game that year; we are now told those never happened.  Also that year, Lance Armstrong was seen becoming the first man to win 6 Tours de France, but again, we must have been hallucinating.  

I've just about had it with vacating games and voiding titles, which seems to be getting out of hand.  Look:  I'm used to the fact that a touchdown I see scored on the field may be called back for an illegal block, even if that illegal block did nothing to contribute to the success of the play.  However, for the points to be taken off the board, the flag has to be thrown right after the play -- not sometime in the middle of the next quarter.  Also, the referee has authority only over what happens on the field.  If, for example, it turns out that the wide receiver who made the touchdown catch was involved in a hit-and-run accident on his way to the game, that is a matter for the courts, not the referees.  He may go to jail, but his touchdown should still stand. 

What Sandusky did at Penn State was certainly a hideous crime, and for that crime he has been sentence to essentially life in prison.  What other people did and did not do in relation to this may also have been crimes, but that is a matter for the courts to decide.  It had no more to do with football than the hypothetical hit-and-run mentioned above.  These matters are above the pay grade of the NCAA. 

In the case of Lance Armstrong:  yes, I think he was doping.  It seems too unlikely that such remarkable, even suspicious, success should come to maybe the only pro cyclist who was not cheating.  At the same time, before stripping him of titles, I would want physical proof, not merely testimony, let alone suspicions, and I would want it in a timely manner.

So what coach in major college football now has the record for most wins?  Bobby Bowden.  Assuming, that is, that no ugly charges arise in the next few decades and change the past yet again.  

I have a rule for science fiction:  Except for Doctor Who (where it is the main conceit and has usually been handled adroitly), each series may use time travel only once.  Most of them violate this rule at least to some extent, but what can't be allowed is what happened in Eureka, where at least once a season a major time-travel incident meant that 90% of the episodes you had seen before had now never happened.  Unsurprisingly, Eureka has been cancelled.

Sports is beginning to look too much like Eureka.


  1. I hate when they try to re-write history. Think of the slippery slope that this could lead to - if you are convicted of tax fraud when your 40 they;ll take your high school diploma?

  2. Does the World Series matter now if they can change the winner at any future date?