Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Copping out: More countdowns

In reality, I would use this blog to make timely commentary on sports events as they happen. That's what a blog is, isn't it? But I have a problem. I want to be unique. I want to stand out (even if only, like, six people read my blog). So because there are 15,741,901 sports blogs operating in this country (number is approximate), I don't want mine to just become another one of those. Besides, now that I don't have a daily sports countdown to tend to any more, I update about as often as Minnesota has a pleasant spring day.

So I'm starting a new countdown. This one will be dedicated entirely to baseball. I've decided to rank the best elimination games in baseball history, and write about each one, going from worst to first.

So what's an elimination game? It's any game where both teams face win-or-go-home situations. In other words, at game's end, one team walks off the field dejectedly, and the other revels in much rejoicing. I'll be ranking all the Game 7s of the World Series and the two League Championship Series, the Game 5s of any playoff series that was only a best-of-3, and any tiebreaker playoff game.

I won't be ranking them all together, though. Conceivably, someone could compare Game 7 of an LCS against Game 7 of a World Series, but those are different animals, different levels of stress. I'm separating them out. The World Series Game 7s will be their own category. There have been 35 of those. The League Championship Series (both leagues) will be a separate category; there have been 31 that have gone the distance since they were introduced in 1969. The third category will be all "other" situations: Game 5 of a Divisional Series; the tiebreaker games that occur after a dead heat in the regular season; and three seasons where, with help of the scheduling gods, two teams entered the final game of the regular season tied and were coincidentially scheduled to play each other on the final day.

(As an aside, I find it somewhat remarkable that in the 220 seasons that have happened since 1901 (110 for each league), there have been only three seasons where two teams entered the final game tied and ended up playing each other in the last game.)

So when will I start? Probably tomorrow. That's the beauty of this countdown; I'm not obligated to have a new post each day. I can have a few days off in between there. Hopefully, that means my writing will be better. Who knows?

I'll start with the "other" games and work my way up to LCS games and the World Series games. And since I'm starting with the worst, the first several will, obviously, be quite boring games. But don't worry. The exciting ones will come before too long.

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