5 Things that Would Be Different in the Sports World if the South Had Won the Civil War
What if Bill Buckner wouldn't have let the ball trickle between his legs in 1986? Would the Red Sox have gone on to score in the top of the 11th, ultimately breaking the Curse of the Bambino? Would Buckner have been celebrated instead of villified, earning more than 2% of the vote in his first time on the Hall of Fame ballot? Or would Keith Hernandez have hit a game winning home run in the 11th, thus vaulting him in many people's minds above Tom Selleck on the "Best Mustache of the 1980s" list?
CSA: The Confederate States of America, Kevin Willmott's new thought-provoking mockumentary, asks a similar what-if question: What if the South had won the Civil War? Scenes of Abraham Lincoln escaping via the Underground Railroad and the CSA clashing with "Red Canada" are inspired, to say the least. But Willmott's adventure in conjecture makes me wonder: How would the sports world be different if the South had won the Civil War?
Ostensibly, there wouldn't be too much change. Texas would have still won the BCS Football Championship and College World Series last year, University of North Carolina would still have won the NCAA basketball championship in 2005 and Baylor would have won the women's tourney. But dig deeper, and you will find that the American sports landscape as we know it would be turned on its head. Below I venture to examine 5 Things that Would Be Different in the Sports World if the South Had Won the Civil War:
1. NASCAR Would Be America's Pastime:
If there's one thing Southerners like as much as a lynching (<-obvious satire), it's NASCAR. There's nothing they like more than watching a bunch of grown men in jumpsuits making five hundred left turns on a Sunday. Monday Night Football would effectively be replaced by Monday Night Racing. Cooperstown would be replaced by Daytona. Darrell Waltrip would be bigger (figuratively) than John Madden. And Jefferson Gordon would be President of the Confederate States of America...and shooting your hunting partner with birdshot would be legalized.
2. Denny's Wouldn't Just Sponsor the Pro Bowler's Association...They'd Sponsor Every Sport!
Athletic companies are inherently Northern...Nike=Oregon, Reebok=Massachusetts, adidas=Germany. Restaurant chains that lead to obesity are inherently Southern...Denny's=South Carolina, Hooters=Georgia, Popeye's Chicken=Georgia. It's safe to say sponsorship as we know it would be turned upside down if the South had won the great war. "Welcome to the US Track & Field Championships, presented by White Castle."
3. Tiger Woods Would Be Known as the Greatest Golfer Never to Play in a PGA Event.
I think it's safe to say that if the South won the Civil War, African-Americans would still be banned from the golf links to this day. Hootie Johnson would be OK with having an African-American as his caddie, but if someone without lilly white skin were to pick up a club, chaos would ensue. Eldrick Woods (nobody would bother to call him "Tiger") would still bang the ball 300 yards, but not on the PGA Tour. He would probably be relegated to the NPGA tour (you can surmise what the "N" stands for), and be nicknamed "Cool Papa" Woods. Fuzzy Zoeller, of course, would still be just as racist as ever.
4. Nobody Would Watch Ice Hockey
Guess no change there.
5. NBA Would Be a Bunch of 5'9 White Guys
Have you ever wanted to watch a starting lineup consisting of Luke Ridnour, Jason Williams, Troy Murphy, Wally Szczerbiak and Chris Mihm? Neither have I. But if the North had not defeated the South, you can bet there would be no emancipated slaves, and hence just a bunch of chumps tossing the round ball into peach baskets.
All-Star Dunk Contest? Forget about it. Coach Carter? Would be portrayed by Tom Hanks. Short-shorts? All the rage. Air Jordans? More like Ground Murphys. NBA franchises in Canada? Not a chance. Washington Wizards? Try Washington Grand Wizards. Philadelphia 76ers? Philadelphia Antebellums. Golden State Warriors? Golden State Subjugates. And Spike Lee...no seats closer than fifth row.