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Think Reverse. Understand Today

"If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday."

This statement once said by Pearl Buck, a writer and Nobel Prize winner, is one that is precise and direct regarding the everyday challenge that is life. Many times we come to the proverbial fork in the road and ponder the effects of the next vital decision. What should I do? How does this effect things? What will happen now? These are all questions that arise after specific events occur in the course of history. However, these events and decisions do indeed alters things. It changes us, our world and the way we perceive it. That's just life. We learn, we adapt, we move on.

However, have you ever wondered what would happen if certain things occurred differently? How would things be different or if they would be different at all. The questions of "what if?" resounds in many of our thoughts and imaginations. With that said, I've decided to compile a top ten list of events which intrigue me, if they indeed occurred differently.

With that said, let's begin...

10. What if... Jeremy Giambi Slid? - Ah yes, the very famous "Jeter flip play". As a Yankee fan, this play has been a fixture in not only my childhood, but my entire culture. He's Derek Jeter. Who else can make that play? However, we can't be naive. Mr. Jeter had some help from Jeremy Giambi at home plate, who for a few seconds, forget his baseball instincts, smarts and common knowledge and elected to go into standing up. What if he slid? He without a doubt would've been safe. Mike Mussina, who pitched a gem in that 1-0 win to kick off the Yankees comeback from 0-2 must have gotten into trouble that inning. Maybe the A's put on a few more and put an end to the mighty Yankees dynasty. Maybe even a possible World Series birth with then, Mulder, Hudson and Zito. But no, Mr. Giambi did not slide and he was tagged out at home. From all New Yorkers, Thank You Mr. Giambi.

9. What if...WCW was purchased by Fusient Media? - Good ole' World Championship Wrestling. The company that had so many resources with great potential, yet, no leadership. WCW was once the number one wrestling promotion in the world. Yes wrestling fans, even at one time ahead of World Wrestling Entertainment and New Japan Pro Wrestling. However, in an evil part of wrestling history, Vince McMahon purchased WCW before Eric Bischoff could find a bidder for the fledgling company. WCW fell on hard times and was up for sale by AOL-Time-Warner. Eric Bischoff, who tried everything under the sun to find financial backers to buy WCW, wanted to guide the company back to prominence. He came close with Fusient Media, bought a deal could not be finalized. Before a deal could be agreed upon, Vince McMahon and the WWE swooped in and bought out its fiercest rival ever, monopolizing the wrestling industry in the United States.

However, what if Eric Bischoff got Fusient Media to purchase WCW? Would WCW be neck and neck with WWE right now? Would the program still be on Monday nights? Although the TNA and many other up and coming companies probably would not have been created, wrestling for sure would probably be a whole lot better. Nonetheless, as a TNA fan - Thank You Vince McMahon. Funny how irony works.

8. What if...Lebron James went to College? - Well I am sure you know this guy's story. Basketball prodigy. Number one draft pick. Millionaire. Husband and father. Next Big thing. And only twenty-one.

What if Mr. James wet to college? Where would he go? How many championships would he have won? From reports and interviews conducted with James during his first year, Lebron made reference to possibly attending Syracuse University alongside Carmelo Anthony - a good friend of his. If LeBron attended, would Carmelo still opt for the NBA? If not, is that duo fathomable in college? How unfair would that be?

Come to think of it, the long-term out come would probably be the same. Lebron would still be a child prodigy, number one draft pick, a millionaire, a husband and father, and yes - the next big thing. But that middle, short term is so much fun to imagine.

7. What if...Whitney Houston never married Bobby Brown? - Ok. Maybe this is unfair. Albeit, there is no hard evidence that Brown was indeed a negative influence on her, we're going to assume she never even met the guy. Pre-Mr."It's my Peroggative", Houston was an unbelievable performer. Whether it be through music or on the screen, she was gifted and an inspiration to many. On her way to being a possible cultural icon. Than the train wreck hit. A train named Bobby. Well hey, I guess it's just their perrogative.

6. What if...The Portland Trailblazers selected Michael Jordan? - Sam Bowie. Poor Sam Bowie is the cause for this question. Same Bowie was selected second, ahead of , yes, Michale Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft. One has to ponder, what if the Blazers knew what they know now and selected Jordan with the second overall pick, how would the NBA's history shakeout? Nonetheless, if the greatest player to play the game of basketball played on the West Coast, how many people would have missed out on opportunities to see him. Without Pippen, would he have won a championship? How marketable would he have been in a city such as Portland, Oregon? Maybe Michael would have ruled the west and opened up the East for yearly snubs such as the Knicks and Pacers. Possible Knicks championship? I hate you Same Bowie.

5. What if...Tupac & The Notorious B.I.G. were still alive? - Without a shadow of a doubt, the two greatest rappers to ever grace a microphone and inner city legends to those on the east and west coasts. If they did not B.I.G. didn't die, would Jay-Z have become has large as he did? Would the east coast/west coast battles have continues? How many more movies would it have been before Tupac won an Oscar? How good would rap be right now? How great would rap be right now? Rap sucks right now. Their presence on the art form was larger than we though.

4. What if...OJ was guilty? - Oh boy, this one stirs the mind a little. The so called, "Trial of the Century" touched on many ethical and racial issues. It was seen as a trial that expanded ones thoughts on thinking beyond the box. Yet, at the same time, conformed one's thinking based on the color of their skin. The trial grew from an interesting and evidence based trial which captured the nation, into a racial divide which saw minorities begin to back OJ due to other injustices. Though, a very groundbreaking and dare I say, "revolutionary" trial because of its meaning to society, if the outcome was any other way than what it was, things might have gotten ugly. Riot, Protests or even Peace? Would Johnnie Cochran become Johnnie Cochran? Who knows? One thing is for sure, the nation would definately be different today.

3. What if...Darryl Strawberry stayed clean? - Now you may be wondering, why is Strawberry so high on the list? Here is why...Strawberry and Doc Gooden in there day were the poster boys for illegal drugs. They were those guys. Those guys than fans were just unbelievably upset with them because of their drug habits. Strawberry definitely cheated himself out of great career. Darryl was a 5 tool player. He was the epitome of speed and power and dare I say, could have been in that Barry Bonds' echelant in baseball. He was just so talented. It's a shame that we will never know. Drugs and sports. Such and ugly pair.

2. What if...Al Gore won the 2000 election? - Obviously, this election was as screwed up as Michael Jackson in his latter years, but with all the controversy surrounding it, especially during a very transitional and crucial time, what if Mr. Gore won? Who knows what state this country would be in? Would the economy be better? What would be our stance in world affairs? And most of all, how would he have handled September 11th and the post 9/11 effort?

With that said, it brings me to my number one "What if..." and its...

1. What if...The World Trade Center Towers never fell - definitely a hard concept for mostly all of us to grasp, especially with the emotional and spiritual attachments that come with it. However, just try to just place your self in a period where the Towers were still constructed. What if those hijackers never made it passed security to get on those planes? What would our alert level be of terrorist groups? How would our mind set be geared towards Muslims and people of middle-Eastern descent. Do we still take life for granted?



Tough call.

Sometimes, thinking in reverse and assuming the other possibility, helps us truly understand today.

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