One ticket, one time machine, one contest

“I’ve got two tickets to paradise”

-Eddie Money

“Doc, you made a time machine out of a Dolorean?”

-Marty McFly


Okay, people, I still have prizes to give away thanks to the good folks at A&E Sports, so let’s put our imaginations to the test.

One of the age old, hypothetical questions guys in bars ask each other after tipping back a few is, if you could travel back in time to see any band at any particular moment in time, who would it be and why?

My answers never sway.  After all, how could one pass up the opportunity to experience a young Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin or Rage Against The Machine in the very first smoke-filled pubs they played?

This time around, I thought I’d incorporate that time travel argument into the glorious world of sports.

Let’s say you had one free pass to travel back in time to witness one team, one sporting event, one season, one very special occasion.  What would it be and why?

Would you travel back to 1927 to see Babe Ruth knock 60 home runs out of Yankee Stadium when the rest of the league could only hit 20?  Would you opt for ringside seats to see a young Cassius Clay shake up the world by knocking out Sonny Liston or perhaps to Hershey, Pennsylvania the night Wilt poured in 100 points?  Would you travel back to 1936 Berlin to see Jesse Owens win four gold medals in track and field, raising a middle finger to Adolf Hitler and single-handedly proving the Arian race was not all it was cracked up to be?  Or would you head back to the mid-70s to attend UCLA where a long-haired redhead named Walton rattled off 88 straight wins under the tutelage of John Wooden?

I’m going to stop spouting out ideas so as not to spoil the fun but I’m giving you all one time machine and one round-trip ticket, so you’re not stuck in Nazi Germany.  The contestant below who can best describe where, when and why they’d like to travel will win another fabulous, SportsChump prize pack.

May the biggest dreamer win.

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71 Replies to “One ticket, one time machine, one contest”

  1. Pingback: One ticket, one time machine, one contest - BallHyped Blog Network, Straight Ballin Blog | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. For me, this is an easy one. Back to 1976 to watch the greatest NBA game ever played. The triple overtime game between the Suns and the Celtics.

  3. The Cs won. Who cares now? I have the game on DVD but I’d love to be in the old Boston Garden to see it live. Glenn McDonald, a guy at the end of the bench, scored eight points in the game, including six in the 3rd overtime. He was the real hero of the game.

  4. That’s a good one. To complete the scene, I guess I could do it all in my hot tub time machine.

  5. Being the Giants fan that I am and considering their rivalry with “da bums” it would be damned difficult not to travel back to the “Shot Heard Round The World” game in which Bobby Thompson rocked not only the Dodgers with his ninth inning walk-off homer but all of baseball! I was about 6 months old at the time…

  6. I’d travel back a couple of thousand years to witness one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

    This was back in the days before fighters were classified by weight. So we had a virtual unknown,lightweight, David, AKA The Hebrew Heat squaring off against the undefeated, undisputed, uncircumcised, super-heavyweight champ, Goliath.

    The fans had barely found a rock to sit on, in fact some were still in the donkey parking lot, burning bush, when David caught Goliath with a lights out shot to the head. Announcer, Shlomo Cosell screamed his most memorable catchphrase… “Down goes Goliath, Down goes Goliath…”

    Fire up the teleporter, Sulu.

  7. On the other hand… Being the 49er fan that I am and considering how arrogant and presumptive the Dallas Cowboys and their fans are… It would really be something to be at the playoff game when Dwight Clark hauled in “The Catch” and pretty much jettisoned the Pokes into several long years of obscurity… I absolutely loved it! Guess I’d have to opt for this!

  8. Friday, February 22, 1980. Tonight, the US men’s Olympic Hockey team faces the more powerful and highly favored team from the USSR. For the Americans it’s as simple as this- win the game and you go to the medal round. As spectators fill the Olympic arena, you can feel the excitement in the air. To this point, the US team has not lost a game in pool play; the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record is a tie with Sweden in their opening game. Still, no one can escape the fact that the Soviets blew the Americans off the ice in a pre-Olympics match just weeks before the Games opened.

    We all know what happened after that. The Russians pulled their #1 goal tender after the US tied the score in the first period. The score went back and forth until Mike Eruzione scored what would be the final goal of the game with 10 minutes left to play. That goal gave the US a 4-3 lead. As the minutes ticked off the clock, you could feel the excitement in the arena that maybe- just maybe- the US would pull it off, and as the final seconds wound down, Al Michaels said it best “Do you believe in miracles.”

    I’m not a hockey fan, but how could anyone NOT want to be a part of that moment. It was pretty spectacular on television; it must have been even more so in the arena that night.

  9. As you’ve probably guessed I’m a baseball guy. The heighth of my fandom was when I was a kid playing little league ball.
    The game that I would most like to go back and witness was the ’67 All Star Game. It lasted 15 innings and was won by the National League boys 2 to 1.
    A great game but it’s the players that competed that made me the lifelong fan I am today.
    Imagine watching guys like Roberto Clemente, Tony Perez, and Bob Gibson facing off against the likes of Mickey Mantle,Brooks Robinson, and Catfish Hunter.
    15 innings watching the greatest in the game. Yea that’s the ticket. Cheers!

  10. Aer…

    Those All-Star Games were something, man.

    I’ve often gone back and looked at some of those starting lineups.

    Simply amazing.

    That wasn’t the year Pete Rose knocked out Ray Fosse, was it?

  11. That’s a cool clip, much appreciated. The irony: I’d just moved back to FL after living in Bayside, Queens for 2 yrs. and was actually rooting for the pinstripers (Mantle, Maris in that one. I remember a tear or two being shed by a certain baseball fan of a tender age after the Maz HR. I saw it on live tv in my 5th grade classroom.

  12. Hot Tub Time Machine is a funny flick, but I’m telling you dude, you’ve got to see Slap Shot. You know how much I hate hockey, but this movie is just too funny to pass up. Most memorable line in the movie: They brought their fuckin’ TOYS with ’em!

  13. The Beatles @ Shea Stadium. I never should have turned down those tkts!! Thought there’d be another chance … sigh. Who knew?

    The SC was just a twinkle in my eye bk then 🙂 … truth is I’m verrry grateful for all I have today … including the best son in the world.

  14. Yaz…

    If I had to choose a baseball one, goodness, I don’t know. I’ve been watching for so many years, suffered through years and years of Red Sox losses until they finally won. Then I became a Rays fan, he he.

    So, if I were to choose baseball?

    Oh, I got one.

    How about getting to watch Satchel Paige pitch.

    I heard stories that the guy would intentionally load the bases, then tell his outfield to go sit down as he proceeded to strike out the side.

    Or maybe travel back to locker rooms around the majors to see who took steroids and who didn’t.

    Now THAT would be a good one.

  15. Snake…

    I’ll give Slapshot another chance.

    Did I tell you about “Goon” yet?

    Check that out, definitely has a slapshot feel to it.

    Let me know what you think once you see it.

  16. The Jets over Colts in Super Bowl III? Because Namath promised he would…
    The ‘Miracle’ Olympic hockey game? Because it was kids vs pros…
    The Indy 500 where Danny Sullivan spins at 200MPH misses the wall and still wins…nah I do that all the time…
    Wilt scoring 100 points? nah he was playing saps back then…
    Maybe Jesse Owens winning those golds because he showed up the warmongering Germans…

    Or my favorite… Ruth (tossing back a whiskey and) pointing to the seats in the 1932 World Series and then hitting the Home Run to win the game.

  17. I saw Goon. A Jewish hockey player? Go figure. I liked it but Slap Shot was better. I think it was one of Paul Newman’s better movies and that’s saying a lot.

  18. That’s why he was different. But he still could have gone to medical school. I’ve known a few brain dead doctors in all my years.

  19. I was going to say the 1997 Sugar Bowl when the Gators beat FSU 52-20 for our first NC in any major sport.

    And then I saw irish’s post. I would definitely say the Miracle on Ice, due to the fact that I am a jingoist unchained.

  20. I would choose to be present at the NCAA final between Texas Western and Kentucky in 1966. Five blacks against five whites in the starting lineups and the result was a clinic that left Wildcat coach Adolph Rupp aghast at the outcome.

    The social significance of the game was obvious coming as it did during the racially charged 1960s. I remember Kentucky forward Pat Riley, a kid from Schectady, N.Y. trying vainly to rally Kentucky. Until that game, no major-college team had ever started five blacks in an NCAA championship game.

    This game changed all that.

  21. PK…

    Yeah, but we watched that game. Intently.

    I’m thinking more along the lines of something we didn’t get the chance to really see.

    Or we could just go relive that night in Atlanta where we saw the Gators win their second national championship in basketball.

    Just gotta avoid swinging by that Ohio State gay bar on the way in.

  22. Jimbo…

    That was actually one game I was going to mention in the piece although I thought mentioning both the Texas Western game and the Berlin Olympics might make some of my minority readers uneasy.

  23. Chris

    For me it would have to be when John Carlos and Tommie Smith stood on the podium at the ” 68 Mexico Olympics having just received their medals in the men’s 200 meters and they raised their clenched fists in protest of the racial injustice as still taking place in the US and this was in the midst of the civil rights era as well in defiance of the Vietnam War .

    Several years after that , I was arrested outside of the South African Embassy in London , while protesting apartheid in South Africa and the unlawful incarceration of ANC activist Nelson Mandela . To this day I’m still politically defiant , especially in light of social injustice .

    Tophatal ………….

  24. What an enjoyable post, SC…I love seeing things never done before, I’m a stats queen 😉 …my choice came quickly to me:
    Game 5 -1956 World Series..Brooklyn Dodgers vs New York Yankees…Don Larsen pitching only perfect game in MLB postseason.
    What’s so startling is I posed the question to my mama, without sharing my thoughts, and she picked the same game!
    Happy New Year to you,
    Dee Dee

  25. September 19, 2006…The mulligan to end all mulligans.

    So I’m at the Dodgers game, right….

    The final game of a 4 game set in which they had already dropped the first 3. The Dodgers load the bases in the 8th but fail to score. I gather the fam, get up in disgust to get a jump on traffic because I have an early start the next day…How cliche’LA of me, right?….as I’m walking up the stairs a dude in a Nomar jersey stands up and points directly in my face from his seat 6 rows from the isle and yells, “Don’t go man…it ain’t over, it ain’t over”.

    I smirk and say, “Yeah it is”

    Descending the exit to the Sunset on ramp we hear the roar of the crowd but don’t think anything of it or turn on the broadcast.

    When I get to work the next day, our secrertary, Roxanne, who knew I was going that night was giddy with her inquiry of, “So, how was the game??”…Because she knew what I didn’t…That 4 home runs, the kind of Roy Hobbs moment we all dream we could claim to have seen live, had happened.

    When I told her, that, “it sucked, we lost” her face dropped. I looked at her confused for a second thinking she was messing with me. Her ghost white, wide eyed, head shaking reaction of, “Oh no honey…you better go to your computer” made me think her reaction was work related. There was no way in hell that I had walked away from an historic event of that magnitude was there?

    I don’t think I got any work done that day. To this day I can’t go anywhere with my kids asking, “Hey dad, you wanna go home now?”

    Needless to say, I have never left a game early again.

    And yes, I kept the ticket stub…in a box of baseball cards in the attic that haven’t been touched since…as an all too real reminder that Forrest was smarter and richer than my dumb ass.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  26. There are so many instances to choose from, but we would probably go down the road of Super Bowl III when the NY Jets faced the Baltimore Colts. Not only was it the beginning stages of the AFL and NFL leagues, but it also was the trigger point of why we now have the name Super Bowl as the last game of every NFL season.

    It was a complete upset. New York was not supposed to win, but did with the help of Joe Namath’s guarantee victory. Nothing is better than witnessing moment’s such as this one and we would’ve loved to be there to see the green and white pull it off.

  27. Al…

    That ’68 Olympics was also one that came to mind, hearing the hush come over the stadium as those two athletes raised their gloved fists in protest.

    Although Mexico wasn’t all that safe back then either. Not that it is now.

  28. Rev, so you’re going to get us some sportschump© loin cloths?

    I won a SC hat… and a tee shirt! Both proudly displayed with my many ‘participant’ trophies in the man cave. Although, I will rock the hat on special occasions… such as a trip to Sonny’s BBQ.

  29. BS…

    Another reader also mentioned that very same Super Bowl but I’m not so sure, of all the Super Bowls, that any of them would make my list.

    Funny how we still rate that one as one of the best simply because of Namath’s bold prediction.

    And notice how no soccer game has even been mentioned yet.

  30. Well if I have to pick a sporting event, I’d say the 1984 Olympics when the USA gymnastics team won. Would of loved to have been there when Little MaryLou won, but if we are going to talk music…I’m with M, the Beatles for sure, the Doors, and Woodstock. You want soccer mentioned, just send me to a game with Beckham or any other English/Irish/Scottish team, it’s the accents, I can’t help myself.

  31. Oh, triple SC, why would you even question!? Of course I’d wear my SC shirt to Don Larsen’s perfect game! Remember, I got that ball thrown to me from James Shields wearing my SC shirt at Fenway! Heck, my SC shirt is on my packing list for my planned visit for the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field in 2014! Unless you have a different color for me? 🙂
    Dee Dee

  32. D…

    I actually did have tan and gray ones made up but they’re all gone.

    I can always put in a special order if you like. The place I get ’em done has tons of colors.

    I only have white ones left.

  33. Chris

    I for one don’t believe many people realize the significance the moment of that event in ’68 ! Then you realize what would then take place in Munich , in 1972 . From thereon-in the world would change forever in everyone’s eyes .

    Tophatal ……..

  34. I would go back and witness the 1986 Masters, where a then 46 year-old Jack Nicklaus shot a 30 on the back nine at Augusta in the final round to pull off one of the greatest comebacks in what is arguably one of the best majors in golf history.

  35. Al…

    Compared to what happened in the Olympics in ’36, ’68, ’72 and then the boycott, I’d say the more recent games have paled in comparison when it comes to overall meaning, ey?

  36. Al…

    Mixed feelings about the Kiffin hire although I’m not sure those in Dallas are too crazy about it.

    Is there nobody out there better to run your defense than a guy in his 70s?

  37. Day after Christmas, 1960. Franklin Field in Philadelphia, where I spent many an afternoon watching the Eagles play a few years after that date. I was only two years old when the Eagles defeated Lombardi’s Packers 17-13 that day for the NFL Championship. There haven’t been a lot of football titles in Philadelphia, Chris. I would love to be within that sold-out stadium in the cold, during the Holiday season, watching Philadelphia win it all.

  38. Lots of excellent moments that I would agree with, but too hard to pick One moment in time. I had thought of the 68 Olympics as was mentioned earlier, as even at 13years old, I understood what they were doing. I do however have to also consider the 1970 NBA Finals, game 7. Knicks vs. Lakers and the inspiriational performance of Willis Reed. Say what you will about the Knicks, but that game and his entrance ont the court after being questionable to even play was what catipulted New Yourk to it’s first NBA win. And this coming from a die hard Laker fan!

  39. 1958 NFL Championship…Colts vs Giants. “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. The game changed football forever!!

  40. SA…

    I hate to break this to ya’ but there probably aren’t going to be any football championships in Philly any time soon either.

    Not unless Jon Bon Jovi can manage an Arena Bowl victory.

    Hey, at least then you’ll have something to celebrate.

  41. Heavy D…

    Is that the game that Frederick Exley wrote about in “A Fan’s Notes?”

    Have you read that book? I’m not sure how much time you’ve got these days but it’s one of the finer sports books ever written.

  42. Yeah, I thought perhaps the golf reference would be rare on here, but it clearly was a huge moment in sports and one that sits with me. Too bad when I was a kid, I didn’t realize that Nicklaus was a Buckeye…

  43. KP…

    Or how about being on the green at 16 when Tiger chips it in from off the grate to absolutely deflate Chris DiMarco.

    Kid hasn’t been the same since.

  44. Ton of sporting events that I’d love to use the good old hot tub time machine for and many good ones have already been listed. Still there is one that comes to my mind that is a lesser known historic moment in baseball history.

    The 1934 MLB All-Star Game at the Polo Grounds. Any game at the Polo Grounds with that many Hall of Famers would be a great experience. But that was also the game where left handed screwball pitcher Carl Hubbell struck out five straight hitters. Their names: Bath Ruth, Lou Gerhig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin. Specifically, Hubbell struck Ruth out on three straight screwballs.

    Must have been quite a sight and an electric atmosphere.

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