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Editorial: The DC (Sports) Multiverse

by Mike Lunsford, Editor

We’ve all heard of the multiverse. If you’re reading this website, I’m sure you know what the multiverse is. IN CASE you don’t know or are not 100% percent, the simplest way to explain the multiverse is thusly: there are other worlds where the people who inhabit it are different than they are here. It can be VAST differences (see Hunter Zolomon in season 2 of The Flash if you need a good example), but also only slightly different. It really depends.

ZOOM…slightly different and voiced by Tony Todd. His voice alone will scare the pants off most people.

In our modern times, I am one of those oddities that loves both sports and the nerdy pursuits. As a DC sports fan, my fandom consists of a renewed hope every year that one of my teams will bring home a championship… and then having that hope smashed to pieces by incompetence, ineptitude and sometimes just sheer bad luck or insane breaks of chance. Since I choose not to drown my sorrows with alcohol, drugs or other vices (well…maybe eating my feelings…that might be a vice) I choose the high road! I choose to play the “what-if” game and create a DC Sports Multiverse! This should be a lot of fun! (The only way to have successful teams in DC at this point is to write a story about them. God, that’s sad. If I wasn’t so excited about this idea I might cry). 

Just like our friend, Barry Allen on The Flash has done, I will be perusing the DC (Sports) Multiverse to find some help. In fact, maybe one of these “elseworlds” will show me something that doesn’t border on stomach ulcers and depression when it comes to sports. 

**If you want to listen to an impromptu podcast Steve Monnich and I did about the subject, you can listen below 🙂 **

 

Earth 2 

everything looks old…but is advanced? That’s steam-punky I guess.

Hmmm, this world seems very similar. It’s got a cool retro vibe, very steam punk-y. I like it! Let’s take a look back at history and see what’s different. 

Oh dear…it’s very different. BUT IN A GREAT WAY! 

Apparently, 1992 was a benchmark year for DC Sports teams. The football team won the Super Bowl in January. However, it was not without protest. Native Americans take offense to the racist nickname of the team. A tribe picketed the big game asking for the team to change it. In a stunning move, owner of the team, Jack Kent Cooke’s limo got a flat tire on the way to NFL Championship Game. No local motorists would stop to help him except for a local Native American chief who owned a tow truck. As he helped Mr. Cooke, the two began talking. The Chief was able to talk ol’ Jack into a sweat lodge. Consequently, Jack starts to have a vision quest and finally sees the chief’s point about the name being racist. After Washington won the big game against the Houston Oilers (AHHHH! First big change!!!! What a twist!!!), Mr. Cooke announces his change of heart, not dissimilar to the Grinch’s unexpected heart growth. He changes the name of the team to the Washington Warriors. The Chief, standing next to Mr. Cooke as he makes the announcement whispers in Jack’s ear “I was going to curse DC sports teams if you didn’t change the name.” Jack laughs at the chief.

How sad is it that when you Google “Washington Super Bowl” most of the pics are black & white? I mean…on Earth 1… haha

“By God, man. Could you image that? A city that has 3 major sports teams and could get a baseball team being cursed to never win a championship again? That would be bloody insanity! The people of this area would lose their damned minds!”  The Chief shares in Mr. Cooke’s laugh and pats him on the shoulder.

“Oh, it would have been worse than that. They wouldn’t even make it to conference championships!” The two toast each other with glasses of champagne and share a hearty chuckle. 

My God, how could that one event effect the rest of this world? Let’s look at the effects of this change of heart by Jack Kent Cooke or “Jack-point” (see what I did there?) 

  • Because DC teams are no longer cursed, those flukey bounces of fate no longer befall the teams. 2012 is an incredible year for sports in DC. 
    • The Washington Capitals, fresh off of hiring team legend Dale Hunter mid-season, manage to make incredible headway as an 8 seed. They defeat the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Bruins, they manage to pull off an upset against the #1 seeded New York Rangers. They held a 2-1 lead in Game 5 and managed to hold on, even after a high sticking call against Joel Ward (in our world, this penalty lead to the latest Power Play goal in NHL Playoffs history and subsequent Rangers win in OT). The Caps easily defeated the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals then shocked the hockey world when the beat the Los Angeles Kings in 7 games, finally bringing a Stanley Cup to the city that has seen them lose in gut-wrenching fashion so many times in the past. 

      Oh video games…you’re the only way to have the Caps with a Cup. Oh yeah, on Earth 1 I mean. Whatever. Still mad.

      Braden Holtby, the Caps goaltender wins the Conn Smythe trophy for MVP of the playoffs, the first rookie to do so in decades. This caused the Washington, D.C. area to erupt in celebration and changed the fate of another cursed team in 2012:

    • The Washington Nationals, in only their 7th season in DC since their relocation from Montréal qualify for the playoffs. Instead of blowing a 6 run lead in pivotal game 5 of the series, closer Drew Storen holds on for dear life and ends the game with a strike out of Daniel Descalso to end the game. When interviewed after the game, Storen is quoted as saying “If the Caps can do it, I can throw a strike or 2.” 

      “YEAH!!! WE WON, TOO!! NUTS TO THIS DC CHOKES THING!!!”

And all of that just because of a some mild hallucinations caused by dehydration. Let’s travel to another world; one I call…

Earth RGIII

Finally, a whole planet for my giant ego to reside in!

  • So this world is mostly the same with the exception for a few oddities. People’s names are mostly the same, but their personalities are quite different. In the case of the DC sports teams, Washington football franchise owner Danny Snyder (He likes being called Danny) is a generous and kind philanthropist. He is known to be a patient, thoughtful, caring owner who trusts the coaches and leadership of his team. Unfortunately, his good-natured personality has not yielded great success on the field.The team has been competitive, but they are missing something. A top flight quarterback, as his leadership has evaluated, would make all the difference for this team. Danny decides to take a risk on a college kid named Bobby Griffin (his real name is Robert Griffin III but, that sounds like some crusty, old white guy who runs an investment firm. Who would CHOOSE to be called that name?) Since Snyder sees a great deal of potential in Griffin, he trades many of his draft picks to get Griffin, who also is a top flight baseball prospect, known for being able to steal bases, and LOVES to slide when doing so. Furthermore, he leads the Washington Football Club to the playoffs on the strength of his legs and ability to avoid big hits by SLIDING (this universe, American Football teams are named like European Futbol clubs).  They make it all the way to Uber Bowl and defeat the Cleveland Football Club (Because There should be no Ravens, just as the Colts should never have left Baltimore. Indianapolis eventually got an expansion team…I guess. The place is about as exciting as a root canal).  

    “Hail to the team from DC!” (It’s not as catchy, but it’s not racist!)

    After their incredible Uber Bowl victory, Griffin and Snyder have a heart to heart. Danny warns Bobby not to let the success go to his head and that the best thing for him to do is trust his coach, Ed Shanahan. Ultimately, the two work on improving Bobby’s game so that the following year, their innovative offense isn’t exploited. Wow, what a concept, huh?

    Alright, let’s head back to our Earth before I pull a Barry and ruin the timeline.

     

    DAMNIT BARRY!!!!

In summation:

  • Earth 2 has a reasonable former owner of Washington’s football team change the name and the “butterfly effect” changes the entire DC sports spectrum for years to come.
    • The Capitals break out of that “chokers” narrative of the mid 80s to early 90s and win a cup in 2012.
    • The Nats show that they can win a big game in the playoffs in their first playoff series.
  • Bobby Griffin on Earth 3 knows how to slide and saves his career. Not only that, because Danny Snyder is not a younger, possibly more greedy version of Mr. Burns like he is here on Earth 1, Bobby Griffin doesn’t get an over-inflated ego and ruin his chances of any goodwill in DC. 

Do I have more of these sports “elseworlds?” Yes, I do indeed. But this is just to whet your appetite. Listen to the podcast! Are you from another city that is full of sports misery? Tell me about some of your city’s multiverse counterparts! 

My name is Mike Lunsford, and remember: check back to ComicsOnline.com for everything geek pop culture!

About Mike Lunsford

Mike is an editor at ComicsOnline and a co-host on the ComicsOnline podcast. He's from the DC area in Virginia. He's also the co-creator of the comic book, Ethan Stone P.I.

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