We would have been intrigued by the continued development of Sugar Bowl MVP wide receiver George Pickens and young linebacker Nakobe Dean. The future would surely seem all cotton candy and long walks on some beach that Florida just re-opened. And somebody would have run the ball well in the absence of D’Andre Swift, because somebody at Georgia always does.
However, even as the Bulldogs dipped only into the first chapter of the playbook in this game, know that a multitude of fans would stand ready and eager to criticize the play-calling of new offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
Masters Sunday passed a week ago, and try to imagine how Rory McIlroy would have avoided winning this time. Rae’s Creek and a drop area come to mind. Or a wild ricochet off a pine tree, a patron’s unopened pimento-cheese sandwich and his shin. McIlroy is not Greg Norman, but he plays him every April.
Earlier, Tiger Woods told Jim Nantz that “things were starting to come together, I was starting to peak,” for the originally scheduled date of the Masters. Pure poppycock. He simply hadn’t been playing enough, his last outing before the game shut down was Feb. 16. He was ready to skip the Players Championship because of back tightness. The world would have had to spend that weekend without him.
And picture how Jon Rahm would have looked in a green jacket, and how somewhere, Seve Ballesteros would have pumped a fist.
The weather that Masters Week was too good to waste. Although, we suspect the azaleas would have been past their prime. If they’re going to get the floral arrangement of this tournament back in sync with a changing climate, maybe it’s time to have a serious discussion about moving the Masters back a few weeks into March.
Currently, just maybe, we’d be living in a world in which Baylor would be your NCAA basketball champion, having come to Atlanta and beaten Dayton in a double-OT thriller to be cataloged among the greatest of games. And picture the broadcaster’s joy at airing a final between the nation’s No. 63 television market (Dayton) and No. 82 (Waco).
And having been tossed about like a piece of quartz in a rock tumbler at Daytona in February, picture Ryan Newman returning this weekend at Richmond. It’s an absurdly optimistic scenario, but Newman is as tough and resilient as any Amazon driver right now.
The Braves would have had a soft launch in April, with 14 of their first 18 games that month against suspect teams coming off losing records last season. Fully half of those were against the Marlins, the team over which the Braves enjoyed a 15-4 advantage a year ago. Reason to suspect what would have been a heady start for the home team.
Even if Ronald Acuna had carried his springtime slump into the first month of the season, he should have been rousing about now. That means it would have been the San Francisco Giants’ turn to pay this weekend. I see flipping bats and flying batting helmets.
Wonder how many wins King Felix would have had by now? Let’s say a couple, since we own the fantasy.
The NBA playoffs were scheduled to begin this weekend, and LeBron James no doubt already would have lodged his first dozen high-pitched complaints with the league’s officials. Luka Doncic would be getting his first postseason exposure, and Trae Young wouldn’t. There’s always a little surprise hiding in the weeds of the usually rote first round – let’s say it would have been the Orlando Magic stealing a game from Milwaukee. Atlanta, a feverish NBA market, would be just buckling in for the interminable duration of the full season following the season.
It would have been something – which almost always beats nothing.