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Did Steve Bartman Kickstart SEC Dominance?
by Larry Leo
May 9, 20125 Comments
Reddit.com is claiming that Steve Bartman, the Cubs fan who interfered with a foul ball during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, is responsible for kickstarting a chain of events that led to the SEC's current dominance. The story includes LSU's 2003 BCS title. It's a bit of a stretch, but quite entertaining. Here's an excerpt...
quote:You can read the rest here.
"Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS was on October 14, 2003. We all know what happened, so I'm not going to recount the happenings that horrible night, nor the eventual Game 7 loss the next equally horrible night.
Since the Florida Marlins advanced to the World Series following the Cubs' collapse, they still needed use of their baseball field. At the time, they shared Sun Life Stadium with the Miami Dolphins (an arrangement fans of both teams felt was less than ideal. Because they still needed to use their baseball field, the dirt diamond had to remain for an extra week or two.
On October 19, 2003 the Miami Dolphins hosted the New England Patriots. Olindo Mare, the Dolphins' sure-footed (at that time) kicker, missed two game-winning kicks in the 4th quarter. Both kicks were missed because Mare slipped on the infield dirt of the Marlins' infield. New England went on to win the game in overtime. The Dolphins would end the season with a 10-6 record, missing the playoffs by one game.
The coach of the Dolphins at the time was Dave Wannstedt. Following the 2003 postseason, a second straight postseason without the Dolphins after not missing since 1996, some Dolphins left the team and the team was restructured. Pair that with a poor draft by Wannstedt and company, and 2004 started rough. With Miami's record an embarrassing 1-8, Dave Wannstedt left the team. Two months later, he became coach at Pitt.
In his third season at Pitt, Wannstedt took his team 75 miles south to play #2 West Virginia in the final game of the 2007 season. I'm not going to go into the painful detail here, but we all know Wannstedt pulled a rabbit out of his hat and somehow vaulted that 4-7 team to a victory that night. I've never heard 60k people more silent in my life. I don't think I spoke a word until I had gotten far from the stadium.
The loss knocked WVU out of the national title game, and knocked LSU in. LSU had been upset a week earlier by rival Arkansas, or they would've been in to begin with. The following week, WVU's head coach Rich Rodriguez left the program to coach at Michigan. LSU went on to win the national championship, in what would become the second of six straight (and current) for the SEC."
Filed Under: SEC Sports