What If? No. 3: What If Mike Jones Missed His Tackle On Kevin Dyson?

Mike DiPietroCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2009

"What If?" deals with certain moments in sports history that I will examine, make up a different outcome to that moment, and predict the effects it will have on the future of sports history.

For previous articles on this series, visit my profile and look under "What If?"

In Super Bowl XXXIV (34), the high-powered St. Louis Rams faced a surprising opponent, the Tennessee Titans.

The game came down to the final minutes, and the final play.

With St. Louis leading 23-16 with six seconds left in the game, Steve McNair and the Titans were at the Rams 10-yard line. They just used their final timeout, and needed the one play to tie up the game and send it into overtime.

McNair throws the ball through the middle to wide receiver Kevin Dyson, but just as he was about to run in the endzone, Rams defender Mike Jones grabbed and wrapped Dyson up, one yard short.

Dyson's shoulder hit the turf before the ball crossed the goal line. The Titans could not stop the clock, and the Rams won the Super Bowl.

Now, what if Mike Jones somehow missed his tackle?

Well, Kevin Dyson scampers into the endzone for the game-tying score, and this game goes into overtime tied at 23.

The Titans get the ball first, and they methodically move down the field starting from their own 10-yard line.

McNair, tight end Frank Wycheck, and Kevin Dyson all contributed in the game-winning drive.

Al Del Greco kicks the game-winning 23-yard field goal to give the Tennessee Titans their first Super Bowl ever. Kevin Dyson, with his clutch efforts, wins the Super Bowl MVP award.

When the 2000 season starts, Mike Jones is cut from the Rams, after coming up short of the tackle in the Super Bowl.

Kurt Warner still is the starter for the St. Louis Rams, despite rumors of him "not feeling up to playing football anymore". His team, losing Dick Vermill to retirement, loses its composure, and ends up missing the playoffs at 9-7.

Kurt Warner ends up staying with the Rams for the rest of his career, because of the "potential" the Rams' owners believe he still has to bring St. Louis their first championship.

However, Kurt is nothing but a failure, leading his team to the playoffs just once in his remaining four seasons.

Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk, and Issac Bruce all ask to be traded during the 2000 year. None of them ever want to wear a Rams uniform again.

Meanwhile, the Titans end up going back-to-back. Steve McNair still retires with the Ravens, but he is now regarded as a "Hall-of-Famer" because of his rings.

Jeff Fisher leads his Titans to seven consecutive AFC South championships, overshadowing Peyton Manning and his Colts.

Kurt Warner ends up retiring in 2003, and works at his local Stop-N'-Shop with no championship rings, bagging groceries yet again, ending a broken dream.

If you have any ideas for more What If?'s, please comment this article of any of my other articles. Thanks!