Remember That? The Most Overlooked Occurrences of the Decade

Alexander JeffersonContributor IJuly 23, 2010

Remember That? The Most Overlooked Occurrences of the Decade

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    Legacies. They are one of the great things about sports.

    If you accomplish something, you will get remembered. If you accomplish something great, or just good, for that matter, you will get remembered forever.

    From Babe Ruth's "called shot" to Red Auerbach's victory cigars to Scott Norwood's missed field goal, the triumphs and tragedies of sports are forever entrenched in the minds of sports fans.

    But what about the things people don't remember? This is list is dedicated to the most overlooked and forgotten occurrences of the last decade.

    Just look at that picture. You remember what happened. You've been told what really occurred. You think you know the story.

    You don't.

    There are many occurrences that fit this list, so please comment and list ones that you've always said, 'Why don't more people talk about this?'.

    Thanks for reading!

Honorable Mention: Gordon Hayward's Shot

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    I will admit that this is a bit of a reach. Yes, it was only done this year. And yes, I'm sure that plenty of people talk about it.

    But do people realize just how big of a shot this could have been?

    It is not at all a stretch to say that he could have made it, which is the crazy thing. It was literally six inches from going in- and in doing so, it would have been the greatest shot ever.

    The greatest shot of all time. Think about that.

    Every kid who plays basketball dreams of hitting the game-winning shot. The added dimension of that dream is the half-courter, the crazy shot to make the crowd go wild, and turn you into a hero. The bigger part of the dream, of course, is that the shot wins your team the championship.

    Hayward nearly accomplished the impossible. Mind you, this was not the NBA Finals, where legends are made, but don't hold nearly the weight that March Madness does.

    You know about Christian Laettner. You know about Bryce Drew. You know about Tate George. Do you really remember Robert Horry? Or Derek Fisher? Yes...but not in the same way.

    If Hayward's shot goes in, he hits a half-courter on national television, against one of the most-storied teams in college basketball history, to win the national championship by one point (yet another crazy aspect!), for the hometown team.

    A mid-major does the truly improbable and wins a national championship. The hometown team wins the title in absolutely dramatic fashion.

    Butler becomes the new George Mason, Brad Stevens becomes America's darling coach, and Gordon Hayward goes at the end of every highlight, countdown and memory show in sports for the rest of history.

    And Duke gets some karma.

    But as it is, Hayward missed it. People might remember just how close it was, but it seems as though nobody remembers just how amazing it could have been.

Honorable Mention: The 2004 Olympic Team

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    Ah yes, the 2004 USA Olympic basketball team. Let's go for a ride on the roller coaster of reminiscence, shall we?

    Up until those 2004 games, USA basketball held a combined record of 128-2. In the history of the Olympics, American basketball had lost a grand total of two games! Think about that for a moment!

    We all know what happened in 2004- but who was there for the collossal collapse? Carlos Boozer, Amar'e Stoudemire, Stephon Marbury, LeBron James (with one year of NBA experience), Carmelo Anthony (with one year of NBA experience), Dwyane Wade (with one year of NBA experience), Allen Iverson, Shawn Marion, Lamar Odom, Richard Jefferson, Emeka Okafor and Tim Duncan.


    KG didn't play, Kobe didn't play, Shaq didn't play. Not even guys like J-Kidd? Or T-Mac? Ray Allen? Vince Carter? Even someone like Ben Wallace?

    How is is possible that a country with as much star power as the United States has, sends a team to international competition with guys like Richard Jefferson, Lamar Odom and Emeka Okafor?

    Nothing against those guys, but the three of them have made a grand total of zero All-Star games...combined! That's an absolute joke!

    Yes, a big deal was made of this in 2008, and we all got a healthy dose of reminder of the failures of the past as the Redeem Team went on the road to, well, redeem themselves.

    It might be a bit of a lingering thing, but for some reason, I will always be bothered by the lack of talent USA basketball had in 2004, and the lack of pride that guys who didn't play had, no matter how many medals are won in the future.

Honorable Mention: Evan Longoria's Contract

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    Just six games into his Major League career, Evan Longoria signed a six-year contract with the Rays, worth $17.5 million, with incentives of up to $44 million.

    Why is this a big deal, you ask?

    Well for starters, it's pretty unprecedented. He could be a star, he should be a star, and he now is a star...but Tampa Bay didn't know that at the time.

    It's a fairly big gamble to give a guy who has essentially proven nothing almost $20 million, but the Rays did it.

    As it stands, they have one of the best hitters in the game locked up for the future, and have done so at a relatively cheap price, enabling them to put talent around him.

    From Longoria's perspective, what do you do? Do you take the guaranteed money, because it's guaranteed money? Or do you turn down $17.5 million because you think you will be worth more?

    Needless to say, it was an interesting dilemma.

    Could we see this done more in the future? Could the Giants do it with Buster Posey? Could the Marlins do it with Mike Stanton? The potential is endless, and it could change lots of things in the near future.

    Even if nobody remembers it.

Honorable Mention: Chris Petersen

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    Alright, you caught me...Chris Petersen is a person. But nonetheless, he is an overlooked one!

    Yes, he might be recognized. But nobody understands just how good of a coach Chris Petersen is. In fact, when you Google him, Google asks if you meant to search for someone else ("Chris Peterson").

    I don't see anyone spelling asking you if instead of Matt Holliday you meant to say "Matt Holiday", or anyone spelling Nick Saban's name wrong, for that matter.

    Anyway, let's take a look at Petersen's resume.

    Since taking over as coach of the Boise State Broncos in 2005, Petersen is 49-4. He lost at Washington by 14, at then-undefeated Hawai'i by 12, to TCU by one point, and to Chris Johnson's ECU by just 3.

    To put that in perspective, the year before Petersen took over, Boise had a "fantastic" season and went 9-4. Petersen has a winning percentage of 93 percent.

    If you take out the 2007 season, when LT Ryan Clady and QB Jared Zabransky left, and expectations were off the charts, Petersen is 39-1. That's incredible.

    He's beaten Oregon State 42-12 when they went 10-4 on the year, he's beaten Oregon twice, the Ducks going 10-3 and 9-4 in those years, he's beaten Oklahoma when they went 11-3, and he's beaten then-undefeated TCU when they went 12-1.

    Petersen has beaten the overall No. 3 and No. 7 teams on different occasions, has gone undefeated in the BCS, and has shocked the college football world numerous times.

    You know who the highest-rated recruit Boise State had to work with last year? A 79. Their best recruit was given a 79 by

    By comparison, Saban, who is everyone's best coach, had 15 guys who got rated 79 or higher. Petersen's Broncos don't have the talent that Bob Stoops Sooners or Chip Kelly's Ducks have, but when it comes down to it, Boise State doesn't lose when it counts.

    Could it be the coaching?

    Petersen is the only two-time winner of the Paul Bryant National Coach of the Year Award.

    Why don't people ever consider him in the conversation of best coaches?

No. 10: Small Market Success

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    Why is there a picture of Luis Castillo?

    Playing for both the Minnesota Twins and the Florida Marlins, Castillo amassed multiple records, played in a high number of playoff games, and was a key part of small market success.

    What do both teams have in common? Neither really wanted to pay him what he thought he was worth, so he ended up on the New York Mets, who are far from a small market team.

    The bigger picture, of course, is the success that the Twins and the Marlins have had while teams like the Mets, Yankees and Red Sox outbid each other for the rights to have stars on top of stars.

    There is no greater example of small market success than the MLB, where Major League baseball has controlled teams, revenue sharing problems have occurred, and there is no salary cap present.

    Even so, the Twins have won five of the last eight AL Central titles, and have been in first place on the last day of the season six of the last eight.

    They have done so while losing guys from Johan Santana to Torii Hunter, Carlos Silva to Jacque Jones, David Ortiz to Castillo.

    Why? Because those guys were good players, and the Twins didn't pay them.

    Think about the success that the Twins have had...then throw in Santana, one of the best pitchers in baseball and Hunter, one of the best outfielders in baseball.

    Is that the best team in baseball?

    The Marlins, on the other hand, have actually accomplished being the best team in baseball: they won the World Series in 2003 behind guys like Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, Derrek Lee, A.J. Burnett, and Castillo.

    What do all of them have in common today?

    Ding-ding-ding! The Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs and Mets strike again!

    Had the Marlins paid their players and held onto their talent, not only would the have competed for a playoff spot every year, which is a tremendous feat, year-in and year-out, but they could have won multiple World Series titles.

    If only.

    People realize how good the Twins and Marlins are, but do people realize how good they could have been?

9. 2007 Western Conference Semifinals

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    NBA fans know that the Spurs were a dynasty. They know of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Robert Horry.

    Some Spurs fans will tell you that 2007 was the sweetest title; the rival Mavericks had a better year, and many doubters were silenced on the way to defeating LeBron.

    Too bad it shouldn't have happened. Remember this one?

    With 18 seconds left in game four of the Spurs-Phoenix Suns series, Horry shoved Steve Nash into the scorer's table, setting off one of the most uncalled for events in NBA history.

    Nash was in the middle of some bad blood, as he was previously kneed by Bruce Bowen, and injured his nose colliding with Tony Parker. He was checked into the table by the 6-10 Horry, and then all hell broke loose.

    After getting in the face of Horry about injuring his backcourt partner, Raja Bell got an elbow from Horry, and then things got real crazy.

    Amar'e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw left the bench to come to the aid of their point guard. What did the NBA do? They suspended both Diaw and Stoudemire for the ever-important Game Five.

    The Suns, playing without Diaw, who had been defending Duncan, and Amar'e, who led Phoenix with 26 points in game four and was arguably the most important player in the series, lost Game Five, and went on to lose Game Six as well.

    You know the rest...or do you?

    If they don't get suspended, in all likelihood, the Suns win the series. Due to the way the Spurs dismantled the Jazz, then the Cavaliers, it seems likely that the Suns would have had similar success, or at least had some success. If that's the case, their team is totally different.

    Shawn Marion probably wouldn't have been traded, which means that if the Heat were going to trade Shaq regardless, he would have to have gone somewhere else.

    From there, the Jermaine O' Neal-Shawn Marion trade doesn't happen. Miami could potentially get a different star, and D-Wade could have re-signed a couple years ago. Or he could have been fed up and vowed not to re-sign with the Heat.

    Where does that leave LeBron, Chris Bosh, and of course, Amar'e? While a lot of this is speculation, it comes full circle.

    It really is a shame that the NBA did this, though, and it's bizarre that this isn't talked about more (or maybe it is- I can't really get a feel for this one, to be honest) when mentioning the Suns every postseason.

#8: Kevin Garnett

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    KG. The Big Ticket. An NBA champion. An MVP. A Gold medal winner. A Defensive Player of the Year. A 13-time All-Star. A 9-time All-NBA selection. An 8-time All-NBA defensive team selection.

    The most overlooked forward of all-time?

    While NBA fans remember Moses Malone for making the jump from high school to the NBA in 1974, they also remember the failed attempts to do so from guys like Kwame Brown and Sebastian Telfair, and of course, the successful attempts to do so, from guys like Kobe, LeBron and Dwight Howard.

    Why were all of these possible? Because of KG. In 1995, Garnett made the jump from high school, and forever changed the draft process. Indirectly because of him, there are draft busts from every corner of the United States, records held and championships won in college basketball from guys who didn't make the leap, and the age limit rule that the NCAA put in.

    But looking beyond that, which occurred more than a decade ago, is Garnett's playing career. When asked who the best power forward of the generation is, Tim Duncan is the only answer given.

    I think Garnett has a legitimate case to be in that discussion.

    There are the career averages of nearly 20 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. There was the ability to handle the ball, the mid-range game and the turnaround jumper. There was the success he had dominating the Western Conference. But do people realize just how good Kevin Garnett was?

    During a three-year stretch, from the 02-03, 03-04 and 04-05 seasons, KG averaged an incredible 23.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals a game. He missed a grand total of zero games during those three seasons. Is there a case for the best three-year stretch ever there?

    As a power forward, in the 02-03 season, KG essentially averaged 24-14-5 to go along with 2.2 blocks and 1.5 steals. He is one of four guys to ever lead a team that got a #1 seed in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

    Think about that for a minute.

    While he might not have the rings (or the talent surrounding him, while we're on the subject) of Duncan, KG certainly has had one of the best careers in the history of basketball.

#7: Maurice Clarett

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    You forgot about this guy, didn't you?

    In my opinion, this is one of the more intriguing ones.

    As a freshman at Ohio State, Clarett rushed for over 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns, and broke the freshman rushing record at one of the most-storied programs in college football. He led Ohio State to the Fiesta Bowl, where they knocked off the Miami Hurricanes, who were led by numerous future NFL stars and considered to be the most talented college football team ever, en route to a national championship.

    In the national championship, Clarett scored the championship-winning touchdown in OT, but also made one of the best plays that I have ever seen. With Ohio State looking to score late in the game, future All-American safety Sean Taylor picked off a pass in the end zone, and began going down the sideline. Clarett, who was seemingly out of the play, not only chased Taylor down to make the tackle, but stripped him of the football to allow Ohio State to keep possession.

    That play showed off not only his will to win, but his strength, toughness and speed; all things that a successful running back needs to have.

    After that, though, his college career essentially ended. In the coming years, Clarett broke the law numerous times and became a hated figure in the college football ranks.

    But this is where people stop looking at Clarett. After essentially getting kicked out of college, filing a false police report, taking money from boosters, dealing with issues surrounding drugs, all of his run-ins with the police, multiple trials and, last and certainly not least, essentially taking two years off from the most physically-demanding sport in America, Clarrett was taken amongst the first 101 players in the 2005 NFL draft. For the record, I absolutely do not condone anything that Clarett did.

    But after all of that, Clarett still was regarded highly enough to be deemed worthy of a first day selection. His 40 times and workouts were awful, but he was competing against guys in the best shape in the world.

    The fact that he even could compete shows you what type of athlete he was.

    Or at least what type of athlete he could have been.

    What if Maurice Clarett had his priorities straight, and had played another couple of years at Ohio State? Could he have won the Heisman? Could he have won a few Heismans? Could he have won multiple national championships? Could he have been a first round pick?

    We'll never know, and it seems as though we'll never remember what he could have been, either.

#6: Ichiro Suzuki

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    Sorry for another person, but Ichiro is really just too overlooked to pass up.

    Since he began playing in the MLB, he has been arguably the most productive player...ever.

    At the plate, Ichiro has amassed a .333 career batting average, which is good enough for 28th all-time, to go along with nine consecutive 200-hit seasons. In the field, he has yet to play a season without winning a Gold Glove and has eight straight in his pocket. Had he played his whole career in America, he would be in the range of Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente.

    What else has Ichiro done? His career-low for stolen bases is 31. He hit .352 as a 35-year old. He's been to ten All-Star games, has an MVP award, Rookie of the Year Award, and three Silver Slugger awards.

    He broke the single-season record for hits, has led the Japanese to wins at both World Baseball Classics, and has 31 leadoff home runs, which is tenth all-time.

    I could go on and on and on and on, but I think you get the point. I don't think anyone truly realizes how good Ichiro was, how good he continues to be, and how legendary he could have been, had he played his whole career in the MLB.

#5: Ben Wallace and the Brawl at the Palace

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    The Brawl at the Palace will never be forgotten. The Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers will live in infamy, Ron Artest is deemed as a disgrace, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O' Neal are regarded as thugs and Rick Carlilse should be (another little-talked about fact) regarded as partly-responsible, for keeping his stars at the end of a game they had no chance of losing.

    But nobody talks about Ben Wallace. Or how he is responsible for it starting.

    The brawl started when Wallace went up for a dunk, and Artest fouled him hard from behind. This was obviously not a smart decision on Artest's part, but it's just how he plays basketball: stopping the other team from scoring is his job, and he doesn't like easy baskets being scored on his watch.

    After the foul, instead of talking to Artest, taking his frustration out on the support of the basket, or even laughing off the antics of Artest, deemed a "complete idiot" by many, Wallace did not just get in his face and put him in his place.

    Wallace shoved Artest in the face, setting everything off. Then, instead of walking away, he ran after Artest, leading to everyone else following, and placing the players near the scorer's table, where Artest would later lie down. Wallace then began yelling at Stephen Jackson, who stood up for his teammate who had just been pushed, and needed to be restrained by four people, including Rasheed Wallace (another little-known fact is that Rasheed played peacemaker and nearly stopped the brawl from happening altogether) and other Pistons teammates.

    Artest was suspended for the remainder of the season; Jackson got 30 games; O' Neal got 15 games. Anthony Johnson and David Harrrison, along with the other three Pacers faced probation and community service hours.

    Wallace was suspended for six games. The brawl will be remembered forever, but it is overlooked as to who really started it.

#4: Tony Romo Nearly Was a Hero

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    Tony Romo has the reputation of a choker. One of the best QBs in the NFL, Romo can't seem to ever escape the potential game-winning field goal snap that he muffed.

    Did you know he nearly saved the play, too?

    Every NFL fan remembers the scene. Down one point late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys needed just a field goal from Martin Gramatica to win the game and advance in the playoffs. Romo botched the snap, the Seahwaks won the game and the Cowboys added to their recent occurrences of coming up short.

    But here's what nobody remembers: if Gramatica even touches or makes a step to disrupt Seahwaks CB Jordan Babineaux, who was coming off the edge, Babineaux doesn't catch Romo, Romo gets the first down, Romo maybe gets the TD, the Cowboys more-than-likely win the game.

    But he didn't do anything. Now, this is not to blame him; it's merely pointing out what he did, or didn't do, in this case.

    Romo alertly picked up the ball and began to scramble. Had he not been brought down from behind by Babineaux, he earns the reputation of a clutch QB. One who can improvise a situation when it does not go as planned. One who can make the most of opportunities presented to him. One who can get past his mistakes.

    One who isn't a choker.

    Yet, as it is, Romo has yet to make any noise in the playoffs when it really counts the Cowboys have failed to live up to expectations and Romo's reputation has been firmly entrenched.

    For the record, I know Romo has come up short other times, and that is irrelevant here. This is looking strictly at that play, and how Jordan Babineaux barely caught Romo, and the reputation that has preceded him since.

    Just remember that he almost saved the day.

#3: Kenny Rogers Blatantly Cheated

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    The pine tar that everybody forgot about. In the biggest stage of the year, on national television, in front of millions of people, Kenny Rogers cheated. And he did it fairly obviously.

    It was the 2006 World Series, with the Detroit Tigers squaring off against the St. Louis Cardinals. Kenny Rogers pitched eight shutout innings in game two, and added to his playoff streak of over 20 consecutive scoreless innings.

    But his performance was overshadowed. Why? Because he had a "mysterious substance" on his hand; it was suspected to be pine tar by many, and considered to be dirt by some.

    Either way, it was a substance used to help him pitch. That's known as cheating.

    However, this is where things get pretty interesting, in my opinion. I will not take credit for the following part, I read it in an article written by Jon Heyman.


    Basically, Heyman talked to a bullpen coach about the substance, and the coach said that he was using to it make his pitches move. But what he also said was that pitchers usually have the help of shaving cream or suntan lotion, and that it is a fairly common practice.

    Now, everyone remembers the outrage at Sammy Sosa's corked bad, baseball fans agree that stealing signs is a problem, and of course nobody needs to be reminded of the steroid era, and what came with it.

    But why didn't pitchers using substances to help them ever become a big issue?

    Barry Bonds used a substance, and it helped him immensely. Mark McGwire used a substance, and it did wonders for him.

    So what if pitchers were doing this, as well? Did Randy Johnson do it? Did Pedro Martinez do it? Is Roy Halladay doing it? Is Johan Santana doing it? Will Stephen Strasburg do it?

    Granted, that part is all speculation. But it has to be speculated because the evidence is there (and I'm not at all saying anything about those guys, they were just really good pitchers who came to mind).

    Why does this continue to get overlooked?

#2: The 2006 NFL Draft

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    The 2006 NFL draft ranks this high for one reason: there are plenty of parts of the draft, and the performances by the players in the draft, that are overlooked.

    Shall we start at the top?

    The second overall pick was Reggie Bush. In the four years since that draft, Bush has gone from surefire top pick to steal for New Orleans to future superstar to overrated. The consensus is now that Reggie Bush is a bust. Many people did not see this coming. I was not one of them...kind of.

    I do not consider myself an incredibly knowledgeable football fan, I don't pretend to be a draft expert, and I am not one of those guys who watches every bowl game. But I did get pretty into the 2006 Rose Bowl, and there is one play I specifically remember: fourth-and-two with 2:09 to play in the game for the USC offense.

    They gave the ball to LenDale White. Why is this important? Because with the national championship on the line and Pete Carroll forced to make arguably the biggest call of his career, White got the ball. Not only was Bush not in the play, but he literally wasn't even in the play.

    Reggie Bush was on the sidelines.

    With a national championship on the line, the Heisman winner ready to be used, and one of the most dynamic players in the history of college football at his disposal, Carroll went to White. Now, it might have been a power running situation, but Reggie Bush wasn't even in the game. What does that tell you?

    The other side of that, of course, is what happened next. Vince Young took his Texas team down the field, and ran the ball in on fourth-and-five for his third, and game-winning, touchdown. VY led Texas to back-to-back BCS wins at the Rose Bowl, and firmly established himself as one of the best college football players of all-time, alongside Bush.

    But just how good was he?

    Young was responsible for bringing the Longhorns their first national title in over 35 years, is one of four people to be named MVP of the Rose Bowl multiple times and ended the fourth-longest winning streak in college football history.

    But he also took down the USC dynasty on one play. People tend to forget just how good USC was during their stretch in the mid-2000s. They were going for their third national title in a row, had records previous three years of 13-0, 12-2 and 11-2 (12-1 that year) and were producing NFL players at a record rate- including back-to-back Heisman winners Bush and QB Matt Leinart.

    So yeah, I'd say Young was a pretty accomplished college football player.

    But going beyond the top three picks, the first round had nine other Pro Bowlers! But where was there even more talent for bargain?

    In the fourth round of the 06 NFL draft, six Pro Bowlers were drafted. Owen Daniels, Jahri Evans, Leon Washington, Stephen Gostkowski, Brandon Marshall and Elvis Dumervil. Even Miles Austin, who went undrafted, was considered a fourth round talent.

    There are plenty of guys who make a Pro Bowl, but those players are legitimate NFL stars. Evans is one of the best offensive linemen in the league, Marshall is a top-five WR in football, and Dumervil was in the running for Defensive Player of the Year last year.

    The Tom Brady, Tony Romo and every other star who drafted near the top talk is at an all-time high, yet I've never heard anyone talk about the fourth round of the 06 NFL draft.

    Why? Good question. Six Pro Bowlers is double the amount of Pro Bowlers that the first round of the 2008 NFL draft has produced! That's crazy.

    All in all, the 2006 NFL draft, and the ties to it might be overlooked for a number of reasons, but it doesn't mean that it, or they, should be.

#1- Brett Favre

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    Just kidding.

#1: Steve Bartman and the Cubs

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    There it is. The most overlooked occurrence in sports. Everyone knows Steve Bartman. Most people don't know what else happened after that incident. Why?

    Because after Steve Bartman, everything else is overlooked.

    I am not a Cubs fan. I do not know what would have happened had Bartman not interfered with the play. I do feel sorry for Cubs fans, who have had to put up with losing for over 100 years.

    But I feel especially sorry for Bartman, who will probably think about that moment every day for the rest of his life and consider himself responsible for costing the Cubs the pennant in 2003.

    He isn't.

    Anway, there are plenty of things about this that are overlooked. They are, as follows...

    Say Bartman doesn't interfere with the play. How do we know if Moises Alou even catches the ball. The simple answer? We don't! What if Alou had simply missed the ball?

    Most casual fans assume that later in the at bat, a home run was hit and the Cubs lost the game. Or something like that. That isn't even remotely close to the case at all.

    After the incident, Mark Prior, one of the best pitchers in the National League, walked Luis Castillo on a wild pitch, which allowed Juan Pierre, already on second base, to go to third.

    With Prior still on the mound, he faced Ivan Rodriguez next. Up 0-2, Prior threw Pudge a hittable pitch that he laced for a base hit. It was hit so hard that Pierre probably wouldn't have even scored from second, and the inning would have been completely different. Instead, he scored from third after advancing on the wild pitch.

    Next up was Miguel Cabrera. The Cubs had a 3-1 lead at that point. With Castillo and Rodriguez on base, Cabrera hit a tailor-made double play ball to short. Alex Gonzalez, who according to Wikipedia had the highest fielding percentage of any SS in the NL that year, muffed the double play ball.

    He muffed the double play ball that would have gotten the Cubs out of the inning up two runs. The ground ball that was seconds away from getting the Cubs to the ninth inning turned into a reached-on-error in the scorebook.

    At this point, the bases were loaded. But the Cubs were up 3-1 and Prior was on the mound. Derrek Lee was up next, and when Prior gave him a first-pitch fastball, he hit a shot into the gap, scoring two.

    After all of this, the game was still tied.

    Mike Lowell was on-deck, and Kyle Farnsworth, one of the best relievers in the National League, was brought into pitch to Lowell. He was intentionally walked, and Jeff Conine promptly delivered a sacrifice fly to give the Marlins the lead.

    So after the Bartman incident, the Cubs gave up a walk, a wild pitch, an 0-2 hit, muffed a double play ball, threw Derrek Lee of all people a hittable first pitch, gave up a two-run double, and then walked Lowell to load the bases...AND THEY STILL WEREN'T LOSING THE GAME.

    And game six of the 2003 NLCS is Steve Bartman's fault? Yeah, alright.

    Even after that, people forget that the Cubs had a game seven to win the series. At home. With Kerry Wood, another excellent pitcher at that time, on the mound.

    In game seven, Kerry Wood hit a home run, the Cubs rallied from three down in the first to tie the game 3-3 in the second inning, went up 5-3, and then preceded to blow the lead, the game, and the series.

    The Chicago Cubs lost the 2003 NLCS. Not Steve Bartman.

    How this continues to get overlooked is anyone's guess.