So I was reading a thread on a friend’s Facebook page about the movie Get Out, the strange flick about racism that took a bizarre turn from satire to slasher toward the end. And I learned there’s an alternate ending. The movie people saw in the theaters was different than the writer originally penned.
That’s the beauty of fiction. You can make it go in whatever you want.
Too bad we can’t write alternate endings in sports.
Just imagine …
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▪ October 1991: World Series, Game 7
What really happened: The Braves lost a heart-breaker to the Minnesota Twins 1-0 in 10 innings. Lonnie Smith should have scored from first on Terry Pendleton’s double but he fell for a decoy by Chuck Knoblauch and Greg Gagne and froze at second base for about five seconds.
Tim McCarver calling the game: “Smith clearly could have scored on the ball had he been running all the way. As it was, the decoy of Knoblauch and Gagne held Smith at third base.
Alternate ending, as called by McCarver:
“What brilliant base-running by the fleet-footed veteran Lonnie Smith to score. Watch the middle infielder Knoblauch and Gagne. You see Knoblauch pretends to throw to second base and Gagne comes toward the bag to take the throw. But Lonnie Smith is a veteran and saw the ball took a high bounce off the fence and immediate picked up his third base coach Jimy Williams and never broke stride. That’s why he scored so easily. And that may hold up as the winning run of the World Series.”
Then he goes on to repeat it about five times because, well, he’s Tim McCarver.
▪ December 2006: RichRod turns down Alabama
What really happened: Alabama had offered the head coaching job to West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez. Several credible sources said it was a done deal. But the next day, RichRod ran a reverse and turned down the job. Alabama athletic director Mal Moore was said to be sick over RichRod’s decision. The rejection fueled Moore’s obsession to lure Nick Saban from the Miami Dolphins. You might have heard what happened after that.
Alternate ending: Bama hires RichRod
Rodriguez takes the Alabama job, installs the spread offense, which is perfectly suited for Westlake High quarterback Cam Newton.
Part 2, December 2007: Auburn fires Tommy Tuberville, hires Nick Saban
In the original ending, Tuberville gets the benefit of doubt and one more year after finishing 9-7 in 2007. But Jay Jacobs hears that Saban is fed up with the NFL and Terri Saban wants out of Miami.
Even so, Saban refuses to confirm the rumors because the Dolphins still have two games to play.
“I guess I just have to come out and say it. I won’t be the head coach at Auburn.”
Part 3: Jacobs signs a contract extension to become Auburn AD for life.
▪ December 2012: SEC Championship Game
What really happened: Time ran out on Georgia when Chris Conley caught a tipped pass and fell to the ground, leaving the Bulldogs one play short of beating Alabama and playing Notre Dame in the BCS Championship Game.
Alternate ending: Dogs stun Tide on Gurley touchdown
On second-and-goal with six seconds left, Todd Gurley caught a swing pass and barreled his way into the end zone for a ridiculous ending.
Gary Danielson: “Vern, the hero is Todd Gurley but the unsung hero is Chris Conley. Most young receivers would have caught the deflected pass. But Conley alertly batted the ball to the turf to stop the clock and give Jarrrja one more play.”
Georgia goes on to destroy Notre Dame in the national championship game. Mark Richt signs a 10-year contract extention.
▪ November 2013: Iron Bowl
What really happened: If you haven’t heard of kick six, look it up
Alternate ending: Picking up with Rod Bramblett … “And Auburn’s going to win the football game! Auburn’s going to win the football game.”
“But hold on. The officials are huddling. One of them said Chris Davis stepped out of bounds around the 35-yard-line. They’re going to review it.”
(Thirty minutes later)
“Replays are inconclusive so the call on the field stands and we’re going to overtime.”
▪ February 2018: Super Bowl LI
What really happened: Must we relive it?
Alternate ending, as told by Chris Collinsworth.
“Yeah, the Falcons are going to do the smart thing here. They’re up by eight points with less than four minutes to play. So Dan Quinn is just going to run the ball three times and put his trust in his kicker, Matt Bryant, for the easy field goal and make it a two-score game. Not even the great Tom Brady can lead two scoring drives in the last four minutes.”
Moments later, Al Michaels …
“Matt Ryan takes a knee, and that’s going to do it. The Falcons win their first Super Bowl, and Atlanta’s third major championship, following the Braves’ World Series titles in ‘95 and, of course, in ‘91, the one that almost got away.”