The Ultimate Sporting Event : Win or Go Home and Be Forgotten

When it comes down to talking about the greatest game in all of Sports most people will choose to talk about Game 7 of a Championship Series. There are a number of fans that will tell you that the Super Bowl is the ultimate contest but tonight I am here to offer you a third option.

TBS is broadcasting the Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins American League Play-In game if you will. I believe that this is the ULTIMATE sporting event and here are a few reasons why. This game is treated as game #163 of the regular season and not a playoff game. Lose a Super Bowl and you still have the trophy representing your NFC or AFC Championship. Owners buy Rings to celebrate just making it to the Big Game and you will be forever remembered for coming within sight of your dreams.

*** Bottom of the second inning - Tied 0-0

Make it to game 7 of a Championship Series and you would of had to claimed three victories. Your team is on the verge of winning it all and if you lose the 7TH game you can hold your head up high and talk about finishing the deal next season. Tip your cap to the victors and take a certain amount of pride in coming so close...

8:10PM - Top of 3RD- Twins-0, ChiSox-0

Now lets go back in history- how far back (?), just last year to the National League Play-In game between Colorado and _____________. There was a tie for the NL wild card just last season and there was a Game #163 played that saw the Rockies advance to the playoffs. The Rockies then made a remarkable run in the NL playoffs before falling short in the World Series.

The loser of game #163 gets no consolation prize for playing the game. It doesn't even count as making the playoffs for the team. The decision for the home team in the game is decided by a coin toss, one step above Rock, Paper Scissors in my book. Win the game tonight and jump on the jet and fly to Tampa-St.Pete for the playoff opener (there is a statement I wasn't sure I would make in my lifetime), lose the game and you get to be a foot note to MLB history.

8:24 PM- End third inning - Tied 0-0

Travel back to 1995 and the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington and you will see Randy Johnson beating former Mariner Mark Langston and his California Angles by a final score of 9-1. That game was remember able to me but folks outside of Seattle and Anaheim would barely give it a second thought. The story was even bigger due to the Angles coughing up a 9 game lead during the month of September. If the M's lose that game, they don't break their non-playoff run and as they say- the rest could be non-history.

The M's made a playoff run that year that turned the fortune of the franchise around. Then just a few seasons later they went on to win some ridiculous number of games like 116 of 162. Take away a few Arthur Rhodes Yankee Stadium gopher balls and we would really have some M's history!

Colorado went on a tear all the way to the World Series, the M's possibly saved their franchise with their victory and everyone over the age of 40 remembers Bucky Dent's Homer over the Green Monster in 1978. Dent's Yankees defeated their arch-rival Red Sox by a final score of 5-4 after Boston coughed up a 14 game lead only to rally and force the 1 game showdown. This was the original Play-In game after the post expansion of 1969.

8:42 PM - Top of 5TH Inning - Tied 0-0

After the Classic 1978 battle it was just two years later when Houston spanked the LA Dodgers 7-1. Joe Neikro won his 20TH game of the season that day and the Astros made their initial playoff appearance in Franchise History.

8:49 PM- Ken Griffey Jr. just threw out a runner at the plate trying to score on a Sac Fly to keep the score 0-0!

The M's victory in 1995 was the third in the series and was followed by the Cubs hosting and defeating the San Fran Giants in 1998. Both teams failed to win on the final day of the regular season but the Cubs made the most of Game #163. Once again it was needed to decide the NL Wild Card and the home team won and advanced.

Showdown #5 was held in 1999 and it matched a pair of clubs that finished 96-66. Hard to imagine that 96-66 only gets you a tie for the NL Wild Card! Cincinnati and New York both recorded 96 wins but it would take 97 to "Make" the playoffs. Al Leiter tossed a 2-hit shut out(5-0) for the visitors that day in Cinci and the Amazins made the playoffs and the Reds haven't been the same since.

Eight years came and went between the Ultimate Game match-ups but it was a Classic. The Rockies needed 13 innings to defeat the San Diego Padres 9-8. The Padres scored 2 runs in the top of the inning only to see the Rockies close them out with 3 runs in the bottom of the 13TH.

Now we are at Showdown #7 and this one comes with another neat twist! Chicago is trying to become the 1ST team in MLB history to defeat three different teams on three consecutive days. The Sox had to win Sunday against the Indians to force the game on Monday with Detroit and tonight they try and complete the unique hat trick with a home game vs. the Twins.

9:04 PM - Heading to the bottom of the 6TH - Tied 0-0

The winner will celebrate on the flight down to Tampa-St.Pete while the team on the short side will simply fade to black...

9:10 PM- To the top of the 7TH - Tied 0-0 (Only 3 hits combined)

If Chicago wins they will make more history- four straight games against four seperate opponets...

9:32 - Jim Thome crushes a lead off Home Run and Chisox lead 1-0 heading into the top of the 8TH...

9:57 PM- It is in the Books - Minn. 0/2/0 Chicago 1/5/0

For the 1ST time in 102 Years it is a post season with both Chicago teams
Add in both LA teams (Dodgers & Angles ) and 1/2 of your 8 is from LA + Chi

What A Game !

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