Pondering the never-ending question, ‘What i f’

First Posted: 1/12/2015

In the crazy, mixed-up game of life, it’s easy to sit and ponder the myriad of things which make us ask ourselves “what if?” Here are but a few that deserve answers.

What if the Pilgrims perished on their American voyage? What if Paul Revere’s horse came up lame on his “midnight ride?” What if George Washington’s Continental Army failed to survive the winter at Valley Forge? What if Washington himself had been killed while leading the Continental Army? What if John Wilkes Booth’s gun jammed? What if the United States foiled Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor? What if Harry Truman never dropped “the bomb” on Japan? What if the Normandy invasion failed? What if JFK, MLK and RFK escaped assassin’s bullets? What if America never entered the Vietnam War? What if the Watergate break-in was never discovered? What if we knew the real story of Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance? What if Jimmy Carter won a second term? If not for Ronald Reagan, would the Berlin Wall still stand? What if Monica Lewinsky never served as a White House intern? If 9-11 occurred under Barack Obama, would the U.S. have still attacked Afghanistan? What if Nelson Mandela died in a South African prison? What if Israelis outnumbered their Arab neighbors 21 to 1? What if Saddam Hussein still ruled Iraq, would it be a better place?

If Knute Rockne lived on past 43, how high might his all-time college football winning percentage be? What if Babe Ruth played in today’s cracker-jack ballparks, how many home runs would he have hit? If Jackie Robinson had foregone breaking baseball’s color barrier, who might Branch Rickey have selected instead? What if Wilt Chamberlain played for the Celtics instead of Bill Russell? What if left elbow arthritis hadn’t ended Sandy Koufax’ career at age 30? If Vince Lombardi’s life hadn’t been cut short at 57, how many more Super Bowls might he have won? What if the Reds hadn’t traded away “an old 30” Frank Robinson or later traded for little-known Joe Morgan? What if George Foreman hadn’t fallen for Muhammad Ali’s “rope-a-dope” strategy in Zaire? What if Woody Hayes hadn’t punched Clemson’s Charlie Bauman? If Michael Jordan picked baseball earlier on, how many NBA titles would the Bulls have won? What if Steve Bartman hadn’t caught the “foul ball” in the 2003 NL Championship Series? What if professional athletes who signed multi-million dollar contracts admitted it actually was all about the money?

What if rock ‘n roll was never invented? What if Elvis hadn’t died at 42? What if the Beatles never came to America? If Detroit had declared bankruptcy in the 1960’s, would we have ever experienced Berry Gordy’s “Motown sound?” If Buddy Holly had survived a plane crash, would Don McLean still have recorded “American Pie?” If Duane Allman and Jimi Hendrix had lived on, to what heights could they have taken their guitar genius? What if we could all be “one-hit wonders?”

What if gas still cost under $1 a gallon? What if China bought everything from America? What if the “big three” American automakers were still king? What if the federal government balanced its budget? What if all the countries of the world paid their debts owed to America? If everyone was given $1,000,000, how many would have anything left after one month? What if cash was king and plastic wasn’t?

What if for every person illegally in the United States, we snuck an equal number of Americans into that person’s country of origin? What if every government official in Washington contracted laryngitis at the same time? What if all cell phones and computers simultaneously ceased to function? What if global-warming alarmists accepted that weather patterns have always fluctuated throughout recorded history? What if all Americans simply identified themselves as “Americans?” What if America had an honest conversation about race? What if politicians did as much to uplift our nation as they did themselves and lived by the same laws they enact? What if the mainstream media actually reported the news without bias and held all politicians to the same standards? What if a country actually secured its borders? What if a president respected the Constitution as much as he cherished his teleprompter?

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