JFK had interest in buying the Philadelphia Eagles
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JFK had interest in buying the Philadelphia Eagles

And how I make super-hypothetical sports leaps...

I’ve always been interested in how singular events change the course of history.  Especially in sports.

For example, with the St. Louis Rams, what if Mike Jones didn’t make “The Tackle” at the goal line against the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV?  The Rams may not have won the title without it.  Dick Vermeil, according to many, would’ve stayed as coach of the Rams if they hadn’t won.  Which might’ve meant more success for the franchise for longer, which means the coaches that took over after him might not have ever showed up in St. Louis, which means the Rams might’ve never seen a five-year span of 15-65, which means Jeff Fisher (the coach on the losing end of “The Tackle”) would very likely never had been the coach of the Rams…

…and on and on and on.

I’ve got a warped mind, I know.  That’s just one example.

Here’s another that’s apropos for today, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The Kennedys were interested in purchasing the Philadelphia Eagles.

A sports-page junkie and football fanatic, JFK had read that the Eagles’ principal owner, James P. Clark, had recently died of a stroke. Reports said his team, just two years removed from an NFL championship, would be sold.

“Jack and Bobby,” O’Donnell wrote, “thought it would be a terrific investment.”

According to O’Donnell’s version, the president asked Ted (Kennedy) to set up a meeting with Eagles management. The team’s president at the time was Frank McNamee, one of the “Happy Hundred” ownership group Clark had assembled in 1949.

That meeting never took place.

According to O’Donnell’s account, the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 scuttled whatever Eagles plans the Kennedys may have had.

The team eventually was sold in 1963, shortly after JFK’s November assassination, to developer Jerry Wolman for $5.5 million.

See, now here’s where my warped mind goes having being met with this hypothetical.  Had John F. Kennedy not been shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, think of what could have happened:
1. The Kennedys buy the Eagles.
2. The Eagles move to Boston.
3. The rocky marriage between the Eagles and Andy Reid probably never happens.
4. There are no New England Patriots.
5. Therefore, there is no marriage between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
6. Therefore, there is no “dynasty” with the Patriots.
7. Therefore, Peyton Manning probably wins more Super Bowls and is likely considered the best quarterback to ever live.

There are so many events in sports history that never happen if the Kennedys bought the Eagles.  Feel free to make any other connections you’d like in the comments below.

But the major sports leap I think I can make here: if not for Lee Harvey Oswald’s fatal shot, Peyton Manning is easily considered the best quarterback to ever play football*.

* please know that I’m joking… kind of.  But it’s fun to think about.

[Photo Credit: philly.com]

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