Monday, October 28, 2013

Hosting the World Series and Monday Night Football on the Same Day

The Red Sox and Cardinals play the pivotal fifth game of their very entertaining World Series Monday night at Busch Stadium. The series is tied at two and aces Jon Lester and Adam Wainwright will square off. The last two nights have featured a walk-off obstruction play and a game-ending pickoff, so who knows what's in store for this one. Less than a mile away, the Rams and Seahawks will play at the Edward Jones Dome on Monday Night Football. Have we ever seen a city host these two sporting events at the same time?

October 27, 1986: Mets vs. Red Sox in Game Seven, Giants vs. Washington on Monday Night Football

It's happened once before. Yes, I know that New York and East Rutherford aren't the same city, but come on. One night after the Mets made their famous Game Six comeback to tie the series, the seventh game scheduled for Sunday night was rained out, pushing it back a day and putting it up against Big Blue's MNF matchup with Washington.

A 2012 Deadspin item linked to this YouTube video of an old news feature about that night and how people brought portable televisions to Giants Stadium to watch the Mets win it all. So many people were following the game that the roar after the final out caused a Washington false start.

There a few more close calls, including two football games that had to be rescheduled for Monday night because of a Sunday night World Series finale.

The Twins and Cardinals went the distance in the 1987 World Series, with Game Seven to be played on Sunday, October 25. That pushed the Vikings-Broncos tilt back a day, and the game went up against the regularly scheduled Rams-Browns MNF game. Frank Viola's eight strong innings led the Twins to a 4-2 win for the championship. The next night, Wade Wilson threw five interceptions, but Minnesota still beat John Elway's Broncos 34-27.

Ten years after that, the same scenario played out in Miami. The Marlins and Indians were playing Game Seven of the Fall Classic on Sunday, so the Dolphins game against the Bears was postponed until Monday. The Marlins won the title by rallying in the ninth inning to tie the game before Edgar Renteria ripped a walk-off single in the 11th. The next night, the Dolphins led the winless Bears by 15 with six minutes left in the game, but Chicago roared back to even the score before winning 36-33 in overtime. This was played opposite the regularly scheduled MNF game, a Packers win at New England in a rematch of the previous year's Super Bowl.

New York was the center of the baseball world in 2000 when the Yankees took on the Mets in the Subway Series. The Yanks won the first two games at home on Saturday and Sunday before the two teams had the day off on Monday. That night, the Jets played the rival Dolphins at home on MNF and fell behind 30-7 in the fourth quarter. Vinny Testaverde engineered a comeback for the ages, tying the game in the final mintes on a touchdown pass to offensive lineman Jumbo Elliott. John Hall's overtime field goal gave the Jets a 40-37 win and capped one of the greatest games in Monday Night Football history. The World Series resumed in Queens on Tuesday night and although the Mets won Game Three, the Yankees won the next two to clinch their third straight championship.

Our last close call was in 2007. The Rockies won 21 of 22 games to surge into the playoffs and roll to the World Series. The Red Sox derailed them quickly, stomping them 13-1 on their way to a four-game sweep. Boston clinched on a Sunday but if the Rockies had won a game, they would have hosted Game Five at the same time as the Broncos-Packers game at Mile High Stadium. Like the games in 1997 and 2000, this one went into overtime as Jason Elam's field goal at the gun tied it at 13. Green Bay won the coin toss and on the first play of the extra session, Brett Favre hit Greg Jennings for an 82-yard touchdown to win the game.

Update: Reader Doug mentioned the 1993 World Series. SkyDome hosted Game Two between the Blue Jays and Phillies on Sunday, October 18, 1993. The next day, the CFL's Toronto Argonauts played a home game against the Calgary Stampeders. During the off night of the World Series, Toronto was stomped 51-7. Toronto sports fans cheered up when the Blue Jays won in Philly on Tuesday en route to their second straight title.

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