Sports Events and the Mandela Effect

Discussions about sports events and outcomes – and how they relate to the Mandela Effect – have appeared in a few comment threads. They’re so distinct from our usual conversations, I was taken off-guard. No pun intended.

Sports eventsI’m not sure what to expect, but – so far – some good points have been raised:

  • With all the celebrity-related memories, why do we have so few reported variations in how sports events concluded?
  • Since a different outcome of a particular game or match can then cascade and affect an entire season, it seems to me that alternate outcomes would be distinctly different memories – perhaps more extended – than alternate events in other areas of pop culture (TV shows, book titles, etc.)

Except for the America’s Cup, I don’t follow much in the sporting world. So, in that field, I’m not likely to reply, “I remember that, too.”

However, when sports topics was raised here, I began wondering why so few alternate memories include that subject, when it could be a fertile area of study to learn more about the Mandela Effect.

Or, I might speculate that the emotional fervor invested in sporting events is so intense, it blots out alternate memories… or that, across most realities, the same teams or individuals always win.

It’s a curious anomaly within the Mandela Effect… and, of course, that’s an anomaly, itself.

28 thoughts on “Sports Events and the Mandela Effect”

  1. Ive been thinking about all this all day, and forgive me if this has been discussed before but i havent read through all the past posts. It seems the discussions are mainly centred around alternative universes and such.

    If this was the case i would expect a greater number of recollections of the outcome of sporting events being different. These are instances where small margins can effect the outcome of both individual games and entire tournaments. If a coach makes a different team selection, a referee gives or not gives a penalty, or even the flip of the coin and results could be different. These are also events that are clear in peoples minds and not generally open interpretation or memory not picking up minor details.

    If people remembered West Germany winning the 1966 World Cup it would have been noticed and commented on.

    However its nice to think that somewhere out there Derby County won the 1973 European Cup, and if anyone can remember that version of events, now thats a story I would like to hear.

    1. This is a really good point, Steven. I’ve wondered the same thing, but you very succinctly summed it up. Sports are very precarious. Inches can change the outcome of game; one changed referee call can affect the score and even outcome; etc. Sports are so fluid and delicate that surely there’d be differences between outcomes between different timestreams. I like this topic and perhaps Fiona can find a way to develop it further?

  2. Somewhere in the multiverse, the Chicago Cubs have won at least one more World Series championship since 1908. :o]

  3. Never been a Big fan of sports, but here is something i remember but i cant find it online, it may have existed and i just cant find it, i doubt it would be my imagination, because its such a specific i say i am not sure if it did happen and that i cant find it.. did a quick search and i found nothing about it

    In the UK one late night i was scrolling through the 4 TV channels we had, so it was after 1982.. I remember seeing the super bowl, and i was stunned to see the roof caught fire, lots of smoke was interested as it was unusual, it caused a delay and and pre 2000 for sure.. probably pre 1990. they had to delay the match by 30 minutes and part of the roof collapsed..

    I remember it because i am not a sports fan as i said but the fire made it exciting to me..

    1. Yes, I remember the football stadium fire. My memories are shakey and fading, so I’m typing fast. I think it was a playoff game to the superbowl, not the bowl itself. It was a stadium in Texas. It was a problem with the lights, a transformer blew, and sparks lit a portion of the roof structure. I even have a feeling there was a maintenance worker who was injured or killed, but that wasn’t reported until later, and there were players who donated their earnings for the game to a fund for his wife and children.

  4. This sounds vaguely familiar, but since I’m not a sports fan, I can’t be sure that I’m not thinking of some other event. I was living in Ohio at the times you mentioned, so it might have been some local sports team or stadium. A Google search of “Super Bowl caught fire” and “Super Bowl roof fire” yields no results. Your best bet, at this point, would be to find a sports message board forum and ask if anyone else remembers such a fire occurring at a Super Bowl game in the late 1980s to early 1990s. There may be others who recall it and are puzzled as to why they can’t find any information on it.

    1. I remembered it, then i searched and i found it, then i totally forgot about it, now i cant find it. Tried everything i can think, really just need to know if its real thing or a mandela effect.. either way i would be happy..Then i could draw a line under it.. unless the world changes again 😉 tried the google and they talk about fire alarms.. American Football wasnt usually shown on british tv during that time. I wouldnt be too upset if i was just forgetting it.. its the questioning of myself by myself thats the worrying part..

      1. I found it years ago, then forgot about it and its just taken to recently, when this topic triggered the memory and started to search and found nothing.. If it did vanish,

        i can remember there was some bulbs blowing on the roof and part of the it collapsing on fire, and black/dark grey smoke billowing out, but the roof parts floated down like it was light paper rather than heavy masonry.. Now if this was a mandela it would have affected the match and everything else. Not quite the same as the results of a sorting event but close to it..

      2. Martin, I rarely pay attention to sports events, but the roof fire sounds very familiar. I remember hearing (or reading) about it and saying to my husband, “And this is why I prefer to watch events on TV.” Then we talked about the annual BYU “Stadium of Fire,” which is America’s largest stadium fireworks show, but it’s in a stadium with no roof.

        My memory of the stadium roof fire is far more vague than yours, but I’m sure enough that I tried a few searches at Google… and found nothing, so far. I’m not certain it was the Super Bowl, but other than that, this seems like something that happened in this reality, or at least the one I was in at the same time you were.

        1. I could have sworn it was the super bowl, but you are right i only have a memory of me saying super bowl but it was decades ago. it was on channel 4 in the UK very early morning and it was “live”, part of the problem is some parts are so vivid and other parts are a little “unreal”. the Super Bowl part is sort of faded like tissue paper but the fire itself is paper and its a definite memory…. just one of those odd things.. whether its stitched together from two separate parts i dont know

  5. Found a sports one for you. I distinctly remember Ken Griffey Jr. being implicated for steroids and losing his home run record standing in MLB. There is no mention ANYWHERE of this now. Only a speculative article I could find that says he probably did, or at least you can’t just assume that he didn’t. It’s like it never even happened. I collected baseball cards, I followed this stuff. The implication reduced the value of his rookie card. I’ll do more research on other players, but all the mentions of the major players in the 80s and 90s say these guys avoided the legal battles of the doping scandals that happen now. It’s like now one ever checked players in baseball for doping until very recently. This is also nuts.

  6. Here’s a sports one from the “Major Memories” thread:

    In the 2001 Daytona 500 race that killed Dale Earnhardt, Michael Waltrip won the race.

    As I remember it, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race. I distinctly remember him winning because the news kept replaying the final minute of that race to show the fatal crash. I must have watched Dale Earnhardt Jr. cross the finish line first at least 100 times. The fans and media kept repeating “at least he won the race” as if that were some sort of consolation for his father’s death.

    This is a “Mandela Effect” on the scale of “Ber#nstein Bears” to anyone who followed NASCAR at the time.

    1. I’m not 100% sure, as I don’t follow NASCAR, because my dad would watch when I was younger, but yes jr. Won in my mind because that’s why his dad crashed trying to get his son the win.

    2. Yes, I remember the news reports showing Jr. in the winners circle looking towards his fathers car. Celebrating but not quite 100% in celebration.

  7. Awesome. For me, I didn’t get into sports till later stage in my life when I was teenager, the thing is I do remember couple of teams that seem to of never existed before mostly because I had been given their shirts to wear as kid for gift. Two of them were football teams called Boston O’Rish and New York Yonkers. I also remember Los Angles Dodgers playing in San Diego … :-S

  8. In regards to the Nascar post I have no idea who won in 2001, but I’m 99.9% sure that Junior won in 2002. I remember because everyone was saying how big of a deal it was since his Dad had died the year before. And they replayed the finish and crash over and over and over again.
    But I have no memory of anyone saying he’d won two years in a row..

    1. I’m assuming everyone is talking about the Daytona 500. Remembering Dale Earnhardt, Jr. winning in 2001, the year his father died, could be a Mandela Effect issue. Other memories of his wins should be verified against records in this reality. (Remember, NASCAR isn’t a single race. They sponsor multiple series of races featuring cumulative rankings.)


      To determine more of what really happened in this reality:
      2001 Daytona 500 –
      Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s driving history –,_Jr.
      Top NASCAR drivers and their wins –

      If — after researching what happened in this reality — this is a Mandela Effect issue, let me know. I’ll create a page about it, since this is a very focused memory.

      Note: When I use Wikipedia as a reference, it’s only to give people a starting point and range of phrases to use to find more info. “Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles” means the information you see on the page is only as accurate as the last person who wrote or edited it. (Ref. ) Even Wikipedia reminds us “newer articles may contain misinformation and/or unencyclopedic content. Any article may contain undetected vandalism.”

  9. I have a very vivid memory of sitting on the couch in the basement with my parents… The year was 2008. We were watching the American Football Superbowl, and my dad told me numerous times that he was cheering for the “Colts” because he didn’t like the “Steelers.” The only issue being that neither team was in the Superbowl that year. And I remember that night so clearly! Strangely enough, both teams were in the surrounding Superbowls – Colts 2007, Steelers 2009… ( Perhaps it’s just my Superbowl memories are all jumbled, but I swear… I swear it happened!

    1. Since both the Steelers and the Colts are in the AFC conference, they couldn’t have been in the Super Bowl at the same time. It could have been the AFC championship however.

      1. Rick, this is your only comment I’m approving, and only because it’s a vaguely possible explanation in the context. Maybe. And only if your data is wrong, as well, or something else is very skewed.

        Had you checked the AFC Championship list (, you’d see that the 2008 game was Patriots v Chargers, not Colts v Steelers. (Per that list, their only AFC Championship game was 1996.)

        I doubt that Elyse would have sat through a regular AFC game, even a semi-finals game, unless she was an American football enthusiast. And, given that the year was 2008, her own explanation is far more reasonable than the AFC Championship one.

        In general, I think you’re missing the point of this site, and need to read Terms:Comments more carefully. Most “just confused” comments aren’t part of our conversations; it’s assumed that, when posting here, the person leaving the comment has already researched the topic and sorted out any sources of confusion.

        (I approve comments like this, now and then, mostly to make a point about this site what’s not usually approved… just for people who don’t fully read the Terms: Comments page before telling us how confused we are. Otherwise, they keep posting and posting, apparently oblivious that this isn’t Reddit or some other social site with less stringent terms.)

  10. I just discovered a brand new ME in my world. Although I am a huge sports fan, soccer is not a sport I follow very closely at all. Today, I am reading where FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been placed on suspension for corrupt actions. However, in my reality, this already happened earlier this summer. I’m quite certain it was in either late June or early July that I first heard about this. I remember it distinctly because I remember thinking about the unusual name “Sepp Blatter” and how it stuck out to me in my mind because I had never heard of him before. The story I remember from this summer was that he had resigned due to allegations of corruption and decided not to run for re-election as FIFA president. This was a big story this summer as it was right around the time of the Women’s World Cup. Does anyone else remember this happening this summer?

    1. I recall something very like that happened this past summer, but I think FIFA wanted to be diplomatic in their dealings with those at the top, and the suspension may not have been formal. When several major sponsors stepped in and said Blatter (and others) needed a few months’ suspension, it was made formal. So, while I remember something like what you’re describing, I don’t think it’s ME. I think the issue is more about what rhetoric was used, and when.

  11. I’m not sure if this goes in the Sports and Events section. I watch football and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals signed a 8 year contract in 2011 for $108 million. I looked this information up after learning of the ME a few days ago. In elementary school I made my first bet on a Super Bowl game for $5. It was the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Dallas Cowboys. We had just moved to Arizona from the Dallas/Ft Worth area and of course I bet on the Dallas Cowboys and they lost. The year was 1975. I Googled it and the year that game was played in this timeline is 1976. Interesting enough my husband and I often talked about that particular Super Bowl because that was the first time he bet on a game. Our parents gave us the money to pay our “debt” and we both had to work it off. lol My husband lived in Ohio at the time.

  12. I remember Karem Abdul Jabbar died in 1992 from complications of sickle cell anemia. I remember thinking it was crazy that Magic Johnson had AIDS, but Kareem died. Like other celebrity deaths I remember him being honored on multiple occasions.

    1. Interesting. One correction: Magic Johnson was (and still is) HIV-positive. As many survivors who test HIV-positive will tell you, that’s not the same thing as having AIDS.

      I can’t see any basketball connection to a 1992 death related to sickle-cell anemia, so I think we can rule out a normal memory glitch or widespread news error.

      Meanwhile, I’m glad Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is still alive. I’m eager to read his recent book, Mycroft Holmes.

  13. I had posted this earlier in a different thread, does anyone remember the 1997 or 1998 Nba Champion Chicago Bulls having a player named Dino Rajda on it, the finals ended with Dino Radja kissing or embracing Michael Jordan on his forehead, and he and Tony Kucoc talking about hopes about Yugoslavia peace and the Nba vs European basketball.

    I seem to recall it being maybe even earlier maybe 1996.

  14. I’m am fairly new as a member, but I have been reading everything on here for about three days straight.
    And I have the same experiences almost 95% of the time.
    My experience is the 2009 superbowl steelers vs.cardinal’s on Feb 1st.
    I distinctivly remember that it was the Steelers vs. Houston. The end game was the steelers winning by a full touchdown. The reason why I know this as a matter of fact is because February 1st is my birthday and Houston is my team. it was a great game back and forth fumbles. It all came down to literally the last very few seconds, with steelers having the ball, inches away from the touchdown. Steelers did a Superman run with five people on one man trying to hold him back and the guy still made it. [Edited]

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