The Super Bowl is of course a trending topic right about now. In this space, however, we talk about baseball, so the Super Bowl, which is a game of tackle football superbly played in a bowl, would seem to be of not much interest to us.

What is of interest to us -- besides This, Our Baseball -- are clicks. So in the service of that righteous trinity, let us contrive a way to work "Super Bowl" into a headline.

To the end of that very thing, we're going to spelunk through baseball history and ask: What if MLB had a Super Bowl?

That is, we're wondering how MLB's doling out of championship trophies would've gone if said championship was determined by a single game between the NL champ and AL champ. For these purposes, that means the winner of Game 1 of the World Series wins the Super Bowl.

Obviously, this isn't a strict one-to-one comparison, as MLB managers would perhaps trot out different starting pitchers than they actually did in Games 1 of the World Series and have a more "all-in" tactical approach in a one-and-done championship format. However, as a sage village elder once said, "Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good clicks."

Also, there's the tricky matter of MLB's divisional era and beyond. Since 1969, MLB's postseason has consisted of multiple rounds, which means multiple best-of-five and best-of-seven series. In an ideal world, we'd take the winners of each Game 1 of those series and sort it all out in keeping with the one-and-done guiding principle of the Super Bowl. We'll not wander into that thicket of possibilities, though. We're nothing if not comfortable with imperfections.

Anyhow, see up top where it says "11 min read"? That's how many minutes of your life -- a life no doubt of capital importance -- that you're going to waste reading this. You've been warned, and as such you have assumed all risks.

So here's what comes out of the wash when we consider Game 1 of the World Series to be the Super Bowl. An asterisk indicates that the team winning the Super Bowl in a given year is different from the team that in reality won the World Series that same year. Also, we've combed through the relevant box scores and named a Super Bowl MVP for each Game 1.

Cubs history turns out very differently. USATSI/

Come with us as we frolic through the dappled meadows of the hypothetical ...

Super Bowl, year Result Hypothetical MVP
Super Bowl I, 1903 Pittsburgh Pirates 7, Boston Americans 3* Jimmy Sebring
No Super Bowl
Super Bowl II, 1905 New York Giants 3, Philadelphia Athletics 0 Christy Mathewson
Super Bowl III, 1906 Chicago White Sox 2, Chicago Cubs 1 Nick Altrock
Super Bowl IV, 1907 Chicago Cubs 6, Detroit Tigers 4 (16) Jimmy Slagle
Super Bowl V, 1908 Chicago Cubs 10, Detroit Tigers 6 Solly Hofman
Super Bowl VI, 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Detroit Tigers 1 Babe Adams
Super Bowl VII, 1910 Philadelphia Athletics 4, Chicago Cubs 1 Chief Bender
Super Bowl VIII, 1911 New York Giants 2, Philadelphia Athletics 1* Christy Mathewson
Super Bowl IX, 1912 Boston Red Sox 4, New York Giants 3 Steve Yerkes
Super Bowl X, 1913 Philadelphia Athletics 6, New York Giants 4 Home Run Baker
Super Bowl XI, 1914 Boston Braves 7, Philadelphia Athletics 1 Hank Gowdy
Super Bowl XII, 1915 Philadelphia Phillies 3, Boston Red Sox 1* Pete Alexander
Super Bowl XIII, 1916 Boston Red Sox 6, Brooklyn Robins 5 Tillie Walker
Super Bowl XIV, 1917 Chicago White Sox 2, New York Giants 1 Eddie Cicotte
Super Bowl XV, 1918 Boston Red Sox 1, Chicago Cubs 0 Babe Ruth
Super Bowl XVI, 1919 Cincinnati Reds 9, Chicago White Sox 1 Dutch Ruether
Super Bowl XVII, 1920 Cleveland Indians 3, Brooklyn Robins 1 Stan Coveleski
Super Bowl XVIII, 1921 New York Yankees 3, New York Giants 0* Carl Mays
Super Bowl XIX, 1922 New York Giants 3, New York Yankees 2 Heinie Groh
Super Bowl XX, 1923 New York Giants 5, New York Yankees 4* Casey Stengel
Super Bowl XXI, 1924 New York Giants 4, Washington Senators 3 (12)* Art Nehf
Super Bowl XXII, 1925 Washington Senators 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 1* Walter Johnson
Super Bowl XXIII, 1926 New York Yankees 2, St. Louis Cardinals 1* Herb Pennock
Super Bowl XXIV, 1927 New York Yankees 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 4 Babe Ruth
Super Bowl XXV, 1928 New York Yankees 4, St. Louis Cardinals 1 Waite Hoyt
Super Bowl XXVI, 1929 Philadelphia Athletics 3, Chicago Cubs 1 Howard Ehmke
Super Bowl XXVII, 1930 Philadelphia Athletics 5, St. Louis Cardinals 2 Lefty Grove
Super Bowl XXVIII, 1931 Philadelphia Athletics 6, St. Louis Cardinals 2* Lefty Grove
Super Bowl XXIX, 1932 New York Yankees 12, Chicago Cubs 6 Lou Gehrig
Super Bowl XXX, 1933 New York Giants 4, Washington Senators 2 Mel Ott
Super Bowl XXXI, 1934 St. Louis Cardinals 8, Detroit Tigers 3 Joe Medwick
Super Bowl XXXII, 1935 Chicago Cubs 3, Detroit Tigers 0* Lon Warneke
Super Bowl XXXIII, 1936 New York Giants 6, New York Yankees 1* Carl Hubbell
Super Bowl XXXIV, 1937 New York Yankees 8, New York Giants 1 Lefty Gomez
Super Bowl XXXV, 1938 New York Yankees 3, Chicago Cubs 1 Red Ruffing
Super Bowl XXXVI, 1939 New York Yankees 2, Cincinnati Reds 1 Red Ruffing
Super Bowl XXXVII, 1940 Detroit Tigers 7, Cincinnati Reds 2* Bruce Campbell
Super Bowl XXXVIII, 1941 New York Yankees 3, Brooklyn Dodgers 2 Red Ruffing
Super Bowl XXXIX, 1942 New York Yankees 7, St. Louis Cardinals 4* Joe DiMaggio
Super Bowl XL, 1943 New York Yankees 4, St. Louis Cardinals 2 Spud Chandler
Super Bowl XLI, 1944 St. Louis Browns 2, St. Louis Cardinals 1* (11) Denny Galehouse
Super Bowl XLII, 1945 Chicago Cubs 9, Detroit Tigers 0* Bill Nicholson
Super Bowl XLIII, 1946 Boston Red Sox 3, St. Louis Cardinals 2 (10)* Rudy York
Super Bowl XLIV, 1947 New York Yankees 5, Brooklyn Dodgers 3 Spec Shea
Super Bowl XLV, 1948 Boston Braves 1, Cleveland Indians 0* Johnny Sain
Super Bowl XLVI, 1949 New York Yankees 1, Brooklyn Dodgers 0 Tommy Henrich
Super Bowl XLVII, 1950 New York Yankees 1, Philadelphia Phillies 0 Vic Raschi
Super Bowl XLVIII, 1951 New York Giants 5, New York Yankees 1* Monte Irvin
Super Bowl XLIX, 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers 4, New York Yankees 2 (11)* Duke Snider
Super Bowl L, 1953 New York Yankees 9, Brooklyn Dodgers 5 Billy Martin
Super Bowl LI, 1954 New York Giants 5, Cleveland Indians 2 (10) Dusty Rhodes
Super Bowl LII, 1955 New York Yankees 6, Brooklyn Dodgers 5* Joe Collins
Super Bowl LIII, 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers 6, New York Yankees 3* Gil Hodges
Super Bowl LIV, 1957 New York Yankees 3, Milwaukee Braves 1* Whitey Ford
Super Bowl LV, 1958 Milwaukee Braves 4, New York Yankees 3 (10)* Warren Spahn
Super Bowl LVI, 1959 Chicago White Sox 11, Los Angeles Dodgers 0* Ted Kluszewki
Super Bowl LVII, 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates 6, New York Yankees 4 Bill Mazeroski
Super Bowl LVIII, 1961 New York Yankees 2, Cincinnati Reds 0 Whitey Ford
Super Bowl LIX, 1962 New York Yankees 6, San Francisco Giants 2 Whitey Ford
Super Bowl LX, 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers 5, New York Yankees 2 Sandy Koufax
Super Bowl LXI, 1964 St. Louis Cardinals 9, New York Yankees 5 Mike Shannon
Super Bowl LXII, 1965 Minnesota Twins 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 2* Zoilo Versalles
Super Bowl LXIII, 1966 Baltimore Orioles 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 2 Moe Drabowsky
Super Bowl LXIV, 1967 St. Louis Cardinals 2, Boston Red Sox 1 Bob Gibson
Super Bowl LXV, 1968 St. Louis Cardinals 4, Detroit Tigers 0 Bob Gibson
Super Bowl LXVI, 1969 Baltimore Orioles 4, New York Mets 1* Mike Cuellar
Super Bowl LXVII, 1970 Baltimore Orioles 4, Cincinnati Reds 3 Brooks Robinson
Super Bowl LXVIII, 1971 Baltimore Orioles 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 3* Merv Rettenmund
Super Bowl LXIX, 1972 Oakland Athletics 3, Cincinnati Reds 2 Gene Tenace
Super Bowl LXX, 1973 Oakland Athletics 2, New York Mets 1 Rollie Fingers
Super Bowl LXXI, 1974 Oakland Athletics 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2 Ken Holtzman
Super Bowl LXXII, 1975 Boston Red Sox 6, Cincinnati Reds 0* Luis Tiant
Super Bowl LXXIII, 1976 Cincinnati Reds 5, New York Yankees 1 Tony Perez
Super Bowl LXXIV, 1977 New York Yankees 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (12) Willie Randolph
Super Bowl LXXV, 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers 11, New York Yankees 5* Davey Lopes
Super Bowl LXXVI, 1979 Baltimore Orioles 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 4* Doug DeCinces
Super Bowl LXXVII, 1980 Philadelphia Phillies 7, Kansas City Royals 6 Bake McBride
Super Bowl LXXVIII, 1981 New York Yankees 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 3* Bob Watson
Super Bowl LXXIX, 1982 Milwaukee Brewers 10, St. Louis Cardinals 0* Paul Molitor
Super Bowl LXXX, 1983 Philadelphia Phillies 2, Baltimore Orioles 1* Joe Morgan
Super Bowl LXXXI, 1984 Detroit Tigers 3, San Diego Padres 2 Jack Morris
Super Bowl LXXXII, 1985 St. Louis Cardinals 3, Kansas City Royals 1* Todd Worrell
Super Bowl LXXXIII, 1986 Boston Red Sox 1, New York Mets 0* Bruce Hurst
Super Bowl LXXXIV, 1987 Minnesota Twins 10, St. Louis Cardinals 1 Dan Gladden
Super Bowl LXXXV, 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Oakland Athletics 4 Kirk Gibson
Super Bowl LXXXVI, 1989 Oakland Athletics 5, San Francisco Giants 0 Dave Stewart
Super Bowl LXXXVII, 1990 Cincinnati Reds 7, Oakland Athletics 0 Eric Davis
Super Bowl LXXXVIII, 1991 Minnesota Twins 5, Atlanta Braves 2 Chuck Knoblauch
Super Bowl LXXXIX, 1992 Atlanta Braves 3, Toronto Blue Jays 1* Damon Berryhill
Super Bowl XC, 1993 Toronto Blue Jays 8, Philadelphia Phillies 5 Devon White
No Super Bowl
Super Bowl XCI, 1995 Atlanta Braves 3, Cleveland Indians 2 Greg Maddux
Super Bowl XCII, 1996 Atlanta Braves 12, New York Yankees 1* Andruw Jones
Super Bowl XCIII, 1997 Florida Marlins 7, Cleveland Indians 4 Moises Alou
Super Bowl XCIV, 1998 New York Yankees 9, San Diego Padres 6 Tino Martinez
Super Bowl XCV, 1999 New York Yankees 4, Atlanta Braves 1 Orlando Hernandez
Super Bowl XCVI, 2000 New York Yankees 4, New York Mets 3 (12) Jose Vizcaino
Super Bowl XCVII, 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks 9, New York Yankees 1 Luis Gonzalez
Super Bowl XCVIII, 2002 San Francisco Giants 4, Anaheim Angels 3* J.T. Snow
Super Bowl XCIX, 2003 Florida Marlins 3, New York Yankees 2 Juan Pierre
Super Bowl C, 2004 Boston Red Sox 11, St. Louis Cardinals 9 David Ortiz
Super Bowl CI, 2005 Chicago White Sox 5, Houston Astros 3 Bobby Jenks
Super Bowl CII, 2006 St. Louis Cardinals 7, Detroit Tigers 2 Albert Pujols
Super Bowl CIII, 2007 Boston Red Sox 13, Colorado Rockies 1 Josh Beckett
Super Bowl CIV, 2008 Philadelphia Phillies 3, Tampa Bay Rays 2 Chase Utley
Super Bowl CV, 2009 Philadelphia Phillies 6, New York Yankees 1* Cliff Lee
Super Bowl CVI, 2010 San Francisco Giants 11, Texas Rangers 7 Freddy Sanchez
Super Bowl CVII, 2011 St. Louis Cardinals 3, Texas Rangers 2 Lance Berkman
Super Bowl CVIII, 2012 San Francisco Giants 8, Detroit Tigers 3 Pablo Sandoval
Super Bowl CIX, 2013 Boston Red Sox 8, St. Louis Cardinals 1 Jon Lester
Super Bowl CX, 2014 San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 Hunter Pence
Super Bowl CXI, 2015 Kansas City Royals 5, New York Mets (14) Ben Zobrist
Super Bowl CXII, 2016 Cleveland Indians 6, Chicago Cubs 0* Corey Kluber

Alternative history abounds! Now for a far-flung smattering of observations regarding the triumphs and tragedies listed above ...

  • Things get interesting pretty much right away in 1907. Game 1 of the World Series that year ended in 3-3 tie after 12 innings because of darkness. That means we'll consider the early innings of Game 2 to be continuation of Game 1. The Cubs and Tigers each plated a run in the second inning of Game 2, and it wasn't until the fourth that the Cubs pushed across another pair of runs for the win. So the Cubs took the Super Bowl in a total of 16 innings.
  • The outcome of Super Bowl XXIV now means that Babe Ruth has won a Super Bowl MVP for his hitting and for his pitching. He pitched himself to a Super Bowl MVP in 1918 as a member of the Red Sox.
  • Super Bowl XVI: Yep, the Black Sox still lose. So much for a chance at dodging dark baseball history.
  • Super Bowl XX, 1923: That's right -- Casey Stengel, Super Bowl MVP.
  • Not only did Super Bowl XXI in 1924 span 12 taut innings, but Art Nehf and Walter Johnson each went the distance. Imagine witnessing that in the modern era of pitcher usage. This reversal of fortune also means that Johnson never gets his ring -- until he does, one year later.
  • Yes, the Cubs still lose in 1929, but at least under the Super Bowl format they're spared the indignity of blowing an 8-0 lead in the seventh inning, which is exactly what they did in Game 4 of the '29 World Series.
  • The Yankees dominate the Cubs in the 1932 Super Bowl, and Babe Ruth's "called shot," which may or may not have happened in Game 3 of the World Series that year, never comes to pass.
  • Super Bowl XXXII, 1935: Note that in this alternate reality, the Cubs' curse does not span back to 1908. This also means that Goose Goslin's series-clinching walk-off single in Game 6 never happens.
  • Note further that in this alternate reality that the Cubs have moved their curse date up to 1945.
  • Super Bowl XLVI in 1949 brings us our first Super Bowl walk-off home run. The Yankees' Tommy Henrich makes history when he takes a 2-0 fastball from Don Newcombe over the right field wall of the Superdome. Yep, definitely happened in the Superdome.
  • In 1951, we have a more fitting conclusion to the Shot Heard 'Round the World. In this world, Bobby Thomson's Giants best the Yankees in the Super Bowl.
  • Brooklyn winds up winning its first title in 1952 rather than 1955. As well, the Yankees in Super Bowl World don't wind up winning five championships in a row from 1949-53, as they did in real life.
  • In 1954, pinch-hitter Dusty Rhodes gives us our second Super Bowl walk-off homer, as he clouts the game-winner in the 10th. Of course, we might not have gotten to that point if Willie Mays hadn't made his legendary catch of Vic Wertz's blast in the eighth ...
  • Brooklyn wins a second championship with their triumph in the 1956 Super Bowl. Also, Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series never happens.
  • The Pirates win Super Bowl LVII in 1960, and Bill Mazeroski takes MVP laurels. No longer, though, does Maz get to hit his Game 7 walk-off.
  • In 1962, Whitey Ford becomes the first and still only three-time Super Bowl MVP.
  • With the conclusion of Super Bowl LXXI, baseball has now seen just three different champions over the last nine years.
  • Storied Game 6 of the 1975 World Series drifts away into the ether. Instead, the Red Sox thump the Reds in Super Bowl LXXII.
  • The Cardinals top the Royals in Super Bowl LXXXII. Breathe easy, Don Denkinger. Your controversial blown call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series doesn't happen.
  • Kirk Gibson's home run off Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series is already one of the most towering moments in baseball history. In this world, though, Gibson's clout not only won the game, it won the belt and the title. As such, in the world of the MLB Super Bowl that home run may be the biggest moment in the history of the game. At this point, we're honor-bound to roll tape ...
  • Since Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols each hit three home runs in a World Series game but did not do so in a Game 1, Pablo Sandoval's three bombs in Super Bowl CVIII stands as the record.
  • Their loss to the Royals in 2015 drops the Mets to 0-5 in Super Bowl play. If you're tired of the Mets rooter's penchant for self-pity, then just imagine what it would be like if they had no rings at all.
  • No, the Cubs do not end their title drought against the Indians in Super Bowl CXII. The consoling knowledge, as noted, is that the curse now goes back to '45 instead of '08.

That's is all just a sampling, of course. Other moments have been lost (hello, Bill Buckner), but others have grown in importance.

Anyhow, this is what it would be like if baseball had a Super Bowl. Baseball doesn't have a Super Bowl, of course, but people search for things related to the Super Bowl. That's what we've been doing at marathon length -- giving the people what they weren't looking for.

Congratulations to Damon Berryhill.