I wrote a column today about the Panthers' upcoming coin flip with the Miami Dolphins, which will happen Friday morning and decide who will pick No.8 in the 2012 NFL draft and who will pick No.9.
One example I didn't have room for in the story as to how it may not matter much which place the Panthers pick: OT Jordan Gross was No.8 overall in 2003 when Carolina picked him. Then Minnesota went for DT Kevin Williams at No.9. Both have been NFL studs for most of their careers.
Not to be too flippant regarding flips, but I also researched coin flips as a whole and came up with this list of my favorite 5 coin flips ever:
5. HAKEEM THE DREAM: In 1984, the NBA conducted a coin flip between Houston and Portland to decide which team got the No.1 overall pick. Houston won and picked Hakeem Olajuwon. Portland lost and picked Sam Bowie. But Chicago, who wasn’t involved in the flip at all, really won by picking Michael Jordan at No.3.
4. THAT'S NOT QUITE WHAT I MEANT: Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck once correctly called an overtime coin flip in a playoff game, then brashly declared, “We want the ball and we’re going to score!” Hasselbeck then threw an interception that Green Bay returned for a touchdown.
3. HEADS-TAILS: On Thanksgiving Day in 1998, Pittsburgh’s Jerome Bettis called “heads-tails” while the coin was in the air to decide whether the Steelers or Detroit would get the ball in overtime. The coin landed on “tails,” referee Phil Luckett declared Bettis had called “heads” and a controversy ensued. Detroit won the game. That flip led to the NFL rewriting its coin-flip rule – you now have to call the flip before the coin is tossed.
2. TALE OF TWO CITIES: In 1851, two men founded a large city in Oregon together. One was from Maine and wanted to name it “Portland.” The other was from Massachusetts and wanted to name it “Boston.” A coin flip decided “Portland” as the winner.
1. THE WRIGHT STUFF: In December 1903, the Wright brothers were oh-so-close to flying. Their aircraft had room for only the pilot, so Orville and Wilbur conducted a coin flip.
Wilbur won. But his attempt on Dec.14, 1903, stalled out, lasted barely over three seconds and wasn’t successful. Orville, the coin-flip loser, ended up going for 12 seconds and 120 feet in Kitty Hawk, N.C., three days later to begin the aviation era with the historic “first flight.”
So I believe whether the Panthers win or lose the coin flip Friday, it won’t matter much. Because as Wilbur Wright could have told you, fate can be as fickle as a flying machine.