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The Rubber Game
After we watched the Mets win the rubber game against the Dodgers on Wednesday night last week, I turned to my wise Aunt and asked ‘why do they call it a rubber game?'
‘It's a Bridge term. It's the third game you play after you and your opponent have won one game each.'
‘So it's called rubber because it can go either way?' I said reaching for the metaphor.
‘In Bridge, if you win the first two games, you don't have to play the rubber game.'
‘But in Baseball, the third game is played irregardless of who won how many games in the series. The game is on the schedule.' I said.
‘True.' My aunt said. I could tell her mind had already drifted from the game at hand to the Dodgers' overall position in the standings. They're now at the top of the NL West.
Also, what if a series had four games, then the forth game is the rubber game, right? I guess. I wasn't sure.
I decided to do more research into The Rubber Game. Rather than turning it over to my Department of Word Management, I decided to google it myself.
According to the
, the rubber game was originally part of English Lawn bowling around 1599 and denoted a tie breaker.
According to the
American Heritage Dictionary
, the origin of rubber as a tie breaker is unknown.
So nothing. No great trivial fact. Just a big long nothing. How anticlimactic for a rubber game.
A rubber game has nothing to do with condoms. However, if you tie a bunch of condoms together to make a ball, you could have a rubber game.