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Where did all the Game 7s go?

Since permanently switching to a best-of-7 World Series in 1922, major league baseball has not gone longer without a winner-take-all game than its current eight-year drought.

In fact, before the past decade, the major leagues had only once gone as many as five consecutive years (1935-39) without a Game 7.

As bad as the current drought sounds, it's actually worse. In the past eight years, the World Series has only reached Game 6 twice. And not since 2003 has there even been a 2-2 split in the first four games of a Fall Classic. There have been more sweeps than Game 6s in the past eight years.

Compare that to the 19 seasons from 1955-73, when there were only six World Series without a Game 7. How many classic moments came through that golden era?

There have been some fine champions over the past eight years, but it's a shame that we've gone this long without a World Series that was more forgettable than memorable (winning team's fans excepted). The one saving grace is that the American League’s ongoing dominance over the National League in the All-Star Game hasn’t extended to the postseason. Despite the conventional wisdom that it’s the superior league, the AL has only split the past eight Series.

MLB's Game 7 drought is reminiscent of the time when it seemed we couldn't buy a decent Super Bowl. In 14 games from 1984-97, there were only three Super Bowls that remained in doubt toward the end of the fourth quarter. It didn't affect the NFL’s rising popularity, but it did help establish Super Bowl Sunday as a day more memorable for its TV commercials than the action on the field, a reputation that only in recent years has begun to diminish.

Similarly, baseball doesn’t live or die with its Game 7s, but sheesh, it’s about time we got one, isn’t it? This year marks the 10th anniversary of Arizona’s bottom-of-the-ninth walk-off title, and quite arguably, we haven’t had a more memorable World Series game since. We deserve a night to gather at the ballpark or in front of the TV set and see one game for all the marbles.

Jon Weisman writes about the Dodgers at Dodger Thoughts for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.