11 Stories to close out 2010
As we begin 2011, we take a moment to pause and reflect back on the year in sports of 2010….
2010 brought us a return to glory, a 5-Peat, Back to Back Champs, a City reborn, a fan base rewarded, Patriotism revisited, and the year of the head shot, in more ways than one. We said Good-bye to our Idols, Farewell to old friends as well as new. 2010 in Sports was in a sentence, What we have been waiting for.
In no particular order we give you the top sports stories of the year.
New Orleans Saints: The Super Bowl Champions revitalized a City, Region and a Franchise. For the life of the New Orleans Saints they were the “Aints”, Then in August of 2005, tragedy struck, and that tragedy was named Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 NFL Season saw the Saints play home games in New Jersey, Texas and Baton Rouge, while the Louisiana Superdome, was converted from Sports Stadium to Temporary Shelter to Morgue and back to Sports Stadium. In 2006, the Saints hired Sean Payton as their Head Coach, traded for QB Drew Brees , drafted Reggie Bush and made the NFC Championship Game. 2 short years later there were the Saints playing Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game winning the game in overtime on a Garrett Hartley FG. The Saints completed their revival 2 weeks later in a Super Bowl that they should have hosted in the Superdome had Katrina not ravaged the city and the region that so loves the Saints. The Saints Super Bowl win over the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning, New Orleans pride and joy capped an NFL Season which saw 2 teams go 13-0 and the revival of Brett Favre who might have had the best season of his career.
2010 Vancouver Olympics: The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics brought American Patriotism reach an all-time high in a fringe sports amongst many sports fans. The Men’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game that was played between the United States and Canada drew some of the highest television ratings of all time. Sidney Crosby’s goal in overtime after New Jersey Devils superstar Zach Parise scored in the final minute of regulation capped one of the greatest Olympic Hockey Games ever played. Team USA went into the tournament as tremendous underdogs, a team that as people looked over the roster were saying that hockey in America would suffer if the Americans had a poor showing at the Olympics, but the team went the other way and captured a Silver Medal. Other stories from the Games were the death of a Georgian Luger, America’s newest Winter Sports sweetheart capturing a slew of medals and Curling captivated everyone.
College Basketball: In 2010, UConn’s Women’s Basketball team completed its season with its 2nd consecutive Undefeated Season and took their undefeated streak to 90 games before losing on December 30th to Stanford, the last team to beat them in the 2008 Women’s Final Four. But, the story on the Men’s side of the College Basketball universe belonged to the Butler University Bulldogs, who fell a fraction of an inch short to the Duke Blue Devils in what could be the greatest Championship Game in History. Duke who rebounded from 3 consecutive early tournament losses in the previous years, regained the form of a Champion and currently this season is ranked No. 1 and is Undefeated heading into ACC play. Behind Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith Duke gave Coach K his 4th National Championship.
Ken Griffey Jr.: The 2010 baseball season saw “The Kid” retire on June 2nd. Take a poll of baseball fans between the ages of 23-32 who their favorite player was growing up, 75% of them atleast will tell you that Ken Griffey Jr. was there guy. I mean why wouldn’t he be, his smile did to baseball fans what Mickey Mouse does to kids going to Disney World for the first does. He had a smile that could light up a city in a power outage. He had fun playing baseball. Hat backwards, sweet swing, Nike sneakers. He was MLB’s Michael Jordan, kids wanted to be like him down to his swing, position and number. Unfortunately, injuries took the final numbers he should have put up away from him, but he finished his career with over 600 HR’s and walked away with dignity, something other superstars of the 1990’s should have learned to do….see Brett Favre. when you talk about a legacy in sports The Kid left one…He saved baseball in Seatlle. To the guy who hit the warehouse in Baltimore, we will miss you.
The Year of the Pitcher: No-Hitters, Perfect Games, Cliff Lee, Armando Galaraga. Yes, of course Armando Galaraga gets mentioned, he threw a 28 out Perfect game on my birthday. The 2010 MLB Season saw a total of 6 No-Hitters and Perfect Games pitched. Perfect games by Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay within a week of each other in May were truly the highlight of the season but were upstaged as I previously said on June 2nd when Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galaraga’s Perfect Game bid was lost on a controversial call at 1st Base by Umpire Jim Joyce. Ubaldo Jimenez started off the party in April when he No-Hit the Atlanta Braves, Edwin Jackson and Matt Garza also pitched No-Hitters in the Regular Season. but on the opening day of the 2010 MLB Playoffs Roy Halladay pitched his 2nd No-Hitter of the season in a dominating win over the Cincinatti Reds. But the year of the pitcher award goes to the San Francisco Giants whose pitching staff of Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, and Baumgartner were down right nasty. Every series they played in the Playoffs they were the underdog and every series their pitching staff carried them to Series wins and ultimately the 2010 World Series.
2010 World Cup: In no previous world Cup had Team USA had so much momentum coming from back home and American Patriotism was on fully display the same way it was back in February with the Olympic Hockey Team. USA vs England in America’s opening match was all the buzz on Twitter and Facebook, it seemed everyone was watching this match. The 2nd game of the tournament for the Americans erupted in controversy when the Americans game winning goal was disallowed by the referee in the match, a match in which the US fell behind and tied the match on 2nd Half goals by Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley. When Landon Donovan scored in the 91st minute against Algeria, euphoria erupted and the Americans clinched the top spot in Group C, and a Round of 16 match against Ghana in which the Americans. Although, the Americans lost the match to Ghana, the growing popularty of the sport is limitless in the USA.
The Year of the Headshot: Well if 2010 in Major League Baseball was the Year of the Pitcher, then 2010 was the “Year of the Headshot” in the NFL. Illegal hits in the NFL have been on the rise, but 2010 takes the cake. This season has seen an NFL Rule Change stating that players maybe suspended for a violent hit to the head of an opposing player. Steelers LB James Harrison has been Roger Goodell’s poster boy for handing out fines this season. To date Harrison has seen his checking account lightened by $120,000 but has had the fine reduced by $25,000 by the League this past week. In the original week of fines, Falcons CB Dunta Robinson and Patriots S Brandon Meriweather were also fined.
Think before you act: Well 2009 ended horribly for Tiger Woods and 2010 wasn’t much better for him. Failing to win a PGA Tour championship for the first time in his career wasn’t the worst of it, losing his No 1 Ranking in the World Golf Rankings didn’t help, the worst part of his year was signing a check to his ex-wife Elin Nordegren to the tune of $100 Million. But he wasn’t the only dope in the sports world this year….ENTER Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger who in 2009 was alleged to have committed sexual assault in Las Vegas didn’t stop there, No? Why would he? In March 2010 Big Ben and his little Ben got themselves into trouble when an under aged woman in a Georgia college bar claimed Big Ben allegedly sexually assaulted her. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would suspend Roethlisberger less than 6 weeks later to a 6 game suspension that would be later reduced to 4 games on account that Ben went through a league-mandated “professional behavior evaluation” and “must adhere to any counseling or treatment that is recommended by the professional evaluators. And then we have Brett Favre. Yet another year of the Brett Favre off season circus was full in play when Deadspin.com broke a story that Favre, while a member of the New York Jets had sent unwanted texts, voice mails and pictures to Jets Game Hostess Jenn Sterger. When Favre came back to play the Jets in October, the world got a glimpse of Favre that most of the free world didn’t A want to see or B need to see. Favre sent Sterger voicemails asking her to come to his Hotel, and when he became desperate pics of his cheesehead. In the end Favre was dealt a $50,000 fine, the end of his 297 game starting streak and the worst season of his career. Honorable Mention: THE NEW YORK JETS and BOBBY GONZALEZ
2010 MLB Free Agency: The Red Sox signed Carl Crawford traded for Adrian Gonzalez, the Phillies signed Cliff Lee, the Nationals signed Jayson Werth and the Yankees signed Pedro Feliciano. See a problem here? Yes. well that’s all I got to say about that.
Chicago gets a Championship: But not from the Cubbies. Chelsea Dagger still ringing through your ears from this year’s NHL Playoffs or better yet do you have a disdain for Amstel Light? Think about it this way at least Sidney Crosby didn’t go Back to Back!!!!
Tom Brady and the Patriots ARRRRRRRRRRRE BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK: The 2009 Patriots season ended with a let’s be honest about it ASS BEATING at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. Which made the early playoff exit worse was the thought of starting the 2010 NFL Season without Wes Welker, who turned his knee into hamburger in the 2009 finale against the Houston Texans when on a play with no contact went down with a torn ACL. Currently, at 13-2 with the NFL’s best record and Homefield Advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs, Brady and the Patriots aren’t the Dynasty they once were , but may quite possibly be on the cusp of beginning a new one. After starting the season 3-1 the Patriots traded Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for a 3rd round pick and then brought back Super Bowl XXXVIIII MVP Deion Branch. The team has gone 10-1 with Branch back in the mix and New England’s offense looks like they found Charlie Weis’ play book that he should have taken with him to Notre Dame and have the team hasn’t committed a turnover since before Thanksgiving and have been scoring points like its Tecmo Super Bowl. With wins over Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and the New York Jets with Detroit on Thanksgiving, throw in Chicago and Green Bay, Patriots Nation has visions of Duck Parades through Boston in February in their heads. While many thought Belichick was crazy when he traded Moss, he proved that just when you start to think that you have the answer he changes on the question. Brady with a 3 headed monster at TE with Crumpler, Gronkowski and Hernandez and the Chipmunk brigade of Welker, Edelman, Branch and Danny Woodhead and a running back who’s last name sounds like a law firm on State Street, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, the Patriots are again where members of the Nation think they should be staring at Jerry World and a 4th Super Bowl win this Century.
Remember kids if you forget the past you are doomed to repeat it. Happy 2011 Everyone.