This is my companion piece to yesterday’s local version. Please feel free to chime in about either. Tomorrow will be my “Top 10 Games of 2009.”
Honorable Mention: Bemidji State Makes a Run For the Little Guys, Rod Woodson and Bruce Smith Enter Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ms. Patrick Goes to NASCAR, Dwight Howard takes Magic to Finals, Michelle Wie Wins First LPGA Event, Syracuse Gets Another Lax Title, Kimbo Slice Goes to UFC, Thierry Henry Cheats France into World Cup, Serena Williams Loses her Mind, Del Potro Stuns Federer, Utah Gets Another Non-BCS BCS Win, Usain Bolt Does it Again, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta Get Big Wins for Girls, Philadelphia Loses a Voice, Alabama Ends Tebow’s Run, Michael Jordan goes to Springfield
Do you even REMEMBER that Stewart Cink won the British Open? Neither do I. In a sport that is completely irrelevant without its biggest star, it took a man on the verge of turning 60 to somehow find relevance. It was a fun weekend, even for those of us who don’t necessarily enjoy golf.
My how quickly a year goes by. If the Yanks don’t win the AL East (or World Series)-this might be the #2 story of the year, as it would have been one more time where one of the greatest players of all time let his team down. BUT-the Yanks won, and we all sorta forgot about this awkward moment in Spring Training. Could it cost Alex Rodriguez a place in Cooperstown one day? Maybe.
The biggest fight moment of the year was also the biggest moment in Mixed Martial Arts history. (Of course, if they could somehow figure out a way to get Brock, Fedor and Kimbo into the same ring at one time-the world might explode.) Dana White hit a home run with Brock Lesnar. He brought in someone with major appeal due to his background as an amateur wrestler, WWE champion and a failed NFL attempt. Lesnar rose quickly in a watered-down heavyweight division; and with one win over Randy Couture-he went from “The Next Big Thing” to “The Thing” at UFC 100 in July. Everyone watched, everyone talked about it; and the UFC finally had their crowning mainstream moment.
The “moment” belonged to the Spartans. The city of Detroit was DESPERATE for something to rally around given the dire state of their economy, and the run to the Final Four by Michigan State game them exactly that. None of this takes anything away from what North Carolina accomplished, either. Tyler Hansbrough will go down as one of the all-time great college basketball players in history, and what happened in Detroit was his moment even more than it was Michigan State’s.
Hate Tim Tebow all you want, but he’s been nothing short of amazing in his college football career. Plus, he’s been amazing off the field as well. His halftime rally was arguably greater than his on-field performance…..
And hell-as far as moments go, his return to Gainesville may have been just as good….
How did Sports Illustrated manage to screw this up??? This was a NO-BRAINER for Sportsman of the Year.
Was it as good as Federer-Nadal in ’08? I don’t know. It’s easy to say know; but watching the highlights again-wow. These two put on an epic match without the #1 vs. #2 billing or the rivalry status that Roger and Rafa had in ’08. It seemed like a fitting way for Pete Sampras’ career major title record to be broken, as Federer had to withstand the greatest career performance by the top American tennis player.
Some people said he couldn’t win without Shaq. Others said he wasn’t the same after what happened in Colorado. They were all wrong. Kobe Bryant was just fine. The group of players around him (Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom, etc.) certainly lacked the “sex appeal” of previous Lakers teams, but it didn’t limit their effectiveness. And even more remarkably; Phil Jackson broke the record for most NBA Championships by a head coach (10, surpassing Red Auerbach’s 9)-arguably the most significant record of the year and yet mostly unnoticed.
The excitement surrounding the New York Yankees winning their 27th World Series title had about as much to do with the anger most MLB fans felt towards the idea that the Yanks “bought” their title as it did with any actual celebration. Sure, the Yanks rolled out the equivalent of an All-Star lineup just about every night; but they still had to win the thing. Meanwhile, there were reports that baseball was played over the summer in Baltimore. We have not been able to confirm them just yet.
God I hate admitting that anything they do is good. But this one certainly ranks amongst the greatest Super Bowl games of all time, thanks to the remarkable individual efforts of Ben Roethlisberger, Santonio Holmes, James Harrison, Kurt Warner, etc. Now let’s all hope that nothing good ever happens to those a-holes in Pittsburgh again.
Was the moment Tiger Woods hit a tree in Florida the biggest moment of the year? Maybe not. But the collective “moment” that has extended from Thanksgiving to the end of the year has certainly been; mostly because it has obviously transcended sport. He’s the biggest athlete in the world-and he has peaked everyone’s interest; even if you don’t really care who he slept with. If Tiger eventually comes back and wins the Masters, this will be a story of redemption. If Tiger never wins another major, this will go down as one of the all-time great career declines in the history of sports. Probably the greatest. Enough to move Tim Finchem to alcohol…..
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..