Champions, Scandals and the Possibility of a Gloomy 2011
by Gus Jarvis
Dec 29, 2010 | 2578 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Break out the champagne, dried black-eyed peas and the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” for it’s time to celebrate the coming of a new year and take a look back on the year that was 2010.

Looking back at the headlines that made the news in the world of sports, it’s hard to judge what fans like the most. Is it the rise of greatness on the field of play? Or is it the well-known athlete that falls into off-the-field scandals that everyone really likes to read about? Do we want to revisit the Blackhawks ending a 49-year drought by winning the Stanley Cup, another Lakers championship, or do we want to talk about Tiger Woods’ sexual exploits? Tough call. It would take book to cover all that happened last year from the reorganization of college conferences to a year of perfect games in baseball. Here is a look back at what caught my attention.

Perhaps the biggest story in sports was that the New Orleans Saints finally won themselves a Super Bowl. The win was good for the team, good for the city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and good for the country as well. Unless you lived in Colts country, you were going for the Saints, especially after they started the second half of the Super Bowl off with an onside kick. What a call. It was a celebratory year for those donning the fleur-de-lis. It was time to finally take off those stupid paper bags.

It was about that time last year when the shameful Tiger Woods should have taken one of those unused paper bags for himself during his first press conference after the Thanksgiving 2009 incident where he crashed into a tree causing his extramarital affairs to spew out in front of the entire world.

It was in February when Tiger took the stage for his 12-minute apology speech. He didn’t take questions, but he also never denied sleeping with the Perkins waitress and a host of others. Last year was a recovery year for Tiger. He did, sadly, lose his marriage and tried to regain greatness on the golf course. It proved tougher than he or anyone thought. Will the Tiger of old (on the greens, I mean) make a return as the greatest golfer known to mankind? (Incidentally, if you are into the juicy details of Tiger’s late night visits to his mistresses, check out the two-part Vanity Fair story back in May. It could be the read of the year.)

Like Tiger Woods, LeBron James made a ton of enemies this year when he decided not to return to his native Ohio to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but rather go south to Miami to play with the Heat alongside Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. After LeBron’s “Decision” aired on ESPN, lunatic basketball fans in Cleveland hit the streets burning LeBron jerseys. The city had gone outright mad. I’m not sure what was more memorable, LeBron’s decision or the nutty fans.

For everybody’s favorite uncle Brett Favre, 2010 was a terrible year. Yes, he started the year off on a good note by leading the Vikings into the NFC Championship game against the Saints. It was a game old Uncle Brett could have won, and he was given the chance. Instead he threw one of the worst interceptions in NFL history at a critical moment. What did that interception do? Well, it kept him from retiring once again. He decided to give it a go in Minnesota just one more time in what became a turbulent season for the Vikings with head coaching changes, roofs collapsing, and old Uncle Brett in hot water over sending some sexual texts to a former Jets employee. Yep, Brett should have hung ‘em up and stuck to the Wrangler commercials.

Will he finally retire next year? We will have to wait until the first game of the season to be absolutely sure he will in fact retire. I am betting he won’t, though, only because for the past five years I bet that he would retire, so I decided to try a little reverse psychology for next year.

If Invesco Field at Mile High had a roof over it, it would have collapsed this year just like the Vikings did. For Bronco fans it was just a lousy year with youngster head coach Josh McDaniels basically doing everything in his power to drive the team down. Trade Peyton Hillis for a quarterback. Get rid of our best receiver. Lose three draft picks to get a hold of the Chosen One to add to the team’s quiver of quarterbacks led by proven loser Kyle Orton.

But hey, New Year’s isn’t always about reliving the bad. The best thing that has happened to us in Bronco country is the firing of McDaniels, signifying a new day in Denver and new possibilities. I admit I wasn’t excited about Tim Tebow becoming a Bronco but after last weekend’s comeback victory, you bet I am now. Despite Tebow’s flawed mechanics, he seems to be a winner so far. Orton couldn’t have pulled off last weekend’s win against the Texans – who, by the way, will be firing Gary Kubiak sometime soon, so he can come back to Denver and take hold of the team he should be coaching.

Looking to 2011, the Nuggets won’t have Carmelo Anthony for long. The Rockies are going to be good. National League Champions good. The biggest thing to fear in 2011? An NFL lockout. Let’s hope both sides of the bargaining table pull their heads out of their asses sooner rather than later and strike a deal, or 2011 is going to be a terrible year.

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