With 2010 wrapping up it’s time to take a look back at the year in sports. Stop and think about the championship performances, along with all the other events this past year, and we might be looking at the best year in sports ever. Or at least for a while.
In 1998, many people argued that that was the best year in sports. The home-run chase, Michael Jordan’s last shot, etc. Well, now the home-run chase is a joke and Jordan unretired again so that’s over.
In football we had Alabama win yet another title. The game wasn’t great, but it was nice to see a program like Alabama get back to its championship ways. It didn’t hurt, for me, that it was at the hands of Texas either.
Who could forget the epic NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings. The game was back and forth, eventually going into overtime with Brett Favre throwing an interception setting up the Saints Garrett Hartley with the game-winning field goal. It was the last meaningful game Favre played and despite the interception, he had a nice game.
The Saints went on to win the Super Bowl and help heal the city of New Orleans. A lot of people will argue that sports can’t heal a city. Either way, Saints fans were thrilled and even if it didn’t do anything in the grand scheme of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, it gave the city a chance to be happy for a little while. The image of Drew Brees holding his child amidst the confetti will last forever.
Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics and did a beautiful job. Canada had never won a gold medal when it was the host country. That lasted about 30 seconds as Canada dominated the gold medal count with 14. The biggest gold went to the host country in the last event of the games, hockey. It was a rematch of the USA vs. Canada with the US winning the first game they played earlier in the games.
I was there, and I can tell that as much as I was rooting for the USA it was cool to see Canada win. We don’t care, as a country, about anything as much as the Canadians care about hockey. After Sydney Crosby scored the winning goal in overtime the whole country celebrated. It is the most watched broadcast in Canadian history. People poured into the streets of Vancouver and didn’t stop celebrating for hours.
New Orleans was thrilled with the Super Bowl. Alabama loved getting another title. All of Canada celebrated the gold.
March Madness kept its run as the greatest sporting event. We had upsets and buzzer-beaters, but none greater than the championship game. Duke defeated Butler 61-59 with Gordon Hayward barely missing the game-winning shot.
Watching Phil Mickelson celebrate his Masters victory with his wife, who had suffered from breast cancer, while Tiger Woods watched on dealing with his own demons was a poignant if nothing else.
As if the Lakers/Celtics couldn’t get any better the 2010 NBA Finals went 7 games. The Lakers won their 16th championship putting them within one of Boston.
Who could forget “The Decision”? People had been wondering where LeBron James would decide to play when he became a free-agent. We learned on an hour special on ESPN where James said he would be “taking his talents to South Beach.” Meaning he would play for the Miami Heat. Cleveland was stabbed in the back and James has acted like he really doesn’t care. The decision may or may not have been a good one, but it has given us great story lines for the current season.
All the no-hitters in baseball set up Roy Halliday for his perfect game in his postseason debut. The World Series may have been underwhelming in rating and exciting games, but having the Texas Rangers take on the San Francisco Giants at least gave us some new blood in October. The Giants did end 56 years of torture in the process.
Throw in that we had a World Cup, ESPN’s 30 for 30 series and a movie like The Fighter and I would say we’ve had a pretty good year.
Hold on to those memories of the past year and savor them. The way it looks we will have a lockout in the NBA and NFL next year. No Olympics or World Cup for 2011. We might be going from the best to the worst.
Read more about another great sports moment in more detail: The 2010 Open.
Also, our very own Karla Bruning had a great year. Check it out: “Most Interesting People of 2010.”
Jason Black is a regular sports contributor on America’s Morning News and coincidently, or not, does movie reviews for KJ103 and102.1 Kissin’ Country. You can also follow Jason on Twitter @jasonblack23.
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