OKLAHOMA CITY, December 29, 2011 ― Another year is almost over and like every year it’s been a wild time in sports. We had two lockouts, a BCS mess and new champions crowned.
So here we are countin’ down the hits. The top 10 sports stories of 2011:
1. Child Sex Scandals
Unfortunately this is plural since we had more than one assistant coach at a major university charged with multiple counts of child molestation. The biggest story was Jerry Sandusky at Penn State and the apparent cover up at the school. The scandal led to legendary coach Joe Paterno being fired which led to riots on campus. How much did Joe Pa know and what more could he have done?
The other was Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine. He also was accused of multiple counts with the most damning evidence being a recorded phone call of one of accusers and Fine’s wife discussing the incidents.
Forget free tattoos. Forget your parents getting a new house. None of that matters. This is maybe the most disgusting and worst scandal in sports of all time.
2. The Green Bay Packers
The Pack winning the Super Bowl would probably be enough of a story but they decided that wasn’t enough and went on a tear for the next season. The Packers as of press time have only lost one game and Aaron Rodgers looks like a lock for MVP. One of the most storied franchises of all time is back and in the news without Brett Favre. Finally.
3. The last day of the MLB regular season
Within a few hours, and then a few minutes, we had teams completely collapsing and teams getting into the playoffs with not one, but two walk-off wins. One team that got in the playoffs on the last day was the St. Louis Cardinals. They went on to win the World Series.
Even more dramatic was Game 6 in the World Series. The Texas Rangers were down to their last out - twice - to win the series, and lost. And baseball is dying?
4. The NBA Lockout
After the best postseasons in a long time, the NBA took a break and locked out their players. Christmas day tipped off an abbreviated season that pushes the finals back two weeks. But will the fans come back, too?
5. Sidney Crosby Concussed
The biggest and best star in hockey was sidelined for a large part of last season and is out again with a head injury. Concussions have been big talk in football, but not as much in hockey. If Crosby’s career is cut short because of this, that would be a major blow to the NHL, and maybe a wake up call to protect these players more than they already do.
6. The LeBron Meltdown
LeBron James’ fourth quarter meltdowns in the NBA Finals were a much bigger story than the Mavericks’ presence there. LeBron is the best player in the NBA and had an amazing post season. Right up until the Finals.
You could see it coming every game, thinking, “it will be different,” but is wasn’t. He was nonexistent and the Heat lost. Who cares who the opponent was, sometimes rooting against a team is more fun that rooting for one.
7. Tim Tebow
Speaking of fourth quarters. The ultra-religious, Heisman-winning icon from Florida finally got to play for the Denver Broncos. Even though he can’t throw, makes horrible decisions and doesn’t appear to have great decision-making ability, he just wins.
Every week it looked like the Broncos were going to lose, and every week he brought them back in the end. They have a chance to make the playoffs, but there is no way he can win four post-season games and win a championship. Is there?
8. Albert Pujols is an Angel
The World Series champion took his talents to Disneyland. Pujols had always been a Cardinal, but he took the money and ran to Anahiem. Pujols might be the greatest player ever, but at 32 (yeah right) years old, a 10-year contract for over $200 million is a lot of money for a long time.
9. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather stay unbeaten
This may more of a storyline than a story, but the fight everyone wants to see still hasn’t happened. In the meantime, Manny and Floyd both won controversial fights. Manny beat his nemesis JJ Marquez in a controversial decision, while Mayweather sucker punched Victor Ortiz for the victory. Either way, let’s hope this list in 2012 includes a fight between these two.
10. BCS Rematch
The SEC has dominated the college football landscape and this year will be no different. What was billed as “The Game of the Century” between #1 LSU and #2 Alabama ended in overtime, 9-6. Snoozefest of the Century. But don’t worry, because we will get at least four more quarters of it: The BCS Championship game is a rematch of the two teams.
Can we please get at least one touchdown this time?
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