One Great Season
A lot can happen in sports in 12 short months. Championships are won and sometimes choked away, coaches are fired and hired and players are injured and traded when they're not sending cell-phone dong pics.
There are Cinderella stories, Internet stories and true stories. Whichever your preference, the bottom line is that there is no shortage of stories, on or off the field, in the world of sports, and 2010 was no exception. The friends of OGS now share with you which single story they'll remember most about this year.
Len Berman, Sports Broadcasting Legend — Sure, Tiger Woods was the biggest news in 2010, but let's look for something good and decent, like the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl. The franchise that invented paper bags over fans' heads, (The 'Aints) gave a ravaged city something to cheer about ... and the rest of us, too.
Jacqueline Conrad, St. Louis Cardinals Blogger — Best and most memorable sports story was the Saints winning the Super Bowl. The story of them coming back from football oblivion to win the Lombardi Trophy was incomparable. They won their chance to go to the Super Bowl in a stadium that just a few years prior had held the dead of Katrina in its Super Dome freezers. The connection between city and team will never be matched. Great team and even greater city.
Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati Enquirer Columnist — The Reds returning to the postseason. The other national stuff was overhyped crap. Close second was Michael Vick's game on MNF vs. Washington. I prefer my top stories to be about, you know, actual sports. Not melodrama.
John Fay, Cincinnati Reds Beat Writer — I think 2010 will be remembered for a combination of the things: Tiger and Favre fall from grace and their struggles on the field; LeBron's crass spectacle of leaving; and a Newton, a guy most known for a scandal winning the Heisman. But the Saints' Super Bowl win also took place. That's a pretty good story, too.
Michael Felder, College Football Blogger — The biggest story for me out of 2010 will be Cam Newton. However, it isn't Newton's tremendous season, it isn't the scandal that he was involved in and it isn't even if he is or is not guilty. No, the story for me will be how butt-hurt people are by Cam not getting in trouble and the disgusting push to rip apart the character of a 21-year-old college football player.
Jeff Garcia, San Antonio Spurs Blogger — LeBron for sure. What a spectacle James made with his decision. In one fell swoop he went from likeable to hated. The 30-minute special, the way Cleveland Cavaliers fans reacted, and even the infamous night out in Las Vegas depicted in an ESPN article all led up to tarnishing his reputation.
Lisa Horne, FOXSports.com College Football Writer — The NCAA hammering USC while hiding behind a loophole/good lawyering in the Cam Newton investigation. Four years vs. a few weeks?
Andy Hutchins, SBNation Blogger — I'll remember the World Cup, and specifically Landon Donovan's goal, longer than I will anything else. It was the best goosebumps-moment of 2010, and the only one that really made me think I was seeing something new and unprecedented.
Ben Jackey, Emmy Award-Winning Former Television Reporter — I'll remember the Lakers shooting 20+ free throws in the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Good calls? Bad calls? Who cares? Officials should not decide the NBA championship. There are many reasons why NBA ratings outside NBA markets rival those of an NHL game, the X Games, or anything Tyler Perry puts on cable. NBA officiating is like watching "House of Payne." It sucks and it makes you want to punch your TV.
Raphielle Johnson, College Basketball Writer — I'll remember the July free agency period in the NBA the most. From LeBron going on TV to Chris Bosh having cameras follow him around for a documentary, I think it signaled a change in the "superstar." While there have been more than enough self-centered types through the years in pro sports I don't think anyone had any idea it would get to that point.
Adam Kramer, Kegs 'N Eggs Blogger — For me, it has to be LeBron. The Miami saga and the negative hit his image took in a matter of months were unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The media, and outlets like Twitter, took this story to new heights. Having “The Decision” didn’t help him out much either. While Cam Newton feels closer to home as someone that loves college football, it’s hard to tell what kind of impact this will have. Perhaps will know more in a year or two…
Whitney Mathews, Social Media Rock Star — The top sports story of 2010 for me was conference realignment, hands down. No sports story was bigger for us this year. Two of our top three stories on LJWorld.com and all of our top KUSports.com stories in 2010 were related to conference realignment. It was like the Cuban Missile Crisis of college athletics, especially for Kansas fans (who felt they were going to be without a date to the prom if the Big 12 fell apart, because KU was tied to K-State).
Kyle McRae, Cal Bears Football SID — The one sports story I will remember most about 2010 is the San Francisco Giants and their ascension to become World Series champions. An odd take about this is that their story transcended typical media scrutiny and cynicism. The media in the Bay Area bordered on becoming fans in what was a love-fest all the way around.
Ramzy Nasrallah, Ohio State Football Writer — The story I'll remember most from 2010 is FAVRE FAVRE FAVRE FAVRE FAVRE FAVRE, and for good reason: It's because of if you meticulously examine the elements that defined the year in sports, FAVRE FAVRE FAVRE FAVRE'S PENIS FAVRE FAVRE FAVRE was the most FAVRE FAVRE of them all.
Chad Potier, LSU Sports Blogger — Cliff Lee. Here's a guy who was supposed to be a lock for the Yankees or the Rangers who TURNED DOWN the money and went to Philly.
Tim Ryan, TheSportsHernia.com Editor — LeBron James. While the endearing superstar was rarely written about or discussed by the major talking heads in 2010, his move to Miami proved to be a historical moment for the NBA and professional athletes in general. More importantly, the self-aware phenom introduced me to an astoundingly awful button down that's since been recycled by talking horse, Shannon Sharpe.
Barrett Sallee, SEC Football Writer — The story I will remember most in 2010 is the Cam Newton story. While it was a noteworthy story that was definitely worth front-page news, the rumor, innuendo and quotation of unnamed and uncorroborated sources was disgusting. Because of the irresponsibility of a few, it will be virtually impossible for Cam Newton to ever clear his name, even though the NCAA has already ruled him eligible and said that there isn't enough to evidence to warrant any punishment at this time. It proved to me that people want to see the worst in a person/situation, even when the facts don't suggest that to be the proper assumption.
Bruce Sholl, OGS Contributor — The way I'm looking at this is "Which story will I remember five years from now?" I have to say it will definitely be the Tiger Woods 2010 Texting Tour of Babes (TM). This was a Jimmy Swaggart-level of shaming that ruins a career, and when you're talking about the best golfer in the world, especially one with such a huge cult following, this was an epic failure in moral judgement. What made it worse (as it always does) is that Tiger was a man who valued his privacy, and the media was more than happy to stay out of his way (oddly enough, who gets a free pass anymore, right?) until that SUV crashed into the tree. When you think about it, that was a fitting small-scale example of his life. You're in a big, safe, expensive car cruising at 5 miles an hour, what horror could possibly happen? Oh yeah, the best built car in the world is no match for a huge oak. So when his secret life was exposed, it was the big oak tree bringing Tiger back to reality, back to the crash with no safety belt on.
Jimmy Traina Sports Illustrated's "Extra Mustard" Editor — The sports story I will remember most about 2010 is LeBron's Decision. It was great theatre, great soap opera. The build-up to his decision. The god-awful TV show and then the reaction afterward. It was the story that kept on giving. You had a hometown hero bolt for another team. And he did it via a TV show that was so pathetic from start to finish that it became its own parody. And now the NBA season is centered around everybody in the country, minus Heat fans, rooting against the team.
Matt Zemek, Writer, CollegeFootballNews.com — Professionally, I'll remember the Cam Newton story as the capper on a crazy yet very significant (and hypocrisy-laden) year in the realm of high-profile collegiate athletics. As a fan, however, the most important story I'll take with me from 2010 is that Bud Selig, with the consent of baseball's power brokers, added yet another round to the MLB postseason. It's not Major League Baseball if 10 teams make the playoffs and four rounds of playoff competition exist. I am now done with baseball as a fan unless or until this abomination is removed. If the Cubs make the NLCS, I'll be prepared to make an exception, but not until then.