Dec 21

2010: The Year In Sports

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags: MLB, NBA, NFL, college football, BCS, Worl Cup, Olympics

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A look at the 2010 sports year through my eyes. Yeah, yeah, I know, the year is only 35/36ths complete. We still have another whole nine and a half crazy days of sports happenings left to amaze us. But with family get-togethers planned, many miles on the highway ahead, and an uncertain schedule looming of when I will have a keyboard in my lap, I decided to go ahead and give this a shot. A lot went down in the world of sports in 2010, and sitting here trying to recollect it all is proving to be quite tricky. As "The Top Fan," I try to attend as many sports events as is reasonably possible, and here is how the season went for me.....

The sports year started off beautifully for me in 2010. Our group had just reached our condo in Crested Butte, Colorado just as the BCS national title game was kicking off. After building a roaring fire and mixing a nice drink, we celebrated our week ahead of skiing by watching Alabama beat Texas, 37-21. Alabama became the national champion for the 13th time with the win, and running back Mark Ingram brought home the Heisman Trophy for the Tide, as well. Bama dominated the 2009 season.

Super Bowl XLIV (44) came to us from Sun Life Stadium in Miami, and the Saints and all of their "Who Dat!" stuff won in dramatic fashion, 31-17, with a fourth quarter interception return by Tracy Porter to seal the deal.

As late January and February rolled around, the sports world was treated to some big-time snow fun. The Winter Olympics and the Winter X Games followed each other with no shortage of excitement. Shaun White - "The Flying Tomato" - stole the show with his gold medal in the snowboard halfpipe at the Olympics from Vancouver.

Before the Olympics - in Aspen - White won the gold in the halfpipe with his Double McTwist 1260. He smacked his face on the lip of the halfpipe in a practice run, but still had the guts to perform the trick in live action, and pulled it off for gold.  

Overall, The USA won the Winter Olympics with a medal count of 37. Germany was second with 30, and the Canadiens were third with 26. Germany had the most gold medals with ten to the USA's nine.

Following a week in the wintry wonderland of Crested Butte, I was especially interested in the winter events this time around. I had been to Whistler Mountain in 2005, and was kind of familiar with the runs and places they would show on TV. It was cool. I also really liked watching Shaun White. I'm planning on giving snowboarding a shot this coming trip to Colorado, and watching White is inspiration to learn how. He makes it look so fun.

March was sort of a down time for sports. Spring-training was underway as usual, but I usually don't get all that excited about spring-training. Going to spring-training is awesome. Awesome. I was able to go back in the early 90's a few times and players really are up-close and personal. But unless you go, it isn't much to keep up with.

In April, I was able to put my finger on the pulse of the golf world just a little bit, attending the opening round of play at the Heritage from Hilton Head, and the final round of play from Quail Hollow in Charlotte. This is the first time I had been to a pro golf event in a long, long time, and I was very impressed with the talents of these players.

Their ability to knock the everlasting crap out of a golf ball amazes me. They don't just play casual golf, they swing hard and are very intense in all of their actions. Of course, some players demeanors are different from others, but they are all competitive and swing hard. I loved watching players hit driver on certain holes as the ball would just explode off of the club face to the ooohs and aaahs of the gallery.

I liked the Heritage better than Quail Hollow, and I think it was the atmosphere of the overall place that makes me feel this way. I love the moss-covered oak trees and the breeze off of the ocean. I like the flat terrain of Sea Pines, and the way the course is tight and narrow. I also loved mingling around Harbour Town where the golfers would be amongst the people if you paid attention and spotted them.

Jim Furyk won at Harbour Town, while Rory McIlroy won at Quail Hollow.

As far as the golf world went in 2010, major-wise, Phil Mickelson won the Masters, Graeme McDowell won the US Open Championship, Louis Oosthuizen won the British Open Championship, and Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship. Whose name is not in this paragraph? Yep, we all know Mr. Woods had a rough year.

In June, The NBA Finals went down, with the Lakers of LA going back-to-back with titles. They beat the Celtics in seven games for the championship - their 16th all-time. Kobe Bryant was named the finals MVP.

As many of you that read Fans25 know, I am not a huge NBA fan. It isn't that I don't like the NBA, it is just that I can't really seem to get into it. I did, though, watch nearly every play of every game of the 2010 Finals, and though I was not a fan of either team in the series, I am now a fan of both teams. Why? Because I want anyone - anyone - to keep the Heat from taking home the title in June of 2011.

In the heart of the summer, the sporting world watched come to an end a long tradition: the College World Series played its final game in Rosenblatt stadium. That game was won by the South Carolina Gamecocks, who won their first national title in baseball with the win. The event will remain in Omaha, but now in a new fancy downtown stadium.

The sports season again proved it was a special year in 2010 as the World Cup came to us from South Africa in June and July. Every four years we are lucky to have this event go down, and this time the controversial nation of South Africa was the host. If there is one thing we will all remember from this World Cup, it is those crazy vuvuzela horns. Some liked them, some hated them, but we will all remember that sound as long as we ever watch a soccer game again.

The Spanish won their first World Cup ever, defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in the final. The Dutch were also going for their first World Cup title.

The Americans once again disappointed...er, sorta. Though they showed a lot of fight, they were never seriously loooked at as a team making a move towards a championship. Miraculously, they made it out of group play, but in the first round of elimination play, they were defeated by Ghana and sent home. Obviously, I like the American side. But they are going to have to step it up one more notch - maybe two - if they are ever really going to make a run at a World Cup title. The next World Cup comes to us from a soccer mecca - Brazil - in 2014.

Each year, my birthday falls right around the MLB All-Star weekend. This year, it fell dead on it, with the All-Star Game going down from Anahiem the night I turned 32. We had a small little cookout here at Fans25 headquarters, and - as usual - the excitement in getting ready for the night was better than the game itself. The NL did finally break through for a win - their first in 14 years - with a 3-1 win.

In the home-run derby this year, David Ortiz awoke from the dead to put on a nice display for the victory. His 32 homers beat out Hanley Ramirez.

Late summer is good for two things: Braves games on TV each night, and hot talk of what the college football season ahead will bring us. Atlanta made it into the playoffs under Bobby Cox and were a fun team to watch this summer. Though injuries plagued the team, they gave it one last real solid effort in Bobby's last season.

The Giants - who eliminated the Braves - would go on later to defeat the Texas Rangers to win the World Series.

Finally, as the heat of the sun baked down on the southern United States, college football season arrived in late August. For me, two huge road trips had me excited, but it was a home game first in Clemson to kick off the season. Our group was so excited for the first game that as we were backing out of the driveway we remembered we had forgotten to pack all of our tailgating gear....All of it.

Tent? Nope. Chairs? Nope. Cooler? Nope. Grill? Nope.

Not a good start, and an appropriate foreshadowing for how this season would go for us Tiger fans.

In weeks two and three, I was fortunate to see this year's nationatl title contenders live in person in back-to-back weeks. First, I saw Oregon tangle with the Vols in Knoxville. As y'all can remember, a storm TKO'd me from that game. After an hour and a half rain delay, Oregon scored 35 straight points to break a 13-13 halftime tie.

The following week, our small tribe traveled the four hour trek over to Auburn to see Clemson face off with War Eagle. Though an OT loss, and an epic heartbreaker at that, this was one of my best college football memories of 2010. We (myself, IB1989, Pilot1003 and RiverRat) had a great time that day, and I was able to sit 50-yard line for one of the most entertaining college football games of the entire season. Auburn visits Clemson in early 2011.

As the college football season went on, it looked again like Alabama would have the say in the national title race. The Tide had all of their weapons back, and were undefeated at 5-0. In week six, however, top-ranked Alabama lost to South Carolina on the road, opening the national title door for so many teams. Ohio State and Oklahoma would follow Alabama's lead as the number one team in the nation lost in three straight weeks!

The Tide would lose more games, but Auburn would carry the torch for the state of Alabama. It is them and Oregon that have walked through the open door and now see themselves staring a national title in the face. This is set to be a national title game for the ages.

Once again, the college football world gave us more controversy in 2010. More than I like to hear about.

Two main things have been the heated discussions: Cam Newton and TCU.

Newton was clearly the best player in 2010 on the field - and took home the Heisman - but was the center of an enormous mess involving a pay for play scandal. So far, nobody has proven anything, but just the story itself darkens Auburn's best season in years.

And TCU represents the problem with the BCS. Clearly a flawed system, TCU is undefeated and has no shot to win a national title. Whether you like TCU or not, whether you respect who they play or not, the fact is that they are a division-1 school that is undefetated, and they have no shot - on the field - for a national crown. That, to me, is a flawed system.

And so here we are, the end of 2010. The bowl games are underway, the NFL season is getting down to the nitty gritty, and the basketball world is just heating up again. The more I type, the more things I am remembering, but at some point I must end this article.

In this thread, please list your best sports memories of 2010. It was a fantastic year for sports!



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