Sports are here to interrupt our daily headaches of life right? This year we were witness to some horrible travesties (Hurricane Sandy, the shooting at Sandy Hook, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado) so I turned to sports to take my heartaches away from it all. This year sports have brought us some exciting highs and some unexpected lows. With a New Year just up the block I looked back at the year it was in sports...achievements and misfortunes.
National Basketball Association:
LeBron James can finally call himself “King” and have true meaning behind it. Winning the National Basketball Association title was all it took. After all the Player Association and the NBA Owners labor negotiations, which carried on for 149-days, we finally had basketball. James and (Dwyane) Wade along with the rest of the Miami Heat players made it a season to remember. Not only did James win the NBA title but along the way he managed to grab the MVP Award, A Finals MVP Award and an Olympic Gold Medal. Now he has just a few more NBA Titles to get...not just one, not two, not three...
Harvard graduates often go on to do noteworthy things in life. Athletics making a splash in professional sports hasn't been one of those things that often. So when Jeremy Lin made a splash in the NBA it was a major story. Not because he was solely from Harvard but, his performance spoke volumes. Lin put up at least 20-points in eight straight games, including a 38-point outburst against Kobe and the Lakers. Lin now playing for the Houston Rockets will forever be the guy who created insanity (“Linsanity” that is).
The glory days of college football returned this year. Remember when Notre Dame ruled the world of college football? Well the legendary program made a supreme comeback this year. Going undefeated and now playing for their first National Title in over two decades. The Fighting Irish haven’t won a National Title since 1988. Win or Lose the Fighting Irish has fought their way back to being relevant in college football.
Penn State and the scandal, Need I say more.
National Football League:
This year the season kicked off with a lockout of a different fashion. The NFL referees held out over labor dispute. While the regular referees were in the boardrooms the “Replacement referees” couldn’t be replaced fast enough. It appeared that the NFL and the Referees were nowhere near reaching a new labor agreement. However, when the Monday Night game in Week 3 where the Packers vs. the Seahawks last second Hail Mary called was miscalled they reached a new collective bargaining agreement in a few days.
I can’t forget about the “bounty program” where the New Orleans Saints players were awarded cash for taking certain opponent key players out. Several suspensions were handed out. Sean Payton, head coach, suspended for the entire season, Defensive coach Gregg Williams out indefinitely from professional football, and Saints General Manager, Mickey Loomis, suspended for half of the season. A host of Saints players were give suspensions also.
Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, and Michael Phelps enough said. GO USA!
Major League Baseball:
San Francisco Giants are giants once again after winning the World Series for the second time in three years. Having superstar closer Brian Wilson gone for the season, and key slugger Melky Cabrera suspended for performance enhancing drugs no one had the Giants winning it all.
Some would say the greatest professional cyclist in the world, while others might call him the biggest lair in the universal. Beating his only personal battle with Cancer while raising millions Lance Armstrong became the face of cycling. After winning a record seven Tour de France titles Armstrong was banned from the world of Cycling and stripped of those titles by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. They found him guilty for using a banned substance which 12 witnesses provide evidence against Armstrong. One of the most touching and inspirational sports stories reached the finish line when it broke back in August.