31 December 2010

2010 Year in Sports Review- Part Two

1.        “The Decision”

o   At 12:01 AM on July 1st, 2010 NBA Free Agency officially began and the headliner was coveted free agent LeBron James.  Teams like the Knicks, Nets, Heat, Bulls, Mavericks, Clippers, and Cavaliers were all possible teams to land the superstar.

o   In what many called a “spectacle,” LeBron James announced his choice for the 2010 season in what was called “The Decision.” 

§  “In this fall I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat,” has been a highly quoted and highly hated quote from the superstar’s free agency announcement.  LeBron has been ranked by Cleveland fans above Art Modell’s efforts to relocate the NFL Cleveland Browns to Baltimore.

o   Several NBA icons have made statements, including “His Airness” Michael Jordan, saying he would have never contacted his rivals from other teams like Magic (Johnson) or Larry (Bird) to play on one team together.  He said he “wanted to defeat those guys.”

o   When asked about the fallout from his highly controversial tv announcement, LeBron said “There’s always – you know, a race factor.”  Later James said if he had it to do over, he would have handled it differently. 

2.       Tiger Woods Fall from Greatness

o   In 1996, golf was taken by storm with two words, “Hello world.”  Tiger Woods was on the scene, and the golf world has not been the same since.  However, 2010 was unlike any other for the famous golfer from Cypress, California.

o   At the PGA Tour Headquarters on February 19th, 2010 Tiger Woods addressed the media, publicly admitting that he had been unfaithful to his wife, and said he believed he was entitled to do whatever he wanted to do, and that, due to his success, normal rules did not apply to him.  He said he realized he was wrong.

o   February 27th, 2010 Gatorade ended its sponsorship with Tiger Woods.

o   April 29th, 2010 Woods admitted to over 120 affairs on his wife, to include his neighbors 21-year-old daughter, whom he knew since she was 14 years old.

o   After sitting out much of the beginning of 2010 after announcing his marital infidelities, Tiger Woods returned in 2010 to Augusta National for the 2010 Masters Tournament.  His break lasted nearly 20 weeks and he finished the tournament in 4th, and missed the cut at his next event, the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship.

o   Woods and wife Elin Nordegren officially divorced on August 23rd, 2010.

o   Woods ended the season ranked #2, and finished without a win in 2010.

3.       Brett Favre’s Streak Ends

o   The Year was 1992, the day, September 27th, and the top movie in the box office- Batman Returns grossing an amazing $86,922 and spending 101 days at the top.  The top song was Salt ‘N’ Pepa’s Let’s Talk About Sex, spending 4 weeks at number one.  Bill Clinton’s camp was working hard for the eventual President-to-be.

o   The week before, Coach Holmgren, in the second week of the 1992 season, benched starting quarterback Don Majkowski and starting Brett Favre in the second half.  In his first play as a Packer, Brett Favre threw a pass for -7 yards- to himself after it was deflected and caught.

o   297 consecutive starts later, with the Minnesota Vikings, Brett Favre sustained a shoulder injury and was marked as inactive against the New York Giants, bringing the current streak to an end.

4.       Wimbledon Marathon Thriller- John Isner and Nicholas Mahut

o   Attempting to win his first match of 2010, 23rd seed John Isner matched up against qualifier Nicolas Mahut in the first round of the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.

o   Isner broke the record for most aces in a match, previously held by Ivo Karlovic at 78, setting the new record at 113 aces, ahead of Mahut’s 103.

o   The match began at 6:13pm British Summer Time on June 22nd 2010 and at 9:07pm the game was suspended due to darkness.  They resumed the next day at 2:05pm, and at 5:45 officially broke the record for the longest match ever played.

o   At 9:10pm the match had to be suspended once again due to darkness with the final set tied at 59 games each.  Play resumed at 3:43 once more on June 24th, 2010 and John Isner eventually won at 4:48, the final set lasting an amazing 8 hours, 11 minutes.

o   Isner won, 6-3, 3-6, 6(7)-7(9), 7(7)-6(3), 70-68 with the total match time at 11 hours, 5 minutes.

5.       FIFA World Cup: Team USA and Landon Donovan

o   At the FIFA World Cup, Team USA went in to a third and decisive game against Algeria after tying matches against England and Slovenia.  Team USA’s All-Time National Team Top Scorer, Landon Donovan was able to score the game winning goal through extra minutes for injury time, also giving them the win of Group C, and the 1st time that Team USA had won its World Cup Group since 1930.

o   Team USA lost in the next round to Ghana 2-1, and were later ranked 12th

6.       Butler Bulldogs in NCAA Finals
o   Playing their games in the Horizon League and going 18-0 during regular season play, the Butler Men’s Basketball team picked up a #5 seed heading in to the NCAA Tournament in the West Region.  In just his third year at Butler, head coach Brad Stevens lead his Butler Bulldogs to wins over #12 UTEP and #13 Murray State advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

o   In the Sweet Sixteen Butler drew #1 seed Syracuse, pulling off the upset and beating the Orangemen 63-59 to set up an Elite 8 matchup against #2 Kansas State.   Once again, the Butler Bulldogs were able to stay alive, pulling off the win over Kansas State 63-56.

o   Reaching their first ever Final Four in school history, Butler matched up against Michigan State in Indianapolis for a shot at the NCAA National Championship Game.   Against the wall, Butler took it down to the wire, squeaking out a 52-50 emotional win over the Spartans.

o   In what could be described as a game for the ages, Butler faced up against powerhouse Duke Blue Devils for the National Championship.  In a game that went back and forth for the entire game, Butler fell short in their Cinderella story 61-59 when a half-court shot by Gordon Hayward bounced off the back iron.  This was the most watched game in 10 years, bringing in 23.9 million viewers.

7.       Jimmie Johnson wins an unheard of 5th consecutive NASCAR title

o   Coming in to the 2010 NASCAR season, Jimmie Johnson was the defending 4-time Sprint Cup Champion, a feat never accomplished by anyone before.  In 2010 Jimmie picked up 2 poles, 17 top-fivers, 6 wins with 1326 laps led.  He picked up a DNF at the Daytona 500 and the first race in Talladega. 

o   He also picked up his first career victory on a dirt oval, winning fellow driver Tony Stewart’s charity race, Prelude to the Dream. 

o   Jimmie Johnson also picked up $6,535,067 for 2010, his smallest season paycheck since 2002.

8.       Cam Newton and the NCAA Allegations

o   Cameron Jerrell Newton, from College Park Georgia elected to take his talents to Gainesville, Florida and be a Gator.  However, after sitting behind the Tim Tebow he transferred to Blinn College, leading his school to the National Championship! (OK, it was the National Junior College Football Championship).  After his time at junior college, he was recruited to Auburn University by Gene Chizik, making his debut for Auburn this year.  He became only the third college football player to throw for 20 TDs in a season and rush for 20 TDs (major college football).

o   However, it was reported that his dad, Cecil Newton, had been offering Cam to other colleges in exchange for money.  It was reported that he dad had told Mississippi State that Cam would play there in exchange for $100,000-$180,00.  The NCAA launched an investigation, bringing back talks of Reggie Bush and his scandal. 

o   On December 1st, 2010 after much of the season had been played, Auburn University ruled Cam Newton ineligible after having found evidence that Cam’s father did in fact solicit money in exchange for Cam Newton’s athletic services.  The next day, the NCAA ruled Cam was eligible to play, citing that Cam had no knowledge of his father’s actions.

o   Cam Newton was awarded the Heisman Memorial Trophy on December 11th, 2010

9.       USC and Reggie Bush Saga

o   June 10th, 2010 the NCAA announced major sanctions against the University of Southern California because it ruled that Reggie Bush had received lavish gifts and benefits while as a student athlete.  The ruling resulted in USC being given four years of probation, vacating 2 wins from 2004 season, including the Orange Bowl, all of its wins in 2005, and were banned from post season play in 2010 and 2011 and will lose 30 scholarships over a three year span.

o   July 20th, 2010 USC President released a statement that any all images or likeness of Reggie Bush would be removed from the school facilities to include his jersey, murals, and the school’s copy of Bush’s Heisman Trophy.

o   It was reported on September 7th, 2010 that the Heisman Memorial Trust was planning to strip Bush of his trophy, but on September 14th, Reggie Bush voluntarily forfeited his award and sent it back to the Trust.  This resulted in the first ever vacation of the award. 

10.   Mike Vick Reemerges

o   Having not played a meaningful game since 2006 after being found guilty of dogfighting charges and serving time in a Federal Prison, Mike Vick got his first NFL start in Philadelphia on September 21st, 2010, and in his second game as a starter against Mike Vick led his team to a 28-3 win over Jacksonville with 291 yards, three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.  In a match up against his biggest advocate, Donovan McNabb, on Monday Night Football, Vick three for 333 yards, 4 touchdowns, rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns.  He hooked up with DeSean Jackson on an 88 yard TD pass in that game as well.   The game was so good it earned him the NFC Offensive Player of the Week as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame asking for his jersey to display it after he became the first player in NFL History to for three touchdowns and rush for two more in the first half of a pro football game.

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