Sports provide us with the entertainment and excitement that people crave throughout their days and their lives. And the fact that it’s been quite a year for sports makes this list necessary, but difficult to construct. Every major sport has provided us with quite the drama, loads of story lines, and tons of excitement. So it was very hard to narrow down these moments. I wanted to cover all the sports, not just the major ones like baseball, basketball, football, and yes even hockey. If there was an epic game of curling or ping pong, it would be on the list. So with the help of my fellow friends, I now present the Top 10 Moments in the world of sports for the year 2010.
10) John Isner and and Nicolas Mihut take part in longest match of tennis ever.
The match lasted 11 hours and and 5 minutes with Isner winning. I am not a huge tennis person but this match caught my attention, and made me watch the highlight over and over. The fact that these guys stayed out on the court for as long as they did is admirable in itself, and this moment probably would have been number one if the sport wasn’t tennis.
9) Giants win first World Series in San Francisco & Josh Hamilton wins first MVP
I’ve slowly lost interest in baseball over the years because of salaries and steroids but to not acknowledge these feats would be out of the realm of sanity. The Giants came out of no where to beat the Phillies in the NLCS, and didn’t stop in the series taking out the Rangers. Led by the long haired Tim Lincecum, the Giants proved you don’t need big names to win it all, one of the things that turned me away from baseball in the first place.
Maybe even more impressive was Josh Hamilton whose famous story of overcoming a crack and alcohol addiction has been told for a couple years now ever since Hamilton starting producing on the field. This year though, he took it to a new level by winning the MVP award and leading the Rangers to the World Series where they lost to the aforementioned Giants.
8. The NFL cracks down on concussions… sort of
A lot of lists I saw overlooked this story but I found it to be a big big deal. With an increasing number of concussions and injuries on hard hits this season, the NFL decided it was time to take action. Desean Jackson, Heath Miller, Aaron Rodgers, Austin Collie (who had 3) just to name a few were some of the players who suffered head injuries this year. Roger Goodell decided to fine and even suspend some players who would lead with their helmet with the intention to take out another player.
This enraged LB James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers so much that he threatened retirement if the rule was enacted. Not so coincidentally, Harrison was fined 3 times this year.
A lot of fans feel it is effecting the game in a bad way. Although I feel it’s making the game safer, certain rules need to be laid out. When Harrison is on the verge of a suspension for tackling a player, which is his job, and Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan get slap on the wrist fines for this…
That’s when we have a problem.
7. The World Cup/Landon Donovan wins in extra time
I’m not a huge soccer guy, but the World Cup always gets my attention. Although this years cup wasn’t as exciting as the previous when Italy beat France, it was still great to see the countries battle it out for the title. Vuvuzelas were everywhere, and tensions were high. Spain beat Netherlands and the final was a good one. For our country though, the highlight was Landon Donovan’s goal in stoppage time to get the United States out of Group C, and into the round of 16. It will go down as one of the greatest moments in American sports history, and arguably the greatest moment in USA Soccer history.
6. The Rise of Mike Vick and the Fall of Brett Favre
Who could have predicted this one? Brett Favre came back for a 20th NFL Season and it could not have gone worse. The veteran who almost led the Vikings to the Super Bowl last year came back to give it another shot. He ended up involved in a sex scandal, on a losing team, and injured. So injured his notorious starts streak came to an abrupt end at 297 games. A great career nonetheless but certainly not the way to end it.
On the other hand, Mike Vick, the former Atlanta Falcon who dazzled crowds with his athletic ability got a second chance in Philadelphia after his stint in jail. Vick came in for the once highly anticipated Kevin Kolb in Week 2, and never looked back. Vick lit up the field once again including a 6 TD effort against the rival Redskins on Monday Night Football, and has led the Eagles to a division crown, and a possible Super Bowl title.
5) The MLB is “perfect.”
The MLB is far from perfect, but this year they were close. There were 4 no hitters, and 2 perfect games, in one season! Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s went perfect, Ubaldo Jimenez had a no-no, Roy Halladay struck out 11 in a perfect game, and even Edwin Jackson had a no hitter despite giving up many walks, and throwing 149 pitches. It clearly was the year of the pitcher. Even 10 pitchers had a no hitter going into the 7th inning this year which is also amazing including Ted Lilly who lost one in the 9th and Gavin Floyd who took one into the 7th. This was huge, but the biggest story involving this phenomena this year goes to Armando Galarraga who had a perfect game through 8 and 2/3. Well, he really had it through 9 innings but the umpire made the wrong call. The best part was how well the two handled the situation, and they both later spoke, and Galarraga forgave him for the missed call. I guess not everybody can be perfect.
4) George Steinbrenner passes on
I’m an avid Yankee-hater but even I can’t ignore what George did for this organization. Say what you want about him and the Yankees but Steinbrenner, in 37+ seasons as owner led the men in pinstripes to 7 world series crowns, 11 American League pennants, and 16 A.L East titles. I don’t care what anyone says but in today’s day and age in sports, that is very very hard to do. R.I.P
3) The UConn women break UCLA’s 88 game winning streak record… and then lose
I never thought I’d have to throw in that last part but nevertheless, the University of Connecticut’s women did something that may never be done again. They won 90 games in a row. 90. That means their last loss was in 2008! It’s pretty unbelievable what Geno Auriemma has done with these girls, and he deserves to be seen as one of the greatest coaches of all time. When this streak hit 70 or so, and when UConn won the whole thing again last year, it seemed pretty obvious they were gonna break the Bruins record. It wasn’t obvious that they would lose two games later. Stanford, who has won 53 straight, beat them 71-59 in the end of December ending the streak at 90. Well, all good things must come to an end, and this was certainly something good.
2) The Saints Come Marching In
No city in recent years has suffered as much as New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina devastated the city known for partying and Mardi Gras. That’s why this Super Bowl was so big. Not only did they almost go undefeated during the regular season. Not only did they beat the best player in football in dramatic fashion in Peyton Manning. Not only did they win the biggest event in all of sports. They did it representing a city that needed it more than anyone. Drew Brees and the Saints proved how sports can really bring a city together, and make things not seem so bad, even if it is just for a little bit.
1) The “Decision”
It pains me to make this the #1 moment in sports this past year, but unfortunately I have no choice. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t just the ‘Decision.’ It was all of 2010’s NBA Free Agency. With A’mare going to the Knicks, Boozer going to Chicago, and certain players showing loyalty and staying with their team, Joe Johnson, Sportscenter was constantly updating us on which player signed their name on which contract. But the Miami Heat and Lebon James stole the show. And Lebron made his own show. Dwayne Wade announced he would stay with Miami on PTI, along with Chris Bosh. Okay, very nice. Two NBA stars teaming up like Kobe and Pau, and announcing their decision on a sports show, casually. No big deal. But Lebron didn’t do that. Lebron had his own special. “The Decision.” This decision being that he would leave the Cleveland Cavs, much to the dismay of their fans, and head to South Beach to play with Bosh and Wade. Why he needed the special, no one really knows. But the attention it got, the way it changed Lebron’s image, and the way it may shape the NBA in the future makes it whitew00d’s #1 moment in sports in 2010.