Since it is December 31st, I can only think of things to come for 2011. I am graduating in May, and this year, along with all of my college experiences, have been rushed through and left as soon as they came. Oh well, another year written in the books. It have been an interesting year across the world of sports, I will review 10 things we should leave in 2010, never to return for future sports news again.
1. Tiger Woods’ Infidelity and his subpar golf – one of my favorite press conferences of this year, Woods’ sullen and robotic initial public statement to media outlets after a series of weak statements on his website came a nearly two months after his strange car accident Thanksgiving weekend 2009, then the secrets of his affairs with numerous women forced him out of golf for a self imposed hiatus from the world and from golf. He lost endorsements, his good name, and maybe his mojo, with no major wins or wins at all for 2010, and lost his position as the world’s number one golfer. My predictions for the greatest golfer, at least two major wins, better golf, and a re-dedication to his profession and a better life.
2. LeBron James, his DECISION, and all shows/performances like “THE DECISION”-does anyone remember that the NBA Championships for the second straight year is the LA Lakers? Not many people do, because LeBron James, Dewayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, in concert with the Miami Heat, held the 2010 Free Agent season for the NBA hostage with obnoxious press conferences, and ESPN covering it all like it was Barak Obama at the G-8 Summit. Capping it all off was the hour long “Decision” hosted by Jim Gray interviewing LeBron James, surrounded by Boys and Girls Club members, with every commercial in between being all about LBJ. The High Prince of Basketball seemingly sold his soul to get out of Cleveland, Dan Gilbert called him a coward on the Cavaliers site, and now he and the rest of the Miami Heat, after a slow start, are starting to figure each other out. In 2011, let’s see if they can continue to work better together, and let’s leave LeBron James’ huge super-ego in 2010.
3. Stupid decisions and rulings by the NCAA- This year has really showed the inadequacies of the format of the ruling process of the NCAA. From the beginning of the season with the suspensions of players from several schools in the SEC and ACC because of an agent party in Miami earlier this year, the a long and drawn out, highly publicized investigation of eventual Heisman winner Cam Newton and his involvement or knowledge of being shopped around before he finally landed at Auburn, to most recently, the scandal of 6 Ohio State players selling things from trinkets to jerseys and autographs to help their families, and in some cases get tattoos. The NCAA has propelled themselves from governing body and protectors of the student athlete, to bank rolling off the sweat of, in some instances, under-privileged guys who just want to play college football to hopefully get to the next level to really make some money. The NCAA proves that, especially in the case of A.J. Green, you can have the shirt off your back that’s provided by the NCAA through your athletic department, but you cannot sell that jersey yourself. If it’s in your campuses bookstore, and licensed by the NCAA for sale, it can be sold. But the student athlete does not see that money, and they suffer the consequences of being a student athlete becomes a burden, not a priviledge. The NCAA needs to be overhauled, restructured, and should be changed to benefit the student athlete.
5. Michael Vick Debates– I think now that he is in the running for NFL MVP this year (but will probably lose to Tom Brady, because they would rather it be him as the face of the NFL and not Vick), people can stop asking if he belongs in the NFL. He is making a living doing the only thing he can to ensure compensation. Let this man live. Especially in the wake of FOX News Correspondent Tucker Carlson’s comment about Michael Vick being executed for things he already has served federal time for, and bashing the president in one breath, makes me want to end all debate of his past. We all know what happened, can we let this make just do his thing, now?
6.Firing of UGA Head Coach Mark Richt- for more of a local feel, especially if they win their bowl game today, unless there is another tumultuous season in Athens and they don’t get the great recruits to come and play for the Dawgs and improvement doesn’t happen over the next two years, then let’s start reevaluating the coaching position. In my view, I think the offensive play calling my Mike Bobo should be called into question. The play of freshman Aaron Murray was only of but a few bright spots in a 6-6 season way below expectations. Let’s leave “Fire Mark Richt” in 2010 and bring “Fire Mike Bobo” into 2011.
7. Urban Meyer– In a year he has quit the same job three times, and people still wish he were there. He left Florida abruptly earlier this month after the Gators finished 7-5 and second place in the SEC East. But because he wanted to spend more time with his family and work on his mental and physical health, he left Florida, only to be on an ESPN set with Kirk Herbstriet and Lee Corso, talking about bowl match-ups only a few weeks later. Perhaps, if there is football in 2011, he will be spending time with his favorite kid — Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow. Don’t be suprised if that happens. Always the opportunist, Meyer’s jobs have only gotten better —- Bowling Green, Utah, Florida—- and he is a friend of New England Patriots Head Coach
8. The over-hype of the New York Jets– This will be brief, but I guess their over the top bravado from the end of last season, throughout the off season, through training camp with the HBO Series Hard Knocks to a good start to the season, they were definitely more talk than walk, especially in their second match-up with their division foe New England Patriots, when they were completely destroyed on both sides of the football by Captain Patriot. Now, they have that TripGate, where the trainer, Sam Alosi tripped the Dolphins player, and what may or may not be Rex Ryan’s wife caters to people with foot fetishes, and the dude might be Rex Ryan. In 2011, let’s hope there are no more feet videos, and that the Jets can pull their heads out of their asses.
9. Vuvuzelas– The world’s most annoying noise making device, it changed the way the 2010 World Cup was televised and watched. ABC and ESPN could not drown out the noise taking place in South Africa, and for a month, it was the talk of sports. Now nearly forgotten, we can officially leave them in 2010, in South Africa, buried under all of the ear plugs that were bought and sold to not be able to hear it.
10. Talk of no football in 2011- if things are shaping up like they are sounding, there may be a work stoppage of the NFL by the NFLPA in March of 2011. A lot has to happen between now and then, and the owners and the players need to get it together. For America’s most popular sport and most watched sport, if there is no football in the fall, it will ruin the popularity of the sport, and perhaps the same effect that the MLB Work Stoppage of 1994 had on the popularity of that sport will fall upon the NFL. It would be aweful, but in 2011, perhaps Roger Goddell can stop worrying about fining its players obnoxious amounts of money for questionable hits and trying to play football in London, or expanding the season to 18 games, and concern himself with the real issues: making sure we have football in 2011.
11. Brett Farve– See previous posts on this, but wanted to add it in just for good taste
There are more, for sure, but that’s all I can think really made me think about them all year. What are some of the things in sports you want to leave behind in 2010??