Yahoo has its list out of the top 25 sports stories of the year, and is asking you to vote on the top 10.
To me a lasting sports story is in 20 years, what will people look back on as a major sporting event.
Name me a sporting event in 1992.
I bet we all know what is number 1. I would be willing to bet if I polled everyone aged 30-40, we would have almost the same top 5, in some order. That is a LASTING sports story.
Let me first tell you what is MISSING from the list.
— I’m not a baseball fan, but dosen’t Miguel Cabrera winning the triple crown for the first time since 1967 seem to be a little important?
— The Return of Notre Dame to national prominence as a football team, If ND gets blown out by ‘Bama, and ends up going 8-4 the next 2 years, this story goes away soon. If they go 11-1 again next year, this might mean something. But top25? Easily.
— Ohio State Buckeyes football team going 12-0 even without a chance at the Big 10 Championship or a Bowl Game. Needs to be mentioned. I think its secondary to ND as far as a “return” but again, if they go 7-5 next year, this looses meaning.
— NHL Lockout. This has to be on there. Like baseball, I’m not a hockey guy, but this is yet another stoppage that could end the game as we know it.
— The rise of the UFC with FOX. Does this continue? Like many, I wonder if the UFC has plataued, but again, like Vince, Dana is at his best when he has a number on his back. Bellator hits Spike next year, and Dana is having to look at network numbers at Big Fox. Welcome to the most pivital year in the history of the UFC since TUF1, people.
The Yahoo list.
I’m going to break these down into tiers, and give you the ones that should be tossed.
— Fireball mars a shocking Daytona 500
Anyone still thinking of this? Heck, who won the race? Who won last year?
— Floyd Mayweather Jr. goes to jail
A fighter skips a half year due to going to jail, scared of his next opponent, Visa issues, not getting a big enough deal, celebrating his birthday in Antartica, bruised knuckle on his hand, etc. Does this matter?
— Jovan Belcher kills girlfriend, then commits suicide
If this happened in January, no one knows, well, Week 1, we all know the Cheifs won’t play in January. Coward commits murder, saddens fans. Of all the murders that happened this year, the only thing I wonder is what the narrative would have been had his GIRLFRIEND gotten the gun first. He could have used a knife or his barehands just as easily. Quick, what was his jersey number?
Only remembered by fans:
— Tim Tebow joins the Jets
If Manning was 8-8, and the Jets 11-5, this might matter.
— Lance Armstrong stripped of 7 Tour de France titles
How long has it been since Lance was in the TdF? Does it matter? Is he going to jail? How many of you remember how many trips to the Final Four the Fab Five had- If you answered 2, you are WRONG.
Will be done in 3 years:
— Jeremy Lin bursts onto the scene
Is he doing anything in Houston?
Could be worth it, could be forgotten
— Gabrielle Douglas wins Olympic gold
Hate to say it, but 95% of the Olympics are forgotten in 6 months. Is Gabby the next Karrie Strug? Anyone remember her?
— Junior Seau suicide
Have we heard if this is head trauma related? I love Seau, but name me 5 guys that died in 2002 that you didn’t have a poster of on your wall.
This year story ONLY.
— NFL locks out referees
Quiet down cheeseheads. The real refs stink too.
— Alabama wins national title
Only moves up here beacuse it might have been the final straw that caused a playoff. I still think Bama was the best team, but did not deserve the chance to prove it under the BCS system.
— L.A. Kings win Stanley Cup
Nice story, and a long and painful road (6 elimination games) but again, who won last year? 2 years ago?
Won’t be forgotten, but won’t be remembered either, but impacted.
— Jerry Sandusky trial
Put him in a hole, and cover it up. Better yet, find a victim (or a victims dad) give him a bat, and put them back in the shower. But Sports story? This is bigger than sports.
— LeBron wins first NBA title
What year did Jordan win his first title? 1990? 1991? 1989? What year did Kobe win? Magic? That one we know. This was moved up a level as it validated Pat Riley bringing together the second Big 3 in the NBA.
— Joe Paterno dies
Joe Pa leaving Penn State does matter. The fact that we may NEVER have a coach last HALF this long at a BCS school says something. The STAIN on his legacy, and how he left, will be remembered far longer than the titles he should have won at PSU.
Actual meaning long term:
— Peyton Manning picks team
I think this is a valid long term story. Manning took a playoff team, and so far, made it amazing. Von Miller credit aside, Manning might do better in Denver than Montana did in KC. This was a move that changed football in 2 football crazy cities.
— College football announces playoff
Easy pick for a top story.
— Michael Phelps breaks Olympic medal record
Phelps could go down as Mark Spitz. People older than 10 will remember him in 20 years. I think he has reached that level.
— John Calipari wins first national championship
Again, like Alabama, this is not only for the title, both Bama and KU have won and won lately, but Calipari did it with Freshmen, and unlike Michigan, did it without ANY upperclassmen getting major minutes and won the WHOLE THING. Time will tell if, like Michigan, it stays on the books.
— Andrew Luck vs. RG3
Bird vs Magic of the NFL world? if only Ryan Leaf and Rick Mirer didn’t stink. Brady/Manning version 2.0. Take your pick. If RG3 can stay healthy. If they both have good coaching and supporting casts. But bottom line, this could be the start of something special. But is Cam Newton Isiah Thomas or Ralph Sampson?
— Pat Summitt steps down at Tennessee
Let me be upfront and honest. Winning in WNCAA for most of her term came down to recruiting. It is like winning at most of the major schools in Football. If you had the talent, you win 80% of the time. How many guys could walk into Alabama last september and win 10 games? 100 of the 112 coaches? How many beat LSU and UGA? Maybe a dozen? Twenty? What sets them apart is how they do vs each other, and how well they rebuild. What makes Sabin the best in football isn’t the rings on his fingers, its the fact he did it SO QUICK at LSU AND Alabama. If Sabin was hired tommorrow at Texas, how many years until the Longhorns win the title? 2 years? 3? The next season? Pat Summitt won when she had no competiton, and she evolved to winning with people on her level, but what seperates her is look at her graduation rate. She did what coaches in colledge should do, won, won RIGHT, and graduated players. And she did it for DECADES.
— Magic Johnson and Co. buy Dodgers for $2 billion
This is a story. The Dodgers have been freed from stupidity, and is out spending money. The market has a new player, and good luck to any team with a sub-100M payroll anytime soon keeping ANYONE.
— Saints bounty scandal
Here is the significant parts.
Multiple coaches are still gone, or have been gone. The Rams and Saints lost coaches better than who holds those jobs.
The players won a MAJOR victory over the Commish and his powers. Vilma is almost bulletproof right now.
The Commish got hamstrung by his predeccessor.
The Saints wasted a year of Drew Brees’ prime.
The NFL looked stupid and foolish, and the media arms of the sport made the commish look petty and silly.
The NFLPA did absolutly squat but throw lawyer-talk out there over one member trying to hurt another member.
There will be far-reaching effects of this.
So whats your Sports Story of the Year? Did I miss one? You disagree?
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