No, it hasn’t taken me this long to recover from New Year’s festivities. Actually, it’s taken me until now to recover from the entire holiday season. So I’ve had plenty of time to think back on the year and the key moments in sports that will linger on in my memory. So while I’m sure most of you have read, heard, or viewed other “2010-the year in sports,” this is my own personal 2010 sports tribute.
2010 began with the Saints winning the Superbowl. Who can forget the onside kick? Or the image of Brees and his son under a shower of confetti. Who dat nation celebrated big. Real big.
Then there were the Winter Olympics. I love the winter games. All that snow. And while I loved watching Shaun White capture the gold and throwing down his double McTwist 1260 (I’m tellin’ ya’, I love this dude), I was equally thrilled to see Evan Lysacek conquer the gold. I know, a figure skater and a snowboarder? Yes. But, Evan’s success struck closer to home. Evan grew up in Naperville, Illinois and skated with my niece Holly when they were kids. I recall seeing Evan skate one of his first solo’s in a year-end show when he was probably ten years of age. He totally broke it down to “Brick House.” I wonder if he remembers that crowning moment. Seriously, we could all see the talent back then, knew this little boy was headed for skating greatness.
Let’s skip to March. The Shockers ended their season 25-10 with great signs of promise and momentum to carry into the 2010-11 season. And let’s not forget the mighty bird killers. Yes, I’m talking Northern Iowa and their shocking defeat of the Kansas Jayhawks. Yes, I’m a Kansas girl, but this does not make me a Jayhawk fan. I bleed black and gold. I am a Shocker fan. And in the Big Dance, I cheer on the teams of the MVC. So, when a kid whose last name I won’t even attempt to spell knocks down a mighty three and sends most of the Jayhawk team sobbing to the court, I cheer. Loud. Of course, the tournament would’ve been even better had Butler beat Duke on that last second shot. But, you can’t have everything.
June saw the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam tournament, the French Open. The 17th seeded Francesca Schiavone kissed the court then scaled the stands to find her Italian faithful and family. At the age of 30, she became the oldest women since 1969 to win her first Grand Slam tournament. You go, girl.
And June saw the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup with a goal in OT, ending a 49 year drought. Next up, Cubs?
With the summer came the vuvuzelas, the World Cup, and La Celeste, the Sky Blue, of Uruguay, in particular, one Diego Forlan who lead his team to the semi-finals. Yes, I cheered La Furia Roja, my beloved Spaniards, who eventually won the World Cup, but my heart was stolen by the men in sky blue.
And when the buzzing of the vuvuzelas faded away, permanently in many stadiums, football (American football) season arrived. At long last. (yes, I realize baseball season was in full swing, but I never get really interested until the playoffs). And while the Bears preseason began on a sour note, they began the regular season with three wins, including a Monday Night Football game against the Packers. And now, with the NFC North Championship under their belts, my blue and orange are headed to the playoffs with a first-round bye and a home game on January 16th. And, Brian Urlacher was named NFC defensive player for the month of Dec/Jan. Who heart’s Brian Urlacher? I do. I do.
But rewind to November and the World Series. It may have equaled one of the lowest watched series ever, but in my book it was awesome. Why? For starters, no corporate Yankees. And featuring a team of so-called misfits and pitching that was…well, awesome. How could you not root for these guys:
The World Series ended November 5th and I’m still rooting for them.
In closing, 2010 saw My Bears with an 11-5 record, a playoff berth, and Devin Hester setting a new punt return TD record. And with a Texas Bowl win by the Fighting Illini, dismantling Baylor 38-14, my 2010 year in sports has ended on a happy, very happy, note.
So, 2011. What have you in store? My Shox are still winning and will host Missouri State on Sunday evening. The Bears bear down on January 16. And it’s only 9.5 weeks until the NCAA mens basketball tournament. And with the Bulls atop the eastern central division, I may just find interest in the NBA, especially with Rose and Boozer leading the way.
2011. Bring it.