Friday, December 21, 2007

Top 10 sports stories of 2007

Let the debate's begin. There were a lot of big stories in sports this year. Here are the biggest...

Honorable mention-
Marion Jones fesses up to cheating
Spurs in third title in five years
Redskins DB Sean Taylor is killed
OJ gets in trouble..again

10- APPALACHIAN STATE STUNS MICHIGAN-The biggest upset in college football history and how the game ended was legendary. App. State mismanages the clock to give Michigan the ball then not only blocks the last second field goal but picks it up and returns it the other way. And, they defended their D-I AA National Title (yes, I said D-I AA...not that Football Championship Division nonsense)

9-NEW ENGLAND'S RUN TO PERFECTION-This was by far the most annoying story of the year. I'm so tired of this story that they will get no satisfaction from me. Next story...

8-BECKHAM TO THE U.S.- For a few weeks over the summer, soccer was releavant in America. The biggest name in the sport came to play for the LA Galaxy. Problem was, he could not stay healthy and the Galaxy stunk so we stopped caring quickly.

7-BAD REF-NBA referee Tim Donaghy's association with bookies and gamblers could have spiraled out of control. For a few days it sounded like it would. He got in trouble, no one else did and the NBA smartly swept it under the rug and no one really remembers until someone brings it back up.

6-ROCKIES RUN-The Colorado Rockies won 21 of their last 22 games to reach the World Series. There dream run came to an end when they met the Red Sox in the Series but the baseball world was on the edge of their seats wondering where the Rocks came from.

5-FLORIDA WINS TWO-No school has ever been the national champion in both college football and basketball at the same time. This story would have been much bigger if the sports legal stories did not get in the way.

4-BARRY BONDS-Even though the record should be tainted because of Barry's 'roid use, MLB turned the other cheek as they always do to controversy and he is the new Home Run King. No asterik either. If MLB was not man enough to ban or suspend him in the three years for all of the evidence they have on him, then the record stands. Whether you and I like it or not.

3-COLTS WIN THE SUPER BOWL- After the last few years of "Peyton Manning can't win the big one" or "The Pats have Peyton's number", the Colts finally showed what we thought, they were a championship team. From the second half comeback to defeat New England in the AFC Championship to their win in the Super Bowl, both Tony Dungy and MAnning made history.

2-MITCHELL REPORT- How many Major League Baseball players were sitting on pins and needles before this report came out. 400+ pages of detailed information, some shocking, some not so shocking. When it finally came out, it was a race to the denial line for the 86 players named.

1-MICHAEL VICK- When '07 began, we knew that MLB players were taking 'roids, what we did not know was that one of the most marketable athletes of our time was illegally funding a dog fighting ring. No story dominated the news this year like this one. No athlete that I can think of had a quicker fall from grace than Vick. Let's hope he has learned his lesson and that when he is released in 23 months, the Raiders will let him rehabilitate his life before trying to sign him to a contract.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My Heisman Ballot

The 73rd Heisman Memorial Trophy will be awarded on Saturday night. The finalists are Arkansas RB Darren McFadden, Hawaii QB Colt Brennan, Missouri QB Chase Daniel, and Florida QB Tim Tebow. What makes this year's award unique is no matter who wins, history will be made. Tebow could become the first sophomore in history to take home the Heisman. If Tebow does not win, the Heisman would go to a school it has been to before as McFadden, Brennan, and Daniel would be the first from their respective schools to win college football's top honor.

First, a few honorable mentions that did not make the final group.

* Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon. Clearly the most exciting player in college football this season. The fourth-down, 43-yard touchdown run on the Ducks' initial possession at Arizona, proved how good he is, if only because he ran it with a torn ACL. Took us folks on the east coast a while to appreciate him and just when we did he went down with a season ending injury.

* Pat White, QB, West Virginia. Passed for 1,500 yards and rushed for over 1,100. Didn't put up the qudy passing stats as the thre finalists and had to share the spotlight with RB Steve Slaton but was very fun to watch. Add that he came back from an injury vs. Pitt when the team was down and needed is a bonus in my book.

4- Chase Daniel- No one burst onto the national scene in 2007 like him. He led Mizzou from the bottom of the Big 12 all the way to the title game. Completed almost 70% of his passes for over 4,000 yards and 33 TD's. Could have been 1 or 2 with a stronger showing vs. Oklahoma during the Big 12 championship.

3- Colt Brennan- I don't buy the "product of the system" jargon. He clearly put that team on his shoulders and elevated their level of play. Only QB not to lose a game in 2007. He started his career backing up Matt Leinart in High School and wnet to Colorado as a walk-on. Had some trouble there and after a stint at a JC went to the Aloha state. Bonus points cleaning up his life but loses some by not playing tougher schedule...not his fault but still counts against him.

2-Darren McFadden-Back-to-back #2 finishes, was runner up to Troy Smith in '06. Accounted for 20 TD's ( 15 rushing, 4 passing, and 1 receiving). Had a huge game when it counted the most upsetting LSU and had a better statistical season than '06. Had a few supbar games which hurt his standing. He should have won it last year as a sophomore.

And the winner is TIM TEBOW...he has become a legend in Gatorland even more so than the ole ball coach (the '68 Heisman winner). You will hear another of the "system QB" bologna with Tebow but no one has ever had a season like his no matter what his age is. Completed over 68% of his passes for over 3,000 yards 29 TD's and only 6 picks. Also rushed for 800 yards and a mind boggling 22 TD's (7 more than McFadden who actually is a RB). No player in Bowl Subdivision (which is really I-A) has ever been a 20-20 man. No player was more important to his team and despite the fact that he is only a sophomore, Tim Tebow is your Heisman winner.