Cam Newton, Brett Favre and This Year's 10 Most Beaten-to-Death Sports Stories
Sometimes, I wish I lived in an earlier time period.
A time where I could watch sports news and not see the same stories hammered over my head until I am left crying for mercy. A time where Brett Favre appeared on television only once or twice a day, instead of once or twice every half hour. A time where ESPN did not disintegrate into Fox News and CNN, and news stories were not diluted, over-analyzed and squeezed for every last drop of information until the next story came along.
Then again, in an earlier time period, Bleacher Report would not be around, and I'd be without a part-time job and the opportunity to write this article.
The following are 10 stories (and accompanied videos) this year, counting down from 10 to one, that most rational sports fans never want to hear about again.
10. Pacquiao-Mayweather Jr. No-Fight
The last pick was close, between this, Ben Roethlisberger and concussions/helmet-to-helmet hits. The Pacquiao-Mayweather Jr. saga gets the nod, because it has lasted approximately 20 years.
I'd like to see Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao settle this on the street, Rocky V style. Bring some cameras and fight in the middle of Times Square, unannounced.
9. Year of the Pitcher?
This year was not the Year of the Pitcher, despite what many writers have tried to lead us to believe every month this entire baseball season.
However, Bud Selig isn't about to lower the mound by five inches in the offseason, as was done following the real Year of the Pitcher (1968), to curtail pitching excellence. Denny McLain was probably not too happy about that.
(Is this the most awkward game show video clip ever, aside from every interview Alex Trebek has with a Jeopardy! contestant? Who are the four panelists, anyway?)
8. Cam Newton Improper Benefits
I can write this article at this time next year, and simply substitute another star college football or basketball player and/or program that will be in trouble. ESPN is in love with stories of amateur impropriety, whether it be Reggie Bush or the latest team John Calipari is coaching.
Personally, I have become so jaded in regards to big-time amateur (cough, semi-pro) athletics that I really don't care much anymore. I don't know if Cecil and Cam Newton tried to shake down Mississippi State for money, and it doesn't matter.
Who made BCS football and basketball semi-pro sports? The players? The coaches? The teams?
No, the NCAA, and it's been like this for a while. Yet ESPN treats these stories like they are reporting the apocalypse.
7. Bad Officiating Calls
I can't really blame the media for overblowing this story. In the day and age of multiple camera angles, zoom-in features and super slo-mo instant replay, we know exactly which calls the referees did not get right.
Every month this year, a new officiating story revealed itself to the public. This call, however, was the most atrocious, because we still don't even know what it was.
6. Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger Texting Scandal
This was my life for about two weeks.
7:59 a.m.: Wake up.
8:00 a.m.: Start eight-hour editing day for Bleacher Report.
8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.: Edit a billion 10 to 20-slide articles that offered little to no information regarding the Favre/Sterger scandal, each featuring the same scantily-clad Jenn Sterger pictures.
Did I mind? Not really. Was it the B/R perfect storm? You bet. We'll never see it again.
5. Dallas Cowboys...Everything
Can I please wake up for just one day without a report from the Dallas Cowboys camp? They don't even have LeBron James on their team.
Actually, if LeBron James decided to quit the Heat and try out for the Cowboys, would this be the biggest sports story ever?
4. LeBron James Decision Aftermath
What should I do? Should I formally introduce myself to Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the basketball court? Should I get Eric Spoelstra fired and put Pat Riley behind the bench? Should I get myself traded out of Miami by February?
Note: the South Park parody of LeBron James' latest commercial was flipped originally on YouTube to avoid copyright infringement.
Also, Heat Index, really?
3. Tiger Woods Sex Scandal
I'm cheating with this answer, since the media explosion over Tiger Woods' affairs occurred in the 2009 calendar year (although the aftermath, specifically his golfing, occurred in 2010).
I can't ignore the fact that Tiger Woods was on the front cover of the New York Post, one of the top three newspapers in America's biggest media market, for 20 straight days.
The September 11 terrorist attacks were on the New York Post front cover for 19 straight days.
That tells you everything you need to know.
2. Brett Favre Retirement
I was surprised ESPN did not send a representative to move to Kiln, Mississippi and do hourly reports from Brett Favre's hometown in the offseason. Pedro Gomez was on the Barry Bonds beat for what seemed like years, so why not send Ed Werder there?
1. LeBron James Decision
Nothing has been said about the Decision that hasn't been said already. Wrestling fans, enjoy this video.
December Bonus: BCS Mess
The year isn't over yet, but I know the last overblown story.
Picture this: Oregon wins out. Auburn loses to Alabama in the Iron Bowl, but defeats Florida in the SEC Championship. TCU and Boise State finish undefeated.
Whether TCU or Auburn goes on to the title game doesn't matter, because everyone will be up in arms over the ultimate second choice, and Boise State will still be on the outside looking in.
BCS mess. It doesn't get any worse than that. Get excited. I know I am.