The biggest sports story of 2007 isn't a feel-good one.
Honestly, what are you going to remember about sports when the year is over?
The Red Sox's World Series win?
Probably not, since it was nowhere near as dramatic as 2004.
The Pats quest for perfection?
Possibly, but since the Super Bowl isn't until 2008, it's hard to count that one.
The Spurs' fourth title in nine years?
I only wish more people really did care about the NBA.
The truth is that none of the top teams are going to be remembered when 2007 is in the books. Instead, people will remember the scandals that rocked the sports world.
The first bad news broke in June, when it was revealed that NBA referee Tim Donaghy had been betting on games he officiated. Whether Donaghy actually affected the outcomes remains to be determined—but the revelation was another black eye for the league.
Fans across the country were outraged, and immediately drew the conclusion that Donaghy turned the tide in the Suns-Spurs Western Conference Finals. But the ref got off the hook when Michael Vick was indicted on dogfighting charges.
The former Falcons QB is now serving a prison sentence. The Falcons are in the midst of an awful season, which has seen Joey Harrington take the majority of the snaps and a disloyal Bobby Petrino abandon the team after Week 14 for the University of Arkansas.
And then, of course, there's that guy named Barry Bonds.
Fans at ballparks across the country held up asterisk signs when Bonds came to town in pursuit of Hank Aaron's home run record—then scurried for the ball if he happened to launch a dinger.
To me, that's hypocrisy. If you really hate the guy, throw the ball back into the field. As for Bonds—sure, he probably did take some type of performance-enhancer, but let's be honest: The guy is still the best hitter of this generation.
September was no better. The New York Jets accused Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots of illegally using cameras to steal signals. If it's true, shame on the Pats—but let's not forget that every team steals signals to some extent.
Should the Patriots perfect season (if it happens) be marked with an asterisk? I don't think so—mainly because they've utterly dominated most of their opponents this season.
Finally, there was the Mitchell Report. You're telling me a former Senator has nothing better to do with his time? Yeah—I guess America has no other glaring problems at the moment.
That said, the report did make for interesting reading—especially with its copies of checks and receipts confirming payment for substances. But the inquiry produced more questions than answers, and we still don't know for sure who took what, and when.
While some players have admitted wrongdoing, others continue to vehemently deny the accusations.
These stories are by no means the "best" of the year, as they all hurt their respective sports. But when you remember 2007, it'll be the pain you think of first.