Over the past 365 days in sports, we have had memorable moments in sports. We have witnessed history, crazy comebacks, and terrible performances. Here is my list of the top 10 moments in the 2010 year in sports.
#10- The Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup
The Blackhawks were predicted to win the 2010 Stanley Cup by a lot. But after the Flyers beat the Rangers to get into the playoffs, and then coming back from behind to beat the Bruins after being down 3-0, they had all the momentum. But the Blackhawks, who are one of the youngest teams in the NHL, shut down the Flyers and won in 6 games.
#9- John Isner defeating Nicholas Mahut 70-68 in 11 hours.
The best tennis match in Tennis history took a span of 3 days. Nothing else really to say.
#8- Eagles coming back to beat the Giants in the New Miracle at the Meadowlands
New Meadowlands Stadium was poised to host its greatest home-team victory to date; instead the first-year facility witnessed its first catastrophic defeat.
Leading the Eagles 31-10 after 3½ quarters in a game that likely would identify the NFC East champ, the Giants collapsed spectacularly, allowing four touchdowns in 7:28.
The capper was DeSean Jackson's 65-yard punt return for the winning score as time expired; it was a punt Matt Dodge had been instructed to keep away from Jackson by kicking it out of bounds.
#7-The No-hitters and the Imperfect game
Where do you start? There were so many “year of the pitcher” moments in 2010 that it looked like 1968 all over again, but even better.
There was Dallas Braden, the rough and tough wild child from California, throwing a perfect game on Mother’s Day while his grandmother, who took care of him most of his life, watched from the stands.
There was perfection in Miami when Roy Halladay blanked the Marlins. How about no-hitters from Ubaldo Jimenez, Edwin Jackson and Matt Garza? And then to top it off, throw in a no-hitter from Roy Halladay in his first ever post season appearance. Are you serious?
But the “year of the pitcher” in 2010 will forever have a smudge on the record book. Umpire Jim Joyce cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga perfection and a chance at immortality.
Galarraga set down 26 straight Indians on a Wednesday night in June and stood one out away from the third perfect game of 2010 when he got shortstop Jason Donald to ground a slow roller to first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Galarraga rushed to cover first, received the throw from Cabrera and touched the bag.
Joyce called Donald safe, but video replay cleary showed Galarraga beat Donald to the bag. A full-time umpire since 1989, Joyce admitted his mistake after the game.
It was the opportunity for Galarraga to explode, to take out his frustrations on Joyce. Instead, the pitcher smiled, walked back to the mound and completed his masterful performance. And the next day he handed his team’s lineup card to Joyce at home plate, who had tears in his eyes from the pain he was feeling from that blown call.
#6- Sidney Crosby shocks the U.S.A
In the final event of the 2010 Winter Olympics, it was a hockey game that took center stage and pitted two neighbors against one another for bragging rights.
In the gold medal game, the USA would find itself trailing by two but somehow pushed its way to a near second “miracle on ice.” Zach Parise, who has dual citizenship in Canada and America, scored the tying goal for the USA with just 24.4 seconds remaining.
But it was just not meant to be when Sidney Crosby’s wrist shot in overtime went past American goaltender Ryan Miller as the Canadians captured the gold medal 3-2. It was more of a relief than jubilation for Canada, a nation who almost lost the gold in its own sport on home ice.
#5- Uconn women make history.
Leave it to a cocky, irritating, stubborn but great male coach, to lead a bunch of women to breaking the greatest streak in all of college sports.
That’s what happened on Dec. 21 when Geno Auriemma’s UConn Huskies defeated No. 22 Florida State 93-62 for its 89th straight victory, breaking the previous record set by John Wooden’s UCLA dynasty.
UConn has not lost since the Final Four in 2008, and during its win streak has only won by single digits twice. To compare the two streaks is silly and nearly impossible, but what the UConn women have done is certainly remarkable, and they deserve all the attention and accolades that come their way.
#4- The San Francisco Giants winning the World Series
The San Francisco Giants’ success story comes with few household names. They did not have the star power that the Yankees or Phillies had, but the Giants willed their way to its first title on the West Coast, the first since moving from New York in the 1950’s.
Countless generations of Giants fans will always remember the names of Bobby Thompson, Willy Mays, Leo Durocher, and Barry Bonds. But Giants fans young and old can add names like Buster Posey, Cody Ross, Pablo Sandoval, Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and closer Brian Wilson to the list.
#3- Brett Favres Streak comes to an end
Favre made his first start on Sept. 27, 1992. And for 297 consecutive games, the man wearing number four was out there every game under center commanding attention and delivering magical moments. The streak finally ended this Dec. 13.
Favre took a beating like many other quarterbacks, but the difference was Favre always showed up for work a week later, no matter who told him he should not or could not play. He gave fans supernatural moments like the game against the Raiders just a day after his father had passed away.
His boyish celebrations after touchdowns at the age of 41 remind players and fans that this is still just a game, one that should be enjoyed, something Favre has done from the first time he stepped on a football field.
And while he has had high publicized off-field issues and has been criticized for being selfish, Favre is truly a simple man, someone who came to work every week and loved doing his job. And that attitude alone allowed us to see the greatest consecutive games played streak in all of sports history.
#2- Saints winning the Super Bowl
It wasn’t the prettiest, or the most entertaining but Super Bowl XLIV belonged to the “Who Dat Nation” and the inspiring city of New Orleans.
Just five years removed from Hurricane Katrina, Drew Brees and the Saints captivated a nation and more importantly gave the city of New Orleans the greatest gift it could give by lifting the spirits of so many who thought there would be no happy times ahead.
The 31-17 win was highlighted by a 75-yard interception for a touchdown by Tracy Porter that allowed the wildest city in America to set off the biggest party it could have.
#1- Lebrons decision and return to Cleveland
For this, we will condense the year of LeBron James into one spot.
The most coveted free agent in the history of sports had the world’s attention on July 8, 2010. A one-hour program entitled “The Decision” is what the hopes of five NBA teams who had been courting LeBron James, including his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, had come to. And all it took was the line “I’ve decided to take my talents to South Beach” to break the hearts of his former hometown team, and create a new villain role for the once celebrate LeBron James.
Once the decision was over and the new Big Three had formed, everyone was eager to circle Dec. 2 on their NBA calendars. That would be the day that “Queen James” would make his return to Cleveland.
And what a return it was. Engulfed in chants of “Scottie Pippen” and “Akron Hates You”, LeBron showed everyone that being the villain can be kind of fun as James dropped 38 points on his old squad, leading the Heat to a 118-90 victory.
There were a few things to take from the game. LeBron is accepting his role as most hated player in the NBA and it’s good for the league, but he also showed why he left Cleveland. Plain and simple, the Cavs stink and there is a reason “the chosen one” left home. So now Cleveland can go back to being the darkest sports city in America and we can all move on.
(Others being considered: Michael Vick, World Cup, Lakers repeating, Bruins losing 3-0 lead to Flyers, Butler challenging Duke)
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