by Mike Schutsky
What a year in sports it has been to kick of the new decade! Games have left fans in jubilation and others in utter disarray. There have been emotional stories of triumph, and others of sorrow. Without further ado, here are the top 10 sports moments of 2K10…
10. Canada wins Gold on home soil in the Winter Olympics
After a dismal home appearance at other events during the Winter Olympics, one of Canada’s few hopes for gold was in ice hockey. With superstars such as Sydney Crosby and Martin Brodeur, it was a battle for the ages. The Canadians clashed with the Americans during the final event of the winter games. Fans were elated as the final seconds ticked off the clock and the home team was awarded the gold medal.
9. Phil Mickelson Wins the Masters
Phil Mickelson slipped into his third green jacket in emotional fashion at Augusta National Golf Club in April. Mickelson, “The People’s Champion,” was a crowd favorite at Augusta for many reasons. Some have followed his career for years. Others sympathized with his family’s plight, as his wife Amy had been diagnosed with breast cancer a year earlier. When Mickelson rolled in 20-foot putt to win golf’s most coveted title, there was not a dry eye on the green as Phil embraced his wife. As a single tear rolled down his cheek, CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz fittingly said, “That’s a win for the family!”
8. Spain Wins the World Cup
Amidst the noise of Vuvuzelas and rowdy South African fans, there was a fantastic soccer tournament at hand. Spain made history by beating the Netherlands in a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory. Key players like Xavi Hernandez led to the victory. Hernandez completed 81 percent of his passes, which led to many goals. At the end of the tournament, Spain became a fitting champion.
7. The Death of George Steinbrenner
Baseball’s most controversial owner died at age 80 over the summer. Although part of several controversies, Steinbrenner was a well-loved and respected man inside and outside of this favorite American pastime. He managed the Yanks during seven World Series titles and eleven pennants. He earned the nickname “The Boss” because of his hands-on management style, and inventions such as free agency and increasing player salaries. Steinbrenner had retired in 2006, leaving the team in the capable hands of his sons Hank and Hal. Born on July 4, 1940, Steinbrenner passed away on July 13, 2010, nine days after his eightieth birthday.
6. The Tiger Woods Saga
After his now infamous car crash on Thanksgiving Eve last year, Tiger Woods’ life has turned upside down. His cheating scandal became public; he divorced his wife, and went winless on the PGA Tour for the first time in since 1996. After announcing an “indefinite” break from the game, Woods spent over a month in rehab and returned to competitive golf at the Masters. He only recorded two top five this season, and he also lost his number one ranking to Lee Westwood. Due to his poor play, Tiger hired a new coach, and is trying to return to the form that made him the most dominant player in the game.
5. San Francisco Giants Win the World Series
Despite closer Brian Wilson’s dyed beard, the National League San Francisco Giants did everything right during the 2010 World Series. This gave them a dominant victory over the American Leave Texas Rangers. The Giants won the fifth game of the series with a score of 3 -1, giving them a 4 -1 game win in the series. Power hitter Edgar Renteria was the series MVP and led his team to victory. The Giants had the home field advantage during the game, the first time it belonged to the National League since 2001. It was also the first time since 1954 that the Giants won the World Series, and with the depth of its roster the team doesn’t believe it will have to wait 56 more years to win another World Series title.
4. Kobe Wins His Sixth NBA Championship
In a classic NBA rivalry, the Boston Celtics faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA playoff finals. After a thrilling seven-game series, the Lakers became the champions. This win earned guard Kobe Bryant his second consecutive MVP award and sixth NBA Championship. In the final game the Lakers defeated the Celtics, 83-79. The Celtics lost the game because of poor rebounding and penalties.
3 Lebron James Joins the Miami Heat
After the now-infamous press conference with Jim Gray, Lebron James has solidified himself as the most hated person in Cleveland. Despite promises to remain loyal to Ohio, James has moved onto bigger and better things. Due to free agency, Lebron had the Cavs, Heat, Knicks, and Bulls recruiting him. Lebron took his talent to South Beach to play with NBA superstars, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Lebron intends to win a championship in Miami but with the start the Heat have had, it looks like a difficult proposition.
2. Butler’s Cinderella Run at an NCAA Championship
The fifth ranked Butler Bulldogs played the Duke Blue Devils at the National Championship game. Butler had a Cinderella run throughout the tournament and many wondered if Butler could even contend with Duke during the national championship game. Duke won the game 61-59 but not before Butler’s Gordon Hayward threw a desperation shot from half court that almost went in. It was a great final game to a great tournament.
1. The Saints Winning the Superbowl
New Orleans has always been an underdog. After Hurricane Katrina, they were underdogs, and after the first half of the Superbowl, they were also underdogs. But a gutsy onside kid to start the half propelled the Saints to an improbable victory and the Vince Lombardi Trophy. An image that will remain in NFL lore, for years to come is the confetti floating in the air, and MVP Drew Brees lifting his infant son in the air, than the Vince Lombardi trophy.