2007: A Review in Sports

2007 for sports in America can be simplified down to: the good, the bad and the ugly. Read below for an overview of the year.

Major League Baseball

THE GOOD: The Boston Red Sox winning their second World Series Championship in four years and becoming the first and only team to win it twice in the 21st Century. As well as Sox pitcher Jon Lester coming back from a cancer diagnosis in late 2006 to win the clinching game of the World Series.

THE BAD: The Mitchell Report by Senator George J. Mitchell being released in mid-December, naming 86 current and former MLB players including former Red Sox Roger Clemens and Mo Vaughn. It really gives baseball a black-eye.

THE UGLY: Roger Clemens’s denial of steroid usage and Jose Canseco’s coming out with a new book in the Spring of 2008.

National Football League

THE GOOD: The New England Patriots becoming the first team to finish the regular season 16-0 and have the best chance of going 19-0 and winning their fourth Lombardi Trophy. As well as Tom Brady breaking Peyton Manning’s touchdown record and Randy Moss breaking Jerry Rice’s touchdown reception record.

THE BAD: Former Atlanta Falcons’s Quarterback Michael Vick being charged and arrested for dog fighting in April. Upon the guilty verdict, Vick now is spending 23 months in a Virginia penitentiary.

THE UGLY: New York Jets Head Coach Eric Mangini blowing the whistle on his former mentor Bill Belichick after the Patritos-Jets game at Giants Stadium at the beginning of September. It resulted with the Patriots being stripped of their first round draft pick and getting in the wallets of Belichick and the Patriots franchise for a combined $750,000.

Also the Miami Dolphins winning their first game of the season against the Baltimore Ravens in December and ended the season with a 1-15 record.

National Basketball Association

THE GOOD: After winning only 24 games all of last year and losing 19 games in a row at one point, the Boston Celtics are the hottest team in the NBA right now. Trading their fifth overall pick to the Seattle Supersonics for Ray Allen then making a blockbuster deal to acquire Kevin Garnett in July, the Celtics find themselves a top the league at 26-3.

THE BAD: The gambling scandal of NBA official Tim Donaghy for betting on basketball games that he officiated during the previous two seasons. Donaghy pleaded guilty to federal felony conspiracy charges.

THE UGLY: The Miami Heat being 8-23 so far this season when only a couple years ago they were World Champions. Also you have to take into account Minnesota without Kevin Garnett – and with half of ex-Boston players (Al Jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green, Antoine Walker, Randy Foye and former BC Eagle Craig Smith) sits at 4-25.

College Football:

THE GOOD: Appalachian State beating Michigan in the first week of the college football season as well as Boston College as one of the surprise teams of the year, ending the season with an 11-3 record and 6-2 in the ACC.

THE BAD: The fact that we have two teams with two losses in the season playing for the National Championship. What about West Virginia or Hawaii?

THE UGLY: The historic powerhouse the Notre Dame Fighting Irish getting their second win of the season against Duke on November 17. They finished the season with a 3-9 record and many wondering if this will be Charlie Weis’s last year.

If you noticed that “the good” all have ties to Boston, well this was Boston’s year in the sporting world. And it looks like, with the direction the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Revolution and even Bruins are heading, it won’t be their last year on top.

Here are some high and low points of the past year in sports:

  • January 12 – McDaniel College Head Basketball Coach Bob Flynn passing away at the age of 49 after a sudden, massive heart attack.
  • February 4 – Peyton Manning finally gets his ring when the Indianapolis Colts defeat the Chicago Bears two weeks after coming back from a 21-6 deficit against the Patriots.
  • The Florida Gators defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes for both the NCAA Division I-A Football Championship and the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship.
  • Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s homerun record in August then is indicted by the federal grand jury months later.
  • Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew becoming the only major league player to be a part of two back-to-back-to-back-to-back homeruns, when the Sox Manny Ramirez, Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek all went deep against New York Yankees starter Chase Wright on April 20. (Drew was a part of one as a Dodger the previous year.)
  • The American League winning another All-Star game.
  • The first player to get a hit off of Daisuke Matsuzaka was college outfielder and punter, Johnny Ayers.
  • Patriots offensive line man Marquise Hill dying in a jet-ski accident in Louisiana in July.
  • Bills tight end Kevin Everett being temporarily paralyzed after trying to make a tackle on, then, Broncos kick returner Dominik Hixon. Thanks to the knowledge of the Buffalo medical staff, Everett is able to stand and walk on his own four months after being injured.
  • Redskins safety Sean Taylor dying from a gunshot wound to the leg after catching someone trying break into his house.
  • Broncos defensive back Darrent Williams being shot and killed less than 24 hours after the Broncos’s season ended on Denver streets at 2 o’clock in the morning on New Year’s Day 2007.
  • Zach Johnson winning his first Masters Championship on April 8.
  • Don Imus’s racial comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team in April.
  • The Virginia Tech Hokies winning the ACC Championship after the a single gunman took the lives of 32 students and faculty.
  • San Antonio Spurs sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
  • Roger Federer wins his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title.
  • Tiger Woods wins his 13th major winning the PGA Championship.
  • Phil Mickelson wins the 2007 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the third time and his second in three years.
  • Mickelson injures left wrist while playing in a practice round at the U.S. Open at Oakmont due to the heavy rough.
  • Angel Cabrera becomes the fourth consecutive non-U.S. born golfer to win the U.S. Open. (Retief Goosen, South Africa, 2004; Michael Campbell, New Zealand, 2005; Geoff Ogilvy, Australia, 2006)
  • Irish golfer Padraig Harrington wins the 2007 Open Championship (British Open) at Carnoustie Golf Links.

No comments: