The year 2009 is over and the things that stand out to me about the world of sports are things that truly display that the fun and games are no longer the most memorable part about sports.

When I reflected on the sports world over the year that just ended — the first three things that came to mind were the Tiger Woods scandal, the Steve McNair killing and Alex Rodriguez and his steroids use.

When those are the first three things that come to mind, it speaks volumes.

When I thought long and hard, I recalled that Stewart Cink won the British Open over Tom Watson in a playoff but nobody was talking about that in terms of major golf stories.

It didn’t take long to remember that the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl but that accomplishment didn’t compare to the murder of a recently retired NFL star when it came to biggest NFL stories. Just think about how stunned you were on July 4th when you first heard McNair had been shot to death.

I can remember the Anaheim Angels (there will be no formal use of the official Los Angeles part of the name on this Web site) making miscues in the ALCS and opening the door for the New York Yankees and Rodriguez to beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series but A-Rod’s early-year admission of steroids use dwarfed his postseason heroics.

When the scandalous stuff comes to mind before championships (North Carolina w0n the NCAA basketball tournament) and major accomplishments (Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game), there is only one question to ask:

What in the name of TMZ is going on here?

But it works like that now for nearly every sport. Think about college basketball and you think of things like Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s sexcapades in the restaurant before you recall that epic six-overtime tilt between Syracuse and Connecticut. Think about tennis and you recall Serena Williams’ outburst during the U.S. Open semifinals more than the epic Wimbledon final in which Roger Federer outlasted Andy Roddick 16-14 in the final set.

Geez, think about swimming and you think about Michael Phelps and his bong before anything he did in the pool in 2009.

Think of hockey and, um, yeah, um, well, nothing scandalous immediately comes to mind because the NHL is so far out of the mainstream sports consciousness these days. It’s not like the Wayne Gretzky days or the New York Islanders dynasty years when there was at least some intrigue. I’m going to have to look it up right now to tell you which team is the reigning Stanley Cup Champions (pause for seven seconds here … feel the suspense as Google loads … ok, got the answer — the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings in seven games.)

I’d think about the NBA but I never think about the NBA until the second round of the playoffs begin.

That leaves NASCAR left to dissect — hey, they ought to be proud Jimmie Johnson is always the biggest story. Class guy at the top of his sport who appears to be a great family man. Seems to have the perfect life.

Yikes … hope I didn’t just jinx the Granite Hills High alumnus. People would have said similar stuff on the first day of 2009 about another superstar.

A guy named Tiger Woods.

  1. andyandvickie says:

    Great post. It has been a strange 12 months.

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