Top T.E.N Sports Stories of 2004
In no particular order, these are T.E.N webzine's Top Sports stories in 2004
Red Sox win world series after 86 years.The world series itself was anti-climatic compared to the never before done in baseball comeback from a 3 game deficit over their nemisis, the New York Yankees. Chants of "Who's your Daddy" gave way to "Who's your Papi", while Curt gave us Chills watching his warrior like performance on the mound. David vs Goliath though, this was not. This was more like Goliath's kid brother tripping him when he was not looking, then kicking him before running away.
The new Cold War: NHL Hockey Lock-out. One of the biggest bonuses from this lock-out is that more Americans are hearing about the NHL now, then if there was hockey! While Canadians have turned towards minor league hockey, Bettman is probably hoping that more Americans will turn into NBC's coverage (next year) just to see what all the fuss was about.
BALCO, Bonds and Giambi. This story broke in 2004, and we can expect it to build momemtum in 2005. In 2003, Hank Aaron said that he would have not problem if Bonds passed him for the most home runs. "Records were made to be broked", he re-iterated. That was all provided, of course, of innocent until proven guilty. I believe that as well, but damn, he looks real guilty right now. Bonds can make all the criticism go away in one test, but this is something he has refused to do. Hey, even O.J put the gloves on.
The death of Superman. With no disrepect to Christopher Reeve, Boxing's superman was Roy Jones Jr. (that would actually make Don King Boxing's Lex Luther!). Antonio Tarver shocked the world, and more importantly Roy Jones, with a stunning 2nd round KO out of nowhere. Glen Johnson made lightning strike twice a few months later with a 9th round KO, affecting buring Superman in a Krytonite grave forever. With Lennox Lewis retiring, Iron Mike Tyson turned to rust, and Roy Jones Jr thinking about ending his career as a heavyweight, boxing fans now awaits the next generation of talent to fill the void left by these boxers.
When NBA Players attack. From boxing to....a different kind of fighting, the NBA has been having their fair share of scuffles. The NBA is becoming a place where individuals can put themselves ahead of the team, and get away with it. You have Vince Carter calling most of the shots with the Raptors behind the scenes, then wanting a trade (and getting) after piss poor results and Toronto management deciding they can make their own decisions. Nowhere is this better evidenced than in L.A with the Kobe Klause. Even with Kobe's lack of judgement caused his personal life major drama, the Laker's felt that Kobe could benifit from a change of coach and roster that would better fit his game. Kobe seems to have worked great for two teams in the NBA, unfortunately neither are the Lakers. The Heat and the Supersonics (I am reaching with Seattle, but I don't think by much) can both attribute at least some of their success indirectly to Mr. Bryant. Finally, we have well documented the events surrounding the Malice at the Palace in our 3-pointer column. At one point, teams will realize that at the salary players are getting, me first players like Artest and Iverson will never translate into Championships.
Ricky Williams. Sometimes sports stories transcend the actual sport. Ricky Williams' story was about much more than abandoning the Dophines and contracts. This story also spoke to the people who have disorders like Ricky's and believe that the use of pot will lessen the social anxiety they feel. It is about someone getting out of an environment or profession who's retirees are in constant pain for the rest of their lives. It is about someone forsaking worldly goods and want to experience life. Only Ricky knows his heart. He may be throwing his life away, or he may finally be living it, only he can tell us.
Montreal Expos become the Washington Nationals. This is one story we plan to be tracking through the next few years. If the drama over the stadium is any indication, we should be in for a few laughs and I-told-you-so-'s before Washington (and a few other teams) become downsized. Bud Selig has no intention of stepping down, but we feel that as soon as the novelty of a new frachise has worn off, and off-season moves show again that the former Expos have no resources or ability to field a competitive team, Bud, and a few other teams will be cut.
Pat Tillman. Here is a man that left millions to serve his country. Unlike Ricky Williams, Pat Tillman knew what he wanted to do in life, and did it. He served for us all and we all owe him, and all soldier's that died in the war, a debt of gratitude. For NFL fans, he put a face to the number of casualties for the otherwise unaffected population.
Dream Team's rude awakening. Call it foreshadowing, call it lack of team discipline, call it what you want. The face of the NBA will start to change over the next fews years, especially if the American's lose again in 2008. Franchises are run by Corporate Amerca, and Corporate America is all about their bottom line. Foreign players will be signed for a lot less money, be happier just to be playing in the NBA, and are far more accustomed to a team game. All it will take is for 1 team to take the lead and build a serious contender, and the rest will follow.
Janet Jackson's breast. The shock around the now infamous wardrobe malfunction was itself shocking to witness from our perspective. The 5 second delay was implemented at almost every live event. Lawsuits were filed, similar acts were canceled or replaced, and North America just got a little more stupid everyday. Europe didn't care, nor did Quebec. They all love breasts. It is a natural part of the human body (maybe there is some doubt as to how natural hers are, but I digress). In a nation where the porn industry is king, and lead's most of the technological advances (streaming video...hello!), the United States continue to show the world their hipocracy
About the Author
Gary Whittaker is the editor of T.E.N Magazine, a sports and social commentary webzine with balls! Check out more articles at http://www.tenwebzine.com