Now that it’s over, 2008 was one of the most memorable years for sports. Given that all sports have memories, and until Armageddon we’ll continue to have years, I guess you could say that for any year really. But 2008 was special. It brought us Roger Clemens and Plaxico Burress shooting themselves in the ass and leg, respectively. It brought us the second full season of Michael Vick-free football while he was in the dog bighouse. It gave us Scott Boras coming out of his shell as Satan. So in case you were busy growing a beard and dodging US troops in Afghanistan, odds are you missed it.
One Giant catch, one Patriot meltdown
In easily the best Super Bowl of all-time, the heavily favored New England Patriots fell to the mighty underdog New York Giants. Down 14-10 in the fourth quarter, Elisha Manning led a touchdown drive that cemented David Tyree in Super Bowl lore, and resulted in Plaxico Burress thinking gun permits were just polite suggestions. The resulting touchdown led to a 17-14 upset, as well as year-long gripefest from Bryan McBournie and Bill Simmons about how the Patriots had only won three Lombardi Trophies this decade.
People get paid to move through water in thongs
In the year’s most over-covered story, Maryland native Michael Phelps proved that it is possible to move through water really fast eight times in two weeks. Unconfirmed reports from Beijing have Phelps being linked to a conception program, where if you have a “miracle pregnancy” you have to name your child, or your sperm, after Phelps.
Brett Favre comes back, sort of, we’re not sure, wait … he’s retired, WELCOME TO NEW YORK
In a story that did not get much press at all, Brett Favre, a guy who grew a beard and played football in Green Bay, couldn’t make up his mind on whether he wanted to retire. So, instead of becoming Aaron Rodgers’ backup, Favre packed his things and went to New York where he gloriously led the Jets to an 8-3 start, then a 1-4 finish to firmly put his legacy in as the guy who looked weird in green tights.
Rays of hope shot down
Bandwagoners across the country got their crisp, new Tampa Bay Rays’ gear ready for the World Series before they were outmatched by a hungrier Phillies’ team with the worst fans in baseball outside of New York. In a World Series that featured a two-parter Game 5, it will forever be remembered as the title that Bud Selig tried to gift wrap for St. Petersburg.
Up next on the free-agent market, your soul
In their never-ending attempt to ensure that the world hates them, the New York Yankees made three key free-agent splashes in CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira for a collective $403.5 million. For you Yankees’ fans that complain about taxes, and bad living conditions etc, just know that your infield, plus Sabathia, runs $116.6 million per season. Oh, and by the way, you’re footing the bill for the new stadium.
Top games you can bet on this week:
Baltimore Ravens over Tennessee Titans
I’ve been saying all year that a team like Indy or Baltimore will come in and wipe out the Titans in their first playoff game, now is my chance to be right. I don’t like rookie quarterbacks in the playoffs, but I love Baltimore’s defense against Kerry “Tom” Collins. Baltimore 27-12.
Carolina Panthers over Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals’ East Coast results this year:
@Washington: L 24-17
@NY Jets: L 56-35
@Carolina: L 27-23
@Philadelphia: L 48-20
@New Endland: L 47-7
By simply doing math I’m going to say Panthers win by 20.
Philadelphia Eagles over New York Giants
I really thought NY had “it” again until they crumbled to a 1-3 finish. Philly is playing their best football of the year, and I don’t think the Giants have the ability to just turn it on again. Eagles 17-14.
Pittsburgh Steelers over San Diego Chargers
I think where Indianapolis fell, Pittsburgh will succeed. With a full week to gameplan for Darren Sproles, I doubt Sproles will be able to get 300+ yards like he did against the Colts. Pittsburgh 26-17.