This archived article was written by: David Osborne Jr.
What can you say about 2010, other than, “well, that is it.” Perhaps Charles Dickens said it best in “A Tale of Two Cities.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …” this quote really sums it up for the world of sports this year. Scandals ran across the headers of newspapers, and stories of great sportsmanship, and even worse sportsmanship filled sports pages. It was definitely an odd year, so here are the 10 oddities of 2010.
10- Major League of Eating
Gentlemen and ladies (if you feel so inclined), there actually is a Major League of Eating. Professional eater Takeru Kobayashi of Japan is no longer in trouble after a frenzy at the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Kobayashi showed up to the contest even though there was a contract dispute that kept Kobayashi from participating in the eating contest. He climbed up on to stage in a frenzy, while his lawyer insists that he was waved on to stage by contest officials. Kobayashi was arrested, but the judge said that if he had good behavior for six months his record would be wiped clean.
9- “BP” Ban
BP had a little fluke early in 2010, well if you can call 205.8 million gallons of crude oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico a little fluke. Many people responded in different ways including athletes. Chris Bosh, of the Miami Heat tweeted on his Twitter account, “Is that oil spill going? Seriously … How long has it been now?” A minor league baseball team from Florida took it one step further. They announced that in protest they would no longer take “BP” before their games, instead they would be taking “Hitting rehearsal.” Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find out if their record improved after the name change but BP, the oil company still has a pretty bad batting average.
8- Another one goes to Hall
Professional football is all about big guys with even bigger egos trying to beat the other guys on the other side to a pulp, and win the game. Minus Brett Favre, Jay Cutler may be the quarterback that had his ego hurt the most this last year. On Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010, the Chicago Bears faced off against the Washington Redskins. Cutler ended up throwing four interceptions to the Redskins cornerback, DeAngelo Hall. After the game Hall said, “It’s kind of mind blowing. I had my mom, my aunt and my two cousins in the stands. The first ball went to my mom, the second to my aunt and the next thing you know everybody had a ball.” Cutler responded to Hall’s comments, “ If we had to play them tomorrow, I’d go at him every time if we could.” The contest between the two players ended with this statement by Hall, “So, you know if I had to play Jay Cutler every single week, man, I’d be in the Hall of Fame.” In the battle of the egos, Hall wins hands down, well maybe hands up, that way he can keep picking off passes.
7- All the (former) kings men
When celebrities go out for a stroll, they are surrounded by body guards. The kind of guys that are former football players, wrestlers or body builders. When a former President goes out he has a 20-man security detail. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are both known for having hordes of goons following them. In the 2010 Masters at Augusta, Tiger Woods had a security detail of 90 body guards. I can’t decide if the security detail was to keep people from attacking Woods with a nine-iron, or to keep his former mistresses at bay, just in case they came snooping around the golf course. We could say that Woods actually had a detail of 91 men because one security guard at the golf course asked a female spectator, “Are you the stripper,” while holding pictures of Woods’ mistresses.
6- Maple bars … mmmmm
Seattle; the Seahawks, Mariners, the worlds “best” coffee and now the best maple bars. The maple bar claim comes from Golden Tate, a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks after being arrested for breaking into the Top Pot doughnut shop and then admitting to the press that they “are irresistible.” Tate has to keep away from the scent of doughnuts, at least when the shop is closed which may be harder than it seems because he lives in the same building as the doughnut shop that is so irresistible. Seahawks coach, Pete Carroll defended his player saying, “I do understand the lure of the maple bars.” So ladies and gentleman here is the point, police know when a doughnut shop is broken into and you will not get away with it, even if they are the most irresistible doughnuts in the world.
5- Don’t put your leg there if you know what is good for you
News reporters take note of this story because next it may be your leg, or another body part that may be on the line. Diego Maradona, a soccer legend from Argentina and Argentinian World Cup soccer team coach for 2010, ran over a reporter’s leg who fell and then had the lower part of his leg run over. As if not running over a reporter’s leg was bad enough, while on the way to a team meeting, Maradona had the audacity to stop his car and yell, “What an A– hole you are. How can you put your leg there where it can get run over, man?” Maradona then hopped into his car and drove away. Paramedics helped the reporter, and Maradona released the 23 names that would comprise his squad for the World Cup. Unfortunately I couldn’t find out any information to what has happened to the reporter who had his leg run over.
4- The Beatles and months backwards
As far as I am concerned, nobody ever claimed that Carmelo Anthony had the highest IQ in the National Basketball Association. Anthony has two quotes that make the oddities of 2010. First is one that comes from Anthony’s documentary about his one-year stint at Syracuse University where he won a national championship. Anthony said, “Those were the best seven or eight months of my life. We were the Beatles up there.” College students, there are eight months in two semesters of college, second the Beatles? I am wondering out of that national championship team who would comprise the boy-band from Britain. Anthony claimed that he was Paul McCartney. Going right along with Anthony’s successful college stay for one year came the knowledge of not knowing the general education requirements to get an associate’s degree. After being knocked unconscious during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony explained “One of the doctors asked me to say the months backwards. I can’t do that on a regular day.” Lesson learned: go to college one year and learn who the Beatles are and become them then go to the NBA and not know the months.
3- Fire, Ice and a Porsche
In a general sense I would never attempt to give a figure skater a hard time like I do other professional athletes, but this story is too good to pass up. Kurt Browning a professional figure skater from Canada left his Porsche convertible out in the rain, with the top down. To try and to dry out the seats in the Porsche, Browning decided to use a leaf blower. After all leaf blowers are just like giant blow driers, right? Wrong, after drying what water he could out of the car, he put the leaf blower that was still hot back into the garage. The leaf blower then started a fire that burned down most of the house. I hope the seats were dry so that he had somewhere to lay down without getting wet. Oh,and don’t forget to put the top up.
2- What a winner
When a company gives away a prize in a contest, it is something that is generally really nice like a lifetime supply of Frosted Flakes or a new pair of Nikes. The Zappo Shoe and Clothing Co., based out of Nevada gave away perhaps the worst award ever. One lucky fan will receive the opportunity to help “coach” the New Jersey Nets. I am sure that whoever won the award could have done a better job than head coach Kiki Vandeweghe. The ad for the contest actually says the one lucky fan will get, “the chance to rub elbows with head coach Kiki Vandeweghe.”
The responsibilities may not actually involve actually being the head coach (I know I would probably get ejected for too many technical fouls), but rather getting a whole bunch of free stuff, getting to see the arena, and helping with pregame warm ups.
1- Team building exercises
There are lots of different things that head coaches do to get their team to build relationships with each other. Some go to training camps, others get their teams involved in community activities. Texas A&M-Commerce head football coach Guy Morris tried something different this year. The school newspaper ran a story about two players that being arrested on drug charges. Not wanting their team mates to be mocked, the football team removed every copy of the newspaper on campus containing that content. Morris said of the incident, “I’m proud of my players for doing that . This was the best team-building exercise we have ever done.” Whatever it takes to get the team working together again coach.
That finishes off 2010 and all of the odd stories that went along with it, and here is to 2011 being just as odd, if not better.