2008 Year-End Sports Review: What We Already Knew

While every year has its own host of surprises, there are always those stories that simply fit the trend. Sure, it can get repetitive, but if we don’t look back at history aren’t we only doomed to repeat it? Every year has its fair share of stories that fell into this category, and 2008 was no different.

Our list of things we already knew this year includes the BCS’ continued suckiness (Texas-Oklahoma), how teamwork wins championships (KG, Pierce and Ray-Ray), and the #1 rule for carrying a handgun into a nightclub – don’t use your sweatpants as a holster. (Come on, Plax. Really? Sweatpants?)

Don’t miss the other two parts of our 2008 Year-End Sports Review: “What We Learned” and “What We Think Might Happen.”

Brett Favre can’t make up his mind.

The biggest story of the summer was all the drama surrounding Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. This saga has been covered to death, but there’s one detail that never seemed to get that much play. At the start, it looked like the Packers were making a bad decision by moving on so quickly even when Favre decided he wanted to return. But when the news broke about Favre’s near-unretirement in March, the Packers stance became much more clear. They were ready to take him back after the owners’ meetings, but he called it off at the last minute. At that point, the Packer brass was understandably finished with Brett Favre, much to the chagrin of a good portion of the Packer faithful. – John Paulsen

The Chicago Cubs’ title drought is not a fans-only phenomenon.

The 2008 Cubs were easily the best team the franchise has assembled in decades, but they still couldn’t win a single game in the playoffs, and the reason is simple: the pressure finally got to them. Sure, they said the right things to the press about how they didn’t care about what had happened in the past, but don’t believe a word of it; there wasn’t a single person in that dugout that wasn’t fantasizing about being part of the team that finally, mercifully, ended the longest title drought in sports history. Once ESPN picked them to win it all, however, they were doomed. Ryan Dempster walked seven batters in Game 1, which matched his total for the month of September. The entire infield, including the sure-handed Derrek Lee, committed errors in Game 2. Alfonso Soriano went 1-14 with four strikeouts in the leadoff spot, while the team as a whole drew six walks and struck out 24 times. The team with so much balance in the regular season suddenly became the most one-dimensional team in baseball; take Game 1 from them, then sit back and watch them choke. And now that this group has lost six straight playoff games (the team has lost nine straight dating back to 2003), it isn’t about to get any easier. Get a helmet, Cubs fans. – David Medsker

If you’re going to wear sweatpants to a nightclub, leave the gun at home.

If winning a Super Bowl is the pinnacle of an NFL player’s career, than shooting yourself with your own gun in a nightclub has to be rock bottom. Case in point: Plaxico Antonio Burress. Just 10 months after helping the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg while at a nightclub. Apparently the (unregistered) gun was slipping down his leg and when he tried to grab it to keep it from falling, the lucky bastard wound up pulling the trigger and shooting himself. And that wasn’t the worst of it because as Plaxico found out, New York has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. He was arrested, but posted bail of $100,000 and is scheduled to return to court on March 31, 2009. If convicted of carrying a weapon without a license, he faces up to three and a half years in jail. He shouldn’t expect special treatment, either. The mayor of New York wants to be sure that Burress is prosecuted just like any other resident of NYC. The Giants, meanwhile, placed him on their reserve/non-football injury list and effectively ended his season. While “Plax” definitely deserves “Boner of the Week” consideration for his stupidity, what’s sad is that in the wake of Washington Redskins’ safety Sean Taylor’s death, most NFL players feel the need to arm themselves when they go out. Maybe players can learn from not only Taylor’s death, but also Burress’s accident so further incidents can be avoided. – Anthony Stalter


Read the rest after the jump...

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Plaxico Burress’ PSA on gun safety

Since shooting himself in a nightclub two weeks ago, Plaxico Burress is attempting to reach out to kids to warn them about the dangers of guns.

But as you can see in this video clip from Atom films, Plax still has a long way to go:

Plaxico Burress’ PSA on Gun Safety

New Bang! Cartoon: Dishonorable Discharge

Everyone wonder what really happened the night Plaxico Burress shot himself in a club? Well the guys at Bang! Cartoons have the lowdown, illustrated in their latest hilarious ‘toon. Apparently Burress had motivation to get hurt…

That jab at Shockey was great. Head on over to Bang! to check out all of their NFL cartoons and podcasts!

Giants end Plaxico Burress’s season

The New York Giants effectively ended Plaxico Burress’s season by placing him on the non-football injury list.

Plaxico BurressThe New York Giants fined and suspended Burress on Tuesday for four games — the rest of the regular season — after he accidentally shot himself in the right thigh over the weekend at a Manhattan nightclub. The team also placed him on the reserve non-football injury list, which means the wide receiver couldn’t come back for playoffs, either.

The team punished Burress a day after he was charged with illegal weapons possession, which carries a penalty of 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison. He is due back in court on March 31.

Burress arrived at Giants Stadium on Tuesday morning, and met individually with Giants president John Mara, general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin. He left for a medical test and returned in the afternoon for another brief session with team officials.

“As we have said since Saturday morning, our concern is for Plaxico’s health and well-being,” Mara said. “This is an important time for him to take care of his body and heal up and also deal with the very serious legal consequences and other issues in his life. When I spoke with Plaxico he expressed great remorse for letting down his teammates.”

I applaud the Giants because they always think team-first. They realized that Burress would be a potential distraction for the remainder of the season and throughout the playoffs and they don’t need that in their quest for another title. At the same time, they’re a solid organization so I would be willing to bet that they support Burress as he goes through the legal process he’s about to face (his hearing is set for March).

The Giants are an organization that the Cincinnati Bengals should model themselves after.

Related Articles:

New York City mayor wants Plaxico Burress prosecuted

Boner of the Week: Plaxico Burress

Plaxico Burress turns himself into authorities

Plaxico Burress accidentally shoots himself?

NFL News & Notes: Giants suspend WR Plaxico Burress

Plaxico Burress– The New York Giants have suspended WR Plaxico Burress one game because of insubordination. Burress didn’t show up for a team meeting on Monday and then wouldn’t answer his phone Tuesday. The Giants are on a bye this week and Burress will not play next Sunday in Seattle. (FoxSports.com)

Update: Burress has filed a grievance against the Giants for docking him two weeks of pay.

– The Rams released starting CB Fakhir Brown. Less than a week ago Brown had replaced Tye Hill in the starting lineup, so the news of his release is surprising. Although at this point, nothing should surprise any of us about the Rams. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

– The Bears cut former second round draft pick, Mark Bradley. The former Oklahoma product was productive early in his career but after tearing his ACL, Bradley just never recovered. (ChicagoBears.com)

– It’s official: Browns’ head coach Romeo Crennel will stick with QB Derek Anderson this week when the team travels to Cincinnati. Anderson lit up the Bengals last year, but he’ll be on a short leash this week. Brady Quinn is warming up as I type. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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