2010 Year-End Sports Review: What We Learned

Years from now, when people look back on 2010, what will they remember as the defining sports moment? Uh, they can only pick one? We discovered that Tiger Woods likes to play the field and that Brett Favre doesn’t mind sending pictures of his anatomy to hot sideline reporters via text message. We found out that LeBron listens to his friends a little too much and that Ben Roethlisberger needed a serious lesson in humility. But we also learned that athletes such as Michael Vick and Josh Hamilton haven’t blown second chance opportunities (or third and fourth chances in the case of Hamilton). It was also nice to see a certain pitcher turn down bigger money so that he can play in a city that he loves.

We’ve done our best to recap the year’s biggest sports stories, staying true to tradition by breaking our Year End Sports Review into three sections: What We Learned, What We Already Knew, and What We Think Might Happen. Up first are the things we learned in 2010, a list that’s littered with scandal, beasts, a Decision and yes, even a little Jenn Sterger.

Contributors: Anthony Stalter, John Paulsen, Paul Costanzo, Drew Ellis and Mike Farley

Tiger Woods gets around.

We hesitate to put this under “golf” because the only clubs involved were his wife’s nine-iron hitting the window of his SUV and the various establishments where Tiger wined and dined all of his mistresses…over a dozen in all. This was the biggest story of the early part of the year, but it got to the point that whenever a new alleged mistress came forward, the general public was like, “Yeah, we get it. Tiger screwed around on his wife. A lot.” He has spent the rest of the year attempting to rebuild his once-squeaky clean image, but it’s safe to say, we’ll never look at Tiger the same way.

Golfer Tiger Woods apologizes for irresponsible and selfish behavior during his first public statement to a small gathering of reporters and friends at the headquarters of the U.S. PGA Tour in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida,on February 19, 2010.   UPI/Sam Greenwood/Pool Photo via Newscom

LeBron wilts when his team needs him most.

Say the words “LeBron” and “Game 5” in the same sentence and NBA fans everywhere know exactly what you’re talking about. In the biggest game of the season, LeBron looked disinterested, going 3-of-14 from the field en route to a 120-88 blowout at home at the hands of the Celtics. There were rumors swirling about a possible relationship between LeBron’s mom and his teammate, Delonte West, and there’s speculation that LeBron got that news before tipoff and that’s why he played so poorly. Regardless of the cause, LeBron played awful in that game, and it turned out to be his swan song in Cleveland as a member of the Cavaliers. Talk about leaving a bitter taste.

You can auction off your talented son’s athletic abilities and get away with it.

The NCAA set a strange precedent this season while dealing with the Newton family. The always inconsistent and completely morally uncorrupt NCAA decided in its infinite wisdom that despite discovering that Cecil Newton shopped his son Cam to Mississippi State for $180,000, and that is a violation of NCAA rules, that Cam would still be eligible because it couldn’t be proven that he knew about it. Conference commissioners and athletic directors around the country spoke out about the decision, while agent-wannabes and greedy fathers everywhere had a light bulb go off in their own heads: As long as we say the player doesn’t know about it, it could go off without a hitch. What was Cecil’s punishment in this whole thing? Limited access to Auburn for the last two games of the season. Easy with that hammer there, NCAA. Read the rest of this entry »

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Urban Meyer stepping down at Florida – will he reunite with Tim Tebow in Denver?

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 hugs head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisana Superdome on January 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It hasn’t quite been a year since Urban Meyer first said that he was stepping down as head coach of the Florida Gators. Right after Christmas last year, he cited health problems as the reason he would resign but then he changed his mind a day later.

Apparently he’s changed his mind again.

According to a report by AOL Fanhouse’s Brett McMurphy, Meyer will step down on Wednesday. McMurphy tweets that there will be a press conference this evening (rumor has it that it’ll be at 6:00PM ET) to announce the decision.

Considering his short leave of absence in between the ’09 season and the 2010 season (as well as the down year Florida just experienced), I guess this news isn’t all that shocking. He didn’t appear to bring the same excitement and passion to the sidelines as he did in previous years when Tim Tebow was his quarterback. He’ll leave Florida after compiling a 64-15 overall record, which includes two national championships.

Speaking of Tebow, what are the chances Meyer joins his former pupil in Denver? It’s probably just coincidence that the Broncos fired Josh McDaniels just days before Meyer quit at Florida, but all the pieces fit. He loves Tebow. Tebow loves him. The Broncos need a head coach and oh, what’a know – Meyer needs a job now.

Another thing to consider is that the Broncos are in a tough spot. Not every coach wants to work with a massive project like Tebow and McDaniels left them as a team without an identity. Meyer could remedy both of those situations but who knows if he’ll even want to coach again in the near future. There’s a strong possibility that he needs time off (for health reasons and otherwise) and hasn’t even considered joining the NFL ranks.

I’m sure within the next couple of hours the Broncos will deny wanting anything to do with Meyer and Meyer will do the same. “The Broncos? Yuck – I hate that team,” Meyer will say. But how many times has a college head coach lied about his future plans? Bobby Petrino just lied to someone, somewhere two and a half seconds ago.

A Meyer-Tebow reunion in Denver seems a little to perfect right now but nothing should be ruled out.

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