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.

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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Iowa star receiver Johnson-Koulianos arrested on drug charges

IOWA CITY, IA - NOVEMBER 8: Wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos #15 of the Iowa Hawkeyes scores a touchdown in the third quarter of play as Anthony Scirrotto #7 of the Penn State Nittany Lions defends on the play at Kinnick Stadium on November 8, 2008 in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa defeated Penn State 24-23. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos just took a sledgehammer to his NFL career.

Iowa’s all-time leading receiver was arrested on drug charges on Wednesday and has been accused of “keeping a drug house” at his home several blocks from campus. He’s also being charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana and apparently tested positive for both upon his arrest.

Good grief.

According to a report by ESPN.com, he could face up to 7 ½ years in prison and multiple fines. His roommate, 21-year-old Brady Cooper Johnson, was also charged after police raided their Iowa City home and discovered marijuana, more than $3,000 in cash, a digital scale and other items used to sell drugs.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz immediately suspended Johnson-Koulianos from team activities as soon as he received word of the charges and obviously the receiver won’t play against Missouri in the Insight Bowl on December 28.

The senior received first-team All-Big Ten honors and finished the regular season with 46 catches for 745 yards and 10 touchdowns. He became Iowa’s career leader in receptions and receiving yards and was the first player ever to lead the Hawkeyes in receiving his first three seasons.

I’m not a lawyer and therefore I don’t want to speculate on what Johnson-Koulianos faces from here on out. But it’s probably safe to assume that he can kiss any dreams of playing in the NFL goodbye.

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