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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Misty May-Treanor tears Achilles…ballroom dancing?

Two-time gold medalist (and possibly the best volleyball player in the world) Misty May-Treanor underwent surgery on the Achilles tendon that she tore while practicing for “Dancing With the Stars.”

Her rep tells PEOPLE the surgery was “successful” and that “she is currently at home recovering. Her husband, Matt [Treanor] is with her.”

Doctors estimate it will take approximately nine months of recovery and rehabilitation before May-Treanor can return to the volleyball court.

The doctors went on to theorize that years of “lugging around a more than ample derrier” [picture] may have caused the Achilles to compress and weaken, making it susceptible to injury.

Okay, I made that last part up.

Get well soon, Misty. We’ll miss you.

A random thought about Misty May-Treanor’s tattoo…

This occurred to me during the Bejing Olympic Games, but I was reminded of it with all the hoopla surrounding the “Dancing With The Stars” premiere.

Misty May-Treanor has a tattoo on her lower back. It’s a picture of the Roman numeral five, a tribute to Jason Kidd, May-Treanor’s favorite basketball player. Kidd wears the #5 on his jersey. May also wore the number in college.

So imagine you’re Misty’s husband, baseball player Matt Treanor, and you’re spending some “quality time” with your wife and you look down and see that tattoo. What happens when a picture of Jason Kidd’s mug pops into your head?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Misty May-Treanor will appear on “Dancing With The Stars”

There’s a joke about Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby Got Back” in here somewhere.

It’s true, the two-time gold medalist will appear on “Dancing With The Stars” along with Warren Sapp and sprinter Maurice Greene.

A record 13 dancers will compete on the show. Included are the program’s youngest dancer ever — 18-year-old Cody Linley of the popular Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana”, and its oldest, 82-year-old actress Cloris Leachman.

Others contestants include singers Lance Bass and Toni Braxton, Emmy-winning soap actress Susan Lucci, reality-show participant Kim Kardashian, television actor Ted McGinley, chef Rocco DiSpirito, television personality/model Brooke Burke and stand-up comedian Jeffrey Ross.

Wow, Misty May and Kim Kardashian?!? Those are some serious derrieres.

Here is May-Treanor (left) in a bear-hug with Kerri Walsh…

And here’s Kardashian (a.k.a. Reggie Bush’s girlfriend)…

Big is definitely back.

Wet and Wild: May-Treanor/Walsh capture the gold

Facing a good team in front of a (semi-)partisan hometown crowd in a pretty heavy rainstorm, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh completed their gold medal run (without losing a single game during the entire Olympics) by defeating the Chinese combo of Wang Jie and Tian Jia, 21-18 and 21-18.

They have now won 108 straight matches and have won back-to-back Olympic gold medals. Expect big changes for the duo now that this competition is over, as both players have said that they’d like to start a family. May-Treanor is 31 and Walsh is 30, so it’s conceivable (no pun intended) that they could take a year or two off to start a family and then join forces again in a couple of years to try to make a run at the 2012 Olympics in London. At 35 and 34, it wouldn’t be easy, but the way that these two compete, you never know. I guess it could depend on how many kids they want to have. One, maybe… two would be tough.

Regardless, if they do indeed take a break, the time is now for another American team to grab the mantle. The best beach volleyball team ever to take the sand now sounds like they may be done competing, at least for now.

Thursday morning update: The World of Isaac posted these photos of the match.

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