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

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10 things you need to know about the PGA Championship

THE WORLD OF ISAAC has you covered for the final rounds of the PGA Championship. They list the 10 things you need to know about the annual men’s golf outing.

Player Most Likely to Show up in a stupid outfit: Ian Poulter

Player’s name you don’t want to pronounce: Louis Oosthuizen

Player Most Likely to Keel Over and Die from overall unhealthiness: John Daly

Most Likely to pull a Van De Velde: Phil Mickelson

Most likely to Blame the Crowd when he hits a bad shot: Colin Montgomerie

Guy everybody is pulling for: Rocco Mediate

Over/Under: Mentioning Tiger’s Injury on Air: 776

Most Notable Name who doesn’t deserve a spot: Paul Azinger

Player most in need of a cheeseburger: Charles Howell III

Player that will take over the Golf World in Tiger’s Absence: Anthony Kim

I’ll take the over 776 on the mention of Tiger’s injury on air.

Tiger wins 14th major after beating Mediate in U.S. Open sudden death

Tiger Woods won his 14th major championship Monday, topping Rocco Mediate in a sudden death playoff at the 2008 U.S. Open.

Both players shot even-par 71 in the 18-hole playoff, which forced a sudden-death format starting at the seventh hole.

Mediate hit his drive into a fairway bunker and was unable to reach the green with his approach. Woods, meanwhile, was on the green safely in two.

Mediate’s long putt for par missed, giving Woods his third U.S. Open title and continuing his run of 14 straight major wins when he leads entering the final round.

What an amazing U.S. Open this year, from Tiger’s remarkable 12-foot birdie put on the 18th green Sunday, to the massive underdog Mediate forcing not only a playoff, but a sudden death as well.

Mediate had a chance to put Tiger away in the first playoff when he birdied three holes in a row on 13, 14 and 15, but it’s hard to say anything negative about Mediate because he played his ass off. Tiger is simply the best and he proved it yet again this past weekend, planning through pain in his knee to come up with yet another masterful performance. This might have been his most impressive major win to date.

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