By Govinda Avasarala
Nothing announces the end of a year more than final exams, papers, and the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Because a year’s worth of sports is difficult to wrap up in the limited space my editor gives me, I’ll attempt to get a semester’s worth in. So drop your Starbucks, put down that Business Research Methods textbook, turn off Nip/Tuck and pay tribute to the winners and losers of the Fall 2007 semester.
The “Seriously, Just Shut Up” Award: Boston Sports Fans
OK. We get it. All of your sports teams are dominating their respective leagues. You guys drink a lot. You have Manny Ramirez. Awesome. But if I have to continue hearing every thirty seconds about how the Red Sox are poised to dominate the next thirty years of baseball or that the Patriots are on their way to being the best sports team of all time, I might just go Zinedine Zidane on somebody and head butt them. Seriously.
It’s understandable what Bostonians have to be happy about. The Patriots and their leader Bill “Darth Vader” Belichick have dominated the NFL in a manner unseen since the Cowboys of the mid-1990s; the Red Sox (the New York Yankees of the 2000s) just won their second World Series in three years; the Boston Celtics have brought in a big three reminiscent of the times of Bird, Parrish, and Walton; and even the Boston Bruins are performing relatively well (or so I’m told, I wasn’t sure the NHL was still played in the United States). However, regardless of their success, it would be pleasant to see a Boston fan who can watch sports and demonstrate more class than Kevin Federline, which I’m not quite sure is possible right now.
The Team Most Likely to Have their Own Soap Opera by Year’s End: The New York Knicks
Did that really happen? Did the Knicks’ star point-guard, Stephon Marbury, really just refuse to show up for a game, and then proceed to publicly blackmail the coach if he didn’t start him? And it worked? What is this, “Days of Our Lives?”
While nary an event can surprise me in the modern sports world (was anybody really shocked when they heard what Michael Vick did? Disgusted, maybe. But shocked? No chance.), this story actually managed to blindside me. Then again, did we really think that the sexual harassment lawsuit against President/Head Coach Isiah Thomas was going to be the last of their problems this year?
The “When do You Start Feeling Bad For Them?” Award: The Miami Dolphins
As a declared Miami Dolphins fan, words cannot describe what this NFL season has done to me, my health, and my relationships with other people. Watching the Dolphins play has the same excruciating effect as watching From Justin to Kelly on repeat. For the rest of my life. I know I may not have the best karma in the world, but was it absolutely necessary for God to beat my beloved team to the point where Mary Kate Olsen could run on them?
The Best Team People Don’t Know About and Even Less People Care About: The United States Davis Cup Team
For those of you who don’t know what the Davis Cup is, it is an annual international tennis tournament that pits countries against one another throughout the year, generating as much interest in North America as professional lawn-mower racing does. The United States brought home the title for the first time in 12 years defeating Russia in a final that in no manner resembles the Miracle on Ice of 1980. They will not make a movie of this.
Best coaching move: USA Women’s soccer coach Greg Ryan replacing starting goalkeeper Hope Solo with backup Brianna Scurry, and suffering a subsequent 4-0 defeat at the hands of Brazil. The move told America that there was in fact a Women’s World Cup being played.
Best Play to Win a Game: Division III Trinity University in Texas threw a total fifteen laterals to defeat Millsaps College as time expired. It was and will remain the only productive event produced by college football this season, unless fans get a playoff, or an all cheerleader National Title Game.
Most ‘Hollywood’ Athlete Outside of Los Angeles: Tony Romo, quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. I mean look at the list: Carrie Underwood, Sophia Bush, and Jessica Simpson? Somewhere Quincy Carter and Drew Henson, former Cowboys starting quarterbacks, are consoling each other.
Best Comeback of the Year Award: Ricky Williams, running back of the Miami Dolphins, returns for a total six carries and fifteen yards in half a quarter of work before leaving with a chest injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season. Note to Ricky: You know what drug I heard helps cure injuries? I’ll give you a hint, it starts with an M.