I had so much fun with this project last year that I figured I’d duplicate the effort for 2011. Besides, it gives my newer readers a look back at 365 days of my ranting and raving.
It’s been an exhilarating year in sports, entertaining, controversial and sometimes heartbreaking. We’ve had highs and we’ve had lows, none more disappointing than the events that occurred at Penn State and Syracuse, but let’s not dwell on that, shall we?
Here’s a more uplifting look at some of the stories that caught my eye in 2011:
JANUARY 4, 2011
I started out the year with a trip to the local race track. Of course, the only thing I took home from Tampa Bay Downs that day was the experience and a pocketful of crumpled-up tickets. I haven’t been back since but re-reading this post gave me the itch. Saddle up!
JANUARY 5, 2011
Remember last year’s playoffs when the Saints (11-5) had to travel to the Seahawks (7-9) merely because the ‘Hawks won their division? The Saints sure do. A ten-point favorite, New Orleans lost that afternoon, which stirred debate over the fairness of a team having home field advantage despite boasting a considerably worse record. Similarly, Big East Champions UConn got trounced by Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, furthering the discussion of realignment and playoff restructuring.
January 24, 2011
In retrospect, signing Manny Ramirez, who played only five games in a Rays uniform before being suspended the rest of the season for steroid use, wasn’t the greatest idea. But it’s hard to argue the Damon acquisition (16 HR, 73 RBI, .261 BA, 150 GP) wasn’t key in helping the Rays make the 2011 post-season.
January 26, 2011
Headed into last year’s Super Bowl, it was hard for anyone not draped in black and yellow to not root for Aaron Rodgers to emerge from Brett Favre’s shadow. But Rodgers wasn’t the only quarterback looking for redemption that night.
February 7, 2011
There’s nothing like writing a book report for freshman year English class and having the author of that book call you to see if you have any questions. And for the record, this person doesn’t know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut.
February 9, 2011
Blogosphere Q&A: SportsChump and Dubsism talk Super Bowl XLV, daytime television, Betty White and Philadelphia sports
The great thing about the blogosphere is that you never know who you’re going to meet, kind of like sitting next to someone on the subway and eventually becoming their best friend. Well, this guy named J-Dub, he’s a little off-kilter, as you can see in this conversation that probably discussed getting freaky with Betty White a little too much for comfort.
February 18, 2011
This post proved I don’t always know what I’m talking about. Instead of splitting pocket fives, I now double down when I see them at the blackjack table, although I’m still not entirely convinced that’s the right play when the dealer shows a bust card.
March 4-8, 2011
What can I say? These two posts garnered me a 60,000-hit month. Nothing like a little violence to draw traffic, huh? Since then, the NBA has removed some of these videos from YouTube, probably to broadcast on Hardwood Classics over their summer of discontent. Remind me to update the post. Does anyone have Commissioner Stern’s number?
March 9, 2011
Remember a few months ago when Charlie Sheen was being discussed on every talk show in America and everyone you knew was walking around saying “Winning!” Well, back in March, I applied a few Sheenisms to the world of sports, all without the use of a crack pipe.
April 22, 2011
I went my entire life without ever seeing a tribute band. Then, I saw three in one week. Hey, at least I got my picture taken with the King.
April 26, 2011
Don’t get me started. I’m still waiting on my royalty check.
May 2, 2011
As an Orlando Magic fan, I’ve repeatedly expressed my thoughts about the demise of the franchise and trust me, I’m not done yet. We Magic fans are on a daily Dwight Howard watch, knowing any game he plays in a Magic uniform could be his last.
June 13, 2011
With a single career move, LeBron James went from being one of the country’s most beloved athletes to its most abhorred. After his 37-point, 10-rebound performance on opening day 2012, it may no longer be wise to root against this guy.
June 27, 2011
Conversation with a Buckeye: The biggest Ohio State fan I know talks Jim Tressel, Terrelle Pryor and the current state of his football program
It wasn’t long ago that Jim Tressel was the most talked about head coach in the Big Ten. We all know how that ended. Terrelle Pryor’s departure and Jim Tressel’s resignation left Buckeye Nation bewildered. To best tap into that sentiment, I had a conversation with the biggest Buckeye fan I know.
July 8, 2011
In light of consistent back pain, I decided to rethink Major League Baseball’s steroid scandal and the decisions of the men who took them.
July 15, 2011
Do you remember back when the Major League Baseball All-Star Game meant something? I do.
August 15, 2011
This had to be my favorite post of the year and not only because I got to date a Kardashian sister.
August 21, 2011
My mom hated this post but my work buddies and I had a blast coming up with one-liners. I mean, c’mon, the guy’s last name is Furbush. And I know you just giggled.
August 30, 2011
I had been waiting a long time to write about my frustration with American tennis. Watching Ryan Harrison lose his cool at the US Open was all the inspiration I needed.
September 23, 2011
When you get to watch the Rays pitching staff on a regular basis, you get to see a lot of bats fly into the stands after whiffing on off-speed pitches, which warranted the question, what is appropriate behavior when a souvenir bat or ball flies into the stands? It’s only fun and games until somebody loses an eye.
September 30, 2011
Tampa is a town with three professional sports teams, two of which it’s struggling to keep. Back in September, Major League Baseball scheduled a Rays home playoff game only three hours before the Buccaneers hosted their first Monday Night Football game in eight years. You think Bud Selig would have scheduled the Rays opening playoff game on a different day, right? He didn’t.
October 6, 2011
Remember a few months ago when we feared some big name players would jump overseas in the absence of an NBA season? Whew, thank goodness that didn’t happen.
November 18, 2011
This one took a while to research but the finished result was well worth it. I wanted to prove that Heisman runners-up went on to have better pro careers than those who actually took home the award. I was right. And for the record, I also think Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson and Tyrann Mathieu will turn out to be better pros than Robert Griffin III. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
November 21, 2011
There was much ado about which one-loss college football team should play LSU in the BCS title game. I was more than happy to offer up some helpful suggestions.
November 27, 2011
Et tu, Urban?