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
A Day at the Races: Another unsuccessful betting excursion at Tampa Bay Downs
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
UConn, the Seattle Seahawks and the inequities of college and professional football
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
Tampa Bay Rays make big splash in American League East pond: Sign Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon
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
Super Bowl XLV offers Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger shots at redemption
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
Brushes with Sports Greatness, Vol. 4: Jim Bouton and Ball Four
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
Interpreting blackjack hands, Vol. 1: Splitting fives
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
The 13 most memorable individual altercations in sports, Parts One & Two
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
Charlie Sheenisms and their equivalent in the world of sports
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
Impersonating Real Life: Elvis, Lady Gaga, the Beastie Boys and sports
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
How TNT stole my idea for Franklin & Bash
Don’t get me started. I’m still waiting on my royalty check.
May 2, 2011
Final thoughts on Magic-Hawks: Orlando’s regression, Dwight’s plight and how Las Vegas got it wrong
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
Miami Hate: Trying to make sense of our feelings for LeBron
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
SportsChump makes the Majors, contemplates HGH: A hypothetical fairy tale
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
Hey, now. You’re an All-Star. So What?
Do you remember back when the Major League Baseball All-Star Game meant something? I do.
August 15, 2011
Same Name creates awkward love triangle between Reggie Bush, SportsChump and Kim Kardashian
This had to be my favorite post of the year and not only because I got to date a Kardashian sister.
August 21, 2011
Fun with baseball surnames: The night Charlie Furbush came to Tampa
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
Ryan Harrison, John McEnroe, temper tantrums and the sad state of American tennis
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
Fair or foul? Reconsidering human behavior when souvenirs fly our way
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
Bud Selig cares not about baseball fans and I have proof
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
The courtship of Kobe Bryant: Breaking up is hard to do
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
Heisman Trophy winners or runners-up: Who made the better pros?
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
LSU, the BCS and some helpful hints to determine our national champion
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
Urban has change of heart; Meyer and his move to Columbus
Et tu, Urban?
Ya never realize how involved you actually are until assembling a year’s work… Very immaginative…
Chris This sports’ season has been way too much of a blur simply because of the off the filed controversies in a variety of sports at the college and professional level ! It’s making the debates and the GOP nomination process seem all the more intellectual and somewhat meaningful given the utter sheer stupidity of the candidates seeking to challenge the incumbent at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave . Pray do tell why should I take any interest in the outcome of the games involving the Cowboys/Giants or the Chiefs/ Broncos ? Much ado about nothing or is it really worth watching for the sheer suspense ? I see that comedian Bill Maher has pi##ed off some Broncos’ and in particular Christian conservatives after his mocking of Tebow ? Bill Maher’s Tebow tweet brings calls for HBO boycott No ……….. it’s not free speech in their eyes ? Who knew ? tophatal ……
If ‘Man Ram’ gets “popped “ for another drug violation in terms of steroids then what should Selig then do ?
Scott t Boras believes his client Prince Fielder is worth Pujols’ type money but as of yet there are no takers . I wonder why ? Do you get the feeling that Mavs’ GM Donnie Nelson made a colossal blunder in terms of the team’s offseason moves ? No Tyson Chandler , J J Barea or Caron Butler but instead in comes Mr Khloe Kardashian . Ooh those moves of Cuban don’t seem to working out and that’s even with the belief that he’s posturing to make a run at D-Howard or quite possibly Deron Williams as impending free agents . . . . . tophatal ………….
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Thanks, man, and I know you’ve been there for all of it.
After reviewing this year’s links, which took forever, I found I was pretty happy with the content.
And the feedback.
Thanks for everything, man, and there’ll be much more to come in 2012.
Aside from the two NFL games you mention, there’s still a lot riding on this Sunday’s contests.
There’s still a number of AFC team jockeying for playoff positioning and we both know, the only thing more important than having a healthy roster going into the playoffs is having nice, cozy home field advantage.
Despite his impressive career, it’s hard to imagine Manny will be able to come back and provide a Major League roster with any sort of pop.
You’d have to think any GM would be weary about even signing him.
And if he DOES get popped a third time, isn’t that a no-brainer life-time ban? Who would want to be a part of that media circus?
And I agree, those are three big losses for the Mavs, even though I’m not so sure anyone expected them to repeat WITH those guys.
If it weren’t for you I probably wouldn’t keep up on anything in the SEC or Magic related, and for that I thank you!
Likewise, sir, about the Raiders and the Warriors.
Good to know we’re there for each other, playing a little East Coast-West Coast ping pong.
Love the stories you covered this year. Hanging w Tebow was a hit to read.
Thank you, sir, for your patronage.
Here’s to increased mutual traffic in 2012.
Where does the time go? I was at that same track last January, seems like yesterday. My how time flys when your having fun. Thanks for the grins my friend and Happy New Year! CHEERS!!
Chris It’s been the inconsistency of the teams still said to be vying for a playoff berth that has brought about a dearth of uncertainty . I mean really , are we to believe that the Cowboys, Giants much less the Broncos have a chance to go deep into the playoffs ? Man Ram gets an automatic lifetime ban courtesy of Selig ? No ! Manny’ll simply walk of the stage that he’s tainted having duped another team and dumb a## GM into paying what he’s simply no longer worth ! Selig has enough problems figuring out whether or not he still needs to take Viagra simply to get his brain into gear ! Barry Bonds’ ankle monitor brought to you courtesy of the US Justice Dept , taxpayer and less we forget the the $20 million plus spent on the BALCO investigation and the former player’s subsequent trial . WTF ! tophatal …….
Chris, just signed up and registered a vote for you in the semis. Best of luck in the Blog Tourney…and for the New Year. Best wishes to all readers of Sports Chump for a great, great 2012.
I like this joint. Kinda free spirit stuff. As a belated Christmas gift to Chris and rank and file, here it is.
2012 General Election will be a repeat champion Barack Obama. Hold it critics!! I don’t discuss politics just bet my info and opinions. For a parlay hurry up and insert Romney for the elephant nominee.
This stuff is bettable offshore. Barack is a slight favorite as is Romney to beat out Santorum and RPaul.
Best to you and yours as well.
I haven’t hit the track lately but I did take the casino for a few hundo the other night.
So, Al, Rah’s gone.
What’s your take?
I’m not surprised.
You can’t just fold up shop like that and that’s exactly what the Buccaneers did.
Thank you, sir.
And do you really have 216 e-mail subscribers? Nice work, man. That’s stout.
Consider me one of them.
You allow loitering over there, don’t you?
A slight favorite, RB?
That surprises me.
I may have to jump on that.
I’d think he’d be much larger than that. Expect that number to move.
Chris, that figure on subscribers includes e-mail, feed and Twitter combined. Not nearly as stout as it could be or looks. Took me awhile to get over to your site but I’m not going anywhere – “Occupy SportsChump” underway. Great site. And yes, loitering is acceptable behavior here at sportsattitudes. I welcome your visits.
Always good to make a new friend on the internet.
Look what happened to me and Dub. I met this guy and now I can’t get rid of him, like a fungus.
Oh wait, I meant fun guy. My bad.