Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Was This the Best Football Offseason Ever?
I say Yes! Why was it? Was this the best draft class ever? Was it because the Bears got some of the top free agents? How about USC being suspended from post season play? All good reasons to think it was a good offseason, but no. There has not been a lull in sports since the final seconds ticked off the Saints Super Bowl win over the Colts. Think about it, the Super Bowl was played on February 7th, 2010. Let’s take a look at what’s happened since then.
Just five days after the Super Bowl the Winter Olympics began. The Olympics started February 12th and went all the way through the month of February (normally the most boring sports month of the year). Even if you don’t normally get caught up in the Olympics, it was hard not to follow the USA hockey team on it’s way to the Silver Medal. It was even harder to avoid Olympic hockey if you were a Blackhawks fan who send 6 players, all of whom played in the Gold or Bronze medal games. The USA set the record for medals in a Winter games while their neighbors to the north took home the most Gold Medals in a good showing for the host nation.
Once the Olympics were over, the Madness of March was upon us, which means the greatest sporting event in the country, NCAA Tournament. The conference tournaments had some dramatic moments.
Not to be outdone, the NCAA tournament might have had the greatest first day ever . March Madness kept us entertained rolling into April as the nation watched Butler go home to Indy and play in one of the most exciting championship games ever, while missing, only by a matter of inches, what would have been the greatest shot in basketball history.
Right as March Madness was winding down, baseball started. I will be the first to admit that the baseball season is too long. Saying that, there is something special about watching opening day and baseball becoming part of your everyday life once again.
Along with baseball starting up, The NHL and NBA playoffs started. Chicago, Boston and Denver were lucky enough to have teams in both playoffs. The NBA’s oldest rivals met in the NBA finals that went to Seven games. Chicago was all wrapped up in the Blackhawks who nearly choked out of the playoffs in the first round to Nashville, only to dominate it’s way to its first Stanley Cup since 1961. After they won it, Chicagoans had fun trying to figure out which player was drinking with the cup at which bar for the next week or so.
About the time the NBA and NHL playoffs were wrapping up, the world turned it attention to sports for the second time in 6 months. On June 11th The World Cup of Soccer started in South Africa which was the first time the continent of Africa ever hosted a World Cup. Two of the top three favorites had never won the World Cup (Spain and Netherlands) while traditional powers Germany and Brazil looked tough to beat.
USA had high hopes after a great performance at last year’s Confederations Cup only to struggle in their first game against England and the first half of their second game against Slovenia. USA made a dramatic comeback to tie (should have won on a disallowed goal) Slovenia and keep their chances alive. Then, in the most dramatic play in USA soccer history, Landon Donvaon scored the game winning goal in extra time to not only send USA through, but win their group. Spain went on to win the World Cup winning each of their elimination games 1-0, included the World Cup final where the scored during the second extra time period.
The World Cup wrapped up July 11th, which was only a few days away from “The Decision”. The most hyped NBA Offseason in history was as crazy as everyone expected. Rumors were being reported as fact while news outlets were desperately trying to find any indication of where the players were leaning. It came to a dramatic conclusion as Lebron James announced he was “taking his talents to South Beach” to play with Team USA friends Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
After most of the dust had settled from the NBA offseason, you can look up and see the month of July is almost over, which means, as amazing as it sounds, teams start reporting to camp. Football is back upon us. If only every off season was so nice.