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Goodbye 2010

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Looking back at the year in sports

By Brian Blair

It is hard to believe 2010 is almost over. It seems like we barely knew you. The past year did provide us with some memorable moments in the world of sports.
The year began with Alabama laying claim to the BCS National Championship. You can argue that college football needs a playoff but you can’t argue that the Crimson Tide was well-deserving of the title. February saw the Saints come marching into Miami and leaving with the Lombardi Trophy as they won the Super Bowl. The night had to be bittersweet for Archie Manning who saw his former team with its long history of losing defeat his son, Peyton, and the Colts.
The month of March was brought to you by the color blue. First, the Kentucky Wildcats gave fans many exciting moments including a heart-stopping moment in the SEC Championship game when a buzzer-beater by DeMarcus Cousins sent the game to overtime. The Wildcats eventually defeated Mississippi State in the extra period, but their fortunes were not as good in the Regional Final against West Virginia as Cal’s Cats saw their dream season fall one game short of the Final Four. In Indianapolis, Duke outlasted the hometown favorite Butler Bulldogs to win another NCAA Championship for Coach K.
The baseball season started with its usual fanfare in Cincinnati. As the season progressed, it was clear something special was happening at Great American Ballpark. Led by MVP Joey Votto, the Reds won the National League Central Division and played meaningful October baseball for the first time since 1995. They eventually got swept out of the playoffs by the Philadelphia Phillies, but hopes are high for 2011.
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers won another ring in the NBA by defeating the Boston Celtics in seven games. The Chicago Blackhawks skated with the Stanley Cup after they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL.
The National Football League has again not disappointed as week after week fans have been treated to exciting plays and big hits. Well, everywhere except Cincinnati. The upcoming playoffs are sure to be fun as it looks like the Patriots and the Steelers seem to be the cream of the crop in the AFC while a pair of birds seem to be making a great deal of noise in the NFC. Matt Ryan and the Falcons are quietly having a big year in Atlanta, while Michael Vick has the Eagles soaring as the playoffs arrive.
NASCAR had a great chase, but in the end Jimmie Johnson proved he may be one of the best drivers of all-time by winning his fifth straight championship.
The year also provided us with a story about an athlete who once again had a problem making up his mind. Brett Favre again made everyone wait to find out if he was going to play this year. He did and then got hurt, ending his streak of consecutive games played at 298.
A year in review would not be complete without mentioning Tiger Woods — and now it is complete. I would imagine that as 2011 dawns, he has several old acquaintances he would rather forget.
So long, 2010, and we look forward to the exciting moments that await us in 2011.
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Brian Blair is the sports reporter for the News-Herald.