2010 retrospective

Jan. 6 — World Juniors Hockey Championship Final: Canada vs. USA. Two bitter hockey rivals faced off in Saskatchewan with a gold medal and bragging rights on the line. Both teams battled hard for sixty minutes, with Canada scoring two goals late in the third period to send the game to overtime tied 5-5. A sixth gold medal within grasp, Canada pushed hard to finish early but the U.S. broke out after a team Canada rush and American defensemen John Carlson scored the game-winning goal 4:21 into the overtime period, ending Canada’s gold streak at five.

Feb. 7 — Super Bowl XLIV. Almost five years after New Orleans was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Saints made it to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Unless you were an Indianapolis Colts fan, it was hard not to root for the Saints and their home crowd. With a gutsy onside-kick to open the second half, and an inspired performance by Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees, the Saints defeated the Colts 31-17. Right on cue, the partying started on Bourbon Street in New Orleans as Mardi Gras appeared to start ten days ahead of schedule.

Feb. 12-28 — Vancouver Winter Olympics. The Vancouver Olympics were arguably the greatest Canadian sporting moment of the decade and, really, what could possibly top an event that featured: Alexandre Bilodeau winning the first ever Olympic gold medal on Canadian soil, Jon Montgomery’s beer-chugging celebratory walk through the Olympic Village, Joannie Rochette’s emotional and inspired figure-skating performance after the sudden passing of her mother and, of course, Team Canada’s incredible overtime win against Team USA, capped off by Sydney Crosby’s golden goal.

April 4-June 9 — Stanley Cup Playoffs. “History will be made” was the advertising tagline used for the NHL for the 2010 playoffs, so it’s fitting that some impressive NHL history was written in the spring: Jaroslav Halak and the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens ousting both Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby’s respective squads in the first and second rounds to reach the Easter Conference finals, the Philadelphia Flyers’ incredible comeback from a 0-3 series deficit against the Boston Bruins and, of course, the Chicago Blackhawks winning their first Stanley Cup in nearly 40 years.

May 20 — New Bomber Stadium ground broken. On this date, David Asper, surrounded by Civic, Provincial and University of Manitoba officials, broke ground at the site of the future home of both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and University of Manitoba Bisons football programs. Since this date, much has changed in regards to the deal: Asper is out, the price tag has risen considerably and the Blue Bombers have committed to paying off a sizable portion of the cost over the next 40 years. As per usual in Winnipeg, the naysayers and critics have come out in full force against the deal, but construction continues towards the goal of the stadium being ready for the 2012 Blue Bomber and CIS football seasons.


July 8 — LeBron James, “The Decision.” In what might go down as the biggest eff-you to an entire city, NBA superstar LeBron James staged a one-hour ESPN television special in which he revealed that he was taking his talents to South Beach to play with Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. With former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh also on board, the Heat were pre-season picks to be immediate championship contenders. Meanwhile, the city of Cleveland was left with the scary thought of the Browns being the most successful team in town.

Nov. 1 — MLB World Series. On this date, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in five games, defeating the Texas Rangers 3-1. The conclusion of the game kicked off a period of time known as the “baseball off-season,” in which sports shows aren’t bogged down by baseball highlights and re-caps. Oh, and the Giants had a big parade or something. Big deal, right?

Most newsworthy athlete of 2010: Brett Favre

A great season in 2009 with the Minnesota Vikings finished with disappointment in the NFC Championship game. Punishing hits and costly turnovers would be the ultimate downfall for both Favre and the Vikings. After retiring in the offseason (again), Favre was swayed to return by a planeload of Vikings players who talked him into giving it one more go.

Unfortunately, the magic that was 2009 was nowhere to be found a year later and a combination of poor coaching and injuries got the Vikings off to a very poor start. Sports website Deadspin.com obtained and posted explicit voicemails and picture messages that Favre had allegedly sent to former NY Jets employee Jenn Sterger. Favre acknowledged the voicemails, but denied being the man in the picture messages. As his conduct in New York became fodder for comedians and sports writers, Favre’s on-field play would continue to deteriorate despite flashes of his former brilliance.

The punishing hits kept coming and during a Week 13 game against the Buffalo Bills, a heavy hit from behind forced Favre to miss his first game since becoming a starting QB. On December 29, ESPN.com reported Brett Favre was to be fined $50,000 for failing to fully cooperate with the NFL in their personal conduct policy investigation. Favre has stated that he plans to retire after the 2010 season.