Sunday, January 17, 2010

Winners and Losers of the New Year

The new year isn't even a month old and the sporting world has already seen it's fair share of ups and downs. Through these past two weeks we have seen a dog get put down, a spitting disgrace, an armed man in Washington and more. Let's check out some of the winners and losers of 2010 so far.


Jordan Eberle

Whether Eberle pans out as an NHL star or not is irrelevant. This kid is the definition of clutch and will hold the title as one of the best Canadian juniors to ever play in the tournament. It's a shame that Canada didn't end up beating the US in OT but Eberle's late-game heroics definitely made this a game to remember.

Aroldis Chapman

When I turned 22 I was fresh out of university and looking for a job. I would spend hours on facebook during the day and consume massive amounts of alcohol during the night. Aroldis Chapman, on the other hand, became a multi-millionaire by signing a ridiculous $30 million, 6 year contract with the Cincinnati Reds. I'm curious to see how his career will pan out. He has the heat but not quite the location yet. A part of me is happy that the Jays got outbid because he truly is a crapshoot but the other part of me is bitter and hopes he turns out to be nothing but a Brandon League. No matter the outcome, he's got 30 million reasons to smile right now.

Ben Henderson

Down two rounds in a five round title-unification fight? No problem. Bendo comes out hungry in the 3rd and turns a Jamie Varner shot into a guillotine choke that had him tapping in seconds. In my opinion, these flash finishes are what makes mixed martial arts such a great sport.

Viewers of the Packers/Cardinals game

I find that as the years go on, my interest in the NFL goes with it. Admittedly, I think I've only seen two or three complete games this year. I don't know what it is...maybe it's the fact that I don't really have a team I'm fully committed to or maybe the one team I usually cheer for (The Bears) sucked ass. Regardless of the reason, this is the game that could suck me back in. The highest scoring game in NFL playoff history featured 9 combined aerial touchdowns, 3 combined rushing touchdowns, a defensive touchdown to win the game and only 2 combined punts! Fans, hell, even non-football fans were in for a treat.

Curtis Joseph

Curtis Joseph ended a storied career on Jan 12, 2010. After a dismal 2008-09 season with the Leafs, he has finally decided to hang them up. I guess he didn't want the lone spot as the goalie with the most losses in the NHL. Instead, he will share that feat with Gump Worsley. Don't let that define his career though. Cujo signed with St. Louis as a 20 year-old free agent and ended up being the fourth winningest goaltender of all time. While some will bring up the no Stanley Cups argument, I personally believe that Joseph belongs in the Hall.


Clippers Fans

I don't understand how one city can have two teams that are so far apart in terms of skill. On one side you have the Lakers, a team that has won 10 championships since its 49 years of existence. On the other side you have the Clippers, a team that has only two winning seasons in its 25 years of existence. So these Clippers are perennial losers, what's different this year? Well, aside from another losing season, they had to evacuate their whole stadium due to a false fire alarm and they also found out that Blake Griffin, their first overall pick from the draft, will be out for the whole season. Yes, it does suck to be a Leafs fan but things could be could be a Clippers fan. I assume that there's nobody with an allegiance to both teams because you would have offed yourself by now.


It's a shame that one of, if not the greatest second baseman to ever play the game won't get in first ballot because a group of writers wanted to send a message. That's the only explanation, really, to omit Alomar from the hall of fame induction this year. I really think that the baseball hall of fame should be decided by a committee that has actually played the game. Hang your head, Baseball Writers Association of America...

The Leafs Penalty Killing

You know that saying that goes "It's like a train wreck, you just can't help but watch." Well the Leafs PK is just as terrible as a train wreck but I sure as hell can't stomach to watch it. They are a torrid 18 for 30 on the penalty kill in the month of January and the month isn't even over yet. That's an embarrassing 60%! Even worse than their record low 68.6%! I have never missed baseball so much.

Jake Allen

This will go down as one of the biggest Toskala-esque performances in the World Juniors by a Canadian goalie. I haven't seen anything fold under pressure so badly since Loser Domi's Mrs. Tavares shirt.

Junior Seau

Junior Seau called it quits...again. His fourth retirement in his last four seasons! If the Pats make another deep run next year, I wouldn't be surprised to see him come back. Heck, what if the Chargers are going for 16-0, will he come out and join them too? I have absolutely no respect for this coat-tail rider especially after he came back from retirement with The Patriots four days after he signed a one-day contract with the Chargers for a sentimental retirement.

Gilbert Arenas

Oh Gil...where did we go wrong? While the stories keep changing, one thing remains the same. He kept guns in the locker room. Now I don't know if he pointed them at Javaris Crittenton or not but we wouldn't even be talking about this if he had just kept them at home. The real winners in the story would be the Washington Wizards. They owed the under-achieving, injury-prone point guard something like $80-90 million over the next four years. This incident gives them an opportunity to void the rest of the contract due to a breach in the morality clause. So long, Agent Zero.

Shinya Aoki

MMA is a growing sport in North America but it's huge in Japan. While Shinya Aoki might not be a household name amongst North American fans, this definitely put him on the map. Fields Dynamite!! 2009 was an event held on new years eve. It pitted two promotions against each other; Pride vs Sengoku. With each promotion having won four bouts each, it came down to the tie-breaker. The world number two lightweight from Pride, Shinya Aoki vs Sengoku's Mizuto Hirota. Aoki controlled the match from the start. He got an early take down and never let up. He eventually got an arm trapped behind Hirota's back and applied a hammerlock (like what a cop would do on a take down). Hirota's arm gets cranked in a way that would make most people squeamish but still doesn't tap. Aoki's had enough and snaps it. Okay, pretty awesome right? I would have this as a winner if it stopped right there. But it didn't. Aoki gets up and flips off Hirota while he's lying there screaming with his arm broken, then gets up and does that soccer airplane celebration, then flips off other members of the crowd before pointing to his elbow and mocking Hirota some more.

Mark McGwire

So Mark McGwire finally comes out and reveals to everybody a big secret that we all already knew. Is this going to increase his chances of making it into the hall? I don't know. Personally, I don't think it should. When everybody suspected him of being a cheater, he couldn't get in and now that everybody knows he was a cheater, he definitely should not be allowed in.