Reliving 2008-2009 in Sports
A School Year in Review
Originally Aired: Friday, May 15, 2009. This is a part of the 93-Second Sports Shot series. 93-Second Sports Shots air weekday evenings at 6pm.
If you’re a college student, your year is just about done. Some of you are packing up to go home just about now, while others are already there. Seniors are getting ready for graduation. Because for college students one “year” is really one “school year” and not one “calendar year”, I’m going to celebrate the end of this year and take a look at some of the top events in the world of sports from the 2008-2009 school year. For our purposes I will count the beginning of Orientation Week at Cornell University, on August 22nd, as the beginning of the school year. So, for good or bad, here are your top 5 sporting events of 08-09:
At number 5—The Liverpool-Chelsea Champions League quarterfinal. In the first leg, in Liverpool, Liverpool got ahead 1-0 quickly, but Chelsea dominated and shocked Liverpool 3-1. Liverpool needed to win by 3 goals at Chelsea’s home stadium of Stamford Bridge. Quickly, the boys from Merseyside got out to a 2-0 lead, threatening the sensation. In the second half, Chelsea blitzed ‘Pool with 3 goals. When it seemed all but over, Liverpool scored two quick goals in succession, and with 5 minutes left, they needed just one more goal to advance. However, a goalline save from Michael Essien and a equalizing goal prevented one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports.
At Number 4—a bit of a downer—this is steroid-mania surrounding Manny and Arod. Two of baseball’s biggest stars implicated in a pretty disgraceful scandal. For Arod, the revelation came that he had used steroids in 2003. Arod admitted to it, but claimed he hasn’t used since then. Arod then got hurt and missed the first month+ of the season. He responded well, however, and went deep in his first at bat back. The message was sent. Just as Arod was getting back, though, Manny was headed out. The Dodgers slugger tested positive for steroids last week, and is currently suspended for 50 games. The steroid era continues to tarnish the reputation of baseball. This is very unfortunate.
At number 3-- the Olympic Basketball final between the USA and Spain. The Redeem Team versus the reigning World Champions. You couldn’t ask for a better matchup, and you really couldn’t ask for a better game. The game was close throughout, and Spain even got to within 2 in the 4th quarter. Although Kobe was the best player on the floor, a new star was born in then 17 year old point guard Ricky Rubio, who will take the NBA by storm in the next few years. In the end, the U.S. was victorious, 118-107, but the real winner was basketball all around the world.
Number 2 is Super Bowl 43. At first glance, it didn’t seem like the most high profile Super Bowl, with the defensive minded Steelers taking on the surprising Cardinals. But the game was simply breathtaking. The Steelers were up 17-7 at halftime after a Rodney Harrison 100 yard interception return. Arizona would get back in the game however, utilizing a safety and two touchdowns from the amazing Larry Fitzgerald. The Steelers had 2:27 left on the clock to drive down the field and score. With 35 seconds remaining, Santonio Holmes came down with it in the corner of the end zone, keeping both feet in bounds, giving the Steelers the lead and the game. I won’t say that this was the best Super Bowl of all time, but it was certainly up there.
And Number 1 is…drumroll… the Celtics-Bulls NBA first round playoff series. For a first round NBA playoff series to be this high on the list you know it must have been special. And what can you say. Game 1 saw Derrick Rose put up 36 and 11 as the Bulls stunned the Celtics in Chicago. Game 2 was the Ray Allen-Ben Gordon showdown. The Celtics took Game 3 with ease, but Game 4 was another thriller, as the Bulls triumphed in double OT. The Celtics took Game 5 in OT, but, overcoming Ray Allen’s 51 point performance, the Bulls took Game 6 in TRIPLE OT behind a miraculous steal and dunk from Joakim Noah of all people. Game 7 was a minor letdown with a relatively easy Boston victory, but make no mistake, this was maybe the greatest playoff series of all time.