Friday, December 28, 2007

Year in review, for the future

"History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon." - Napoleon Bonaparte

When we look back at the events that shaped the sports world in 2007, it is easy to assume that is was a very big year. Dogfights, gambling, spying, stealing, doping - you name it - it was a big black mark. But what will really be remembered after it is all said and done? There's no way to know exactly, of course, but if you really dig deep, you can get an idea. Here are the top stories of 2007, and what they will mean (maybe) in our near and distant future.

0-5 years

No surprise that most of the "big" stories in 2007 would hardly be remembered after their occurrence. The saddest one is Kevin Everett, who probably won't be mentioned in the seasons to come unless it's a book detailing the history of the Buffalo Bills.

Pacman Jones? Who was that again?

Kobe wants to be traded, then doesn't, then does again, and then - oops - turns out his team is actually good. This story will be buried in February, resurrected for the playoffs, and will die until his contract expires.

Don Imus's love for Rutgers got huge, national air time. Nobody cares anymore, already.

I don't even want to mention it, but the whole T.O./Jessica Simpson thing was a big story. Why, I don't know. But rest assured that it's already dead, which is why it shouldn't have been a story in the first place.

The college football upsets of 2007 were, well, awesome. But unless teams like Kansas, Missouri and Illinois actually become football powerhouses, I feel as though it will all be lost in the shuffle. Here's to hoping I am wrong, especially when it comes to Kansas.

And last, but not least, Michael Vick. Believe me, after he goes to prison, then comes back, I'll give it the whole six months it takes for him to realize he can't play again before nobody cares anymore. Plus, I just don't see this being relevant to historians. In hindsight, he was a mediocre player on a bad team who was into to murdering animals. I just get the feeling this will be omitted forty years from now. At least it should.

6-10 years

Congrats, NBA, you own this spot. Starting of is my boy Isiah Thomas. The only reason this goes past 5 minutes is because in a decade from now, when the Knicks are still horrible, we will be talking about everything that happened in the Thomas Era. And considering Isiah will probably still be coaching the team, I think it will be relevant.
The only other occupant here is referee Tim Donaghy, who fixed games (probably) for the mob. Well, 75% of the refs in this league have slicked back hair and look like extras in the Sopranos, so this wasn't a shock to anyone. But it will last, mostly due to the fact that when the federal investigation actually finishes (my guess: 6-10 years), we'll have to relive it. And if not, Suns fans will remind us.

11- 20 years

It's lonely at the top, which is why Spygate lands here all alone. For the next few decades, lazy sports writers will talk about how the lasting effect of the 2007 New England Patriots is that they were villainous cheats. But once that wears off, and we truly appreciate them for who they were, it will all change. See below.

20 years and beyond
The 2007 New England Patriots. Whether it be because they went 16-0, 19-0 or were the only team to get close to a perfect regular season, they will be remembered. Actually, all champions of 2007 will be remembered, because after all, that's what record books are for.

Then there is the Florida Gators, who won back-to-back basketball championships, with a football championship in between. They deserve special mention, because this might not ever happen again.

Barry Bonds breaking the home run record is definitely going to be remembered forever. Or at least until guys find better steroids and routinely hit 60-3,000 home runs per season. Which brings me to...

The infamous Mitchell Report. Every Hall of Fame vote, from here on, will be tainted by steroids. And this report will (hopefully) be remembered as the one that started it all, and lead to more investigations which busts guys all over again. Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but after this year, I don't blame myself.
Please bring me 2008.


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