Summer’s Top Sports Stories

Hey everyone- I’m back, though this may be a short-lived return to blogging. I just couldn’t resist posting on today, the start of college football season. Now that fall sports are officially underway, it’s time to look back on this summer’s top sports stories.

5. Favre Fuss

The only reason that this guy is even making this list is ESPN practically shut down once the story broke that maybe Favre would be returning from “retirement” once again. Personally, I could care less- he’s not playing for my team. However, many people feel otherwise, and it is amazing to see a forty-year old as the starting quarterback for an NFL franchise.

4. College Football Upheaval

There was a lot of messing around with the football conferences this summer. For a while, it seemed like mega-conferences were about to be formed. In the end, the Pac-10 picked up two new schools and Nebraska shifted from the Big 12 to the Big 10. Some of the changes won’t go into effect for a couple more seasons, so it’ll be awhile before we fully know how college football’s landscape will change. Good luck keeping up with all the changes.

3. The Year of the Pitcher

For baseball pundits, this question may be debatable, but sports fans have to admit that pitchers have had quite a few accomplishments so far this season. There have already been five no-hitters, including not one but two perfect games. And there would’ve been three if it wasn’t for Galaragga’s nearly perfect performance. Across the league, ERA is also lower than usual. Plus, there’s this kid, Stephen Strasburg. Not sure if you’ve heard of him, but he’s sort of a phenomenon. The guy single-handedly sold out a Nationals-Pirates game. Strasburg will be missing all of next season, but for now there are plenty of talented pitchers to pick up the slack.

2. Free Agency Frenzy

July 1st set off a free agency firestorm unlike anything ever seen. With some of this generation’s greatest players up for grabs, teams did everything in their power to try and land a superstar. (I’m looking at you, Knicks.) When the dust settled, LeBron James surprised everyone by “taking his talents to South Beach” along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The moves made this offseason will help shape the course of pro basketball for the next decade, and that’s no exaggeration.

1. World Cup

If you were expecting a different event to top this list, well, I guess you didn’t read my blog early this summer. The FIFA World Cup only comes around every four years and this year’s tournament, the first to take place in Africa, was one of the most-anticipated. From all sorts of drama in the group stage to Spain being crowned champions for the first time ever, the 2010 World Cup was certainly one to remember.

España Gana

It certainly wasn’t a pretty game- if anything, today’s final exemplified the best and worst of this World Cup. In the end though, the Spanish squad prevailed just minutes before the end of extratime. Spain’s 1-0 win was a dramatic end to a dramatic tournament.

Congratulations to the Spanish on their first ever World Cup win! Uruguay’s Diego Forlan won the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player and German forward Thomas Mueller won the Golden Boot for being the highest scorer, with 5 goals and 3 assists. The Golden Glover for best goalkeeper went to Spain’s very own captain, Iker Casillas.

Just under four years and counting until the 2014 FIFA World Cup from Brazil! Maybe the Women’s 2011 World Cup and the 2012 Summer Olympics can tide us over until then?

What did you guys think of this year’s World Cup? How will it be remembered?

~ Sarah

World Cup Preview: Finals

I can’t believe this is the last weekend of the World Cup- it’s gone by so quickly. Despite being Latin-American, I have never watched so much soccer fútbol in my life. That’s why I’m a novice when it comes to the World Cup. I definitely heard and read about the tournament beforehand, but I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. And I have despite, the issues in this World Cup, like a dull group stage and inconsistent officiating.

Even though I knew little about the sport leading up to the Cup, I knew the favorites to win- the usual suspects. After the group stage though, South America was dominating while Europe was falling apart. In the Round of 16, things went like they were supposed to, for the most part: every team that won their group advanced, except the U.S. Things got a little wild in the quarter-finals, when powerhouses Brazil and Argentina both lost. (I refuse to say upset, because they lost to talented squads.)

Wesley Sneijder and David Villa share the World Cup lead with 5 goals

Heading into the semis, I don’t think anyone would’ve really expected these final four teams: the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and Uruguay. The Cup though, kind of unfortunately, will be staying in Europe. I was hoping for a Netherlands-Germany final, but I do respect Spain and Uruguay. (I did get flack for rooting against Spanish and Latin teams though.) The final two games will certainly be interesting, and I don’t think anyone really expected these match-ups a month ago.

Because my dad has been a Holland fan since 1974, I’ll be sporting Orange on Sunday. Even if Spain was to win though, it’ll be great to have a new nation join the other seven countries to have won a World Cup. By the way, the last time a new champion was guaranteed was 32 years ago, when Argentina beat the Dutch. Maybe it’s finally time for the Netherlands to win it all- after all, they have won every single game they’ve played.

Of course, if the octopus has it his way, Spain will take home the Cup. He’s 11-for-11, in case you were wondering.

What do you think?

Here’s to an amazing finish to the World Cup. It’s been quite a ride.

~ Sarah