Arena 2010 Year in Review - Now Discussing March

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by DarthIntegral, Nov 20, 2010.

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  1. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    2010 is drawing to a close, so I thought it was time to look back and reflect on the highs and the lows. So, in this thread, we'll be walking through the year month-by-month. I'd encourage everyone to use it as a way to talk about your personal highs and lows throughout the year and the amazing moments we saw.

    You can find a recap of major events here


    January started off with a bang for me, giving me hope for a big year.

    January 1st. 2010: Ohio State 26, Oregon 17.

    Terrelle Pryor has a coming-out party and sets the stage for what should be a huge 2010 for the Buckeyes in the fall. The Buckeyes were going to be a legit title threat, Pryor was justifiably being compared to the Vince Young that defeated USC for the National Title, and the year was just getting started.

    To top off the excitement for the year, the Cavs entered the month at 26-8, and had another strong month of January, going 12-3, and standing at 38-11. To add to that excitement, trade rumors continued to swirl about Antawn Jamison coming to Cleveland, and possibly Amar'e Stoudamire, instead. Shaq was playing himself into shape, JJ Hickson was looking like a real keeper, and the team was rounding out nicely and looking like the team that would finally break the Curse.

    To top that off, we had our first Wedge-less Spring Training starting in just a few weeks.

    The Steelers ended their season with a win over Miami, but it wasn't enough to make up for their late season collapse, as they once again missed the playoffs the year after winning a Super Bowl.

    Beyond things that impacted the teams I love, January also brought some great playoff games. We saw the hype machine go to eleven with Mark Sanchez leading the Jets to the AFC Title game, and what should have been Bret Favre's final game, and a fitting ending, as he threw an INT that prevented his team from trying a game-winning FG and lead to the Saints winning the game in OT and going to the Super Bowl. Alabama won yet another National Title for the SEC, and the hype machine clicked into full gear for Texas' QB Garret Gilbert after his relief performance of Texas star Colt McCoy left us wondering "what if" the All-time winningest college QB had been able to play the title game. We also got the first non-AQ vs. non-AQ BCS Bowl game, with Boise State surprising a lot of folks by "out defensing" TCU, setting up the stage for an interesting 2010-2011 BCS Title Game race, with both those teams figuring to be ranked high to start the season.

    Heading into February, it looked like a great year. I was excited about the Cavs, we had a good Super Bowl on deck, and the Winter Olympics were just around the corner. />
  2. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    For me, January 2010 got off to a great start in terms of sports.

    Penn State beat LSU in a close game at the Capital One Bowl. That's always a good way to start of the new year, especially after there was discussion that they might have gone to the Orange Bowl instead of Iowa. It would be the last game for Darryl Clark, who had 216 passing yards and 1 touchdown. The Nittany Lions capped off their second consecutive 11-win season.

    The Penguins went 9-7 in January, which wasn't as good as they'd started off the season, but still, not bad. Their power play struggled big time for a lot of last season, which was frustrating considering they have two really good centers in Crosby and Malkin, and quite possibly the best third line in the NHL with Cooke-Staal-Kennedy.


    Inty nailed the Steelers in January 2010 - that was a frustrating season.

    January is when the North Carolina Tar Heel's problems really began to show up. They lost an OT game to College of Charleston, rebounded against Virginia Tech, and then four of their next five to finish out the month. The losses to Georgia Tech (by 2) and CoC (in OT, by 3) were the only close ones of the month. It was clear that the Heel's inexperience was a big problem, and injuries certainly didn't help either.

    The San Antonio Spurs went 8-8 in January, splitting both on the road, and at home. DeJuan Blair had some solid games, especially against the Thunder on January 13, when they won in OT.

    And the Pirates didn't loose! :p


    So, it was a pretty good month for hockey, and that's about it. :p
  3. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    The month started off well. Texas lost the national championship game.

    The end of the month had me once again excited for the Superbowl as the Colts beat the number 1 defense in the league convincingly.
  4. whateveritis12 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2008
    star 3
    Lot of bad luck with my sports teams this year and it started with the Vikings and the questionable calls in OT that lead to their loss (though they shouldn't have put themselves in that position).
  5. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    January had its ups and downs, but the biggest memory from January was definitely very positive.

    Florida State won their bowl game, giving Bobby Bowden a victory in his final game as coach. Still disappointed in how he was chased out after all he gave to the school, but at least the team won the final game for him.

    South Carolina, on the other hand, got the month started on the wrong foot, laying an egg in their bowl game against UConn, leading to the following picture:

    [image=http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l123/elenion13/uscmissing.jpg]

    Meanwhile, Carolina's undermanned basketball team lost to Baylor in front of a near-empty house (same day as the bowl game), which wasn't really a surprise. The basketball team did manage to start the SEC season with a pair of wins at Auburn and against LSU, before losing three straight heading into a game at home against #1 Kentucky. Very few people expected SC to even have a chance to keep this one close, given Kentucky's multiple star freshmen, USC being essentially a one-man team with Devan Downey, and USC never having beaten a #1 team in basketball before. And yet, somehow, Devan Downey pulled another great game out of his hat and led USC to a 68-62 win, easily the highlight of the month. By far. USC also topped Georgia to end the month 4-3 in SEC play.

    Duke, interestingly, had the worst month of its season then, going just 6-3 with losses at Georgia Tech, NC State, and Georgetown.

    Still, it was a bright month overall with the Kentucky win. Duke was still looking good, but not great, and things were actually looking up for USC's basketball team. There weren't really any major expectations from USC's basketball team after the losses of Dominique Archie and Mike Holmes, but they had showed they could upset anyone on a given night.

    One other interesting note from January: Mark McGuire admitted he used steroids (not really a surprise to anyone)
  6. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    lol

    Let's see... January was sort of a blur to me while I was hiding from R...J over in the desert, but there was only one highlight to recall, really. I enjoyed every second of mocking my VTech coworker when the at-the-time #9 Heels shot down Virginia Tech, 78-64 on January 10th or so. Good times!

    Well, good time. That's about the only highlight I'd like to mention from men's basketball this year. [face_plain]
  7. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    I knew it!

    :p
  8. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    February 17th, 2010

    "This year is gonna be different. I can feel it. Here's the proof!"

    These are the thoughts I had as I read the news that Antawn Jamison had been traded to the Cavaliers. And, all it had cost was Big Z, some cap space, some money, and a guy they had stashed overseas who no one thought was a part of the future. Making things even better was the widespread belief that Z would be coming back thirty days after a buyout from the Wizards.

    The Cavaliers, already the best team in the league (record-wise), had surrounded Lebron James with another weapon that was perfect for his skill set: a true "stretch" forward. No longer would the Magic simply be able to let Dwight Howard kick it out to a bevy of three-point shooters with no one to match them. Jamison would counter that, and the Magic could be neutralized.

    Of course, on February 28th, we got the first sign that this might be the same old kind of year for Cleveland, as Shaq got injured, and would miss pretty much the rest of the regular season. For a team that had chemistry so important to it, having so few games with Shaq and Jamison playing together could (would) be a death-knell, and having zero games where Shaq, Jamison, and Z lined up together would be a bigger blow (it was). But, at that point in time, it didn't matter. We were focused on the positive, and the belief that we were going to see the King get his ring, have a parade on Euclid, and then sign his contract extension to stay in Cleveland.

    Oh, how I miss the innocence and hope that February brought us Cleveland fans.



    Elsewhere in the world of sports, we enjoyed a wonderful Winter Olympics in the month of February. Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso become household names, American heroes, and found themselves frequently skiing down the slopes in the dreams of men of all ages. We fell in love with curling again, and discovered the awesomeness of moguls. Shaun White once again captured our attention and our imagination, and the US Men's Hockey team gave us hope for the present (and the future) before falling just short of gold with a very young team.

    We had a great Superbowl, decided on a pick-six from Peyton Manning. We had Evan Turner establishing himself as the Big Ten, and national, player of the year with dominance in Conference Play. And, of course, Pitchers and Catchers reported, signaling the best day in America, made even better by the fact that they didn't report to Eric Wedge.
  9. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    March is about one thing in American sports: College Basketball. And this year in now way let us down.

    Before we even got to the tournament, I witnessed what I thought at the time would be the best play/highlight by a player on a team I was rooting for all year. Sitting in the breakroom at work, a few minutes before I needed to log on, I watched Evan Turn do this. That it was against Michigan only made it a little bit sweeter.

    From there, College Basketball month rolled and didn't disappoint. Robert Morris was the first to grab our attention, nearly holding of #2 Villanova. Of course, this became a theme for the tournament. Big underdogs and little schools making us believe they could do something amazing, and then coming up just short. Of course, there was Kansas falling to UNI with the shot by Farokhmanesh to seal it up (a shat that, to me, lives up with with Bryce Drew in the lore of the NCAA Tournament).

    And, of course, when Butler upset Syracuse and Kansas State to advance to the Final Four, most of the nation (Evil Duke fans not included) was hoping for something very special. The spectacular moments and upsets even left me not so bitter about Ohio State choking away a great path to the title game by blowing it against Tennessee.

    Not to mention, in March I made my foray into the world of High Definition Television, and the NCAA Tournament was my baptism.

    Sure, other events might have happened in the world of sports in March, but I don't think they mattered all that much. :p
  10. DarthIntegral Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    I'm going to take back the last line of that last post. Because something else did happen in March that shocked my Sports World and has had me feeling like a hypocrite the past few weeks as I cheer on my beloved Steelers.

    March 5th was when we learned that police were investigating Ben Roethlisberger for sexual assault in Milledgeville, Georgia. As the details came out, many Steelers fans and many folks from Northwest Ohio (myself included in both) shook our heads in disbelief and wondered where the Ben we knew was, rather than this monster he had turned himself into. Some of us, again myself included, made statements about rather losing with Dennis Dixon than winning with Big Ben. Heck, some of us even wanted to see if we could trade Ben for some high draft picks.
  11. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    The Winter Olympics were fantastic in February. You gotta love the Olympic ice hockey tournament, curling, and those crazy people who do the bobsled and luge.

    March was fantastic - the tournament was phenomenal...I still wish that Butler would have been able to sink that last shot to ice Duke. That would have been the best tournament of all times, bar none, in terms of an underdog running the table. As it was, it was still an awesome tournament, a lot of fun to watch on tv and to have a game or two on March Madness on Demand on as well.


    And Ben's drama...we were shocked about what happened. This definitely the Ben Roethlisberger who came into the league with PFJ ("Play for Jesus") on his shoes. Ben, since winning Super Bowl XL, has made a series of poor decisions, starting with the motorcycle crash, and then Reno, and now this incident in Georgia. He seems to have figured this out some, but if he has a real problem, I hope it doesn't reemerge this off season, and that he gets help. He's a winner and a talented football player, but his personal life has a lot of issues.
  12. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    We need to start doing this review thread immediately following the month. I apparently can't remember past breakfast.

    I loved the Winter Olympics! Shaun White continuing to show the world why he is #1 by beating his score even though he didn't have to and he still had gold. The US was so close in Hockey which made for some exciting games.

    I don't remember much of March for some reason. March and April are definite holes in my memory because of how busy we are at school during those months. I know I was cheering A&M and Wisconsin on during March Madness.
  13. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    And I forgot to do February earlier, so I'll cover both here:

    February:

    February was back to earth for the USC basketball team. After a surprising 4-3 start to SEC play including the huge win over then #1 Kentucky, the Gamecocks then went just 1-6 in February, with the lone win coming at home against Florida. It was tough, certainly, but given how undermanned the team was, it really wasn't all that surprising.

    Duke, on the other hand, bounced back from a 6-3 January to go 8-0 in February, including a double digit win in Chapel Hill. The team really started to come together and show the identity that would prove it well down the stretch, with Zoubek playing major minutes inside and becoming a great rebounding and defensive presence.

    The USC baseball team started the season off with a 3-game sweep of Duquesne before dropping two out of three at East Carolina. John Taylor, the closer going into the season, got off to a poor start and struggled a bit, losing the closer's role fairly quickly. Freshman Christian Walker started the season with a bang at third base, having a great opening series.

    Elsewhere, the Super Bowl was a disappointment for all Colts fans, though thoroughly enjoyed by the city of New Orleans, to say the least. The Winter Olympics were fun to watch, as ever, and were a great time for everyone to get to watch sports that don't usually get much attention. Downhill skiing, speedskating, ice dancing, curling... all made a great experience to watch.

    March:

    USC Basketball closed the regular season on a positive note, winning at Vandy for the final game before the tournament, but quickly bowed out of the SEC tournament against Alabama. A sad end to a great career for Devan Downey, a spectacular point guard with incredible skills. Even at the time, though, Carolina already had a great looking recruiting class coming in for the next season, and while we all knew wins would be tough to come by next season with an incredibly young team, there was a lot of optimism for the future going around.

    Duke started March off with a loss at Maryland before crushing the Tar Heels by 32 for Senior Day. Three more wins in the ACC tournament netted yet another ACC Tournament title for the Blue Devils heading into the NCAA Tournament, where they just kept on rolling. Coach K was in yet another Final Four, and Duke was getting ready to face West Virginia, who was coming off a nice upset of Kentucky.

    Speaking of the NCAA Tournament, there was certainly no shortage of great games this year. Butler had an incredible run to the Final Four, where they would get to play Michigan State in what was practically a home game, just a few miles from campus. Faroukmanesh's shot to beat Kansas should live on as one of the great shots in NCAA tournament history. There were several great upsets and plenty of other games that may not have ended with the upset, but proved to be great games nonetheless.

    USC Baseball started the month off poorly, dropping 2 of 3 to Clemson - including an ugly 19-6 game in Columbia - before rattling off 13 straight wins and finishing the month with a 16-3 record (5-1 SEC). Christian Walker struggled at third base after his hot start, but redshirt freshman Matt Price looked great out of the bullpen, and would grab the closer's role. There was definitely reason to be optimistic about this team at that point as well, though there was a clear weakness in the third starter's role, which had gone from Tyler Webb to Jay Brown, both of whom had some good games but neither of whom were nearly as reliable as the top two starters in Blake Cooper and Sam Dyson.
  14. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    Did anything happen in April? :p

    Edit: Or can we skip it and go right to the Kentucky Derby in May?
  15. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    Hey, I went to the last ever regular season Penguins game at the Civic Arena in April. That's something! :p

    April and May were weird sports months for me - the only sport that I watched from April 9 - June 1 was soccer, and while that was definitely awesome, it's unlike any other time in my life as a sports fan. It was really weird following the NHL and NBA playoffs only online, and not having SportsCenter/sports radio around.
  16. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6

    How did I miss this thread, and the greatest sports moment I've ever seen live?

    [image=http://media.mlive.com/olympics_impact/photo/ryan-miller-2jpg-fce95fc01279c704_large.jpg]

    Seriously, I'll take that over any number of Stanley Cups, Super Bowls, World Series, World Cups, etc. It's bigger than all of them.
  17. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    I'd just like to point out that when the Pens played the Sabres in the first game after the break, Ryan Miller got a much louder cheer in introductions than Crosby did, and the game was in Pittsburgh.
  18. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    Miller played fantastic. There's not a single thing he did all tournament that I'd change. Not a single thing...
  19. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    Oh, Miller had a great tournament, for sure. I just had a bad feeling once that game went into overtime. :p
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