Here’s to a great 2008

By Barrett Henderson, The Observer January 02, 2009 03:01 pm

By now you have eaten all the ham you could want and then have tried to forget that there is still some in your fridge.

You’ve figured out that sweet potatoes next to green beans on a plate can make for a pretty good mixture in the middle.

And, you have probably been fine with the absence of Christmas movies the past couple of days.

I’ll give you a little break from the holiday eating and routine holiday shows.

I know there have been plenty of year-end recaps for the past week, so what’s one more?

There’s been plenty of talk that the past year may have been the greatest in the history of sports, and I agree.

I’ll start in January and Louisiana State being crowned national champion with two losses. The Tigers dominated Ohio State in the national championships.

College football fans all over crossed their fingers hoping the Buckeyes don’t make another national title game in a long time.

On Feb. 3, the New York Giants shocked the sports world by upsetting the previously undefeated New England Patriots.

Giants’ wide receiver, David Tyree, became a great Trivial Pursuit future answer but not a great fantasy football wide receiver this season.

In March we all saw madness off the basketball court. Brett Favre made his first of 12 retirement announcements, but did win an academy award in the process.

April 7 is a day the Memphis basketball team would like to forget. The Tigers watched an amazing season and big lead dwindle in the closing minutes of regulation before losing to Kansas in overtime.

Even more bad news for Memphis came when they had to watch Mario Chalmers’ buzzer-beating shot replayed the rest of the year.

Four days later shocking news came in women’s basketball when Tennessee won the national title!

But, at least Connecticut wasn’t second place, nice work Stanford.

In May, pre-race favorite Big Brown made many first-time gamblers very happy by winning the Kentucky Derby.

Tiger Woods had a big month in June defying all odds winning the U.S. Open on a tore-up left knee.

You remember golf right? I know it hasn’t been the same since.

Two days later the Boston Celtics won the franchise’s 17th NBA title.

It just goes to show that if you manage to get on a team with three all-stars, you may want to keep your ring finger available.

June was a huge month because a week later the Fresno State baseball team made an improbable run to the national title.

They became the biggest underdogs to win an NCAA title. The Bulldogs entered the College World Series only 10 games above .500.

They entered the national tournament as basically the equivalent to a No. 13 seed in the NCAA basketball tournament.

Rafael Nadal put an end to Roger Federer’s incredible Wimbledon run on July 5 winning the title in straight sets.

Federer would have to settle for a Gillette endorsement alongside Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods.

In the Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps ran away with our hearts and Usain Bolt ran away from everyone.

Unfortunately for Bolt, he will have to settle for second place to Phelps when anyone discusses the 29th Summer Olympiad.

But, Bolt did give us media endless headlines with his name. Lightning bolt is an obvious one, but it’s amazing how close Usain sounds with insane.

The fall classic was great for baseball. The two underdog runs provided us semi-fans of baseball a reason to watch.

However, apparently America didn’t want to see a Rays and Phillies final. Media markets in Boston in Los Angeles were so close to having their dreams come true.

Whatever happens in 2009 — Obama battling the BCS, Michael Vick returning to the NFL or Notre Dame winning seven football games — here’s to the next year, it has some incredible shoes to fill.


Barrett Henderson is a sports writer for The Observer. Reach him by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it