Home > MLB, NBA, Other > Year 1 of FOTB – Top 5 News Events From a Historical Perspective

Year 1 of FOTB – Top 5 News Events From a Historical Perspective

Wow, time flies. While I regret not being able to contribute more regularly to FOTB while I chase my dreams in grad school, Matt and the rest of the boys have done a good job at ensuring that this place doesn’t completely go to hell. Kudos to my more regular contributing colleagues on that front.

I would love to say that my absence can partially be attributed to my ongoing protest against Stern for failing to acquiesce to demands of having an NBA franchise back in Vancouver (although, a juicy NBA/NHL combo in Seattle with a hedge-fund owner is just starting to gain rumor momentum that might satisfy my northwest basketball needs), but in reality I won’t be my regular active self until this first year of school mercifully runs its course.

However, it wouldn’t be right to let the day pass without at least acknowledging some of the awesome events that happened in our first year that I felt have some sort of long-term historical significance. And yes, I’m refusing to acknowledge the NBA lockout, because it never happened.

Presenting David’s Top 5 Most Influential Real-Life Moments in Year 1 of FOTB:

5. Dirk’s 1st Championship (June 12th, 2011)

One of the best feel-good moments of the year came when Dirk Nowitzki and his ragtag band of Mavericks took down the evil empire, the Miami Heat. Watching Dirk leave the court after realizing his life’s dream in order to compose himself was a poignant moment that every man and woman who has ever played the game can appreciate.

As we know now, he came back from the off-season in terrible shape after a couple too many late German party nights (the best kind, I’m sure) for the 2011/2012 season, but he’ll be forgiven. He was refreshingly candid in acknowledging that it takes a refocusing of will to get mentally prepared to go after more championships after you’ve reached that level, and I have no doubt he’s still got a few elite years left in the tank. Congrats to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for shelling out way too much money year after year in pursuit of a dream. I consider Cuban one of the first generation of “modern” owners, born of the dot-com bubble, and so this has some historical significance for sure.

A beautiful moment that was a lifetime in the making

4. Vancouver Riots (June 15th, 2011)

Continuing on with influential sporting events in that week, the city of Vancouver was embarrassed when post-game disappointment over a game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins turned the city into a full-blown riot. This is an interesting event to me from a historical perspective because it was truly the first major sports-related riot to occur in the social media age that began (roughly) in 2006-2007. Almost immediately there were high-definition pictures distributed world-wide of the morons who perpetrated the carnage, followed by the legal system in British Columbia beginning the process of prosecuting those responsible. It will be very interesting to see if future sports-inspired civil disorder is more subdued because of the awareness that you can’t innocently loot an entire store without thirty people taking a picture of you, or if Vancouver has just become the first city to enter the new digital age of riots that will be sure to provide endless amounts of photographic entertainment.

But at least we got a great picture out of the night.

3. Baseball’s Best Night….Ever? (September 28th, 2011)

For those of you who own a TV, and yet missed this night of baseball, you don’t have to worry about ever watching Major League Baseball again. It didn’t get any better than this stretch of games.

My favourite recollection of the incredible night that occurred is from SI.com’s Tom Verducci: (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/tom_verducci/09/29/game.162.drama/index.html?eref=writers). To have a night called the “best ever” in the regular season by writers who are well aware of the history that’s taken place since 1869 means that it’s unlikely that we’ll have a regular-season night filled with that much suspense and excitement anywhere in the near future.

If you missed this, just wait another 140 years or so.

2. Penn State Had a Very Bad Year (November 4th, 2011 and January 22nd, 2012)

The sad: Joe Paterno, legendary college football coach, died of lung cancer after more than sixty years coaching the Penn State football team on January 22nd, 2012. He’s second all-time in wins among college football coaches, and inspired an almost cult-like following by his insistence on a very old-school approach to the game. Along with guys like former UCLA coach John Wooden, he represented the last of a different generation of coaches who I’m sure were bewildered by new student-athlete distractions like Twitter. It’s always hard to see a legend go, and you really do have to wonder how difficult it will be in today’s “react now” culture for a coach to spend his entire 40+ year career in one program.

The pathetic: Jerry Sandusky, disgraced former assistant coach to Paterno who was indicated on November 4th, 2011 for unspeakable crimes against young boys who were under his guidance and protection. Sandusky was also single-handedly responsible for replacing LeBron’s “The Decision” as the worst TV interview judgement in the history of mankind after he agreed to let Bob Costas ask him questions about the allegations on national TV, where he came across even creepier than before. Here’s hoping he takes his talents to prison.

So long, coach.

1. Tim Tebow (2011 season)

Tebow-mania captivated the world this year, after leading the Broncos to a series of come from behind wins that ultimately masked his weaknesses as a QB. I’d write more, but I’m sick of hearing about him. I’m hoping that he develops the fundamentals to be a good, solid QB in the league for a few years, and that he won’t create any more 4th-quarter comebacks that blow up Twitter and prevent ESPN from showing any real content. Also, here’s hoping that our future sons and daughters will not question why “Tebowing” was a cool idea.

Even Warren Buffet was doing this. Seriously, we're not making this up.

Agree with my picks? Disagree? As always, hit us up in the comments below, or on the Twitter show @DavidFOTB

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