Where we try and help you win some coin. But remember kids, gambling is wrong. We would never actually bet real money (wink, wink)

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Biggest Losers.
10. Latrell Sprewell.
Broke his hand on his yacht. Lied about the injury. He and the Knicks are pitiful. And the world wonders, Latrell has a yacht?
9. Nate Newton. Too much pot, even for him.
8. Vinny Castilla. He's just on this list for bad play. He had one of the worst full seasons in baseball history. Only two players had a worse OPS than his 616, Neifi Perez and Brett Abernathy. Neither of them played at an "offensive" position, and neither were nearly as brutal with the glove. Or had no speed.
7. Kirby Puckett. Former Man of the Year is really a borderline sociopath.
6. The Baltimore Orioles. You want rock bottom? The Rochester Red Wings, the O's minor league affiliate for almost 50 years, broke it's contract with its parent club because of the appalling lack of talent.
5. Cincinnati Bengals. No list of losers is complete without the Bengals.
4. Skategate. We all knew figure skating was fixed; the Olympic scandal gave us proof.
3. World Cup Officials. You'd think FIFA would get competent officials for the greatest sporting event in the world. Instead we got bozos who don't know offsides. And let's mention the Azzuri, who lost with almost no class whatsoever. Yes, you were screwed, but not nearly as bad as Spain, and they acted like sportsmen.
2. French Soccer. Can a defending champ do any worse? No goals, two losses, one scoreless draw, and an early trip home. Truly sad.
1. USA World Championship Basketball Team. NBA players finally lost in international play. They responded by losing again, and again. Champions would have responded by crushing their opponents in the medal round. This pack of losers folded and went home early. They should be on this list twice.
Best game
10. World Cup: Sweden vs. Argentina.
The Swedes let one of the most potent offenses in the world shoot on them for 90 minutes. They never cracked, but a blown call by the ref gave Argentina a late equalizer. See a theme?
9. Olympic Hockey: Sweden vs. Belarus. The biggest upset since the Miracle on Ice. How was this game even close?
8. Angels vs. Giants Game 6. After Bonds' homer, the Angels calmly rallied back and took the game and then the Series. Fantastic comeback.
7. Kings vs. Lakers Game 7. This game decided the NBA championship. To finish off a heated series, Shaq took over and led his team to the win.
6. FSU-Miami. The Seminoles had the defending champs on the ropes, but Willis McGahee and Ken Dorsey led the 'Canes back. Right on cue, FSU missed a field goal to cost them the game. At least it wasn't wide right.
5. Florida vs. Creighton. If only every NCAA Tourney game were this good. The two teams battled back & forth through two overtimes. The Jays hit a three pointer as time expired to send Florida home early.
4. Habs vs. Canes Game 4. With Saku Koivu's dramatic return from cancer, Montreal had a commanding lead in the third period and looked to take a 3-1 series lead. But then the Canes came alive, winning the game and turning the tide in the series.
3. US Open Men's Final. One more time Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi faced off in a major final. Sampras jumped out to the early lead with the big serve, then Agassi fought back and wore his opponent down. Sampras seemed desperate just to move, but found enough to finish off Agassi.
2. World Cup: USA v. Germany. Landon Donovan summed it up for all of us, saying he wished he had a few more minutes to get a game-tying goal. In the end, time ran out on the US, losing the game despite outplaying Germany.
1. The Super Bowl. Usually the most over-hyped game of the year, the Pats and Rams delivered a great one, decided on the final kick. The Patriots' special teams keyed the upset.
Most Memorable Moment
10. Olympic 4x10km cross country relay:
Norwegian anchor Thomas Alsgaard lost the lead to Italy's Christian Zorzi in the home stretch. Alsgaard found the strength to overtake him in the last few meters and win the gold for Norway. I was out of work during the Olympics, and I became addicted to cross country skiing, the Norwegians were simply awesome.
9. Tim Montgomery breaks the record. He got out of the gate quick and then sprinted faster than any man has ever sprinted before.
8. Landon Donovan's goal vs. Mexico. The world was put on notice. The US soccer team is for real; Landon Donovan is a star. We'll all see a lot more of him. He also re-upped for two more years in MLS.
7. Robert Horry's shot. The shot tied the series at 2-2, and what were the odds that Horry would hit a game-winning jumper? The ball just bounced around and he drained the shot.
6. Keane beats Kahn. Perhaps the most exciting goal of the World Cup. Ireland made a perfect pass and a perfect strike to score in injury time, preventing Germany from getting the win, and putting the Irish in position to advance to the knockout rounds.
5. Gelinas's goal. A game 7 overtime score sent the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in their history.
4. Lance + Roberto. We're used to seeing Lance Armstrong carve up the field on the first mountain stage of the Tour de France. In 2002, Lance's teammate, Roberto Heras, set a pace on the climb to La Mongie that wiped out all the elite climbers in the race, save Lance and rival Joseba Beloki.
3. "The Tuck." How many times have we seen the fumble that wasn't? By a quirky technicality the Patriots kept the ball and went on to beat the Oakland Raiders. And incredibly, they didn't change the rule.
2. Fourth & one. With an undefeated season hanging in the balance, Ohio St. faced a fourth and one against Purdue. On a gutsy call, OSU threw the bomb, scoring a game-winning TD and keeping their championship hopes alive.
1. Lucky in Kentucky. The Kentucky Wildcats had already dumped the cooler on coach Guy Moriss. But two seconds remained on the game clock, and the LSU Tigers connected on a 70+ yard Hail Mary. The ball was tipped twice before being caught by Devery Henderson, who ran through two defenders and into the end zone. Best part is the confused students rushing the field.
Best Player
10. Priest Holmes.
He left the Ravens for nothing, and only blossomed into a scoring machine. If he's not the most dominant back in the NFL season, he's damn close.
9. Carson Palmer. He led the USC Trojans' late season surge and that won him the Heisman trophy and a spot on our list. And I'll say it again, USC played perhaps the toughest schedule in college football history, only losing two games on the road by less than a score. I put them up against any team in college football, primarily because of Palmer.
8. Mario Lemieux. Out of retirement again and still head and shoulders better than anyone in the NHL. He's lapping the field this year.
7. Ronaldo. Two years ago it looked like he'd never regain form. Check out his 2002 hardware: FIFA Footballer of the Year, World Cup Championship, Golden Boot award, and the Golden Ball (European Club Player of the Year).
6. Juan Dixon. Player of the Year in NCAA men's basketball. Both his parents died of AIDS; scouts told him he was too small to play college ball. He led his team to a national championship. How can you not like him? Scouts now say he's too small to play in the NBA...
5. Oliver Kahn. He almost single-handedly won the World Cup. He did win the tournament MVP. Without him Germany would have watched the semifinals on TV. He just dominated the tournament.
4. Shaquille O'Neal. How can someone that good be underappreciated? O'Neal is the most dominant player in the NBA. Period. And it's not that close. Sure, he's a lousy actor and can't rap, but the guy is unstoppable. Except by his big toe.
3. Barry Bonds. His 2001 campaign was one of the best displays of hitting ever. So what does he do for an encore? His slugging dipped by about 70 points, but he had an OBP of 582. Think about that, he got on in nearly 60% of his at bats. And, he's got just a little bit of pop. He's not just the best player now, he might be the best ever.
2. Lance Armstrong. Ho-hum. Another year, another crushing victory in the Tour de France. A host of other hardware, #2 cyclist in the world, US Sportsman of the Year. He's making a mockery of the sport.
1. Serena Williams. If not for an ankle injury, she wins the Grand Slam. Over the last few years women's tennis has become a competition among four or five women-no one else can win a major tournament. Serena Williams has had such a good year, that the other elite players are just fighting for her table scraps.
Best Team
10. Philadelphia Eagles. Perhaps a champion in the making despite losing their best player. Their record since then proves the players and coaches were really underrated. Particularly the coaching. If you can win with Koy Detmer, you're doing something right.
9. St. Louis Cardinals. You couldn't have blamed them if they just played out season after the death of Darryl Kile. Instead, they won perhaps the toughest division in baseball before losing in the NLCS.
8. El Seleccion Espana. Spain was arguably the best team in the World Cup Finals. They crushed all opponents until having multiple goals wiped out by incompetent officiating. They were eliminated on penalty kicks, and it was a travesty that it came down to that. They dealt with their screw job with class and dignity, much more than, say, the Italians, who practically sent in their armed forces.
7. US Postal Service. The top division American-based cycling team keeps getting better. Another Tour de France victory, runner-up in the Vuelta a Espana, third in the final UCI standings. Also, it's a virtue to the team that they keep churning out the best threats to Lance. Leipheimer and Hamilton left the team and are now anchors in their own right.
6. US Bobsled Team. The men ended a 46 year drought by picking up two medals in the 4-man competition. Todd Hays, Randy Jones, Bill Schuffenhauer, and Garrett Hines took silver. Brian Shimer, Mike Kohn, Doug Sharp, and Dan Steele took bronze. In the first ever women's bobsled, Jill Bakken and Vonetta Flowers won gold. Flowers is the first black woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal.
5. Anaheim Angels. Let's be clear, Anaheim wasn't that gifted of a team. They have above average talents at about every position, a good pitching staff, and one of the most annoying leadoff hitters in baseball. Eckstein is actually the poster boy for this team, little talent and lots of heart. They continually rallied from deficit after deficit to win the World Series.
4. Maryland Terps. Clearly the best team in college basketball. They finally got over Duke and won it all at the Big Dance. The Terps program was left for dead 15 years ago. The 2001 champions sported the Player of the Year and three four year seniors. And to think that some locals wanted Gary Williams fired after the previous year's Final Four disaster.
3. LA Lakers. Once again, Phil Jackson had a team that dominated the NBA so much that it was boring. Despite their greatness, now we're wondering if that was the end. It's a two-man team, but what a two men.
2. Miami Hurricanes. Yeah, they've played down to their competition. They also haven't lost in this millennium. Enough said.
1.New England Patriots. There was no reason to think they were good enough to win the Super Bowl. Really, it was doubtful they'd have a .500 record. But all they did was win. Total team effort, unselfish attitude, never, ever gave up. Unexpected and inspiring. I'm still smarting from the nearly 100 emails I received for writing a column calling them one of the worst teams to ever appear in the Super Bowl on the previous incarnation of BartCopSports. I'm sorry, ok?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?