As we wrap up our first calender year of TINONFTSB*'s existence, we have a few things to celebrate.
1) The survival of this blog through all kinds of storms: work, school, exams, a terrorist attack, everyone losing all their money forevers, and the boring, boring period dead-space at the end of the summer.
2) Our 100th blog post
3) The addition of two great authors to this blog (and the continued writing of this fantastic, uber-amazing author)
4) The legitimization of this blog through friends at Scarlett Ice and Out of Left Field, not to mention a mention in Puck Daddy (marked on the calender as "The First 100 hit day!").
5) Google recognizing our amazingness (look up anything relating to "sens jersey" on Google, we'll be there. There's a bunch of other stuff too, but that one's the most common.
Things to look forward to in the New Year:
a) What will hopefully be a weekly LiveBlog on Premier League football with Andrew Bucholtz at Sporting Madness.
b) [Hopefully] More awesome posts from us about everything (sorry about the lack of posts of late... we need our break too!)
c) Foxy boxing... because one should always hope to witness foxy boxing.
d) The Sens making a miraculous comeback to win the Stanley Cup (it can happen if you close your eyes tight enough and wish hard enough).
Anyways, now for the promised countdown:
5) The ability for anything surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs to capture headlines across the country
We're (for all intents and purposes**) a Canadian publication, and as such we need to have something distinctly Canadian. I continue to find it unbelievable that anything relating to the Toronto Maple Leafs can absolutely dominate the Sports sections of newspapers across the country, and dominate the headlines of every sports-related channel and news' sports-segment for weeks! Remember the Brian Burke thing? Will he? Won't he? He might! Good Lord, have you even seen so much talk dedicated to absolutely nothing. Then we remember the Sundin saga. The end of the season last year, and the Tank for Tavares idea gripped the nation... were the Leafs intentionally playing crappy hockey to try to finish in last? Why does anyone care!!! Dammit. Unbelievable.
4) Bizarre athlete injuries
This is nothing new, as you might remember Jason Spezza managed to miss a game after throwing his back out while grocery shopping. But this year (especially in the past 2 months or so) seems to have been rife with high-paid freak accidents. Giants' Plaxico Burris shot himself in the leg while attemping to 'club'. Bulls' Derrick Rose emo-kid'd*** himself while peeling an apple, requiring 10 stiches. Oh, and in order to avoid aggravating a back injury, Avalanche/Nordique**** legend Joe Sakic was taking time off at home, decided to plow the drive and mangled his hand in the snowblower. And let's not forget the Aussie surfer who twisted his knee standing in wet sand. Note: the picture with this blurb has nothing to do with any of those injuries, but it looks horribly unpleasant and is in fact the first photos that comes up when you type "ouch" into Google Images, so I felt it was appropriate.
3) The year sports got (even more) expensive
Yes, credit crunch or not, sports got even more ridiculous with monies this year. Look at the retarded amounts of money being thrown around during the NHL free agent sweepstake, mixed with the huge increase in the salary cap and floor, taking it to the point where some teams were spending ridiculous sums just to reach the salary floor. Then there was the takeover of Manchester City by an Arabian group, giving City the ability to dish out more money than Chelsea for footballers in their attempt to buy a title. Mind you, they're currently not doing much better than Spurs... who also splashed ridiculous amounts of money. I guess what it proves is that successful teams can't really be bought, they need a good manager and cohesion in order to be strong - there's a novel idea! Anyways, back to the original idea, sports got even more expensive this year... and the fans are (unfortunately) going to find themselves in the less-than-enviable position of picking up the tab come next September.
2) Politics and computers aside, the Olympics were (mostly) superb
Beijing's hosting of this year's summer Olympics was protested by all kinds of people, prompting my bile-filled response to the mixing of politics and sport. The Chinese were mostly unsuccessful in their attempts to look cleaned up - journalists weren't really allowed the free access they were promised, nor were protesters allowed the opportunity to voice their opinions as promised. Oh, and let's not forget the CG Opening Ceremonies, which reminded all of us that we need to question images we see. That aside though, the Olympics were absolutely superb, they were great to watch. Sherraine Schalm and Ara Abrahamian (who since asked for his medal back) prompted many to question sportsmanship, but the rest of it was sublime. Canada, at the end of the day, did relatively well, and it was great to see the athletes who'd worked so hard, some against impossible odds, representing their countries on the world's biggest athletics stage. And let's not forget the unbelievable performances from Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. Fantastic!
1) On the Chinese Horoscope, 2008 was the Year of the Rat. For anyone who likes either version of football, 2008 was Year of the (under)Dog.
While the Red Wings stuck to the plan in winning the Stanley Cup, both kinds of football saw unlikely winners for the major cups (that I follow). The SuperBowl was won by the Giants, playing against the yet undefeated juggerNOT***** New England Patriots. The FA Cup was won by lowly Portsmouth (mind you, against lowlier Cardiff City). The Carling Cup was won by Tottenham Hotspur (first cup in nearly 10 years) against Chelsea, the team that proved money can only buy short-term happiness. Euro 2008 was won by Spain, their first cup in 44 years! Which means that England will win the next World Cup, it's only logical. Oh, and let's not forget the Grey Cup being won by the Calgary Stampeders against hometown Als. The Phillies finally won a World Series, and the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays went from the undisputed worst team in the MLB to one of the best. While we're on the topic of upsets... I'll very briefly mention Queen's football and rugby teams losing in the OUA semis and finals, respectively, to teams they really should have beaten... shut up. Note - that is, indeed, a picture of Underdog, the superhero!
Thanks for sticking with us this year folks, and here's to the next one! Happy New Year!!
* Worst. Acronym. Ever.
** Don't you hate it when people say "For all intensive purposes"? Sigh
*** He slashed his arm
**** Depending which jersey you pick in NHL09
***** Trademark pending