NCAA Tournament-Capped by a less then stellar National Championship game, this year’s NCAA tournament saw mid-majors rise to the top (VCU and Butler). It was also a tournament that included exciting finishes (Morehead State vs Louisville, Temple vs. Penn St, Kentucky vs. Princeton) and unusual fouls called at the end of the game (Butler vs. Pittsburgh). Most of the teams provided their fans with break-your-heart moments and mine was the Darius Morris missed floater against Duke. But maybe the one story that drew the most attention from sports fans and the public, was the BYU’s Honor Code and its violation by Brandon Davies, which made him ineligible to play in the tournament.
Super Bowl– Typical fan jubilation from a Super Bowl win is usually enough. However, this year, the Packers, being a publicly owned franchise their fans may reap some long term benefits as well. Defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31 to 25, Green Bay was led by S.B. MVP Aaron Rodgers who lead them on a game winning touchdown drive. As much as this game was supposed to show off the brand new Dallas Cowboy stadium and their Mega scoreboard, there were thousands of disgruntled ticket holders who were unable to watch indoors.
BCS Bowl Games- Other than the UCONN-Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl and Stanford’s route of V.T. in the Orange Bowl, this year’s BCS bowl games were evenly contested. My favorite was the Wisconsin- TCU Rose Bowl game, in which a two point conversion decided the outcome at the very end. Ohio State defeated Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, however, the bigger picture was the NCAA’s inconsistency by allowing Terrell Pryor and his fellow tattooed-equipment-sellers to play in the game but will have to sit out the first five games of the upcoming season. Along the same vein, Cam Newton carried Auburn to a National Championship and won the Heisman trophy. The NCAA lightly investigated the claim that Cecil Newton, Cam’s father, was offered money which resulted in him not being able to attend the title game.
The Masters Meltdown- Rory Mcilroy, the 21 year old Nothern Ireland golf sensation, was cruising along with a 4 stroke lead going into the last round. As many golfers know, at any moment the golf gods can completely destroy your round. Mcilroy hit a drive on the 10th hole where no ball had every landed before. From there, things quickly went down-hill which led to a three-over par, 7 on the hole. As novice golfers everywhere emphasized with his situation, he was never able to get out of his funk and finished ten strokes behind the winner Charl Schwartzel.
Wes Leonard– This story goes from the ultimate high of hitting a game winning shot in a high school basketball game, to the lowest of low, watching the same player die in front of all his friends, family and teammates. Leonard was a senior at Fennvile high school in Fennvile, Michigan and a multi-sport athlete. The cause of his death was dilated cardiomyopathy or an enlarged heart. Because of unusual media coverage and broad reach of social media sites, many fans were touched by this incident. This type of moment shows that sports can connect people through many different types of events.