Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2000-2010 Decade of Winners in Review

Its way too much to try and go back and think of the most significant sporting events of this past decade for me.  I just don't have the time or energy to go through it all.

But I figured I could at least list all the teams or individuals (in sports that I care about, sorry hockey) that I was happy to see win a championship as well as the ones that ticked me off when they won.  We're going strictly by the date it happened, not season (since football seasons are technically the year before, but the playoffs are in Jan, Feb).


Good - Kurt Warner and the Rams winning the Superbowl after an extremely improbable season was definitely a highlight of the decade.  Kurt came out of nowhere to win the MVP and Superbowl MVP (in one of the best finishes in SB history vs the Titans).


Bad - Lakers win 2nd Championship in a row.  The first one didn't bother me but the arrogance of Shaq/Kobe made them extremely unlikable in the 2nd run.


Bad - Belicheat, Brady and Viniatieri beating Kurt Warner was an angry moment.  Especially after it was revealed that Belicheat taped Rams practices / gameplans.

Good - Zidane leads Real Madrid to their 9th UEFA Champions League title with a mind-blowing left-footed volley from the edge of the penalty area that won the game.

Bad - Lakers win 3rd championship in a row.  This one was completely undeserved as they should've been eliminated in Game 6 of the Western Conference championship had it not been for the consensus worst officiated NBA game in history.

Good/Bad - US Soccer gets through the group stage of the 2002 World Cup after upsetting Portugal.  They then beat Mexico dos a cero (2-0 is the customary score when the US play Mexico) in the first knockout round.  Hey, its not a trophy but this was bigger than anything the US had done in 50 years.  They lose 1-0 to Germany in the quarterfinals in a game where they were the better team but was robbed of a goal by a handball on the goalline.

Bad - The San Francisco Giants lose the World Series after choking away a 5-0 lead in Game 6.  I went to Game 1 and witnessed a Barry bomb.  awesome.


Good - David Robinson and Tim Duncan win their 2nd NBA championship for the Spurs.  Good guy, David Robinson retires on top.


Bad - usc wins the BCS title game vs Oklahoma.  Leinart and Bush become anointed as football masters of the college universe.  Neither have yet to make any impact in the NFL.  Auburn was deprived of an opportunity to play for the championship even though they went undefeated in the SEC.

Bad - Patriots win again.  ugh.

Good - Phil Mickelson breaks through and wins his first major championship at the Masters!  He does it with a back 9 charge and an 18th hole birdie.

Good - The Lakers' allstar lineup of Shaq, Malone, Kobe and Payton manage to lose in the finals against a no name Pistons team.  The ridiculous dysfunction in the Lakers squad made this upset highly satisfying.

Good - Liu Xiang wins the 110m Gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.  A Chinese won a sprint championship.  whoa!

Good - The Red Sox win the World Series for the first time since 1918, finally breaking the curse of the Bambino that had hung over the last bastion of baseball for a lifetime.  Making it sweeter, the Red Sox had rallied from a 3 games to none, 9th inning deficit to beat arch nemesis NY Yankees 4-3.


Good - Vince Young upsets highly touted and heisman trophy winning leinart-led trojan team in one of the best college football upsets of all time.  Yes!

Bad - Patriots win again.  ugh.  Tom Brady nearly becomes anointed as greatest of all time.  Belicheat is nearly canonized.

Good - Duncan and the Spurs win a 3rd championship.

Good - US Soccer win the Gold Cup and also finish top of their Concacaf 2006 World Cup qualifying group.

Good - Phil Mickelson wins his 2nd major trophy at the PGA Championship.


Bad - Florida beats my UCLA Bruins in the NCAA finals.  While it was an unexpected appearance, UCLA never actually got back to the final game the next two years.  Heartbreak.

Good - Phil Mickelson wins his 2nd Masters trophy.

Good/Bad - US ties Italy 1-1 in the World Cup.  I know its not a championship or even a win, but holding eventual champion Italy with only 9 men felt like a championship.  Plus, I was there.  Losing to Ghana next game was a painful painful loss.

Bad - Phil Mickelson only needed a par to win the US Open but managed to double bogey 18th in heart breaking fashion.

Bad - Zidane has a magical WC run but infamously finishes in the Final with 2 OT headers: a Buffon-saved header on goal and a dead-on header on the classless Italian defender who shall remain nameless.  Zidane's grand career ends on a sad note.


Good - Peyton Manning finally wins a SB and sheds the title of greatest QB never to win.  Tony Dungy finally wins!

Good - Kaka' leads AC Milan to UEFA Champions League glory.

Good - Real Madrid finally win La Liga after a 3 season drought.  Beckham, previously ostracized, wins his place back and helps bring down mighty Barca.

Good - Duncan wins 4th championship and anointed as best PF ever to play.

Good - US wins Gold Cup with 2-1 come from behind victory over arch rival Mexico. 

Good - Red Sox wins 2nd championship in 4 years.


Good - Good guy Tim Tebow leads the Gators to the title.

Good - Eli Manning and David Tyree slay the 19-0 Patriots in one of the greatest upsets of all time.  Yes!

Bad - John Terry slips and misses his game-winning PK and Chelsea proceeds to lose to Man U.

Good - Boston Celtics destroy the Lakers in a classic NBA Finals.

Good - Michael Phelps won an unprecedented 8 gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics including an incredible 0.01 come from behind victory over Cavic.


Bad - Kurt Warner puts in a heroic effort but loses on a spectacular Roethlisberger to Holmes connection.

Bad - Kobe finally wins a championship on his own against completely mediocre NBA opposition.

Good - US Soccer beats world #1 Spain in the semis of the Confederation's Cup and then finishes top of their group in the 2010 World Cup qualifying Concacaf group with a 93rd minute last gasp goal in the final game.

Bad - Donovan and Becks get to the MLS championship game and lose on PKs.

So there's 25 "Good" outcomes and 15 "Bad" outcomes but it definitely feels worse because the bad ones were really really bad while the most of ones rated "good" were just decently good.

Hated rivals Lakers managed to win 4 championships and the trojans won 1.  My real teams, UCLA BB and FB, SF Giants and the 49ers managed to win a combined 0 championships this decade. (Red Sox, Real Madrid, etc bring some solace but they are my adopted teams, not childhood teams.)  To make it worse, UCLA basketball actually made it the finals - and lost badly.  Hopefully this next decade will yield much better results.

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