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The most overblown sports stories of 2008

Love ’em or hate ’em, we’re done with these stories. Some are good, some are bad, but all are yesterday’s news. With the departure of 2008, we can leave these sports stories behind us and cherish their memories as we move into a new year. Without further ado, and in no particular order, on to the stories.

Michael Phelps wins eight gold medals. You can’t deny the accomplishment: simply amazing, a feat that will likely go unmatched for years. Likewise, you can’t deny that you don’t care anymore. After about the one-millionth news segment on Phelps’ size 14 feet, 100 billion calorie a day diet, and mom Debbie, we knew more about Michael Phelps than we did most of our family members. Sure, we might love the guy for what he’s done, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re sick and tired of hearing about him.

Sports Illustrated named Phelps “Sportsperson of the Year” and if you actually read the article that recapped the articles that recapped the champion, then you yourself deserve eight gold medals just for perservering through what you already knew. Like watching the TBS version of Rudy for the tenth Saturday afternoon in a row, you couldn’t pull yourself away from an overcooked, watered down tale of heroism that had been played out one too many times in sugar coated fashion. Which is why we’re here to help you let go. It’s ok to let go.


Boston Celtics win NBA championship. Nobody likes Boston to begin with, which made hearing about this story all the more unbearable. We had to hear about how Paul Pierce was now and forever the next great Celtic legend, how Ray Allen finally validated a career on the outside looking in, and how Kevin Garnett thought “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!”

All an NBA championship means is that fans of 29 other teams hate your guts, while only one team’s fans get the opportunity to celebrate. If you want to become the most reviled sports story of most people’s year, just go ahead and win yourself a championship of some kind.

Brett Favre is (un)retired. The one thing most people took away from the whole Brett Favre retirement saga is that the people’s quarterback is actually kind of a jerk. The man who announced he was hanging ’em up on national TV, in front of our very eyes, with tears streaming down his cheeks decided he didn’t want to quit after all. He manipulated a Packers organization, who had rolled out the red carpet in the direction of Favre’s couch, into taking him back. Then, he told them he would only play as a starter, despite the fact that the franchise had already bestowed that distinction upon Favre’s ex-understudy, Aaron Rodgers. After that, he pulled strings and forced Green Bay to kowtow to the wishes of Brett Favre, master puppeteer. By bluffing on an empty hand, Favre did his best to get his former employers to ship him off to a nearby division rival in Chicago or Minnesota. When those plans fell through, the future Hall of Fame quarterback seemed content upon landing in Tampa Bay. Instead, lo and behold, Broadway Brett became a New York Jet.

Away from the security of small-town Green Bay, Favre was spotlighted in the city that never sleeps, a city that is more anti-Favre than perhaps any other. Here, he appeared to emote displeasure with his surroundings and will cap off an up-and-down season this Sunday with no chance at making the playoffs. How the mighty have fallen.

Yep, we’re done with the Favre drama of 2008. The Favre drama of 2009, however, is just around the corner.

Honorable mention: Tiger’s gimpy U.S. Open victory; Plax shoots himself in leg; McNabb unaware that games can end in ties.

The State of Seattle Sports

I was reading Sports Illustrated today when I came across an article titled “Sportspocalypse Now,” written by Chris Ballard. Depicting none other than our fair city, Ballard’s one-page essay was devoted to the sad state of athletics in Seattle. There was talk of the Sonics’ departure, naturally, as well as the trio of ineptitude in the forms of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Husky Football progam. Ballard went so far as to visit our city to fully immerse himself in the tragedy that is the Seattle sports scene.

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