Terrell Owens left America’s Team for a team he dubbed North America’s Team. While some might be amused by this clever turn of phrase, many more are surprised by the decision to play in Buffalo for Dick Jauron, the place offense goes to die. In retrospect, the last couple of years have actually been a pretty dynamic and shocking time for us in the sports world. Owens decision joins the ranks of these other sundry moments that have kept me on my feet in the last couple years.
The Boston Celtics Reinstate the Principle of Three
Danny Ainge was supposed to lose his job sometime during the 2007-08 season, but he managed to find a magic scroll that instructed him of the principle of three. He had witnessed this concept while playing for the Celtics during the 1980s and one of those big three would be a key in his quest.
First Ainge trades the rights to freshly drafted Jeff Green and veterans Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak to Seattle for Ray Allen and Glen Davis. Then he gets Kevin McHale drunk and gets Kevin Garnett for Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Ricky Davis, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, and a 2009 first round draft pick. McHale is lauded in Boston and booed in Minneapolis as the Boston Celtics go on to beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals
The Los Angeles Lakers Go Dumpster Diving in Memphis and Walk Away With a Deal
Not to be outdone in dirty dealing, the Los Angeles Lakers find a the Memphis Grizzlies in the midst of a foreclosure and get Pau Gasol for expiring contracts and the draft rights to Pau’s brother Marc. The Grizzlies hope that they can trick the Memphis fans by have Marc play for Pau, but are surprised when the fans notice they are getting beaten by 30 points instead of 20 and break the story.
The Lakers reach the final for a classic battle with the Celtics, but lose as they find out that Pau, despite being seven feet tall, cannot rebound or block shots. Though many watch the series there is an underlying concern that the league let the two lopsided trades happen just to generate interest in basketball for the first time since Jordan retied for the second time.
The Phoenix Suns Break Up the Best Show on Earth
The Pau Gasol Trade forces every team in the Western Conference to abandon their proven means of winning and the Phoenix Suns are no different. After years of bucking the trend to play a concept called defense and just running full speed from one end of the court to the other, General Manager Steve Kerr takes a gamble and trades Shawn Marion to the Miami Heat for Shaq.
Shaq quickly clogs the Suns engines, forcing them to run half court sets. The team flounders. Phoenix loses in the first round to the San Antonio Spurs. Mike D’Antoni takes the fall for Kerr’s decision and ends up in charge of the New York Knicks.
The New York Giants Are the Anti-Belichick
The New England Patriots show few flaws in the 2007 season as they look like a high school team playing the local Pop Warner squad for much the regular season. Though there are a few close calls, the Patriots make the Super Bowl set on becoming the second team to have a perfect season since the inception of the Super Bowl.
The New York Giants come in heavy underdogs but make a case for teams trying to develop a pass rush and abandon the Cover-2. They keep the game close and win on a miracle throw to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left on the clock. It appears that the machine that the Patriots have become has finally been dealt a deadly blow.
The Tampa Bay Rays Go All Reborn Christian and are Immediately Rewarded
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays begin the 2008 season by dropping the devil from their name and suddenly make an improbable run in the American League East. They win 18 games in spring training, but nobody seems to care because they are playing Triple A pitchers. However, the Rays wake up around the end of April and by the first third mark they have the best record in the AL East.
The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees gear up for the expected games after the Rays hit the wall that kills most teams, but the Rays never slow down, making it all the way to the World Series. There, the Philadelphia Phillies win in five games. Though, the Rays do not win the World Series, they finish higher than fourth place in the AL East with a winning record for the first time in the franchise’s short history.
Tom Brady Makes It Everyone’s Year
I am watching the first week of the NFL season in 2008, other wise known as “who will win the NFC and play the Patriots in the Super Bowl” when Brady goes down, tearing his ACL, MCL, and every other CL in the leg. Suddenly everyone, even the Miami Dolphins have a shot to make it to the Super Bowl.
I then call my brother and tell him that his first round draft pick in the fantasy draft pick is out for the season and I hear him sobbing in college dorm room.
The Arizona Cardinals are for real!?!
The Arizona Cardinals matter for the first time since 1947, finally making the Super Bowl. Kurt Warner returns from the dead and has fun picking NFL defenses apart with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston. Every expert picks against the team every week in the postseason, sure that a pass happy offense cannot possibly make it to the big game. They make and then lose in the final heart breaking seconds that reminds everyone why it is good not be a Cardinals fan.
A-Rod Adds the Unlikeliest of Nicknames to his Legacy
We all knew he was a poser. We all knew he was a choker. We all criticized every move this baseball player ever made, from leaving the Mariners for the Rangers to the New York Yankees decision to give A-Rod the most ridiculous extension ever to fail every September and October.
We just did not fathom that he would use steroids. He never appeared to need them, but apparently his ego and desperate desire to be liked needed some more muscle for its heavy lifting. Now A-roid is added to the name bank that includes Choke-Rod, Madonna-Rod, and A-Fraud.
MLB Proves That They Are Again Run By Scumbags
The country is alerted to the fact that the MLB owners are completely without scruples as both the Barry Bonds perjury case and A-Rod story feature urine samples taken by MLB during the 2003 season that prove over 100 players tested positive for steroids.
Still, Bud Selig condemns A-Rod while ignoring the fact that he knew and could have rescued the sanctity of the home run record and the immortal gentleman Hank Aaron, but he wanted to sell more MLB tickets.