With only a handful of days left in 2007, I decided to dream up an original and exciting idea to cap off this year and welcome in 2008 – with a best and worst list. Regardless of if you agree with my opinion, I think we’ll all understand that this is quite possibly the best “Best and Worst List” you will read in the next ten minutes. Happy New Year to all.
Best Sports Moment – After Boise State running back Ian Johnson married his cheerleader fiancée Chrissy Popadics in late July, the man who won the Fiesta Bowl six months earlier in Glendale, Arizona said something very simple to his bride: “Let’s play ball.” Against the Oklahoma Sooners in the best moment of 2007, Johnson ended up on the receiving end of a statute of liberty play that put all other game changing performances to shame. Shocking one of the established clubs in the history of college football with a 43-42 win, Boise State’s BMOC decided to drink in the moment. Running over to Chrissy after the game on live television, Ian got himself into victory formation. Down on one knee, Johnson proposed and she said yes. Almost a full year later, nothing compares to the absolute joy felt by many just watching the game on TV.
Worst Sports Moment – Even though Marion Jones and Barry Bonds (among others) deserve nothing but coal in their stocking for cheating and getting caught in 2007, the worst moment comes from a game not many people care about. New York Islanders left winger Chris Simon might want to grab a chair in the afternoon meeting with Nurse Ratched and Randle McMurphy. Suspended twice this year by the NHL for vicious displays on ice, Simon continues to blur the red line in a sport that needs to find heroes before hockey turns from a major event into a club activity. Hitting a player in the face with a hockey stick and stepping on the back of a player’s leg catapults Simon to the head of the naughty list in sports. Currently on leave from the team with a 30 game suspension, Simon must find a way to chill out on the ice before the league freezes his career.
Best Game – Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons (Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals) Standing alone in the WBAL-TV sports office after the late newscast on May 31st, I watched five monitors and thought that each one was lying to me. Cleveland’s LeBron James took over the game in the 4th quarter and both overtime periods on the road to give his team a 3-2 series advantage. Scoring the final 25 points for the Cavaliers, James ascended from king to emperor at Auburn Hills. It’s one of those goose bump moments you get from watching sports. It doesn’t matter if you love or hate the player, you must respect the incredible display they put on. Even with LeBron taking over the series, Detroit never gave up. Until Chauncey Billups missed a floating jump shot to send the game into a third overtime, the final outcome remained in doubt. Staying an extra 90 minutes at the station that night left me with one of the lasting sports memories of the year.
Worst Game – Florida Gators vs. Ohio State Buckeyes. (BCS National Championship Game) All the hype that surrounds a #1 vs. #2 matchup rarely lives up to its marquee billing, but this game wouldn’t even make it in a B-movie drive-in. Florida’s backup quarterback Tim Tebow rushed for more yards that Ohio State’s starter Troy Smith threw for in the title game. Ted Ginn’s opening kickoff return for a touchdown that put the Buckeyes up 7-0 outgained the rest of the Ohio State offense for the remainder of the game. Try to digest that statistic. Playing in a watered down conference in the Big Ten, the wrong team made the BCS championship game. Again. Anyone want a playoff?
Overtime – Here’s a quick list of the best and worst outside of the sports world.
Best Movie – “Waitress” Keri Russell drives this life imitates art comedy that’s one of the better movies of the decade. Then again, I haven’t seen “No Country For Old Men” or “Superbad.”
Worst Movie – “Evan Almighty” In a year where good movies outnumbered bad ones, the wonderful Steve Carell took it on the chin in this insipid, alleged comedy. “Norbit” was pretty bad as well.
Best Song (Tie) – “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse. Regardless of her on-stage antics, Winehouse delivers the most intense three and a half minutes you will hear this year. Hopefully she’s not a one hit wonder.
“Stronger” by Kanye West. Using deft writing to supplement an unforgettable beat, West actually injects a shot of adrenaline into the listener – in turn making them feel stronger.
Worst Song – “Gimmie More” by Britney Spears. Quite a tough year for Brit, huh? Throwing in one of the all-time worst comeback performances at the MTV Video Music Awards, Spears authored the worst song of the year. Featuring the word “gimmie” 86 times (I counted), think of this song as a 3 foot putt that breaks to the left. It turns out it wasn’t a gimmie after all.
Let me know your list in the comments section.