With the semester coming to a close, it is only natural to look back at the year that was. To say we had a substantial amount of news in sports would be an understatement. We saw everything from sex scandals to praises on the Cuban dictatorship to different Monmouth athletes coming out of college and entering professional sports.
This week, I will try to narrow down the year’s most impactful stories and sum them up a bit. It is my hope that this sum-up will cause you to reminisce a bit on the school year that was, and even how much sports has influenced the news we remember.
Just attempting to narrow down nearly 30 editions of “The Gun Show” was quite a hard task, but hopefully you have hung on to the hard copies and made some further assumptions yourself.
Before I begin with the summary, I would just like to thank all of you readers for sifting the pages of The Outlook to the back every week just to see what sort of opinion I had that week on the wide world of sports.
Hopefully in the next year, you will see many more opinionated articles that you can agree with me on; or maybe you may come find content that you strongly disagree with. Either way, this has shown the power of op/ed, even in sports. So finally, I would just like to reiterate my appreciation for all of my faithful readers.
So this year in sports, we have had!
1.) The Sandusky Scandal: On November 4, 2011, a scandal that would soon rock the world was unveiled to the public. Former Penn State Defensive Coordinator (and a member of Joe Paterno’s staff for 33 years), Jerry Sandusky was indicted on 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys. This story rocked the whole sports world students rioted, parents cringed and the football world was deeply affected. This was also the final “stamp” to the Joe-Pa era as the elderly man succumbed to cancer a few months later.
2.) NBA Lockout: For the fourth time in the NBA’s history, the league entered a work-stoppage, labor dispute lockout. After July 1, 2011, doors were shut on teams, league officials, owners, etc. What ensued was a visious negotiation between the players’ union and the owners. The serious form of division came from revenue sharing issues and the salary cap structure. No NBA activity took place during this work-stoppage, and for months, big time players left for foreign leagues, many with clauses to return after the lockout, but the league was in shambles. This lockout ultimately cost the league 16 games per team and a lot of revenue, along with a severely damaged reputation.
3.) “Linsanity” Jeremy Lin, who is now a household name, had an extremely public ascent to fame. Within days of his quality play, children were buying his jerseys and the Knicks were bringing in extra revenue. He was New York’s savior until he was hurt for the season. But all in all, the “Linsanity” trend that occurred showed the world just how quickly a ‘no-name’ can become a national figure.
4.) Ozzie Guillen Scandal: The newly-hired Miami Marlins manager, Ozzie Guillen, was quickly involved in controversy this spring, as he was quoted as saying he “loved Fidel Castro” and praised his lifelong endurance. Upon hearing the news, the Florida (and national) Cuban population went up-in-arms and Guillen was forced into apology just days later. (Albeit, his apology was also controversial and seemed forced).
5.) Monstrous NCAA Brawl: In another embarrassing week for NCAA sports, the true imperfections of some top notch programs were revealed. After one of the most brutal brawls in recent history, the Xavier-Cincinnati rivalry only heightened. With seconds left in a game dominated by the number-eight team in the country; Xavier,. Cincinnati player Yancy Gates threw a monstrous punch at Xavier big man Kenny Frease. As the benches cleared, coaches peeled their players away and refs struggled to separate the athletes, an embarrassing moment for the NCAA then panned out. Clearly, some of the NCAA’s imperfections were brought forth.