New Year's Eve
Top 5 Athletes of 2005
1) Lance Armstrong: Everyone knows his story. Having overcome cancer to win that many Tours is amazing. Because I lost my father to cancer I understand the difficult battles people have with the disease and can see the affect that Lance has had on so many people affected by the disease. Lance is an inspiration to everyone, no matter what sport he is in, even if it is one few Americans really care about.
2) Roger Federer: Tennis is not a sport that is very popular in the US anymore, but Federer had an amazing run in 2005. He was put under the national spotlight at the US Open and impressed many tennis fans and non-tennis fans, including me.
3) Chicago White Sox: If the SI Athlete of the Year last year could be the Boston Red Sox, than why not the White Sox this year? The ChiSox won their first World Series since 1907 and won over the nation in doing so. The White Sox were a great team and a great story.
4) Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and the USC Trojans: Undefeated season, lots of hype over where Bush and Leinart will be next year. This could be the best team ever in college football.
5) Tom Brady: Led the Patriots to a third Super Bowl in four years and then led the Patriots through the regular season with his best statistical season, carrying a banged up offense and overcoming injuries to the defense.
Top Ten Sports Stories of 2005:
1) Steroids in Baseball
2) Hurricane Katrina's Effect on Sport
3) Chicago White Sox Win World Series
4) USC Trojans Win 34 Straight
5) Reggie Bush Wins Heisman, NFL Teams Compete to See Who Finishes Last
6) Patriots Win Super Bowl
7) Spurs Win NBA Title
8) No Hockey, Hockey Returns, Crosby Picked By Pens
9) Danica Races Indy
10) Roy Williams and UNC Win National Championship
Others: Terrell Owens Takes Over ESPN, Baylor Lady Bears Win Women's National Championship, Colts Attempt Perfect Season, Lance Armstrong Rides One Final Time, Vikings Sex Boat Scandal
Top Ten Athletes to Watch in 2006:
1) Albert Pujols: Pujols is a great guy and one of the best hitter's baseball has ever seen. He is young and ready to break out as the superstar baseball player of this generation. The Cardinals have been on the verge of the World Series for the past two years and in 2006 I think they can finally make the final push and win it. With Edmonds and Rolen back healthy, Pujols will have the protection he needs and put up great numbers all season long en route to his second straight NL MVP Award. Pujols will lead the Cards through the NL Playoffs and be the World Series hero, earning Playoff MVP and World Series MVP honors. His good deeds in the community will become more well-known as the Cards enter the spotlight across the country, and he will be the Athlete of the Year for everyone who gives out the award, SI, AP, ESPN, etc.
2) LeBron James: LeBron will finish second in the league in scoring to Kobe Bryant, but the Cavs will finish with a much better record and James will have more assists per game and more rebounds per game than Kobe and will win the MVP Award in a close race against Tim Duncan, with Kobe finishing third and AI fourth, because LA and Philly struggle all year. James leads the Cavs to the NBA Finals, but loses to the Spurs and Duncan, who is overlooked again by the media and James is proclaimed as the next Jordan and many will look at him as Athlete of the Year. Whether LeBron can live up to that hype or not is a different story.
3) Reggie Bush: Many people will remember Bush's 2005 year when considering him for the award. Bush will have a very impressive game in the Rose Bowl and lead the Trojans to a third straight National Championship. Reggie will be picked number one, by the Houston Texans. The Texans, who were 8-8 just two seasons ago, turn it around led by Carr, Bush, a revamped offensive line, Andre Johnson, and a young defense. The Texans have a playoff spot clinched by the end of 06 and Bush is looked at as the savior of the franchise, as he has put together both a rookie of the year and MVP type season, with a ton of total yards, receiving and passing, in the high powered offense of the Texans. The three-headed monster of David Carr, Reggie Bush, and Andre Johnson begins its reign as the dynasty of the 06-10 years, taking over the spot from the Patriots.
4) Adam Morrison: A surprise pick here. Morrison leads a healthy Zags team to the National Championship and the once cinderella mid-major team establishes itself as a major contender. Morrison is picked Number One in the NBA Draft and he is hyped as one of the next generation of NBAers who will help turn the league around, and become the Larry Bird to Lebron's Magic Johnson/Michael Jordan status.
5) Ottawa Senators-Dany Heatley/Jason Spezza/Daniel Alfredsson: The Senators will win the Stanley Cup in front of a national audience and hockey will begin to become popular again as many people watch the playoffs and are impressed by the speed and high scoring game. Spezza, Heatley, and Alfie lead the Sens and many are impressed with their scoring.
6) Tom Brady
7) Brady Quinn
8) Tim Duncan
9) Danica Patrick
10) Jeremy Bloom: The longshot guy who everyone considers but noone would ever give the award to. After stealing the hearts of many Americans as his story is told over and over on NBC's coverage of the Olympics, he wins the Gold Medal at the Olympics and one week later impress NFL scouts with his speed and hands at the scouting combine. Bloom will be drafted in the 3rd or 4th round by someone willing to give him a shot, but his story alone will earn him consideration.
College Football: USC
MVP: Reggie Bush
College Baskebtall: Gonzaga Bulldogs
MVP: Adam Morrison
NBA: San Antonio Spurs
MVP: Tim Duncan, Runner Up: Cleveland Cavs
NHL: Ottawa Senators
MVP: Dany Heatley, Runner Up: Calgary Flames
MLB: St. Louis Cardinals
MVP: Albert Pujols, Runner Up: Chicago White Sox
NFL: New England Patriots
MVP: Tom Brady, Runner Up: Seattle Seahawks
Team to Watch for NFL 2006 Regular Season: Cincinnati Bengals
Team to Watch for NCAA Football 2006 Regular Season: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Have a good New Year's Eve and a Happy 2006!