The Chicago Tribune has been doing year-end recaps from each of their sportswriters and columnists as they review the past year, specifically in the area they cover. So I'm blatantly stealing their idea because every time I read them, it's always kind of strange to think "that was really only THIS YEAR?" Naturally, since I largely follow soccer and MU hoops, most of my moments are drawn from there.
BEST GAME I WATCHED ON TV
- Marquette's victory over Wisconsin in Madison. As Nate said, MU-UW is arguably the best in-state rivalry in the Midwest. The game was a nailbiter and clearly meant the world to both teams looking for a name out-of-conference victory. Marquette nabbed their first win in Madison in 10 years and were only the 6th away team to ever win at the Kohl Center.
- Chicago Fire's 2-2 draw at DC United in the MLS Cup Quarterfinals. Coupled with a 1-0 Fire win the week before, in front of a rabid DC crowd under the lights at RFK, DC scored two goals in the last 22 minutes and appeared to have scored a third to level the series on aggregate, but the goal was waived off after Christian Gomez handled the ball in the box.
BEST GAME I SAW LIVE
- Blackhawks 3, Blues 2 in November. My first NHL game outside Chicago was played in front of a packed house, with a relatively knowledgeable and very passionate crowd. Hawks got the game winner with a minute to go, and some dude threatened to kick my ass. It was a good night.
WORST GAME I SAW LIVE
- Chicago Fire's 0-0 draw with Colorado Rapids on July 1. Uninspired play, hot day, lackluster crowd. Probably the nadir of the Chicago Fire as a franchise. Talk about flushing 40 bucks down the toilet.
GAME I WISH I SAW (LIVE OR TV)
- Sadly, I was in Columbus, OH for my cousin's wedding on the day of the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final in June at Soldier Field. USA comes from behind and defeats Mexico 2-1 on Benny Feilhaber's golazo in front of a sold-out Soldier Field. It was one for the ages.
- The Bears victory over the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. It looked absolutely freezing, but part of me really wanted to be in that stadium... as long as I had a nice warm jacket .
GAME I'M GLAD I DIDN'T SEE
- Work mercifully kept me from witnessing Marquette's drubbing by Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament.
WORST STORY OF THE YEAR
- It was pretty funny when David Beckham began his American foray, and overnight, the mainstream sports media was saturated with soccer "experts" who proclaimed Becks washed up. While injuries hobbled his first season in California, whenever he stepped on the pitch, magic happened, and American soccer got a glimpse of its not-so-distant-future.
PLAY OF THE YEAR
Brazil's goal against the United States at Soldier Field in September. Brilliant ball movement. Classic Brazilian style, one-touch passes go the length of the field and finish with a goal. Those guys are good.
STORY OF THE YEAR
The fallout from the Mitchell Report. While nothing has really happened yet, it is a whole new era of performance enhancing substance policy in ALL major sports.
Everyone else, feel free to add your favorites.