A look back at the year's 'biggest' stories


A look back at the year's 'biggest' stories

By Jon Fucile
Special contributor for WickedGoodSports.com

As the clock ticks down on 2010, we started to think about what a great year it has been for sports. We saw stories of heartbreak, triumph, dreams realized and nude pics while wearing Crocs.

Before we kiss 2010 goodbye and usher in the first year in a long time where it is going to be super hard to make those New Years glasses with two zeros for eye holes, we thought wed take a look back at some of the biggest sports stories of 2010.

Drew Brees Leads the New Orleans Saints to Superbowl Glory

According to what the announcers said every five seconds during the Superbowl broadcast, New Orleans had angered some lady named Katrina and she messed up the city something fierce.

Still recovering years later, Brees and the Saints gave the city a huge boost when they defeated Peyton Manning and the Colts to win the Superbowl. The city proceeded to steal partying ideas from some other city I cant think of by celebrating like it was Mardi Gras

Having seen what the Superbowl victory meant to the city of New Orleans, Drew Brees jumped into a time machine and battled the Natural Disasters in a WWF ring:

He also joined the cast of Storm Chasers, vowing to never let Mother Nature have her way with his city again.

Brett Favre Gets Some Advice From Another Fallen Star

Brett Favre had a great year. He cried a river while talking about retirement. Again. He blew the NFC championship for the Vikings, throwing unnecessary interceptions at key moments. Again.

Then word came out that while he was with the New York Jets he may or may not have sent his Playgirl audition pictures to sideline reporter Jenn Sterger.

Yes, the wholesome, likeable Brett Favre texted naughty, naughty pictures to a lady who was not his wife. Of course, his either very gullible or very naive wife went on talk shows and said Bretty meant to send her the pics, despite several voicemails on Stergers phone that sounded suspiciously like Favre.

With his image on the line, Favre went to the one man he knew could help him: Tiger Woods.

Woods of course, wasnt much help but was certainly there for his new friend at a tearful press conference where Favre claimed it was not his fault because they dont have cell phones yet in the south and he did not know how to properly send pictures.

Chris Pronger Steals Pucks and Perfect Game

NHL villain and resident trouble maker Chris Pronger decided to deflect attention from his teams poor performance in Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals against Chicago the best way he knew how by being a big jerk.

Pronger repeatedly stole game pucks so the Blackhawks could not have them in a move that had media and fans focusing less on the Phillys 0-2 hole to start the series and more on Prongers antics. The tactic worked, temporarily anyway, as the Flyers fought back to tie the series 2-2 before ultimately losing in six games.

However, the high of stealing and angering entire cities got to Pronger and he made his way to a Detroit Tigers game. He beat up an umpire and donned the uniform. Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was in the midst of a perfect game when Pronger struck.

A play at first, where the base runner was clearly out, should have been a simple call. Safe! was the call from Pronger, as his devilish laugh filled the air. With that simple move, he had stolen Galarragas perfect game.

Michael Vick Returns to Glory

Vicks story needs little reviewing. He was super mean and super stupid to dogs, spent some time in jail, and made his return to the NFL. His first season back, he was used sparingly but an injury to starter Kevin Kolb in 2010 gave Vick and opportunity. In true Vick football fashion, he ran with it.

Vick looked like the Vick of old with slightly better accuracy, and guided the Eagles to a playoff berth. But that was not his only return. No, Vick also made a dramatic report to the one sport he always held above all others: Dog sled racing.

Chemistry, Heart Wins over Salary in World Series

Red Sox Fans and Yankees Fans are in an eternal argument about who is better, and much of that is focused on whoever happens to have the highest salary. If the Yankees win a World Series, Red Sox fans say it was because the Yanks had the highest payroll, ignoring the fact the Red Sox are in second.

If the Red Sox win the World Series, Yankees fans claim they bought it or had the help of steroids, ignoring their own payroll and the fact that everyone in baseball iswas on steroids. Both often seem to ignore the fact that chemistry, skill and a little bit of luck are more important than who can spend the most.
The San Francisco Giants, 10th in the MLB in payroll last season, won the World Series with a team that loved playing with and for each other. Their pitching staff wasnt too shabby either.

The Red Sox had injuries. The Yankees looked like a team of individuals. And in the end it was the Giants and the Rangers battling for a world championship. Money doesnt always buy wins. It just buys players.

Ryan Miller Goes from Hero to Goat

Team USA was a surprising force at the Olympics, fueled by a super human Ryan Miller. The feisty USA squad upset the Canadians early in the tournament before eventually losing to the canucks in the gold medal game.

Miller was insane the entire tournament, embarrassing shooters from around the world with his timely saves and cat like reflexes. However, in overtime of the highly anticipated rematch Sidney Crosby found Millers weakness a simple shot through the five hole.

This was not the first time Crosby found himself with a game on the line against Miller. Crosby beat Miller in a shootout at the first official Winter Classic on a very similar move. Apparently Miller neglected to learn his lesson and he quickly went from savior to goat for USA hockey.

On the bright side, theres always next yea. Oh.

Reggie Bush Loses His Trophy

Before being a disappointing running back for the New Orleans Saints, Reggie Bush was a Heisman winning college stud. But in 2010 he would be forced to give back that funny trophy with the stiff arming man.

Bush was accused of receiving money and various other benefits while in college, a direct violation of NCAA rules. But really, who can be expected to pay attention to rules? So there was talk of making Bush give back the trophy.

The final straw was Bushs relationship with Kim Kardashian. Not only was she ruining tons of other TV shows and channels but now she was on camera any time the Saints had a game. Once sports were claimed as a victim of one of the most annoying women of all time, Bush was forced to give back his trophy.

Bush had other plans, however, and took a page out of Shooter McGavins book and ran like hell, never to be heard from again.

2010 was certainly an interesting year for sports and these were only a few of our favorite stories. We also had the Canadians womens ice hockey team get blasted for celebrating like they won a gold medal, after they had won the gold medal.

Also, the Chicago Blackhawks ended their Stanley Cup drought in the most anti-climatic game in recent memory. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers watched as the Celtics beat themselves. What a year! Hopefully 2011 is just as fun.

STANLEY CUP FINALS: Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1


STANLEY CUP FINALS: Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel beat Nashville's Pekka Rinne with 3:17 left in regulation to put the Penguins ahead to stay in a 5-3 victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

Guentzel snapped an eight-game goalless drought to help the defending champions escape after blowing a three-goal lead.

Nick Bonino scored twice for the Penguins. Conor Sheary scored his first of the playoffs and Evgeni Malkin scored his eighth. The Penguins won despite putting just 12 shots on goal. Murray finished with 23 saves for the Penguins, who used the first coach's challenge in finals history to wipe out an early Nashville goal and held on despite going an astonishing 37:09 at one point without a shot.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Ryan Ellis, Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Predators. Rinne stopped just seven shots.

The Penguins had all of three days to get ready for the final following a draining slog through the Eastern Conference that included a pair of Game 7 victories, the second a double-overtime thriller against Ottawa last Thursday.

Pittsburgh downplayed the notion it was fatigued, figuring adrenaline and a shot at making history would make up for any lack of jump while playing their 108th game in the last calendar year.

Maybe, but the Penguins looked a step behind at the outset. The Predators, who crashed the NHL's biggest stage for the first time behind Rinne and a group of talented defenseman, were hardly intimidated by the stakes, the crowd or the defending champions.

All the guys from the place dubbed "Smashville" have to show for it is their first deficit of the playoffs on a night a fan threw a catfish onto the ice to try and give the Predators a taste of home.

The Penguins, who led the league in scoring, stressed before Game 1 that the best way to keep the Predators at bay was by taking the puck and spending copious amounts of time around Rinne. It didn't happen, mostly because Nashville's forecheck pinned the Penguins in their own end. Clearing attempts were knocked down or outright swiped, tilting the ice heavily in front of Murray.

Yet Pittsburgh managed to build a quick 3-0 lead anyway thanks to a fortunate bounce and some quick thinking by Penguins video coordinator Andy Saucier. Part of his job title is to alert coach Mike Sullivan when to challenge a call. The moment came 12:47 into the first when P.K. Subban sent a slap shot by Murray that appeared to give the Predators the lead.

Sullivan used his coach's challenge, arguing Nashville forward Filip Forsberg was offside. A lengthy review indicated Forsberg's right skate was in the air as he brought the puck into a zone, a no-no.

It temporarily deflated Nashville and gave the Penguins all the wiggle room they needed to take charge.

Malkin scored on a 5-on-3 15:32 into the first, Sheary made it 2-0 just 65 seconds later and when Nick Bonino's innocent centering pass smacked off Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm's left knee and by Rinne just 17 seconds before the end of the period, Pittsburgh was in full command.

It looked like a repeat of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa, when the Penguins poured in four goals in the first period of a 7-0 rout.

Nashville, unlike the Senators, didn't bail. Instead they rallied.

Ellis scored the first goal by a Predator in a Stanley Cup Final 8:21 into the second. Though Nashville didn't get another one by Murray, they also kept Rinne downright bored at the other end. Pittsburgh didn't manage a shot on net in the second period, the first time it's happened in a playoff game in franchise history.

Nashville kept coming. Sissons beat Murray 10:06 into the third and Gaudreau tied it just after a fruitless Pittsburgh power play.

No matter. The Penguins have become chameleons under Sullivan. They can win with both firepower and precision.

Guentzel slipped one by Rinne with 3:17 to go in regulation and Bonino added an empty netter to give Pittsburgh early control of the series.

Harper, Strickland throw punches in Nationals-Giants brawl


Harper, Strickland throw punches in Nationals-Giants brawl

SAN FRANCISCO - An enraged Bryce Harper charged the mound, fired his helmet and traded punches to the head with San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland after getting hit by a fastball, setting off a wild brawl Monday during the Washington Nationals' 3-0 win over the Giants.

Drilled in the right hip by a 98 mph heater on Strickland's first pitch in the eighth inning with two outs, none on and Washington ahead 2-0, Harper didn't hesitate. The slugger pointed his bat at Strickland, yelled at him and took off.

No one got in Harper's way as he rushed the mound. His eyes were wide as he flung his helmet - it sailed way wide of Strickland, it might've slipped - and they started swinging away. The 6-foot-4 Strickland hit Harper in the face, then they broke apart for a moment before squaring off again. Harper punched Strickland in the head as the benches and bullpen emptied.

Giants teammates Michael Morse and Jeff Samardzija collided hard as they tried to get between the two fighters. Three Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the pack all the way into the dugout, while a teammate held back Harper.

Harper and Strickland were both ejected. They have some history between them - in the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland, and the All-Star outfielder glared at the reliever as he rounded the bases after the second shot in Game 4.