What a year, eh friends? All that stuff happened, right? I mean can you believe all that stuff? As we close the book on 2008, we undoubtedly look back upon the roller coaster of the last 365 fondly. Sure, we had our ups and downs, but it looks like we made it. And before we usher in a new 2009, with all the glory that accompanies it, NTKW thought today we’d take a look back at some of the greatest sports moments of the last go-round. While the majority of NTKW’s Year of the Rat was spent in a drunken stupor, we did manage to catch a few fantastic moments (thanks TiVo!)…and now, Need-to-Know is proud to bring you a few of those moments. Behold, and revel in, the year that was:
- Super Bowl XLII:
Finally, Patriots fans everywhere had to shut their damn mouths for one second as the underdog New York Giants pull out an upset to take them down in one of the most memorable Super Bowls in history, creating more undeserved hype for Eli Manning, earning Plaxico Burress the extra cash he needed for that gun he’s always wanted to keep on his hip, and ensuring that we’ll never be able to stop looking at Michael Strahan on television.
- Kansas over Memphis:
A truly rollicking NCAA tourney comes to a close in the April conclusion of the Big Dance, where the Chalmers-led Kansas Jayhawks exposed the achilles heel of the Memphis Tigers, forcing them to shoot foul shots they were never going to make (should’ve listened in December, Calipari). Thus the ‘Hawks roll on to a 75-68 final over a team that somehow, even with more arrests than Altamont, has come to be viewed as a team of “good kids” in an effort for the press to make some kind of story out of the matchup.
- Yes, okay. We love you Brett Favre. You’re awesome. Now please go away:
In one of the greatest acts of legend-sabotaging in history, vet Packers QB decides that 800 teary retirement montages isn’t enough, and decides to monopolize every sports outlet in the world by deciding to come back, only not to the Packers, and with a lackluster year. Did you guys miss this story? That’s cool. Looks like you’ll get it again in ’09!
- Beijing ’08:
Mutant fish-man Michael Phelps swims around and gets 8 gold medals, beast-monster Usain Bolt runs really fast, and also there was some gymnastics stuff. But that rain-soaked women’s beach volleyball final was the moment to remember. Thanks, nasty Chinese weather, for making it the best Olympics ever!
- Boston gets happy again:
Because it wouldn’t adhere to the order of the universe not to have something Boston fans can keep yammering about, the underdog Celtics bring down the Los Angeles Lakers in a bout that wasn’t as much about raw basketball skill as it was proof that karma exists (I’m looking at you, Kobe).
- Philly finally wins something:
October Magic at its best: the Tampa Bay Rays’ 8 fans mystically grow to stadium-filling capacity, but it’s all for naught as the Philadelphia Phillies finish off the Rays in a weird, three-inning pick-me-up after a prior rain delay. Philadelphia’s joy is short-lived at only three seconds, as the final strike is punctuated moments later by behemoth slugger Ryan Howard rushing the mound only to crush and kill pitching ace Brad Lidge.
- Go get ’em, Tiger:
A one-legged, hobbled Tiger Woods defeats Rocco Mediate to take the U.S. Open victory at Torrey Pines in an 18-hole playoff, which sounds impressive until I tell you that the other night I defeated Tiger Woods, on my PS3, with one dry contact lens and eating a steak chalupa. Still impressed, public? I didn’t think so.
- Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer:
Two really good tennis players played in a tournament. I think Nadal won. There was a trophy involved, I saw a picture. I don’t really watch tennis, so you can google this one yourself.
Now that we’ve purged ourselves, we can wipe the slate and ready ourselves for the new year. On a personal side note, I’d like to echo Matt’s Christmas sentiments and say that I couldn’t be prouder to have worked alongside such fantastic friends and colleagues on this site this past year, and the same goes for you guys — we really appreciate the fact that you guys keep reading, you all make this site what it is and we look forward to bringing you more in 2009. That includes more that you’ll need-to-know, whether you like it or not, because I’d never leave you hanging.
Happy new year, friends.