When the term “Summer of ‘69” comes up, 90 percent of the American population would think of Bryan Adams. As I sit here and write about the summer of twenty-ten, the name that currently defines it is LeBron James.
Many sports stories lit up the news feeds during this past summer, but none more important and potentially generation-changing than the King’s “Decision.” Sure, we won’t know if it truly was this big of a deal until, say, 2014. But as of right now, James was the main story of this past summer, featuring Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Miami truly stole the heat of summer with the signings of arguably the greatest jock during our day; Wade, easily a top-5 NBA player; then Bosh, another All-Star in the prime of his career. The city of Cleveland stood on its toes, anticipating the biggest decision that would affect the City That God Hates for years and years to come. All it took was a simple quote — “I’m gonna take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat” — and instantly, northeastern Ohio went off like a grenade in Iraq.
Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cavaliers, proved to be BOTY (that’s not “Boss” of the Year) as he wrote a letter to the city of Cleveland reminiscent of a third grade girl breaking up with her crush. Agh, and that was only the beginning of July!
It has been the year of the pitcher in baseball, as five no-hitters have been thrown in the majors this season. The modern day record is seven in a season (in both 1990 and 1991), but if you really want to get into it, the pitchers should be going on tying that record.
That number, five, will have a major asterisk over it for as long as it takes the MLB to award Armanda Galarraga his perfect game. The Detroit Tigers pitcher went 8 and 2/3 innings of bring ‘em up, sit ‘em down against the Cleveland Indians.
Twenty-six straight batters were retired, but with the potential last out of the game, first base umpire Jim Joyce called the base runner safe as Galarraga raced towards the bag in an effort to reach it first. When looking at the replay, it is clear that the runner is out and the potential 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history should be awarded to Galarraga.
Just four days prior, Roy Halladay of the Phillies pitched a perfect game, and just twenty days prior to that, Dallas Braden threw a perfect game for the Oakland Athletics. This had marked the first time in history that two perfect games were thrown during the same season, let alone the same month. Can you imagine what it would have been like if Bud Selig would have done the right thing and overturned the call to award the third perfect game in the matter of a month?
But no. Good ol’ Bud is still the worst commissioner in sports and again, old timers and baseball enthusiasts are slowly ruining history by not implementing instant replay to the sport. Wake up, people. It’s 2010. If we have the technology to minimize such errors by guaranteeing the right call and deserved victor, then by all means, do it.
Another pitching prodigy surfaced and sunk faster than Shaq off a diving board. The Washington Nationals’ rookie sensation, Stephen Strasburg, proved to be worth the hype as he set a Major League record with 32 strikeouts in his first three starts. Sadly, his career will be temporarily paused as he awaits Tommy John surgery on his elbow, which will require up to 18 months of rehab.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Blackhawks won championships in their respective sports. As LeBron ducked out of the playoffs yet again, Kobe all but guaranteed his place as still the greatest in the game. With his fifth ring, he is one shy of His Airness. Chicago ended its NHL championship drought and beat the Philadelphia Flyers in an exhilarating seven-game series. It was their first Stanley Cup since 1961.
Tiger climbed out of bed, but also came back to earth. Brett Favre played diva again and held the whole entire football world hostage again, and a loud-mouth wide receiver joined forces with another prima donna in Cincinnati. Sadly, it also marks the first time in NFL history both starting wide receivers on one team have two separate reality television shows… about themselves.
Perhaps the greatest event in the world — the World Cup — captured the summer of 2010. Sure, soccer isn’t that big in the States, but the US did have a nice run and the country as a whole seemed to be a tad bit more into it than before. Spain and the Netherlands battled it out for the title, with Spain coming out on top for their first World Cup.
If anything, it proved to the most powerful country in the world — the United States — that we do not rule the world of sports. No, the World Cup proved that no one is bigger than the world’s game. No sport captivates a country more so than soccer. It’s to the point that if the United States would have won, we wouldn’t even have known what we had won. As a country, we do not deserve the World Cup. Until we, as a society, have a greater appreciation for the game, then we can call ourselves ready for the World Cup, and summer’s No. 1 event.
Maybe by 2014, whoever is writing the national sports columns for the Daily Kent Stater can have that to write about. Or, of course, a third straight ring for LeBron.