Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Year in Review

  As 2014 is quickly approaching, here is a look back at what happened in the sports world in 2013.

10) Goaltending Saga finally comes to a close: Ever since Vancouver lost to the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, rumors circulated that Goaltender Roberto Luongo was going to leave town based on poor play and the emergence of backup Cory Schneider. The only problem was that nobody could afford Luongo's massive contract (12 years, 64 million). With no other option, GM Mike Gillies decided to trade Schneider to the Devils during the draft for a draft pick that became Bo Horvat. Since his departure, Luongo finally has his number 1 spot back in Vancouver.
Luongo and Schneider (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
  9) Impact finally pull through: Although the ending could have gone a lot better, the Montreal Impact in just their second season of existence made the MLS cup playoffs. This happened thanks to the goal scoring brillance of forward Marco Di Vaio as he was second in MLS scoring with 20 goals and great goaltending by MLS veteran Troy Perkins. As mentioned earlier, the ending could have gone better as the Impact stumbled down the stretch going from first place in the Eastern Conference to barely hanging on to the fifth and final playoff spot in the East before losing to the Houston Dynamo in the wild-card round.
  8) Fall from Grace: Oscar Pistorius was considered to be a hero in South Africa. That's due to the fact that he did not let his disability get the better of him when he competed in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England as well as winning medals in other various championships. However, his fall from Grace happened on Valentines Day when he was arrested for murdering his girlfriend model Reeva Steenkamp. He was granted bail and his trail will begin in March 2014.
Oscar Pistorius (Photo: The Canadian Press)
  7) The end of an era: After missing most of the 2012 season with a torn ACL, all time saves leader Mariano Rivera wanted to end his career playing another year. He announced that 2013 would be his final year and every team that the Yankees played against showed their appreciation by giving him mementos. He played his final game on September 26th, 2013 against the Tampa Bay Rays and after being replaced, he saluted the crowd and took what would be his final curtain call. On top of this, his number 42 was retired and now stands as a plaque at Monument Park.

  6) Boston Strong: The 2013 World Series will always have a place in the city of Boston's heart. The year before, their was turmoil as the team was not producing which led to them finishing dead last in the AL East. To better improve their horrible year, the Sox hired John Farrell away from Toronto to manage the team. While they did have a good beginning of the year, they used what happened in the Boston Marathon Bombings to rally the team to help the city. It worked as they beat the St. Louis Cardinals to win their third World Series in ten seasons and first World Series win at Fenway Park since 1918.

  5) An NBA finals to remember: The NBA finals the last year between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs was very entertaining. The first five games were back and fourth but the series will be best remembered for an epic Game 6. The Spurs were leading at one point but after losing his trademark headband, Lebron James went on a complete tear scoring 32 points but Miami would have not won the game if Ray Allen did not nail a three point shot to tie the game up. That was the turning point of the series as the Heat rallied to win Game 6 in overtime and win Game 7 in front of their home fans at American Airlines Arena.

  4) RiderPride: The 101st Grey Cup will forever be remembered for the lovely people of Saskatchewan. Mosaic Stadium was hoisting the game for the third time in Grey Cup history. The Riders wanted to play the big game in front of their home fans. After steamrolling the regular season and playoffs, Ridernation got their wish. Their opponents the Hamilton Tiger-Cats proved no match as the Riders won huge 45-23 with Running Back Kory Sheets winning Most Outstanding Player of the game and Slotback Chris Getzlaf winning the Most Outstanding Canadian.

  3) Tarnished Legacy: At one point, Alex Rodriguez was considered to be one of the best young prospects in MLB. He hardly played a game in the minors and was the youngest player to ever hit 500 home runs in his career. Rumors were also circulating that he would also be the youngest to beat Barry Bonds all time home run record of 762. The only problem is that he has had numerous controversies. They range from signing huge contracts to using performance enhancing drugs. The latter was further examined thanks to the Biogenesis scandal. The new evidence resulted in a 211 game suspension for A-Rod. If the suspension is upheld, he will miss the entire 2014 season and it will be the longest suspension in MLB history without someone being banned from the game.

  2) One last stand: After missing most of the 2012 season due to a tricep injury, Linebacker Ray Lewis came back just in time for the playoffs for the Baltimore Ravens. However he announced right before that he would retire when the playoffs would be over. The Ravens used that as motivation to win their second Superbowl title against the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in a game best remembered for a 34 minute power failure.

  1) Shortened season leads Blackhawks to the cup: The 2012-2013 NHL season was disrupted due to another lockout between the NHL owners and the Players Association. Thankfully a deal was made and their was a 48 game season similar to 1994-1995. The shortened season started with a bang as the Chicago Blackhawks did not lose any game in regulation for 24 consecutive games. It led to a Presidents Trophy win. With an impressive run, they went to the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in four years against another Original Six team, the Boston Bruins. The series was one of the best in recent memory as three of the six games needed overtime along with an epic last minute in which Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds apart to help the Hawks clinch their fifth cup in franchise history.

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