Don’t Let The Door Hit You, 2010

December 30

OK, I’ll make this quick. Top Ten lists are such a cliche. Not being one to shy away from a cliche, I offer the following Top 10 local stories of 2010:

1. Giants Win World Series … Duh … the only story that could upstage the SaberCats’ return.

2. Mike Singletary Canned … and Jed York will hire a GM. Growing pains.

3. Stanford reaches top 5, Luck is Heisman runner-up, and it’s good to be Jim Harbaugh.

4. Dallas Braden Mother’s Day perfect game. Shout-out to the 209.

5. Warriors sold to Lacob and Guber. The Audacity of Hope.

6. Graeme McDowell wins US Open at Pebble as Dustin implodes, Tiger falls short.

7. Stanford women’s hoops beating UConn. Yes, women’s basketball is still unwatchable compared to the men’s game but anytime you snap someone’s 90 game winning streak, it’s an accomplishment.

8. Sharks reach Western Conference finals, are then swept. Baby steps.

9. St. Mary’s Sweet 16 run. Mr. Samhan parlays it into a trip to the Baltic Coast.

10. Nellie breaks NBA coaching wins record. Yay. Then he’s let go. Yay.

My personal favorite moments of the year …

— My son and I being part of 44-thousand singing Journey’s “Lights” all at once during Game 2 of the World Series.

— Wading through young, slightly drunk Irish fans celebrating McDowell’s win at #18 at Pebble. “Olay, Olay Olay Olay! ”

— Antonio Cromartie trying to remember the names and ages of his kids on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” I think he had four three-year-old kids. 2006 must have been a VERY good year.

— Getting a chance to write for a compilation in tribute to John Wooden. He left us just shy of his 100th birthday, a teacher first and foremost.

— Making friends with the people of Hayfield, Minnesota after a sad, unfortunate circumstance — witnessing the death of one of their City Councilmen while in Maui.

— Taking up golf for the first time in years, breaking 100, and then breaking 95.

Looking back at our 2010 predictions, these came true:

— 3D TV made an impact, but it’s not mainstream … Lebron still does not have a ring … Saints won the Super Bowl, Lakers beat the Celtics in the NBA finals … Blackhawks won Stanley Cup ( well, they were one of my three favorites ) …

— The one prediction on which I really whiffed: the Bay Area would go without a major sports champion once again. Never been so glad to strike out.

— What to look for in 2011:

— Lockout will become one of the most often-used words. I still can’t believe the NFL will kill the goose that lays the golden egg, but if there’s a lockout, it won’t last into September. The NBA stands a better chance of losing games.

— Tiger wins a major. I predicted two last year, so take that with a grain of salt, but the PGA Tour is praying I’m right this time around. I think he will come through, but his era of dominance is over.

— LeBron will still not have a ring.

— The loaded Phillies beat the Giants in the NLCS, then lose to the loaded Red Sox in the World Series.

— The first $30 million-a-year player in the major leagues is … Albert Pujols.

— Spurs beat the Celtics for the NBA title. Penguins win the Stanley Cup, and the Sharks are knocked out in the second round.

— Patriots beat the Falcons in Super Bowl 45.

— Antonio Cromartie will have another kid.

— We’ll see more signs in the stands like the one this fan sported at the Outback Bowl: “The Guy Behind Me Can’t See.”

— The BCS will continue to be the single greatest abomination in sports.

— I will break 90. Or give up golf.

— Jim Harbaugh leaves Stanford for … ( heh heh heh ) …

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