2010: The Year In Sports Stories

<p>The Jets had an incredibly entertaining roller coaster of a year. They started out 2010 making an unlikely playoff run behind rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez and rookie coach Rex Ryan, getting all the way to the AFC Championship game. With expectations raised, fans were treated to a particularly weird off-season, filled with Ryan's middle finger, <a href="">weight-loss surgery</a>, Darrelle Revis' <a href="">holdout</a>, and the endless delights of <em>Hard Knocks.</em> Then during the season, they continued to endure one controversy after another, including <a href="">Locker Roomgate</a>, <a href="">Tripgate</a> and <a href="">Feetgate</a>, amidst last-second victories and a few ugly losses. But despite all the off-the-field distractions, the team is in the playoffs for the second year in a row, and are poised to make another run at a championship.</p>

<p>The Giants started 2010 coming off a bad late-season collapse, missing the playoffs for the first time in five years. It seems that the sting of last season's implosion is still lingering with them, as they've had another up-and-down season marked by injuries and inconsistent play, especially from Eli Manning, who has had the most interceptions of his career. </p>

<p>The Jets and Giants got a new home this year, at New Meadowlands stadium in NJ, which has been so-so according to fans. But even more exciting: NYC will get the <a href="">Super Bowl in 2014</a>! So hopefully the Jets and Giants can actually make Bloomberg's all-NY Super Bowl <a href="">prediction</a> come true.</p>

<p>The basketball world was dominated by LeBron James and <a href="">"The Decision"</a> this year. After flirting with the Knicks, the Nets, and several other major squads when he became a free agent last summer, <a href="">LeBron</a> ultimately decided to take his talents to South Beach, breaking the hearts of Knicks fans (LeBroptimists), and sending the city of Cleveland into a prolonged depression. Considering that they've already started to assert their dominance in the league, he may have made a wise decision teaming up with Wade and Bosh in Miami; but by going about it in the clumsiest possible way, he ensured that he would be enemy #1 in the NBA for the foreseeable future.</p>

<p>Despite losing LeBron James to the Heat, the Knicks were revitalized this offseason by the signing of star Amare Stoudemire, along with an overhaul of their roster which brought in the likes of Raymond Felton. For the first time in nearly a decade, the Knicks are relevant again, with a winning record and a very good shot at the playoffs. </p>

<p>The Nets ended last season with one of the worst records of all time. But they were given new hope when Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokerov finalized his deal to acquire the team, and moved forward with plans to move them to Brooklyn in a few years. They didn't get any big free agents during the summer, nor do they look like they're headed for a winning season this year, but they may just have the foundation for a good a couple seasons.</p>

<p>The city came down with a dangerous case of <a href="">World Cup fever</a> this summer. Led by Landon Donovan, the US squad won Group C, the first time that the US has won its World Cup group since 1930. They lost in the round of 16 to Ghana, and Spain went on to win the tournament. But between the vuvuzelas and Paul the Psychic Octopus, it was certainly one of the most entertaining World Cups in recent memory.</p>

<p>The Mets season was not quiet as entertaining as the World Cup; they had their second consecutive losing season, highlighted by bad pitching, injuries, and <a href="">K-Rod's family feud</a>. This season ended the Omar Minaya/Jerry Manuel era of the Mets. Now, the team has hired new GM <a href="">Sandy Alderson</a> and new manager <a href="">Terry Collins</a> to take them into 2011 and beyond; without much payroll flexibility, it looks like fans will have to settle for the beyond part.</p>

<p>The Yankees started the year very happily, collecting the World Series rings from their 27th championship. And they had a good season in 2010 led by Robinson Cano, finishing first in their division; however, it was the "Year of the Pitcher," and the Yankees pitching faltered as the season wore on. They ran out of steam against the Texas Rangers in the ALCS, falling in <a href="">six games</a>. They've had bad luck in the off-season since, engaging in a public tiff with Derek Jeter during his <a href="">contract negotiation</a>, and getting <a href="">snubbed</a> by ace pitcher Cliff Lee.</p>

<p>The legendary owner of the Yankees, George "The Boss" Steinbrenner, <a href="">died</a> this summer at the age of 80. Under <a href="">Steinbrenner's</a> ownership, the Yankees won 11 pennants and seven World Series titles, and many an eggplant calzone was eaten.</p>