Monday, July 5, 2010

A Banner Year

Remember way back in March when I shared my little secret that sometimes I post a blog entry for very selfish reasons and that that the topic probably won't appeal to anyone. This is one of those posts.

But I had to reflect on what kind of year my favorite sports teams have had during the 2009-2010 seasons.

My old high school alma mater got things kicked off in a big way in the end of 2009. In Kentucky, basketball is king, but in my hometown, we love football (the American kind), and our high school is always among the best in the Commonwealth. This probably has something to do with being so close to Ohio and Cincinnati which has several high school football powerhouses. In 2009, the mighty Bluebirds, one of the weakest mascots in the history of football, knocked off a Cincinnati school for the first time in history, went 15-0, won the state championship, and finished the year ranked in the top 10 nationally in several polls.

During that same stretch, my other alma mater, Ohio University, made its way to the fifth bowl game in school history while also winning more games than any other season. However, the Bobcats came up a little short in winning their first bowl game. It is worth adding that while I was at Ohio, during three of the four years there, they won a total of five games.

You know you are having a great year whenever the Bengals make the playoffs. This was one of the historically bad franchises in all of professional sports in the 1990s. In 1988, the Bengals lost in the Super Bowl. A few years later in 1991, they broke Bo Jackson's leg in the playoffs, and then didn't put together a winning campaign until 2005. We called them the Bungles. In 2009-10, they beat the Browns and Steelers twice and got to the playoffs before losing the first game. Baby steps.

I've already discussed the successes of my college basketball teams, so I won't go into too much detail here. Ohio University made an improbable run to make it to the NCAA tournament and knock out the much higher seeded Georgetown, which was extra nice being surrounded by Georgetown fans. Also, this was the first time the OU football team and basketball team made a bowl game and the NCAA tournament during the same school year in OU's history. And the University of Kentucky had a strong bounce back year making it to the Elite Eight for the first time in several years, had the school's first number one overall pick in the NBA draft, and became the first school to have five players picked in the first round of the draft.

Finally, we have baseball. While not one of my hometown teams yet, the Hermosillo Naranjeros won their championship. Plus they have a very cool mascot that will be easy to cheer for. And as of this writing, the Cincinnati Reds are in first place of the National League Central and are making a strong push for their first playoff appearance since 2000 when they had a one-game playoff with the Mets to make the actual playoffs. At the very least, the Reds are in good shape to have their first winning record since 2000.

And if you want, you could throw in the U.S. and Mexican World Cup teams, which both did very well.

It has been a great year in deed for my sports teams.

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