Think we can top 2011 sports fans? Going to be tough after the Vipers won another BCHL title and lost in the national Royal Bank Cup, the Bruins finally won another Stanley Cup over the Canucks and Jon (Bones) Jones became the newest UFC superstar.
Oh, and the B.C. Lions claimed the 99th Grey Cup on home turf, turning classy quarterback Travis Lulay into a household name. Sadly, the alumni dinner scrap between 70-somethings Angelo Mosca and Joe Kapp ended up getting more media coverage in the U.S. than the actual game.
The Green Bay Packers took the XLV (you do the math) Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers jerseys quickly out-selling Brett Favre uniforms.
As for fabulous quotes from 2011, let’s go to Steve Rushin of SI.com, who penned: “It was impossible to think of houses and arrests and baseball in 2011 without recalling the man who entered and occupied the Chicago residence of Ken Williams while the White Sox GM was away. The intruder, as the police report took special glee in noting, defrosted a lobster. Police entered with drawn guns. Or at least drawn butter.”
Rory McIlroy, 22, won golf’s U.S. Open by eight strokes, and fell head-over-heels for the top-ranked women’s tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki. To show his affection, McIlroy gave her a lob wedge whose head – but not, alas, whose heel – was engraved with the couple’s self-styled nickname: Wozzilroy.
Then there was Darren Clarke, who hoisted a Guinness in the clubhouse at Royal Sandwich – after his emotional victory in the British Open – a fitting toast to his late wife, Heather.
And from Rushin, again: “(Tim) Tebow the verb, of course, had nothing on Tebow the proper noun, as the Denver Broncos’ quarterback, and his fourth-quarter heroics in Tebow Time, became Twitter’s eternal Trending Topics, the barometer of national buzzwords with which Tim Tebow aptly shares initials.”
My personal sports highlight came in an oldtimers soccer game when I scored top shelf in the first half and then went in goal for the second half and somehow guessed and dove to my left to stop super sniper Joe Jameson of Kelowna on a penalty kick. Will never happen again.
Spending time coaching my sons in hockey and soccer was far more precious and I dread the day those sweet times come to a close.
Anyway, here is my 20th annual wish list for the New Year, things I’d like to see happen in 2012…
n Dave Bolland of the Blackhawks and Colby Armstrong of the Maple Leafs co-host Saturday Night Live.
– Lindsey Vonn hook up with Team Canada track physiotherapist Bob Powls on E-Harmony.
– Vernon’s Chris Baryla find success in Monday PGA qualifiers.
– D-men Geoff Crisfield and Turner Lawson score in the same game for the Vipers.
– Ben Lovejoy of the Penguins find peace and harmony.
– Crime reporter Roger Knox win the Lotto Max.
– LeBron James and the Miami Heat lose in round one of the playoffs.
– Jonathan Toews befriend Jeff Finger on Facebook.
– Tom Kowal referee an NHL playoff game.
– Jeff Parker caddy for Anna Rawson.
– My mom take at least one point off my dad in a set of tennis.
– Charlie Sheen re-join Two And a Half Men.
– Nick Turik buy me an Egg McMuffin.
– Jannik Hansen outscore Alex Ovechkin.
– Colton Yellowhorn of the CHL’s Allen Americans get a one-game trial with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
– My son Nick, 11.8 years, get noticed by the Whitecaps and Oilers.
– Boxer Manny Pacquiao become president of the Phillipines.
– Eric Godard get the call from the Dallas Stars.
– Ryan Nugent-Hopkins win the Calder Trophy.
– The Oilers earn the No. 1 pick in the entry draft…again (sigh).
– The WBC, WBA, IBC and UFC merge with HBO, ESPN, A&W and KFC.
– Odie Lowe teach me how to score more goals on Tuesday nights.
– Former Viper radio broadcaster Shawn Scott propose to Rene Malowany at Sir Winston’s Pub.
– Supermodel Brooklyn Decker marry former Canadian national soccer coach Ian Bridge.
– Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole of TSN and actor Jonah Hill host Monday Night Football.
– Sidney Crosby and Luke Juha of the Vipers get clean bills of health.
– Joey Votto bat .400 for the Reds.
– Mark Ferner’s Everett Silvertips finish ahead of the Seattle Thunderbirds.
– My son Max, 15.4 years, score the winner from the point in the Midget Super League final.
– Justin Bieber play one shift for the Toronto Marlies and then scrap Michael Bublé of the Chicago Wolves.
– Dave (Spider) Specht snap his scoring slump.
– The Hanson Brothers crash Jody Lambert’s Winter Carnival Pee Wee hockey dance pre-party.
– Connor and Kellen Jones share the Hobey Baker award.
– Janelle Smithson sing the national anthem at one of her brother Jerred’s games in Nashville.
– Darin Mundy and Bernie Cole each get two minutes for hooking, holding or slashing.
– My daughter Kristi, 23.4 years, start hanging out with the Oilers again…so I can at least get one of Jordan Eberle’s sticks.
– The Canucks win the Stanley Cup.
– Jose Bautista hit a Joe Carter-like home run and the Blue Jays win the World Series.
– Heart, April Wine, Tom Cochrane and Prism play the Vernon speedway.
– Don Cherry interview Shonn Greene, Daryl Strawberry, the waitresses from the No. 5 Orange and the cast of The Colour Purple.