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The Sun's top sports memories of 2010

The sports we love are always there, buzzing through each day of every year.

We follow the monotonous parts because we care so much. As fans, it all matters: the catcher's achy hamstring, the left tackle's struggles to not jump early, the point guard's troubling penchant for off-balance shots. These developments feed into the larger narratives we follow. Coaches are fired and free agents are signed. These things weave together to make the seasons we follow, and those stack one on top of the other to make the years of our lives.

All along, we wait. We wait for those stories that come roaring off the page and grab us and shake us and let us know immediately that we won't be able to forget them; that, instead, we will mark time by them.

These are the stories that did that for The Baltimore Sun sports staff this year.

  • Top sports memories

    Top sports memories

  • A memory that won't fade

    A memory that won't fade

    Everything seemed to be breaking right for the Terps. Until, suddenly, it wasn't. Maryland's men basketball players, led by Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Greivis Vasquez, sat on folding chairs in their tiny dressing room at Spokane (Wash.) Arena as they were about to practice for...

  • When Williams almost smiled

    When Williams almost smiled

    There is nothing in sports more entertaining than watching Gary Williams work the sideline at a big game. This one fit the bill: Maryland against Duke on a cold March evening, first place in the ACC on the line, a full house at Comcast Center ready to explode in anticipation. The long-time Terps...

  • Unexpected reunion

    Unexpected reunion

    Writing the daily Oriole notebook -- a hodgepodge of team updates, personnel news and injury reports -- can become monotonous on the best of days. On nights when you are by yourself on the road and you face tight deadlines, it often falls into the survive-and-advance category. So when a notebook...

  • Again? Yes

    Again? Yes

    Sometimes when you watch a high school sporting event, you just know you will never see anything like it again. That's what I said after watching Jess Harlee's incredible individual performance in leading Fallston to a state girls basketball championship in 2009. Then came 2010. Harlee, who now...

  • Terps lacrosse resurgence

    Terps lacrosse resurgence

    When I began covering college women's lacrosse, Maryland owned the sport. The Terrapins were in the process of winning seven straight NCAA championships and I watched them win the last five, including a thrilling 14-13 overtime win against Georgetown in 2001. After that, the Terps fell off the...

  • The dunk that rocked Baltimore

    The dunk that rocked Baltimore

    Much of the early buzz in the 2009-10 boys basketball season was directed toward a freshman point guard at Patterson. All I kept hearing was how incredible this kid was and that he was all of 5-feet-6 and 155 pounds. His early numbers backed it up, so I went to see for myself. Lake Clifton was...

  • Flacco's evolution on display

    Flacco's evolution on display

    When I think of the 2010 season for the Ravens, the special moment was Joe Flacco's comeback in Pittsburgh. If Flacco develops into an elite quarterback, I will look back at the last minute of this game as his first defining moment. Sure, Flacco has won playoff games. He has thrown big touchdown...

  • Playing for his brother

    Playing for his brother

    Ryan Rivers left town last spring, determined to make it to the big leagues. He said he owed it to his big brother, Neil, who was murdered in 2006 outside his family's Essex home during a botched robbery. Never mind that Rivers was a 35th round pick of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2010...

  • The upset that wasn't

    The upset that wasn't

    Since my colleagues can elaborate on the Ravens, I'll offer up some memories from this past college lacrosse season. Maryland's return to prominence was uplifting, while downturns for Johns Hopkins and Navy (in the eyes of those respective programs) were somewhat surprising. A contract extension...

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