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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

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