A Year of Confusion for Sports

Scandals, strikes, and uproar from the fans seem to highlight at sports year that was noted more for problems away from the game

By Bill Remeika

Somewhere between the Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl back in January and the Indiana Hoosiers upsetting the then number one rated team in college basketball in December, the sports world this year has been noted more for what has happened off the court and field. Scandals, improper conduct, and strikes highlight the 2011 year, a year that most would like to forget.

I am sure this year hasn’t really been that much different from other years, but so much of the off field stuff has seemingly left such a black cloud over the sports world. No one in their right mind would have thought a scandal like the one at Penn State would bring down a coach and almost cripple a university. Then just days later, another episode of can you believe this story hits Syracuse with another top assistant coach accused of sexual misconduct.

But how about the events that unfolded right after the Super Bowl; a work stoppage from the NFL and players that most thought would last about a month or so. Boy, how wrong we were to think that. Just days before training camp there was finally a resolution in place to get back to the game but for Indianapolis Colts fans, the year might have well been cancelled after learning that star quarterback Peyton Manning would have a neck injury which would become a pain in the tush for everyone else.

And just when it seemed like things couldn’t get any worse auto racing fans had to deal with the death of Dan Wheldon at an event that probably should have never happened.

So while 2011 seems like a mere blur in the grand scheme of life, there was a lot of good that did happen.

Butler making it back to the Final Four Championship game probably was our biggest highlight locally, but also the Indiana Pacers finally collecting themselves and backing their way into the playoffs gave us fans reason to believe the “glory days” might be making a comeback.

Of course the early season successes of both IU, Purdue and even Butler have helped us realize that March Madness might be even more special in 2012.

Major props to Tony Stewart for winning the final race of The Chase in NASCAR as he hooked up with Carl Edwards in what has to be considered now a classic duel.

So while we put a end to this year and all of the problems that seemingly haunted us from January 1 to now, there was a lot of good and there are better days ahead. Maybe this upcoming year we will see championship banners raised again at IU and at the Fieldhouse in downtown with the Pacers and Fever. Hopefully fans will also remember the Indianapolis Ice and Indianapolis Indians and all the great games they have given us. Judging by their success from 2011 I am sure it will continue.

I work in the media where we tend to over analyze everything so much that the newness of the story seems to be just another run of the mill segment. Too often we dwell on the bad stuff because it seems like that is supposed to have the most mass appeal. I beg to differ. We know as fans we have to look at the other side of the coin which can sometimes be like looking into a dark hole with no ending. But after awhile we want out. We look for something good, so hence when there are stories like Tim Tebow leading his team to victory we are drawn to it. Does it hold our interest like the doom and gloom stuff? Not always, but I am finding out that more people are willing to stick around for the good stories and events, much like the upcoming Super Bowl in February in Indianapolis. I believe in 2012 we will have a lot more good show up in the headlines making 2011 seem just like a dream. Let’s hope I am right.




Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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