Well it is now officially 2012, which means a new year for great sports achievements and busts. I’d just like to discuss some of my favorite teams Achievements and Disapointments in 2011.
Chicago Cubs – Clearly I shouldn’t even be mentioning that I’m a Cubs fan while living in the south side of Chicago. But I do have pride! I will admit the Cubbies did suck big time this year, despite the “overwhelming excitement” of signing 1st Baseman Carlos Pena, and the potentional of young Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro. All though they ended up blowing the season, all Cubs fans now have alot of hope for next year (that sounds familiar) after the Ricketts family made Theo Epstein the president of Baseball operations. Theo in less than a month hired a new GM in Jed Hoyer and manager Dale Svuem. Bring us to the promise land Theo!
Chicago Bears – With being NFC champions so close last year, but being beaten by the hillbillies from the north, clearly there was a lot of hope in the 2011 season. I was one of the people who actually stuck with our franchise quarterback Jay Cutler through the injury and everything he went through. Although the season did not start off to hot, my boy Jay got it going after his incident being caught saying to Mike Martz, “Tell him to f**k off” on SNF. After that, the offense took off. Cutler to Bennett, Cutler to Bennett. The old Vandy boys. It was working! With a 5 game win streak under their belt it looked like they were going to win out, and even beat the almighty “Pack.” Sadly, Jay Cutler, contrary to popular belief, being tough, goes to tackle somebody, breaks his thumb on his throwing hand is out for the season. I don’t even want to talk about why we didn’t go to McCown sooner, and why Hanie was even an option. Sure, I had faith in Hanie, but after he played, he sucked, so why not go to Enderle then get McCown? I guess I’ll say it like they do at Wrigleyville. “There’s always next year.”
Chicago Bulls – Where do you start with this one? The only real “disappointment” is that they didn’t beat the big 3 to go to the finals. Derrick Rose is all I have to say. Just watching the man makes you feel like Jordan is on the court again. But the difference is, Rose doesn’t have an attitude problem like Air Douche Bag. Now that the lockout is over, we can cheer on our boy Rose, and the bench mob to the NBA Championship.
New Jersey Devils – The Devils did not start out the season to hot, losing their star Zach Parise to an injury. The greatest goaltender of all time, Marty Brodeur was also hurt. This was not a way to start a season. But after the all star game, The Devils went on a run that was so close to getting them to the playoffs from the bottom of the Atlantic Division, that I was so pumped that they were gonna make it. Sadly it they were to far down though, and couldn’t make it all the way to the top. One of the main reasons is because Zach Parise, who averages over 30 goals per season wasn’t there to give them those 30 goals. Johan “Moose” Hedberg was a solid goaltender in the second half almost taking them to the playoffs. Once again, better luck next year.
Northwestern Wildcats Football – NU had to start out their 2011 season without their Heisman Candidate QB Dan Persa out of Bethlehem, PA. WR Kain Colter took over the job in the season opener against Boston College. NU beat Boston College 24-17 with Kain under center. The season started to have hope, despite not having Danny Persa in the Depth Chart. The defense looked solid, including the secondary, led by senior safety Brian Peters. Next came a non-conference again Eastern Illinois at Ryan Field in Evanston. NU beat up on EIU 42-21. The first half showed no life for the EIU offense, but in the second half, NU’s secondary started to slide, a sight we would see all season. Week 3 NU traveled to New York to play Army, where NU was a huge favorite. Army ended up beating NU 21-14. Week 5. NU played #22 University of Illinois. Northwestern had Dan Persa back in the depth chart and were still underdogs. Northwestern was looking FANTASTIC with Danny back in the QB position. It didn’t even look like the leg injury he suffered at home last year against Iowa was bothering him. NU led 35 – 17 after the 3rd quarter. But, that secondary came back to haunt them, Dan Persa went out injured, and they gave up 21 points in the 4th quarter to lose 35 – 38 to Illinois. NU went on to lose 3 more games to overrated Michigan, Iowa and Penn State. NU got screwed big time on a lot of calls in the Michigan and Penn State games. (Don’t worry, nobody got “screwed” in the Penn State game.) NU then played the bottom of the Big 10, Indian on the road and destroyed them 59-38, with SR. TE Drake Dunsmore catching 4 TD passes. The following week NU was heading into Nebraska to face the new Big Ten members the Huskers. To NU fans, this was our bowl victory. Nebraska was favored so much I’m surprised anybody could believe NU even scored. NU went on to beat Nebraska in a thriller 28-25. NU returned to Ryan field and beat up on non-conference Rice 28-6, then beat Minnesota 28-13 to become bowl eligible. If NU beat MSU the following week at home, they would have played at the New Era Pin Stripe bowl at Yankee Stadium in New york. Sadly they lost 31-17, in a game where the secondary showed its “true colors.” Northwestern got elected to play in the Meineke Car Care bowl in Houston Texas against Texas A&M on New Years Eve. This was the first year I remember where the ESPN analysts actually thought NU was going to win the bowl game. Texas A&M had a lot to play for, being their home stadium very close to the Texans Stadium in Houston, and having one of their Offensive Lineman dying 2 days before Christmas. Apparently that was all the motivation that A&M needed, who beat NU 33-22. This keeping the monkey of not winning a bowl game on NU’s back going for a 63rd year in a row.
As you can see, none of my teams really did to hot, but I really do have hope for next year, because, in the end, I’m always going to have a Cubs fan mentality!
Happy New Year!