The year 2010 in a time-travelling nutshell

January:

  • Halfway through a NCAA regular season game against Arkansas, 2010 NBA draft lottery lock John Wall completes an alley-oop to himself (off the backboard, no less), causing ESPN analyst Dick Vitale’s larynx to explode on air.
  • The NFC wins the Pro Bowl 24-17, despite Chris Johnson’s best effort and a 98-yard touchdown run.

February:

  • A group of 20 fans shows up in Hawaii expecting to get primo seats for the Pro Bowl. They are mildly disappointed to find the game was played two weeks before in Florida.
  • Because of an overwhelming fan vote, both Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady start in the NBA All-Star game. Assuming it’s 2001 again, Allan Houston shows up in full Knicks gear. He shoots 3 of 9 for seven points.
  • The NHL All-Star game is won by the Eastern Conference, 7-4. Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin finishes the game with three goals, two assists and three rebounds, although nobody quite remembers exactly when those took place.
  • …Or when the game took place amidst the Winter Olympics.
  • After taking some shots from the Blogosphere, Bill Simmons reluctantly shaves his goatee. However, he keeps the mustache and grows a George Parros-like mullet.
  • Finland defeats Canada in overtime to win the gold medal in men’s ice hockey. CTV’s Rod Black yells “Do you believe in miracles?!” seconds after Rick Nash scores the winning goal. Colour commentator Nick Kypreos responds, “That’s actually a pretty good question. Just how would one define the word miracle? When you think of everything that had to happen throughout history for people to survive on this planet, from the oxygen being just so, the planet being just so warm I suppose you could call us miracles, Rod.”

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March:

  • In the first round of the 2010 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, No. 1-seeded Duke is upset 68-65 by Northwestern, on a last-second three by John Shurna. The only person in continental North America whose bracket was not destroyed by the upset is Larry Heard, a Memphis-based musician.
  • The Toronto Raptors float a trade where Chris Bosh and Marcus Banks (as well as their $881,000 trade exception, of course) go to Houston for Tracy McGrady and Joey Dorsey. Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke wholeheartedly approves of the trade, citing McGrady’s “upside potential.”

April:

  • John Wall nearly has a triple-double (23 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists) as Kentucky defeats Villanova in the NCAA Men’s Basketball final, 78-63.
  • Tiger Woods announces he will play in the Masters Tournament. He comes in fifth, with a score of +2. Phil Mickelson wins the tournament with a score of -5.
  • However, Tiger Woods does make a cameo appearance on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. It is widely debated in media circles, but most people agree his topless scene was in good taste.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks finish the season with 50 wins and 113 points, winning the NHL’s Presidents Trophy. They narrowly escape a seven-game first-round series against Phoenix.

May:

  • A filly wins the Kentucky Derby for only the fourth time. It barely makes any headlines, but a copy of William Nack’s 2007 book Ruffian is observed to be shedding tears the next day. That makes headlines.
  • Jamie Moyer wins his 260th game and continues a career that’s lasted longer than half of the blogosphere has been alive.
  • Led, somewhat amazingly, by T-Mac, the Toronto Raptors win a seven-game series against the Orlando Magic and advance to their first conference finals. However, they lose the series to the Miami Heat. McGrady tells Jay Onrait “it’s on me, Jay” after Game Five. Hedo Turkoglu agrees, devours an entire pizza on the post-game show and hands T-Mac the reciept.
  • Los Angeles steamrolls its way through the Western Conference, sweeping three straight series. Marv Albert can hardly believe what he’s seeing.
  • The final episode of Lost airs. It turns out it’s all a crazy daydream of Locke’s autistic son. John Falsey Jr. cries foul.

June

  • The Washington Capitals face the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Finals. Defying all odds, it takes the US by storm as Alexander Ovechkin’s play electrifies fans. Ratings explode, with the national share rising to 8.5. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wakes up from a nap and assumes all credit.
  • During a road trip to the west coast, Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez vanishes for five days. It later turns out he visited a Hare Krishna temple and underwent a religious rebirth. Around the Horn panelist Jay Mariotti’s head explodes live on ESPN.
  • The Lakers defeat the Miami Heat in four games in the NBA Finals. Ho-hum.
  • Brett Favre announces his retirement from the NFL after 19 seasons.
  • Carolina selects Taylor Hall first overall in the NHL Draft.
  • John Wall is drafted first overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wall smiles briefly at the podium, then hits a 15-foot turnaround.
  • Inspired by the success of the reality show Shaq Vs., LeBron James starts his own show, LeBron Takes On. During taping of the first episode, James engages in a dunk contest with Charles Barkley on a rooftop court in Brooklyn. Late in the contest, Barkley unleashes his fabled Chaos Dunk, which causes an explosion that destroys several city blocks. When the dust clears, neither James nor Barkey can be seen; the contest is ruled a draw by celebrity judge Chuck Klosterman. (Ed. note: Nike confiscates all footage).

July:

  • The 2010 World Cup, is won by Germany. Worldwide bratwurst consumption rises by 45 per cent.
  • Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay goes on a tear, winning eight straight starts in a row. However, early in his ninth start, he throws a cutter that breaks in, down and through the space-time continuum and beans Ray Chapman. Major League Baseball suspends Halladay for 25 games.
  • NBA free agency is in full swing. Joe Johnson resigns with Atlanta. Chris Bosh signs with Miami. Dwyane Wade signs with Houston. Still missing, LeBron signs with no team. Brett Favre considers signing with the Phoenix Suns, but decides against it.
  • The National League wins the MLB All-Star game, 5-2. The winning pitcher is Pedro Martinez.
  • After not making an appearance since the Masters, Tiger Woods wins the British Open in a playoff. He credits his win to his new caddy, Mike Sorrentino.

August:

  • The American League East remains competitive, with the Yankees and Red Sox nearly in a dead heat. However, the Baltimore Orioles hold a two-game lead over both teams.
  • Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez shaves his head and begins wearing orange robes to and from games. What this means to the youth of American is discussed for over a week by middle-aged sportswriters on Around the Horn, with no consensus being reached.
  • The NFL Preseason begins. Brett Favre signs a one-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks. The Detroit Lions win their first two games.
  • Vernon Wells hits his 50th home run of the season. He credits the single mom who discovered one simple trick that turned him into a power hitter (and made his teeth whiter too).

September:

  • The NFL’s regular season starts up again. Favre throws two interceptions in his debut. Later that evening, Keith Olbermann tells him to wash off his stink, further making enemies in red states.
  • Shaq continues his reality series Shaq Vs. The final episode has him challenging Takeru Kobayashi to a hot dog eating contest (Shaq loses).
  • Baltimore fades down the stretch, and the Yankees clinch the AL East title in mid-September. Elsewhere, Seattle easily wins the AL West and the Tigers win the Central. However, Baltimore and Boston remain tied for the Wild Card as the month comes to an end.
  • Over in the National League, Philadelphia has a hard time recovering from losing Halladay for 25 games. But in the weak NL East, they still lead the Florida Marlins by two games at the end of the month. The San Francisco Giants win the West, the Cubs win the Central and the Cardinals win the Wild Card.
  • Late in the month, a large metal orb crashes in the southern US. It’s quickly surrounded by media, the US Army and Fox Mulder. After two days, a visibly-aged LeBron James climbs out and is immediately taken to a secure location by the US Army. His story is a long and bizarre tale. He explains that Barkley’s powerful dunk sent him across the galaxy to a planet inhibited by basketball playing aliens; it turns out Michigan’s Fab Five were far more popular than anybody had imagined. Still angry about Webber’s illegal timeout, they forced James to play them in a game of three-on-three. James’ story ends with him jamming over the leader of the aliens with a dunk so ruthless that it literally sucked the gravity out of the venue, sucking the aliens into space (just like the end of Alien, explains James).
  • Andy Murray defeats Andy Roddick 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to win the US Open. It marks the first all-Andy final in sports history.

October:

  • The Seattle Mariners win the AL pennant and face the Giants in the World Series. They lose in six games. Tim Linsecum wins two starts and is named series MVP.
  • By mid-October, only one NFL team is still undefeated: the Cleveland Browns.
  • Merely days before the start of the season LeBron James resigns a two-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • The NHL season gets underway, with an opening night game between Pittsburgh and Washington televised nationally on NBC. It garners a 9.2 rating.
  • After a series of stunning upsets in the SEC, Ohio State becomes the No. 1 ranked college football team in the country. No. 2 UCLA.

November:

  • Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel scores three goals and has four assists against the Ottawa Senators on the 17th. However, the Leafs lose when goaltender Vesa Toskala lets in nine goals.
  • The Toronto Raptors start the season as an exactly average team. They go on a pattern of winning one game, losing the next, then winning again, etc. Most bizarrely, their points for and points against cancel each other out by the end of each week. Nobody is able to explain how this is happening.
  • After starting the season 2-7, the New England Patriots bench Tom Brady.
  • The Phoenix Coyotes are sold to Mexican billionare Emilio Azcrraga Jean. The franchise quickly relocates to Tijuana.

December:

  • As the NCAA football season ends, Boise State is the No. 1-ranked team. They will face LSU in the national title game.
  • An undefeated Ohio State is upset by Michigan in the Big 10 conference championship, 24-13. With no undefeated teams in any major conference, Boise State vaults into the No. 1 spot.
  • NBA rookie John Wall scores 56 points in a game against Phoenix, surpassing Brandon Jenning’s mark from the year before. Jennings shuts down his Twitter account two hours later.
  • The Arecibo Radio Telescope picks up a large, circular object, deep in space, slowly moving towards Earth. When informed, LeBron James goes pale and mutters under his breath. They’re coming for him.

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