It is that time of year to re-cap what has happened in the sports world in 2011. Although you may not agree with some of the items here, or have your own “Top 10” Here is the Johnny Goodman Top 10 Sports Stories of 2011.

10. Tattoogate Hits the Buckeye State. What seems like forever ago, and now pales in comparison to other stories from other universities in the Top 10, the trading hardware and gifts for ink and ultimately the suspension of many players, the early exit to the NFL of the star quarterback, and the ultimate release of Head Coach Jim Tressell. By the way Jimmy we are all still awaiting that apology admitting you knowingly covered everything up.
9. The NFL Lockout – This had fantasy football freaks everywhere scrambling at the last minute to get their draft lists together. Fortunately the grid ironers got their act together and got us a season. Frankly it is difficult to remember that there even was a lockout, unlike …
8. The NBA Lockout – The season is not yet underway and this just has the dust settling. Of course there is also some animosity amongst teams in the league for the handling of the Chris Paul trade that at first was negated and then approved to another team. Bottom line, this isn’t higher on the list because does anyone really care anymore about the NBA?
7. Dan Wheldon – Wheldon suffered fatal injuries just 12 laps into the season finale race held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where a massive 15 car crash occurred. Wheldon’s car was thrown air-born and he impacted with the fence that surrounds the racetrack.
6. Packers and Cardinals Win! – Both of these storied franchises eke into the playoffs due to a hot run down the stretch and some collapses by teams in front of them. They take the hard road through the playoffs and end up winning world championships.
5. Pujols Signs with Angels – Still not sure how the King of Beers boys let Prince Albert leave town. He was the most significant face of the franchise since Stan the Man (my apologies to Ozzie Smith, but I’m just sayin’). Hopefully the Rally Monkey will figure out ways to pay off the huge contract over the next 10 years.
4. Golf’s changing of the Guard – I will get arguments here, but golf had a very successful year in spite of ZERO wins by Tiger Woods (you cannot count winning his own charity golf tourney here recently). A new slug of youngsters on both the Men’s and Women’s tour including Rickie Fowler & Alexis Thompson, the dominance of the Northern Irelander’s, – Stevie Williams Gate – Yani Tseng’s dominance on the LPGA and Mickelson’s election into the World Golf Hall of Fame. None on their own merits are huge stories, but for golf overall, it will be an exciting 2012 on many fronts.
3. Tebow Time! – No one athlete since Tiger Woods captured all of golf in 1997 has had such an impact on their sport. His jersey is the number one seller in the NFL. He has led countless comebacks as of late. He can’t throw a lick, but he wins a lot of games. It appears that all of the fans are right about him.
2. Major Conference Realignment – First the Buffaloes and the Cornhuskers left the Big XII. Then A&M decides to bolt, enter in tons of leagues scrambling to attract teams, a multitude of teams and conference commissioners moving from one end of the spectrum to another. No more regional conferences as some teams will be putting on some serious frequent flier miles with their new conference opponents. The shake-up has just started and is not close to over. It will be interesting to see what else happens next year.
1. Penn State- Not even sure how to comment on this other than, it seems like we have just scratched the surface here, and all bets are that this is going to get a whole lot worse before it starts to look any better in Happy Valley.

Until Next Time….Stay Classy Sergeant Bluff, Iowa.

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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