Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

Oh, what an exciting 2013 it was.  Both on the local scene and on the national stage, there were plenty of memories that will not expire as the calendar turns at Midnight.

The Forgettable

Florida Gators Block Each Other:
It was a forgettable year for Florida Gator football.  But, unfortunately, because of this play, the Gators mishaps in the 2013 season will take a long time to forget.  Voted as "Worst-of-the-Worst" on that cable sports channel for weeks after the play occurred, the offensive linemen involved will never live this down.

Who Wants to Catch This Fly Ball?
Zack Wheeler's second career start was less memorable than the first, but he was let off the hook after this zany play where Daniel Murphy should have been out on a fly ball.  The dropped ball gave the Mets life, but Murphy was left stranded.  Chicago would win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning on a solo walk-off homer.

New York Professional Football

It was a forgettable year for professional football in New York.  The two New Jersey teams saw their seasons end without fanfare, as the Giants kicked off the season with six straight losses.  They won five of their next six as they returned to playoff contention in an NFC East where nobody wanted to take a commanding lead, but then back-to-back teams against West Coast teams nailed the coffin shut on their season.

The Jets season began with news that Mark Sanchez would miss a part of the season with a shoulder injury sustained in their preseason game against the New York Giants. This led to Geno Smith being the Jets prime starting QB, and the rookie's inconsistency led to inconsistent results for the Jets, who couldn't win back-to-back games until the final two games of the season.

Like the Jets, the Buffalo Bills started a newly-drafted Quarterback for much of the season in EJ Manuel.  But Manuel's season consisted of three knee injuries, one that took him out of the final two preseason games and made him an uncertainty for the opening game against the New England Patriots, a second during the Thursday Night Football game against the Cleveland  Browns, and a third towards the end of the season.  There were moments where the Bills showed signs of defeating their playoff-less streak, but by the end, the Bills defaulted to old ways, missing the playoffs and finishing last in the AFC East.

Boston Marathon Bombing
On Monday, April 15th, the world was watching Boston as the traditional Patriots Day marathon took place down the city streets.  By 3PM, the world's reason for watching Boston changed after explosions rocked near the finish line.

No longer was it about the race.  It was about finding out who did this, and why.  By that Friday night, that search concluded as police picked up their suspect alive.

The Memorable

Boston Strong:

One of the most forgettable moments of 2013 led to one of the most memorable moments.  Two days after the 2013 Marathon Bombing, the first sporting event to be held in the city of Boston after the attack led to the crowd consuming Rene Rancourt and taking over the singing of the National Anthem before the Boston Bruins home game against the Buffalo Sabres.

It was one of the best crowd performances of the National Anthem, performed in front of a national stage.

From NESN - PARENTAL ADVISORY NOTE: Contains the uncensored profanity.

Three days later, Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz brought another memorable moment post-bombing as he spoke to the crowd during a pregame commemoration, and during his heart-felt speech let out an obscenity live on the air.

Perhaps using the Boston Strong to inspire them, the Boston Red Sox would win the AL East pennant, and then finished off the season with a 4-2 series win against the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series.


It was the farewell tour this season for the last player to done the jersey number 42, Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera.  Through his farewell tour, teams gave him gifts, crowds gave him standing ovations, but one of the best was in the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field when Jim Leyland, not wanting to risk the National League coming from behind to take the lead and voiding any opportunity for Rivera to make it out onto the field, sent Rivera out for the 8th inning following Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline".  Three things made this special: The crowd, the television crew at FOX for letting this air raw without any commentary or graphic, sans the "bug" on the top right corner, and the outpouring of support from players and managers alike.

Section 2: Title Town

How do you top a year where three teams make it to Syracuse's Carrier Dome and two of them win the state championship in Football?  How about a year where FOUR Section 2 teams carry home State Basketball titles (Troy girls, Watervliet, Lake George and Argyle boys), and Section 2 hockey team wins the State Division 1 Hockey championship (Saratoga Springs).  Fort Ann sweeping the baseball and softball titles in Class D, and the Queensbury Spartans coming close, falling in Binghamton in their title chance.  Then in the fall, Burnt Hills came to Glens Falls in an attempt to obtain a Volleyball title, and the Queensbury Cross Country team.  It all culminated in the Queensbury Spartans football team doing something no other team in the local tri-county area had done before, win the state championship in football, and did so in commanding fashion, winning 36-7 over Williamsville North.

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