2009 had it all when it came to sports. New heroes emerged from obscurity and some legends passed away. Familiar powerhouses claimed the spotlight once again and underdogs beat the odds to become champions. Sports fans cried, laughed, yelled and cheered throughout the year, and now they are preparing to do it all over again. 2010 has the potential to turn the sporting world upside-down forever.
The Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight needs to happen for some big important reasons. First, if both opponents put on a display that they are capable of, it will prove that the sport of boxing is not dead. Professional boxing has become more and more pathetic in the last few decades (Mike Tyson, for example). A fight that displays the two best pound for pound fighters in the world might be enough to get people to follow the sport that was deemed the sweet science and is one of the oldest sports in the entire world.
The sport that replaced boxing as the most popular fighting spectacle will also see if it can sustain the popularity it has attracted in the last few years. Mixed Martial Arts is without a doubt the fastest rising sport today. It has gone from being seen on sporting channels late in the night to huge Pay-Per-View and reality training shows. The question is whether MMA will able to keep the interest up with spectators. Is Ultimate Fighting Championship, the main US MMA organization, just a fad that will fade away and go bankrupt? UFC’s biggest and most controversial star, Brock Lesnar, might never fight again.
The United States’ faltering economy is hurting the sports world like no other. With people losing their jobs and rationing out how they spend their limited funds, there is no way people can afford to spend over $100 for one NBA ticket. Stadium and arena prices are outrageously high and not fan friendly. It would be nice if owners realized that they should help out the people who keep them wealthy. Also, will athletes’ salaries keep rising to incredible amounts? The real world is struggling to get paid, but athletes are making more and more money each year in every sport. It is hard to understand how someone can make $25 million a year for playing a game.
2009 was rocked by scandals and tragedies. Major League Baseball took a serious beating from the names revealed by the government of players that took performance-enhancing drugs. The Manny Ramirez suspension hurt baseball’s credibility in a drastic way. Athletes who had a profound effect on the sports they played lost their lives. The biggest scandal of 2009 came in the latter part of the year, but was it a doozy. Seemingly untouchable golden boy Tiger Woods crashed his car under strange circumstances. It then surfaced that he was having an affair. The world’s most well-known athlete had the biggest fall from grace that anyone had ever witnessed. 2010 will be all about how Tiger rebounds and if he can get the public support back behind him. The world is short on heroes and role models right now. Tiger needs to redeem himself like all other athletes that have soiled their name and that of sportsmanship.
Here’s to you, 2009. You were truly a year that had its ups and downs. Now, you’re restricted to the history books. Here’s to hoping 2010 will improve on what we’ve already witnessed.