2007. A year that has brought us so much with its variety of stories, tragedies, and triumphs. As 2008 rings the door bell, like last year (2006 Year in Review), let's delve into the year that was 2007 before showing it the back door.
Crucial Moment of the Year: Virginia Tech Shootings
April 16,2007 was a grim day for the United States as a sick, disturbed English major murdered 32 students before turning the gun on himself. Besides the loss of these students, the nation was awakened to the possibilities of psychologically disturbed individuals, and the precious value and unpredictability of life.
World Affairs Issue of the Year: Death of Benazir Bhutto
Shortly before the end of 2007, the world heard the news of the death of Pakistani President Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto's death now leaves Pakistan without its leader, up in arms in more chaos, and vulnerable to various extremists.
Inspirational Story of the Year: Virginia Tech Recovery
Following the biggest school mass shooting in American History, we were all overwhelmed as a university and community were helped by a nation to overcome this tragedy. For a period, "We were all Hokies."
Random Story of the Year: Minnesota Bridge Collapse
On August 1st, 2007, the story of a bridge collapsing caught us all by surprise. The tragedy killed 13, and allowed many state Department of Transportation agencies to begin looking into bridge and highway inspections in a serious matter.
Honorable Mention - Chris Benoit Tragedy
Most Controversial Story of the Year: The Jena 6
A very controversial and emotional story of six African-American children harshly sentenced to jail time in small town Jena, Louisiana for the beating of a white student that hung a noose from a tree. An example of injustice and an awakening that the mindset of the 1960's still exists. If you don't know about this, get in the know (The Jena 6: A Past Resurrects itself...or does it?)
Most Overrated Story of the Year: Paris Hilton in Jail Saga
This story which seemed to have updates every twelve hours became a life of its own. Why this story had any bearing on anyone is beyond me. Overrated and useless.
Honorable Mention - Anna Nicole Smith's Death, OJ Simpson's Book, and The Sopranos ending.
Invention of the Year: iPhone
Any gadget that has a nation camping out for days before its release is definitely worthy of this award. Add in its abilities for communication and entertainment, and it is a lock.
Honorable Mention - Nintendo Wii
Comeback of the Year: Alex Rodriguez
Now many might say he never slumped in performance, and that is true. However, A-Rod managed to resurrect what was a dying image in New York and throughout the nation. He further took steps this winter by admitting the handling of his contract situation was wrong by taking responsibility and action.
"Wishing Well" Award of the Year: New Management for the New York Knicks
No story needed for this one. Any New Yorker, heck, anyone will tell you that the current management for basketball's most worthy franchise has the combined IQ of a soap dish.
"Just Go Away" Award of the Year: Britney Spears
A two time winner and probably the only thing she has done right over the last two years. Just Go away. And please take your sister with you.
Honorable mention - Lindsay Lohan
"What Were You Thinking?" Award of the Year: Michael Vick
Probably the biggest fall of an athlete and well-known figure in years (Vick Falls Like No Other). Why a person of his stature needed to participate in an activity such as dog fighting is beyond me. Cultural or not.
"What a Shame" Award of the Year: Barry Bonds and the All-Time Homerun Record
762 Homeruns. Yet, we cannot celebrate, appreciate, or commemorate because we have performance enhancing drugs and overly critical people. Just a shame.
Biggest Letdown of the Year: 2007 United States Women's Soccer Team
Undeniably, the greatest team no one has ever heard of. Undefeated for four years. Unfortunately, a decision to switch their goalie in the semi-finals cost them the cup and probably huge story for women athletics. Good lesson in "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Honorable Mention - New York Mets
"Welcome to the Scene" Award of the Year: City of Boston
Boston Red Sox; World Series Champions. New England Patriots; 16-0. Boston Celtics; Best record in NBA. Life could not be worst for New Yorkers as New Englanders settle into a winning feeling they rarely experience.
Honorable Mention - Joba Chamberlain
"This Should Have Been Done Before" Award of the Year: Writers Guild Strike of America.
Now, the many that rely on the stupid box for their weekly entertainment and "must-see" programming must be pondering why should this strike have happened earlier. Well, as an individual that appreciates good writing and creative thinking, the writers guild of America have every right to demand for more royalties and luxuries. They deserve it, and now that is more apparent than ever.
"We Need to Fix This" Award of the Year: Homeowner Market and Mortgage Crisis
With the Homeowner market in shambles, a freeze on mortgage rates, and thousands expected to lose their homes in foreclosure in the coming years, the next president will have a huge problem ahead of him (or her).
Honorable Mention - American Economy and Performance Enhancing Drugs.
Idiot of the Year: James Dolan
The owner of the New York Knicks that refuses to recognize the mess that he created at the Garden with his failure to fire Isiah Thomas and other management. (Embarrassing - The State of The New York Knickerbockers)
Dome Pondering Person of the Year: Every American Soldier
With other international and domestic problems arising, our armed forces and military that remain in Iraq who are risking their lives for freedom and democracy have taken a backseat. Their work is priceless and immeasurable.
Fighter of the Year: Floyd Mayweather
How ironic that the man that called mix-martial arts a "fad" wins this award in what sometimes seems as a dying sport? Nonetheless, Mayweather brought the sport alive and dominated in two of the year's biggest fights by defeating Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.
Honorable Mention - Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Pay Per View Event of the Year: TNA Bound For Glory
An event that was great from top to bottom. Exposing TNA potential for greatness, and how it is hindered by its sometimes flawed creative team.
Honorable Mention - ROH Driven, UFC 79, and Wrestlemania 23.
Match of the Year: ROH Driven - Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness
Hands down the best match of 2007. A slug fest that saw every style of wrestling wrapped up into one match that would have any viewer locked in from start to end. If you have not seen it, you need to.
Honorable Mention - TNA Bound For Glory - Ultimate X Match - LAX vs.Triple X, WWE Royal Rumble - 2007 Royal Rumble Match, and Raw - 57 minute Spectacular- John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels.
Tag Team of the Year: The Briscoe Brothers (ROH)
A tag Team that emerged onto the scene in 2007 and proved that they have been overlooked by the other companies in the wrestling industry. From their match against Matt Sydal and Claudio Castagnolli at ROH Respect is Earned and their latest internet crazed fued with El Generico and Kevin Steen that culminated in an awesome ladder match at ROH Man Up, the Brisoces have proven they earn this year's top honor.
Honorable Mention - Team 3D, LAX, El Generico and Kevin Steene.
Wrestler of the Year: Bryan Danielson (ROH)
It seems this year despite being the number three company in the United States, Ring of Honor has swept the awards in 2007. Bryan Danielson has put on stellar matches throughout the year that I am sure can be found in any highlight on Youtube. Danielson/McGuinness and Danielson/Morishima are amongst his best of 2007.
Honorable Mention - Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels.
Sports Event of the Year: AFC Championship - New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts
In an epic encounter which finally saw Peyton Manning and the Colts finally knock off the vaunted Pats, we also saw a continuation of what has become the biggest and most anticipated rivalry in the National Football League.
Honorable Mention - NBA Playoffs - Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs; Flloyd Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya; Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Team of the Year: New England Patriots
How can you argue with a team that has done nothing but win, win, and well, win.
Honorable Mention - San Antonio Spurs
Sportsman of the Year: Tom Brady
As the leader of the New England Patriots, Brady has become almost iconic for being a winner, a leader, and the most poised athlete on and off the field of competition.
Predictions for 2008
As it is true that no one can look into the future, one can make assumptions and predictions for the coming year. With that said, 2008 looks like it may bring us a huge upset, as NFC Champion Packers defeat the New England Patriots, 38-35 in the Super Bowl. Bret Favre is named MVP, and plays the game of his life, becoming a national hero for his General Patten-like leadership and good ol' American Apple pie personality.
Of course, this will be after LSU defeats Ohio State in the National Title game 41-37.
That win will be the only thing positive in, LSU alum, Shaquille O'neal's life, as a large rift comes between him and once favored coach, Pat Riley. Pat Riley eventually fires himself as coach, heads back to the front office until the team is good enough again, to come down and "lead" them to a NBA Title run.
Gary Payton signs with the Celtics in March.
Memphis wins the NCAA National Title. Derrick Rose becomes ESPN's latest lovechild.
The New York Knicks win only 29 games for the season, causing James Dolan to cave on his game of "chicken" with Isiah, firing him as GM and President. Dolan seeks new position for Isiah within organization before Charles Dolan reclaims helm of New York Knicks, New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden. Overhaul of management is made before beginning of off-season.
Kobe Bryant wins MVP of the NBA, as Maverick Fans give Dirk Nowitzki the A-Rod treatment after another sub-par performance in Playoffs and another early exit.
Speaking of A-Rod, Baseball season opens up with another hot month for A-Rod. Fans decide to make money off of A-Rod by agreeing to a five-month contract to unconditionally cheer him.
The NBA Finals sees San Antonio Spurs defeat the Boston Celtics in six games. Tim Duncan is named MVP. Karl Malone, desperate for a NBA title, comes out of retirement believing he is the missing piece to the Boston Celtics.
In June, Bonds is found not guilty on perjury charges. The masses search for jay-walking and traffic ticket violations to indict Bonds. Angels surprise baseball world and signs Bonds to hit in front of Vladimir Guerrero.
Rice University wins NCAA World Series.
Mets stagger into All-Star break as aging veterans now look even older. Minaya fires Randolph to save his job, hires Lee Mazilli to take over.
Dodgers play .500 ball. LA media doesn't care because well, Posh spice is in town. Torre realizes he absolutely loves LA. Torre eventually turns around ball club, winning National League Wild Card.
A-Rod wins All-Star Game MVP. Fans cheer due to prior agreement.
Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals is traded to the Washington Redskins.
Kei Igawa becomes vital lefty in Yankees bullpen.
Ken Griffey Jr. is traded at deadline to Cleveland.
Ryan Howard leads Major Leagues with 57 homeruns.
Football season begins, and Michael Vick makes it official that he will return as "vicious as a pit bull" after his sentence. Animal lovers are appalled and protest against Vick.
New York Yankees defeat Arizona Diamondbacks in seven games. Mariano Rivera is named World Series MVP. In series clinching game, A-Rod announces that he has a new energy drink coming out in December of 08'.
NFL season kicks-off with huge steroid and performance enhancing drug scandal started by who else? Jose Canseco.
Houston Dynamo defeat New England Revolution (Again) for MLS Cup.
Brady Quinn becomes publicly disgruntled after Browns name Derek Anderson starting QB for 2008.
Notre Dame fans also become publicly disgruntled with Charlie Weiss as the losing continues in South Bend.
As for the wonderful industry of Wrestling, 2008 will see the WWE have break out stars in Santino Marella, a big run by Finlay, World Champions in Triple H, Jeff Hardy, John Cena, Finlay, Undertaker, and MVP. Wrestlemania 24 will do great financially but will pale in comparison to previous Wrestlemania's. And finally, 2008 will mark another return to WWE TV for Bret Hart as he inducts his brother, Owen Hart, into the WWE Hall of Fame.
As for TNA, 2008 will see a reformation of the creative team to ensure stability on-air. The year will be marked by champions such as Christian Cage, Booker T, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. Petey Williams and Kaz will continue to grow as Bobby Roode and Jay Lethal each will receive World Title opportunities. The year will be marked by a Christian vs. Styles feud, and a brief appearance by Jeff Jarrett.
As for the UFC and Boxing, Wonderlei Silva will lose to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Randy Couture will return to the UFC.
George "Rush" St. Pierre and Flloyd Mayweather will dominate most of the year.
Vladimir Klitchko unifies the World Heavyweight Title Crown.
as for American society...
Hilary Clinton and Rudy Guliani will win both primaries, with Hilary Clinton becoming the next president of the United States. The Republican will then wish they urged Mayor Bloomberg to run.
Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears will get their own reality TV show.
President Bush elects to bring home troops right before he leaves office claiming, "The time is right."
United States does well at Olympic games.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg lashes out publicly against Feds over Terrorism budget.
And finally, on December 31st, 2008, Isiah Thomas and George Bush will shake hands and congratulate each other on jobs well done.
Well, 2007 is another year. Another year of growing, another year of finding my way through this life. 2007 was a year of limits for yours truly. A year of learning limits physically and emotionally which have strengthened me mentally. 2007 was a year that has taught me to compete beyond limits that I knew were capable of me. 2007 was a year that has strengthened me mentally to appreciate my past, my life, and everyday the good Lord gives me.
From competing through physical injuries and pain, grueling job searches, and close deaths, to a progressing relationship, graduating college, and realizing untapped ability, 2007 continues my race . This race that we call life. 2008 will bring more obstacles, more challenges, and more discoveries for us all. God will continue to unveil these things to us all. He will push you past your limits.
In 2008, how will you respond?
Happy New Year!