New Year’s Day is right around the corner, which means we must all turn our calendars to 2010.
The 2009 sports year was an exciting one, full of surprises and intrigue. Sports fans witnessed the dominance of traditional powers in the NBA and MLB, the true solidification of a NASCAR superstar, and the fall of the greatest athlete in the world, Tiger Woods.
While 2009 gave the fans numerous memories to hold on to for years to come, we at Section 26 Sports would like to take a look at the biggest events to come in 2010. Here are five of the more exciting and captivating events to prepare yourselves for.
- Tiger Woods’ Return – By now, everyone has heard the Tiger Woods story. From the car accident to the affair, to the unbelievable amount of women coming out claiming an affair with the golfer. We are only concerned with the action on the golf course, however. These events originally forced Woods to cancel his participation in his own tournament. He is now in the midst of an “indefinite break” from golf. This can hurt his reputation, as well as that of the PGA Tour. If Woods does not participate, the PGA would likely lose many viewers. Golf will not be the same until he returns. Look and hope for that day to be in 2010, my guess would be closer to the Summer. Sports media will explode that day, so begin preparing now.
- Urban Meyer and Florida Football – On December 26th, Urban Meyer announced he has resigned as Florida’s head football coach due to health reasons. On December 27th, after a “spirited practice” he changed his resignation to an “indefinite leave of absence.” The point is, at this point, he is expected to not be the head coach for the 2010 season. Instead, current offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will take over as interim head coach. From my personal opinion, expect to hear Urban Meyer’s input all season and an announcement of his return after the annual clash with Florida State. But do not be surprised to hear something else happen, for example Meyer becoming the head coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars as they draft Tim Tebow in the 2010 NFL Draft. Again, that is just a hunch.
- The 2010 Heisman Race – What makes this race more intriguing than most years is that the 2009 winner, Alabama running back Mark Ingram will only be a junior. He has the potential to not only repeat, but “three-peat.” Fans saw this with Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in 2007, but he could not repeat in 2008 or 2009. Ingram will be on an Alabama team that is not expected to drop far from their current status of SEC Champions. The team success and personal achievement of Ingram could lead to a historical Heisman race in 2010. Other names to watch for: Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, Washington quarterback Jack Locker, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, West Virginia running back Noel Devine.
- The American League East Race – The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox seem to always come down to the wire in the race for the AL East Pennant. This race epitomizes the excitement in Major League Baseball. Both teams spend more money than many fans think was even possible to do what is necessary to win such a difficult division and league. So far in the offseason, the Yankess have signed outfielder Curtis Granderson and first basemen Nick Johnson, and traded for starting pitcher Javier Vazquez. In the midst of these moves, they will no longer have designated hitter Hideki Matsui or outfielder Melky Cabrera. The Red Sox made big noise signing starting pitcher John Lackey and outfield Mike Cameron in mid-December. And earlier in the month they signed shortstop Marco Scutaro. Expect both of these teams to be two of the top teams in all of MLB and make the playoffs next season. This hated rivalry should become a battle for the top seed in the playoffs and go to September before it is decided.
- The World Cup – The World Cup begins play June 11th as the host South Africa faces Mexico. The big match for Americans will be the nation’s first as they play one of the world’s elite teams, England on June 12th. The good news for the USA is that even with a loss to England, the round of sixteen seems a likely achievement. The group to keep your eye on however is Group G, which has been dubbed the “Group of Death” for 2010. This group is headlined by another of the world’s elite, Brazil, and also fields two of the stronger teams, Portugal and North Korea. As if that was not difficult enough, the World Cup sleeper team, the Ivory Coast also plays in this group. Who escapes this group with hopes for the title is anyone’s guess.
The 2010 sports year looks promising for fans of all sports all over the world. Keep your eyes out for these storylines, as well as the many others that are sure to pop up throughout the year.