Well, another year down, another year without any of my teams winning a title. It looks like Falcons have a pretty good shot at the 2011 Super Bowl, and the Braves look like the 2nd best team in the NL next year (This Phillies might win 115 games, but that's for another day). However, the Hawks are back outside the top 10 NBA teams, UGA football just finished another year of mediocrity, and UGA hoops is still a ways away from being nationally significant.
But I digress...for my year in review, I have a top 5 list of my games of the year...good and bad. These games were the 5 most enjoyable games I watched my teams play in, and the 5 most painful losses. So without further dudes...
Top 5 Most Painful Losses
5. September 18, 2010 - Arkansas 31 - UGA 24
I almost wish Arkansas had just run away with this game rather than see UGA come back and then lose it at the end like they did. Arkansas led 24-10 in the 4th quarter with under 8 minutes left when UGA came alive and got TD's from Tavarres King and Washaun Ealey to tie the game with 4 minutes left. Then, they get the ball back with 2 minutes left just outside mid-field with an All-Conference kicker on the sidelines. But the team can not pick up a 1st down and are forced to punt it back to the high-powered Razorback offense, who score a TD with 15 seconds left.
4. May 8, 2010 - Orlando Magic 105 - Atlanta Hawks 75
Saturday night in Philips Arena, the Hawks down 2-0 in the series but still confident after a 34-7 home record on the season. Beat the Magic in Game 3, get back in the series, and see what happens. Nope. The Hawks went down 10 in the 1st quarter and never got closer than that and got embarrassed by Orlando. The lead was 19 at half and got as high as 32 and I don't think I watched a second of the 4th quarter after looking forward to the game all week.
3. October 30, 2010 - Florida 34 UGA 31
Another game where UGA went down by 2 touchdowns in the 1st half, only to rally to tie the game on a pass to AJ Green with 4 minutes left. Aaron Murray had the INT in overtime and Chas Henry kicked home the game-winner. The Dawgs seem to always find a way to lose the Jacksonville game, and the 2010 loss was a real tough one to swallow.
2. June 26, 2010 - Ghana 2 - USA 1
For the 2nd straight World Cup, the Americans were knocked out by the small African nation of Ghana. This loss was particularly painful after the dramatics of group play gave the USA the top spot from the group. It was also another World Cup without a goal from a forward, as Altidore and company just couldn't muster up a goal to advance in the tournament. It may be decades before USA soccer is in a position in the World Cup like they were in 2010, if ever.
1. October 10, 2010 - San Francisco Giants 3 - Atlanta Braves 2
AKA, the Brooks Conrad game. The Braves were on the brink of leading the eventual World Series champions 2-1 with a home game to close it out, when Brooks Conrad inexplicably forgot how to field a baseball. An Erik Hinske home run in the bottom of the 8th gave the Braves a 2-1 lead and Craig Kimbrel was given the ball to close out the game in the 9th. Craig got a pop-out, walked a batter, and struck out Andres Torres to bring up Freddy Sanchez with 2 outs and a runner on 1st. Sanchez singled, Dunn gave up a hit to Aubrey Huff, and then Buster Posey hits a one hopper to Brooksy that he lets get past him, scoring the winning run. Making the loss even more painful was that the Giants 1st run was also on a Conrad error. Thinking about Bobby Cox and sending him out with a series that was turned by this game still sickens me.
Top 5 Most Joyful Wins
5. September 2, 2010 - Georgia State 41 - Shorter 7
This one makes the list more for what it represented than what happened on the field. The 1st game for the school I attended, in the GA Dome, with 30,000+ in the stadium was quite a sight. I just wanted to record the whole experience so I could re-live it the next few weeks.
4. May 2, 2010 - Atlanta Hawks 95 - Milwaukee Bucks 74
It is always fun to win playoff series in the NBA, but this one was particularly exciting because I was there and sat just a few rows off the court. The Hawks played really well and blew out an over-matched team they should have eliminated 2 games earlier.
3. September 26, 2010 - Atlanta Falcons 27 - New Orleans Saints 24
This game was eerily similar to the 1998 NFC Championship game with the Birds taking on a high-powered offense and taking an unexpected missed field goal and turning it into an overtime win. This game was played at a very high level and it was apparent even in Week 3 that both these teams would be a factor in the playoffs. They may even meet with a spot in the NFC Championship Game or even the Super Bowl on the line.
2. October 8, 2010 - Atlanta Braves 5 - San Francisco Giants 4
The extra inning thriller in San Francisco that was won on a Rick Ankiel home run into the drink. There were a ton of awesome moments in this game, the Ankiel homer, Farnsworth getting Posey to hit into a double play to end the 10th, and Gonzalez's double off Wilson in the 8th.
1. June 23, 2010 - USA 1 - Algeria 0
Even countries with strong national teams at times go a World Cup or 2 without winning a match. Qualifying for the tournament is quite a feat, scoring a goal even more so, and winning a game is something historical. What the USA and Landon Donovan did in this match is something that will be shown on American highlight reels for centuries. The USA won their group with this win and did so in about the most dramatic way possible, in stoppage time.