15 Favorite Sports Moments of the Year


You know, if we would’ve sent Sacha BARON Cohen instead, he probably wouldn’t have fallen.

Indy-Pittsburgh Divisional playoff game-Most exciting football game of the year. With the Steelers threatening to put the game away with under two minutes left, (after a disputed non-interception call, an Indy touchdown to put the game within three, and Peyton Manning getting sacked on his own three-yard line on fourth down) Jerome Bettis fumbles at the Indy 1-yard-line. Indy recovers and the guy runs halfway down the field. He’s beaten everyone except Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger who’s run diagonally across the field to tackle the guy returning it, whose wife stabbed him in the leg the night before. With 17 seconds left, Mike Vanederjagt misses a 46 yard field goal which would’ve tied it. Pittsburgh goes on to win the superbowl.

Endy Chavez catch– Game seven of the Divisional series. Tie Score. Shea Stadium. Mets outfielder Endy Chavez goes back to save the game and makes the catch of the yea,r 3 feet over the fence to rob Scott Rolen of a two-run home run for the lead. If the Mets would have won that game, it would go down in the history books.

Tigers beat the Yankees– the underdog team with less than half the payroll dominates the Yankees, sending them home. The best part is Kenny Rogers (not that one) on top of the dugout spraying the crowd with champaign.

U.S. women’s curling team– I watched a TON of curling during the Winter Olympics. I know, I know” it’s boring. Well it can be, but it was always on, and I grew attached to the U.S. women’s team.

Ryan Howard hits 3 home runs in a game– MVP Ryan Howard carries his team to victory with 3 home runs and 8 RBIs in a game. Also of note is the Home Run Derby contest, where he demolished the competition in the last round, and finished by hitting the “hit it here” sign.

Dodgers hit 4 home runs to tie and one in extras to win– Surging into the playoffs, The Dodgers were losing in the bottom of the ninth, until back-to-back-to-back-to-back homeruns tied the game. In the 10th inning, San Diego was up by one run, until Nomar Garciaparra hit the game winning home run.

Travis Pastrana Motocross double backflip at X-games- I don’t usually watch the X-games, but it was on when I was working one night and I caught a ridiculous maneuver. As his competitors watched, rooting him on, Travis pulled off a motocross double backflip, something that’s never been done, and could’ve killed him.

Vince Young beats USC– In the College National Title Game, Vince Young singlehandedly beats the top-ranked team in the country (one with two heisman winners on it) on a fourth down with 18 seconds left by scrambling to the end zone.

UCLA beats USC– Arch-rival UCLA upsets top-ranked USC to block the University of Spoiled Children Trojans from making a third national title game in a row.

Miami beats Chicago Bears– The Miami Dolphins, a 2-6 team, and the franchise with the only unbeaten season in history faces off against the 8-0 Chicago Bears and comes up with a win. Only in the NFL.

World Baseball Classic begins– After Baseball was discontinued from the Olympics for some inane reason, Bud Selig and some other people created a once every four years world tournament. Bravo.

Kobe scores 81– Despite the fact that I’m not the biggest basketball follower, scoring 81 points in a game is a totally insane achievement.

Tiger hits a bogey off a roof– In a classic display of why he’s the greatest, Tiger Woods totally screwed up off the tee and hit the ball onto the roof of a nearby building. The placed the ball on the ground by the building, but still far off the course. To finish only one stroke over par’s a strong achievement.

Agassi plays two classics at U.S. open before retiring– In his last tournament ever, Agassi gives us an unbelievably intense 5 set match, and then goes out in a tough four in the next round. I don’t watch a lot of tennis, but that five-set match was as captivating as anything I’ve ever seen. What made it all the more dramatic was that if he lost, his career was over. And when it finally was, he went out like a pro.

World Cup game– While the Finals game was great and intense (being decided by penalty kicks, and France’s star Zidane headbutting that guy, and the Australian team came out of nowhere to advance to the second round, I think that the U.S.-France game was my personal favorite. The U.S. team lost its first game and looked terrible, but in their second game they managed to tie the second place France team that won all of its other games, save the Finals. Granted, the goal that U.S.A. scored was actually an “own goal” from the France team, but they played most of the game with only nine people. A valiant display from an overall underacheiving team.

Empty Bookshelf’s First 100 Reviews


Oh, those kids. Always at it. You guys really shouldn’t’ve.

So here we are at the first of what may be a few reviews of our first milestone, 100 reviews. Not only is this the first review of this milestone, but of what could be very many milestones. We here at the Bookshelf like the word “milestone“, and don’t believe in Thesauruses. So here we go, our first hundred in a nutshell.

The first actual review happened way back in October of 2005… remember that time before the Steelers won the superbowl, before “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” movie, before Dick Cheny accidentally shot his friend while hunting, and before Bristol, United Kingdom celebrated the 200th birthday of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (actually April 9) by relighting the Clifton Suspension Bridge?

Dan’s first review was aimed at complaining about post-game hype surrounding an extremely long baseball game. Of course our readers probably care about boring Astros-Braves baseball games as much as they seemed to care about my terrible review of the dictionary. Even though that picture was good, it was nowhere near the five star quality of this image. I too tried my hand at reviewing food, but it was an utter failure. On the plus side, my review of the letter to the editor is one of my favorites, and my first review actually got eight comments, including this link. The few following that grilled chese review focused mostly on music, my opinion of “Good Night, and Good Luck”, a particular episode of Trading Spouses, and Dan’s opinion of My opinion of “Good Night, and Good Luck”. Dan also said that the Colbert report wouldn’t last, which seems to have been proven false.

October seemed to be us finding our footing.
***

November saw Dan’s Cleveland Trifecta, a diatribe against horses, a road that he liked, an episode of “Coach“, and his complaints about how much he aches, now that he’s an old man. I started the month strong with the Beth review, but struggled through the rest of it, with lame reviews like Thursday, a type of tooth”paste” that doesn’t work for me, and an insightful, yet completely unnecessary complaint about my nosebleeds. My FAO Schwarz review kinda made up for them, but the highlight of the month involved Dan and I sparring about how Christmas is coming earlier every year, and something about me being a time-traveling sheep.

November didn’t see much improvement over October, but the Christmas stuff was entertaining.
***½

December got a bit better, even with a few less reviews. I busted out the old NES games, for a few reviews that I swear are not trying to copy off of XE, another personal favorite, Christmas Cards, Adam’s first review, Dan throwing the hate down on Pitchfork media, and a suprising amount of people commenting on Roger Ebert’s take on video games. The biggest advance in December was the pop-ins, that added added some clarity to our parentheses-obsessed-writing.

December was a highly engaging and entertaining month, even with only nine reviews.
****½

2006 rolled around, and January saw Dan get political, review half of a book, not like warm winters a lot. I only contributed three of ten reviews that month, but all three of them were relatively alright, mostly because “Where In Time is Carmen Sandiego“, and “The Simpsons” after season 9 is so easy to complain about.

January’s topics fell off a little.
***½

February, while being the shortest month, was also a monster for us, as far as number goes. A whopping twenty-one reviews. To be fair, 17 of them came in our envelope-pushing live superbowl reviews, the biggest stunt pulled in the history of reviewing anything and everything on a five star scale. The only other reviews of any substance were my Gauntlet Review of the Beatles albums, and Dan’s digging up of our one-issue underground high-school newspaper.

Despite the big stunt, and two good reviews, February was kinda lacking.
**½

March just plain sucked. Four reviews total. One by me. Three megareviews by Dan.

½

April was slightly better, with another of my top five of my reviews, Legacy of the Wizard. The other four I would give an average of 3 stars to, but since there were only four during the month, that’s going to cancel out the Legacy of the Wizard bonus and take it down a half star.

**½

For my money, May was our best month yet. Dan’s contribution was the lengthy three-part TV landscape review. I threw out quality stuff with my Songs for Silverman, and Degree Navigator reviews. The shorter American Dreamz and Davinci Code video game reviews were serviceable, but my immense LOST season 2 review tops everything.

*****

June fell off a bit. Four reviews total. Split two and two. Mine were based on a ridiculous news story, and anger at other people for coincidentally coming up with the same ideas as me. Dan tried to put everything into perspective by seeing how well the entire history of human ingenuity and artistry stacked up in the interstellar community, and complained a little about how the national geography of roadways isn’t designed to suit his needs.

**

July was filled with the (I gotta admit my ignorance as to the relevance of this phrase… and wikipedia does nothing to help) Navel Gazing set. I was had for a few minutes by a Jimmy Kimmel hoax, and I thought the critics were a little too harsh on Shayamalan. Despite the mediocre numbers for the month, I’d give it a 3.5

***½

This gives us a per-month average of 3 stars, which isn’t too shabby.

In my first ever review, I reviewed the concept of this website. I claimed that we wouldn’t be able to keep it fresh, that we’d run out of ideas, and that we wouldn’t be able to stay somewhat funny at least. I believe my exact quote was “It has the potential to provide hours of entertainment for readers, and shape their lives for years to come. However, the downside is that it could get old real soon, and provide us with nothing but an excuse not to get real jobs.”

Well, I think we’ve significantly proven wrong every single point that I just brought up. We have 29 categories, 19 subcategories, and even two sub-sub categories. We’re still writing about reasonably different things, and while we may have slacked on the funny in recent months, we still bring the ‘A’ game on occasion. As far as my quote goes, I’d be willing to bet that we’ve provided maybe a few hours of entertainment for a handful of people, which probably did nothing to shape their lives for even the near fututre. On the upside, it hasn’t gotten old, and we have gotten real-ish jobs.

For all of these reasons, I’m willing to up our star rating by half a star, over the average rating of 3. I’ve also realized that my method of calculating the rating might not be the best, so I’m gonna throw in another half star for a final rating of 4 stars out of five.

****

And for those of you playing along at home, yes, this technically is the 100th review and so therefore should be included. This review receives 3 stars for not having much to offer in the way of witty musings, and for having a faulty overall rating method, but for packing so many subjects and links into one review.

***

Superbowl overall

Well…. it was a game. The Steelers did win. Other than that, the game was pretty boring. The commercials weren’t all that great. The halftime show was kinda lame… not that i’m a huge fan of the rolling stones and all. I’d rate this game higher than the Ravens-Giants Superbowl, but lower than the Eagles-Patriots game… even with Brady winning and all.

**

Football (in general) pt.2

In response to my own review about football…

As quickly as games get more interesting, they can just as easily slow baaaaaacckkk doooowwn. Hopefully the end will pick up a little bit.

**

There are 52 seconds left, and it just seems like the Seahawks aren’t going to get it done. When the end seems so obvious, it gets hard to watch.

The Steelers’ Interception

Wow. that was a game saving play if I ever saw one. I have to grade this two different ways.

*****
Steelers get five stars.


Seahawks get none.

update…. steelers just pulled out the five-star touchdown play… i realize i’m just throwing out the five-stars and possibly devaluing them… but whatever… see Dan’s review below about trick plays

Football (in general)

The Seahawks just scored a touchdown+extra point, and the score is now 14-10 Steelers. When it was 14-3 (only one score difference), and the Steelers were driving at the Seahawks’ 10 yard line, it wasn’t even an interesting game. All it took to turn around was one interception and the ensuing touchdown. Baseball, soccer, you name it can’t offer such a quick turnaround from “boring game” into “compelling television” after such a quick momentum change.

We’ll see how it ends, but right now, this is why as soon as the Super Bowl is over, football fans start counting down the months, then weeks, then days until training camp opens.

****½

(minus 1/2 star for having to sit through commercial breaks, though I’ll admit that they add to the “drama” of the whole event.)

The Half-Time Show

Similar to Nate’s review of Tom Brady’s coin toss, this one writes itself. If you like the Rolling Stones, it was great. If not…well, it was the Rolling Stones. I recognize the difficulty in picking a half-time show that appeals to everyone, and obviously in light of that difficulty, whoever is in charge of the picking them doesn’t worry about appealing to everyone.

Well, I guess maybe my equally old (to the performers) parents liked the Rolling Stones. Maybe.

**½

I’m not sure I’d like any of what their choices could have been (or would have been), so I can’t hold my opinions against them too much. But Michael Jackson in 1993 rocked my world.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Trick Plays

Each game, the Steelers come in with eight trick plays. These include end-arounds, halfback options, double-reverses, etc. In the middle of the second quarter, they used their first with great success.

Lining up in the I formation, one of the most flexible of the offensive formations, Ben Roethlisberger, faked the handoff to the half-back who then ran to the right side of the offensive line as the fullback ran to the left all while a wide receiver from the right side ran towards the half-back. The wide receiver got the hand off, followed the fullback’s blocks to the left and got the easy first down.

Unfortunately for the Steelers, the drive ended in an interception.

****

The trick play doesn’t receive five stars if only because it didn’t result in a huge gain, just a first down.