Thorns for LeBron, Yanks; roses for Halladay, Blackhawks

Posted Dec. 31, 2010, at 3:56 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 31, 2010, at 7:05 p.m.

To the tune of the Mickey Mouse Club, we now sing, “Now it’s time to say goodbye to all of this past year.”

Thorns and roses time for 2010 sports.

The first thorn is a unanimous point at LeBron James. Everything from his leaving Cleveland to the ridiculous TV special announcing his arrival in Miami was bad, bad, bad.

To Brett Favre goes this old thorn that knew when to fall off the rosebush. Unfortunately, Favre couldn’t say goodbye and ruined what could have been a fine conclusion to a quality football career.

Quarterback Cam Newton of Auburn won the Heisman Trophy. His father won a thorn for trying to sell his son off to the highest college bidder.

NBA player Kenyon Martin won the worst tattoo award from the Sports Geeks. The lipstick-colored lips tattooed on the side of his neck are worthy of a prick from this thorn.

To the Yankee organization goes this little thorn as a reminder that the colossal depiction of George Steinbrenner in Yankee Stadium’s monument park, dwarfing all other monuments there, lacks taste.

Bring on the roses!

To Roy Halladay we present this Crimson Queen Rose for a year that included two no-hitters from one of baseball’s best arms. There are more such games to come.

This Climbing Rose goes to the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. They brought the energy of youth to the rink and the thrill of the NHL back to one of the sport’s most supportive cities.

This Tropicana Rose goes to Evan Lysacek. He won a figure skating gold medal at the Olympics for the U.S., the first since 1988, and did so with great class.

To the San Francisco Giants, we present this Fourth of July Rose. They celebrated baseball as baseball celebrated them in their World Series win. They were not the best players in the game, and probably weren’t the best team, except when they needed to be.

They relished the playing of baseball with a youthful exuberance from the motley crew they were.

Finally, this double Red Rose goes to pitcher Armando Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce. They combined for history when the missed call at first base by Joyce denied Galarraga a perfect game.

They made history the next day when Galarraga brought the lineup card to the plate and shook Joyce’s hand.

Joyce cried and Galarraga did not.

Therein lies the year’s best sports story and a piece of baseball history that will forever be known as the “almost perfect game” that was followed by the perfect ending.

Smell the roses gentlemen; you both deserve this bounty of nature.

To all, may 2011 be all roses.

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