What Was the Greatest Sports Moment of 2011?

Well, Hampton, I've adored sports since I can remember, so I loved the great moments in sports this year just like every year. But as to your withering takedown of Patrick, I think it depends on what we want to get from sports.

Without getting too meta about this, sports is inherently a paradox. Grown men and women spend untold physical and mental anguish and a very, very tangible amount of money following made-up games that are not by definition necessary for our race to succeed and thrive. Some people love watching human beings find the physical limits of their bodies and push beyond them, or a team come together in desperate times and find a way to succeed. For those people, this year brought an unforgettable baseball season (best regular-season day ever AND perhaps the greatest World Series game of all time), an NBA Finals that could be the dictionary definition of schadenfreude and superhuman performances from tennis's Novak Djokovic (three Grand Slam titles), Rory McIlroy (a dominant win at the U.S. Open) and the truly inspiring Eric LeGrand ( learning to walk again). 

But for others, sports is an arena for social causes and the bettermen of mankind—Jackie Robinson making a difference that even Sidney Poitier could not. For those Patricks of the world, 2011 was hardly a magical year in sports, not with labor strife in the NFL and NBA and a series of horrifying sexual abuse allegations that shook us all to our core. But the forces of social justice still made their voices heard—witness Ed O'Bannon's lawsuit against the NCAA or a group of tennis stars pushing back when U.S. Open officials wanted them to play in the rain.

So perhaps we saw the best and worst of sports magnified this year—and frankly, that's a good thing. When the best in sports gets better, it can lead to seminal moments in the life of a person, a city or even a country. And when the worst gets worse, it forces us to open our eyes and our mouths and effect lasting, positive change.

–Jake

Jump to comments
Presented by

Sports Roundtable

Patrick Hruby, Jake Simpson, and Hampton Stevens 

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In