So earlier I did my biggest misses of the year, and hey it happens. But all in all, it was a good year in CSP. I had fun writing it and I hope everybody that stopped thru had fun reading it. If anything, this year was a progression, the vision of what this site is head towards is getting clearer. And it helped that this was an amazing sports year several times over.
At any rate, the goal this year was to be more conversational and more in tune with what the point of this whole site started off as: to be the voice of an average sports fan looking at it from the outside….that has a bit of knowledge mixed in. I hit those points this year I feel, and all the contributors did as well. I hope it resonated the same way with everyone that took a moment or a day to stop by here too.
So here’s my best of the year to me. And if you see anything that’s missing that you dug, let me know. Here’s to 2011 birthing an even better 2012 here in the CHEAP SEATS. Hell, maybe I’ll even turn this into a bit more be able to get into the Mid Range-to-Kinda Pricey Seats by this time next year. Domain name stays the same though, because a) www.MidRangeToKindaPriceySeats.com sucks as site name, and b) I gotta stay true to what I really am: a regular dude typing my mind on this all. Enjoy.
10. Taking Em To School – The Story of Swish Dreams (April 6): My first shot at a community interest sports story went over well. This is the story of an inner city Chicago-youth basketball/counseling league and how it’s grown as institution…and truly turned hoop dreams into hoop (and life) realities. Came across this just visiting a friend and it was the first piece that kicked off the revamped CSP look this year.
9. Black Diamonds: The State of Blacks in Baseball 2011 (April 14): My annual call to awareness of the state of blacks in Major League Baseball. This is by and far one of the most important pieces to me I write per year, and shows why while “we” aren’t checking for “us” enough in the game, but the culture is still represented big time. Yet, there is still a ways to go in reclaiming a throne atop the National Pastime we once owned.
8. The Decent To Madness Series (March/April): My first site hosted NCAA Bracket went over big. The spoils of victory were a bottle of Crown Royal Black (which needs to ship still….sorry Sledge, come holla at me while you’re in STL), so it brought out all my lush friends. But it also got a few ladies in the mix and a few folks that had never done it before. The daily updates of both games, the real time bracket struggles via Twitter and the element of the best playoffs in all of sports made this a big deal. 60 teams in the first year let’s double up in ’12.
7. You Gotta STFU….Outta The Blue “Fans” (October 28): My love letter to the casual sports fan that feels the need to speak to diehards like we are equals. Trust me, we are not. My apologies to the state of Texas for being caught in the crosshairs here, but some of your lessors brought this on you all.
6. Battle of the Sexes…or Sexist (May 26): The battle cry of many males against women watching sports (and what they watch it for) needed to be broke down. In this piece a real rabid sports fan calls out men who fashion themselves as sports gurus, but really know as much as ESPN tells them, against calling women out, who many times know more than they could. Jealousy is deciphered all sorts of ways here and humility is handed down.
5. Cream of the Crop, The NBA All-Time Top 60 (April/May): One of the most debated pieces in the two year history of the site; I took my shot at ranking the best to ever do it in NBA history in a six-part breakdown. And this one is still getting more and more heated by the year. Here is each section for review and it’s current to pre-playoffs of last season. Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six.
4. 10 Degrees of Sports Crazy (March 4): From the antics of Ryan Leaf & the manic majesty of Milton Bradley to the antics of the Ultimate Warrior and Mike Tyson’s greatest quotables, my look at the 10 craziest figures in sports history rounded the bases of best that sports insane asylum could bring out.
3. I Don’t Believe What I Just Saw (October 28): There are classic sports showdowns, then there’s Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. The last hour/three innings of that contest were among the most pressure filled, emotional roller coaster stretches of my life overall. The countdown to David Freese’s two classic moments, and my split my head open (literally) in excitement is worth the ride alone.
2. And Then There Was Nothing… (December 8): My parting words for Albert Pujols and why the disappointment in his departure will stretch long beyond this year alone. St. Louis is in this one for the long haul, and it’s only just begun.
1. That’s A Winner: Me & MY World Series Win (November 1): There is NOTHING like your team winning it all. More than that, there is nothing that touches your hometown, 365 day focused, favorite sport club winning it all. On top of that, celebrating it at the scene of the victory with 80,000 of your new closest friends. The best of the year, and maybe the new standard bearer of any of my thoughts-to-post products, is everything that happens to the fan that has it all. The real essence of why there is nothing like sports.
There you have it, the best of 2011. Here’s to having #1 this time barely crack #10 next time around.
For more on this and whatever else “that” is at the moment, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.