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2005 in Review

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; This ran in The Advocate this morning, but didn't make the web site. I hope you find it amusing. Les East By LES EAST NEW ORLEANS ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ The biggest newsmaker in 2005 was Hurricane Katrina, which taught us to ...

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Old 01-01-2006, 11:59 AM   #1
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2005 in Review

This ran in The Advocate this morning, but didn't make the web site. I hope you find it amusing.

Les East


By LES EAST


NEW ORLEANS ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ The biggest newsmaker in 2005 was Hurricane Katrina, which taught us to never take anything for granted, even in sports.


We learned that the Saints can wind up in San Antonio, the Hornets can wind up in Oklahoma City, Tulane can wind up anywhere and everywhere, the Sugar Bowl can wind up in Atlanta, the New Orleans Bowl can wind up in Lafayette, the Bayou Classic can wind up in Houston, the Fair Grounds meet can wind up in Bossier City, and LSU can wind up in the Peach Bowl. But thatâ₠™s another story.


We learned other things from others.


New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson taught us that no matter how unpopular you are, if you work really, really hard at it, you can make yourself even more unpopular.


Penn State coach Joe Paterno taught us that comebacks are possible at just about any age.


The New York Yankees taught us that money is no object when it comes to winning division titles.


And the White Sox taught us that practically any baseball team from Chicago can win a World Series.


Along the way, we also learned that we can tolerate the gracelessness of Terrell Owens, Rafael Palmeiro and Ron Artest because we have the grace of Tim Duncan, Ichiro Suzuki and Annika Sorenstam.


With that in mind hereâ₠™s a look back at what happened in sports in 2005, sort of.


January ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ Auburn defeats Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl to finish undefeated. USC defeats Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl to finish undefeated. USC wins the national championship and Auburn wins nothing because ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ well, thatâ₠™s just the way it is. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Tom Benson, on the heels of his teamâ₠™s fourth consecutive season out of the playoffs, promises coach Jim Haslett a contract extension. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ The Patriots beat the Eagles, 24-21, to win their third Super Bowl since New Orleans last made the playoffs.


February ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ The NHL season is canceled as owners and players fail to reach a new labor agreement. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Disgruntled Hornets guard Baron Davis gets his wish as the team trades him to Golden State. Davis immediately lands a lucrative endorsement deal as he†ƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢s named spokesman for the worldâ₠¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢s largest manufacturer of pacifiers.


March ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ Baltimore Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro points his finger at a congressional committee and declares, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à …â€œI have never taken steroids. Period. Never.ââ‚ ¬? ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Annika Sorenstam ties an LPGA record by winning her fifth consecutive tournament, which is also the seasonââ‚ ¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢s first major.


April ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ North Carolina defeats Illinois to win the NCAA men†™s basketball championship and Baylor defeats Michigan State for the womenâ₠¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢s title. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ ESPN nominates itself for an ESPY for its original documentary: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à …â€œESPN: The Making of ESPN as told on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU ESPN Desportes and ESPNESPN.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šà ¬? ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Tiger Woods wins his fourth Masters. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ The Montreal Expos finish their world tour and settle down as the Washington Nationals.


May ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ Heavily favored Bellamy Road, owned by New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, falters in the Kentucky Derby as 50-1 long shot Giacomo wins. An angry Steinbrenner fires Bellamy Road and offers Giacomo a multi-million dollar contract. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Mark Felt reveals that he was the famed ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à …â€œDeep Throatââ‚ ¬? source for the Washington Post during Watergate, solving the biggest mystery other than John Maddenââ‚ ¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢s broadcasting career.


June ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ The Spurs defeat the Pistons in seven games to win the NBA championship. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Phil Jackson agrees to return as head coach of the Lakers as Kobe Bryant relinquishes his general mangerââ‚ ¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢s duties. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Annika Sorenstam wins her third straight LPGA Championship.


July ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ Larry Brown leaves the Pistons to become head coach of the Knicks, the only remaining franchise in the Western Hemisphere that he hasnâ₠™t coached. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Lance Armstrong retires after winning his seventh consecutive Tour de France, effectively ending Americaââ‚ ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s brief fascination with cycling. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ The NHL owners and players end their work stoppage after an historic one-year hiatus. The news sweeps across North America as millions of Americans say, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à …â€œThere was no hockey last year?â₠¬? ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Tiger Woods wins his second British Open.


August ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ Jim Haslettâ₠¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s contract extension never materializes as the Saints prepare to miss the playoffs again. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Rafael Palmeiro tests positive for steroids and is suspended, ensuring that his statistics will never again be taken seriously. Period. Never.


September ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ The Saints set up shop in San Antonio after Hurricane Katrina makes the Superdome unusable. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ The NBA announces that the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets will split their games between Oklahoma City and Baton Rouge. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ The Saints win their opener at Carolina, then lose their ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à …â€œhome openerââ‚ ¬? against the Giants in Giants Stadium.


October ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki finishes the season with 262 base bits, breaking George Sislerââ‚ ¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢s 84-year-old record, which hadnâ₠™t been threatened since 1930. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Tom Benson declares that the Saints cannot return to their Metairie training facility because it is damaged beyond repair and, in fact, radioactive. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ The Yankeesââ‚ ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ $100 million payroll and $100 million in luxury taxes fail to produce a World Series title for a fifth consecutive season as the AL East champions lose to the Angels in a divisional series. In a related story the Braves lose in the NL playoffs for the 77th consecutive season. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ The White Sox sweep the Astros for their first World Series championship since 1917. In a related story, the Chicago Cubs still havenâ₠¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢t won the World Series since 1908 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Several Minnesota Vikings players are cast in featured roles for a new ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à …â€œLove Boatâ₠? movie. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Tom Benson shoves a television photographerââ‚ ¬â„¢s camera as he leaves Tiger Stadium near the end of his teamâ₠™s 21-6 loss to Miami. Upon returning home, an irate Benson sends an email to NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue saying he†ƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢ll never return to Baton Rouge ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ unless it†ƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢s to pick up a subsidy check from the state.


November ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ Benson relents and returns to Baton Rouge to watch the Saints, still feeling the effects of having to play a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à …â€œhomeââà ¢Â€ÂšÃ‚¬? game in Giants Stadium, lose to the Bears. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ Major League Baseball and its players agree to a new, tougher drug policy that actually can lead to lifetime bans for serial steroid users. Hell immediately freezes over. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ ESPN announces the launching of its new network ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ ESPNTO, which is devoted to round-the-clock coverage of inactive Eagles receiver Terrell Owens. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ The Tulane football team, also displaced because of Katrina, finishes its season having played 11 games in 11 different cities, including five different home cities, tying Larry Brownâ₠¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢s single-season record. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ The Saints lose their sixth straight game as Haslett and key players remind everyone that they had to play a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à …â€œhomeââà ¢Â€ÂšÃ‚¬? game at Giants Stadium 62 days earlier.


December ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ¢â‚¬Å“ 78-year-old Joe Paterno is named Coach of the Year after leading Penn State to the Big Ten Championship. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ The Yankees, in the midst of losing $80 million, solidify their chances of reaching the divisional round again by signing former Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon to a four-year, $52 million contract. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à ‚Â¦ ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬à …â€œThe Producers,ââ‚à ‚¬? Mel Brooksââ‚ ¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â€ÂžÃ‚¢ story of Broadway producers who plot to offend and alienate their audience so much that their product is a guaranteed failure, opens in movie theatres. Brooks learns of how the Saints marketed their games in Baton Rouge and immediately sues the organization for copyright infringement.
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Old 01-01-2006, 12:10 PM   #2
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RE: 2005 in Review

Good one Les and I'm still laughin. I visited the site this morning just in case you wrote something, so I'm glad you posted here. Keep up the excellent work and visit often and thanks again for making us part of your rounds. I hope you will consider this to be your home and if ever you need anything just ask.
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Old 01-01-2006, 12:14 PM   #3
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RE: 2005 in Review

LMAO....Priceless stuff....I think that ESPN forgot to air "The Making of ESPN" on one of their stations, though. That station is ESPN 8: The Ocho. Chuck Norris is going to be highly upset.
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