Toe to Toe: Hodes versus Schmidley (Hodes)

by Alex Hodes | 12/3/07 3:34am

It's the last Toe to Toe of 2007, and that can only mean one thing: the first annual Toe-to-Toe year in review. A lot has happened in the world of sports these past 12 months, which begs the question, what were the year's biggest stories? Schmidley will uncover the five stories to watch in 2008; I'm going to take us back, and in the next 500 words, reveal the biggest story of 2007.

  1. Florida dominates the collegiate ranks: After winning the 2006 NCAA Tournament, the Gators returned their entire core, setting expectations high for 2007. And when their football counterparts destroyed Ohio State for the BCS title, the tables were set for one of sports' most impressive fetes. No school had ever been football and basketball champions in the same calendar year and the same academic year. In the title game, Florida once again faced Ohio State. However, Greg Oden and Mike Conley, Jr. could not handle the likes of Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Taurean Green, giving Florida its place in history.

  2. Jimmie Johnson repeats as Nextel Cup Champion with the sport's first ten-win season since teammate Jeff Gordon a decade earlier: We don't often talk NASCAR in Toe to Toe, but I would be remiss to ignore Johnson's incredible season. Up until the last few races of the Chase, Gordon had dominated the circuit. In fact, most years, we'd be talking about how dominant Gordon had been, but it was not to be. And though the two teammates fought to the finish, perhaps the nicest storyline in all this is how close the two have remained. Unfortunately, Johnson won't get a chance to three-peat as Nextel Cup Champion, as the series will be known as the Sprint Cup beginning in 2008.

  3. Tim Donaghy busted for fixing games in the most damaging sports betting scandal in years: The NBA seems to be surviving, thanks to a quasi-rebirth of competitive basketball, but that does not diminish the impact this scandal had on the sport. Donaghy-officiated games during the period in which he was fixing games differed greatly from his pre-fixing years. Who knows how many outcomes he manipulated? One is already too many, and it was certainly far more than that. Sports depend on a level of integrity -- fans need the reassurance of knowing that they're watching the authentic product. Tim Donaghy delivered a damaging blow to this special relationship, and while it is still surviving, one can't help but think that we're just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  4. Boston, Boston, and more Boston: The Red Sox took their second World Series title in four seasons, the Patriots assembled the most dominant football team perhaps ever, and the Celtics have finally made themselves relevant again. Throw in a surprising run by Boston College, and you have perhaps the greatest year for any city in sports history. And for this writer, you all know how much this Boston dominance pains me. But don't despair, all good things come to an end. Until then, Boston, my hat's off to you.

  5. Bonds, period: As for the top spot for 2007, there's only one man with a head large enough to hold this mantle, and he's got the ego to boot. This man broke sports' most hallowed record, and within months, was indicted on federal charges. You may know him as baseball's all-time home run leader, but I'll always think of him as Barry Lamar. It's impossible to quantify Bonds's impact on the world of sports. His greatness is unrivaled, yet so are his flaws. And for everyone's sake, including his, we can only hope that he fades blissfully into Mike Tyson's "Bolivian" in 2008.

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!