Toe to Toe: Hodes versus Schmidley (Schmidley)

by Will Schmidley | 12/3/07 3:35am

The Dartmouth Staff

Hodes and I decided it was appropriate to round out fall's toe-to-toe series with a celebration of 2007, and a look ahead to the (potential) top stories of 2008.

  1. Perfect Pats? This year's Pats are fast building a case for the title of "greatest team ever." Though nothing less than a 16-0 regular season and a Super Bowl Championship will suffice for the Pats to lay rightful claim to such an honor, and even that may not be enough, Bellechick's crew has certainly been the class of the league this season. As any level-headed, objective football fan could tell you, there's simply not a team in the NFL that stands a chance when the Pats are clicking on all cylinders. New England will have home field advantage in both its AFC postseason contests, so the best shot to derail the Pats in their quest for perfection and a place in the history books may fall to the NFC champion.

  2. A Running Back Selected First Overall in the Draft For the First Time Since 1995: In the past 12 drafts, we've seen quarterbacks, left tackles, defensive ends and even one wide receiver go first overall. The last running back to be given the nod by the highest picking team was the infamous Ki-jana Carter, a player now known for his status as perhaps the biggest bust in draft history. There will be no such fate for Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, regardless of where he is picked. The Hog superstar's accomplishments over the last two seasons speak for themselves, and he's the most complete, athletic back to be eligible for the draft since Bo Jackson. If teams with the top pick correctly realize a talent like McFadden transcends the term "need" and epitomizes the term "value" in draft considerations, look for history to be made.

  3. Roger Federer Makes History? Federer continues to lord over professional tennis in an almost supernatural way and is sitting pretty at 12 Grand Slam titles. Given the level and consistency of his dominance, 2008 stands a legitimate shot to be the year in which Federer makes history and either ties or eclipses Pete Sampras's heralded mark of 14 career Grand Slam titles. Had Sampras and Federer played together in their primes, the Sampras-Federer debate could have been settled and either of them would have established a more attainable Grand Slams record, instead of the 20 or so Federer will accumulate in an era of, at the very least, somewhat questionable competition.

  4. Beijing Olympics: I suppose the Summer Olympics are a shoe-in for this list in every year they're held, but former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch has preemptively labeled the upcoming Beijing games "the best in history." With nine new events in store, his brazen claim is looking promising. Let's just hope this Olympics, and in particular Track and Field, are not marred by doping.

  5. Post Bonds Baseball: Though I'm a big fan of Bonds and think he is one of the best baseball players of all time, I can't say his continued presence in the game of baseball would have been a good thing. Bonds's name is forever tied with the term "steroids." What the MLB needs is a break from steroid speculation. Though the soon-to-be-released Mitchell Report will only exacerbate the situation, Bonds's permanent absence from the game may serve to quell some of the added turmoil that would have ensued otherwise.

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