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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • The end of the world in sports

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  • Is the apocalypse upon us or is it something different? Whatever the dooms day device is, according to the Mayan calendar, the world is supposed to come to an end tomorrow.
    With that being said, I thought we should look back at the end of sports in general.
    First order of business is the National Hockey League.
    If the world truly is coming to an end, the NHL must know about it. I mean why else would the players and owners risk permanently alienating what few fans they have left.
    The NHL is in the midst of its second lockout in less than 10 years. The lockout from 2004-2005 wiped out the entire season and it is looking like this one will do the same.
    Now we move on to the National Basketball Association.
    Whoever said the rich get richer and the poor get poorer got this one right. Coming off a disappointing year where the Los Angeles Lakers did not win the NBA title, the Lakers went out and signed Steve Nash away from the Phoenix Suns. But two games into his Lakers career and Nash was injured. He has been out since Nov. 1.
    The Lakers have won two straight, but are still three games under .500. The Lakers have already fired one head coach this season and trail the Los Angeles Clippers by 7.5 games, the Clippers! Even the Golden State Warriors have a better record than the Lakers.
    That brings us to the National Football League.
    What could be more of a sign that the world is ending than the Kansas City Chiefs losing to the Oakland Raiders? How about the fact that neither team scored a touchdown in the loss. The Raiders kicked five field goals and beat Kansas City 15-0.
    Or there is my favorite, the St. Louis Rams.
    It is true the Rams are having a resurgent season, but, they will not make the playoffs. Of course, if the Rams were to play the NFC West leading San Francisco 49ers a few more times, that might change. In two meetings this year, the Rams took the 49ers to overtime twice. The first time ended in the first tie in the NFL in four years. Several weeks later, the two teams went to overtime again. This time the Rams won, but they did so with under two minutes left on the clock.
    How is it a team as dominant as the 49ers can't beat a 6-7 team like the Rams? Surely this must mean the world is coming to an end.
    NASCAR, what can we say about NASCAR?
    How about the fact that Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his first race since 2008 or Brad Keselowski beat out five time champion Jimmy Johnson in the final race of the year to win the NASCAR championship.
    Page 2 of 2 - Finally we come to Major League Baseball.
    If the events of the past year in Major League Baseball aren't enough to convince you that the world is ending, then nothing is.
    The Los Angeles Angels shock the baseball world and sign C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols to major deals. The two-time defending American League champions Texas Rangers counter the loss of Wilson by bringing in Japanese starting pitcher Yu Darvish.
    But what does this net both teams? Well, for the halos, they get nothing. The Angels not only fail to make the playoffs, but they finish in third place in the AL West. The Rangers led the AL West virtually all season, but lose on the final day of the regular season to an Oakland A's team that was supposed to lose 100 games. The win by the A's, gives Oakland its first AL West championship and first playoff spot since 2006.
    Then there is the Baltimore Orioles. Like Oakland, Baltimore is supposed to be a bottom feeder in 2012. Instead, the Orioles won the top American League Wild Card and got a home playoff game with the Texas Rangers in the first year of MLB's new Wild Card paly-in game. The Orioles then beat the Rangers and advance to the playoffs.
    If the world truly is coming to an end, then at the very least, we were given plenty of advance notice that it was going to happen by all the craziness this year in the sports world.
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