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Weekend Picks: Happy New Year

Power Rankings: Walsh’s Favorites

By / 12.31.10

With Leather’s power rankings are our way of giving back to the community, fulfilling a court-sentenced community service requirement for the staff’s drunken debauchery. This week, their straight from the brain of Ryan Walsh, an incredibly handsome and mysterious With Leather contributor; these were his favorite sports stories from 2010.

From a critical perspective, 2010 was a pretty revolutionary year in sports coverage. A young Ryan Walsh quickly emerged as one of the internet’s rising young stars, everybody and their hot cousin started a podcast, and ESPN quoted almost as many tweets as actual newspapers. The world became more digitally connected by the day; and with the rise of smart phones and 3G networks, degenerates like myself could devote even more time to tracking scores, fantasy updates, and Brett Favre’s many failures instead of wasting our time with family and friends.

But the ability to cover the world of sports would be obsolete without the sports stories themselves. This is a list of ten that managed to get more than a ‘meh’ from my pouty, handsome lips.

#10 — Stevie Johnson Fails, Tweets, and Fails at Tweeting

This tweet comes straight from the slippery fingers of Stevie Johnson, after dropping a potentially game winning touchdown pass against the Steelers last month. Of course Stevie blamed God, it’s only fair. The same deity that gave him the genes to be athletically superior to 99.8 percent of the world’s population is also responsible for that pass and Steve’s hand-eye coordination. That ‘God’ guy is an asshole.

#9 — The Metrodome Collapses

A lot of this story’s greatness was due to its spontaneity. It just kind of happened, but luckily Fox was there to cover it from a whole bunch of angles and put them together well. Also great because it forced the Vikings to play their next home game outside, the way every game should be played. Domes are awful.

#8 — Delonte West and Gloria James Have Alleged, Disgusting Sex

I love this story, and would put it much higher if it was actually proven. The thought of Gloria James and Delonte West having old, saggy, leprechaun sex is enough to make me gag involuntarily, but the best part of this story was the reactions it sparked. Like this video of Young Jack Thriller, for example. I hear that if you look into his eye for long enough, you can see the hidden city of Shangri-La.

#7 — Andre Johnson Destroys Cortland Finnegan’s Face

Let’s be honest, fights are cool, really cool, especially when someone I don’t like gets their ass kicked on national television. The fight was so one-sidedly awesome that it almost made up for Andre Johnson underperforming for my fantasy team in the With Leather auction league. I deserved to fail miserably, considering I was stupid enough to build my team around a wide receiver.

#6 — Tiger Woods Is A Sex Addict

This story technically started in 2009, when Elin Nordegren took a 3 iron to the back window of the SUV Tiger was driving, but the story was followed well into 2010, so I’ll allow it. Tiger never won a PGA event this year, which is obvious considering he was sex-less. Losing sex means losing swagger, and losing swagger means losing tournaments. A good lesson to learn for all of you sex-withholding ladies out there.

#5 — The Saints Win The Super Bowl

The Saints have already been praised for their part in the resurgence of New Orleans from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina enough times, so it’s kind of pointless for me to pat them on the back again. This game was awesome for so many reasons: the aforementioned New Orleans renaissance, the half time onside kick, and arguably the most important reason of all, the Manning pick six that clinched the game for the Saints. Some people say that every time Payton Manning sulks scientists have a breakthrough in the fight to cure cancer. I’m one of those people.

#4 — U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

I love America. I get drunk on the Fourth of July, hate communism, thank veterans constantly, and try and work in a ‘God Bless America’ at least once a day. So you won’t be surprised to hear that I went nuts when Landon Donovan scored the game-winning goal to beat Algeria in this summer’s World Cup. For a small period of time, the eyes of the world were on American soccer, and, oddly enough, our team didn’t completely suck ass. In the midst one of our worst recessions, Americans were able to pull together and cheer for a common goal. Not to mention that a good “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A!” chant is an incredible experience.

#3 — Brett Favre’s Many Failures

If you’re anything like me, you have an unabashed hated for Brett Favre. He’s been mulling over retirement since I was 14, ESPN feels obligated to report everything he does, and he’s so overrated it’s ridiculous, so it was so great for me to watch his demise throughout the course of the year. Farve’s failure started back in January, throwing an interception that screwed his team in the NFC Championship Game. And it was all down hill from there. One final offseason of ‘Will he or won’t he?’ was all the motivation God needed to destine the Gun-Slinger to a miserable season full of injuries, broken streaks, losing, and much to my enjoyment, a sex scandal with photo and audio evidence. Thank you, God, for finally deciding to start hating Brett Favre as much as I do.

#2 — Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan isn’t technically a story, but I call the shots around here, and I would follow Rex to the gates of Hell. He’s incredible. His speeches make me want to go out and start killing everything I see. I wish I could listen to them on my iPod while working out. There are so many things I love about Rex Ryan. My parents named me after his dad, and I’m going to name my son after Rex. If I could be half the man that Rex Ryan is, I’d die a happy man, even if he does like to make foot fetish porn in his spare time. He also inspired KSK’s Jets behind the scenes posts, and for that he deserves goddamn snack medal.

#1 Armando Galarrga’s Almost Perfect Game, and Subsequent Forgiveness of Jim Joyce

I know it’s corny, and that putting anything before Rex Ryan is an offense worthy of death, but I really can’t help but tear up every time I think about this story, and it deserves to be my favorite. It’s hard sometimes to remember that referees are real people, with real lives outside of their very time-consuming second job. They make mistakes, have feelings, and are incredibly dedicated to their craft, which is why I love this story so much. Jim Joyce made an awful call, robbing Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarrga of a perfect game, a performance he’ll most likely never be able to replicate. That by itself is a good story, but what made this story spectacular, and my favorite of the year, was Galarrga’s class in handling the aftermath. Galarrga had every right to go on a twitter tirade, blaming God, Bud Selig, and everyone in between, but he chose to forgive. In one act, Armando Galarraga rekindled the world’s love affair with sports. Galarraga never got his perfect game, but perfect games have been thrown 20 times before. Getting robbed of a perfect game, then forgiving the guy who botched the call, however, probably won’t happen again.

Have yourself a very happy New Year, Leather-heads, and God Bless America.


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