Commentary

Best of 2009 and a nod to '10

Updated: December 31, 2009, 1:51 PM ET
By Scoop Jackson | ESPN.com

Things that should have happened in 2009 but didn't:
1. The Cavs getting to the NBA Finals
2. Brett Favre failing in his return
3. Lance Armstrong coming back and miraculously winning the Tour de France
4. A-Rod not winning a ring
5. Michael Jordan giving a gracious HOF speech

[+] EnlargeLamar Odom
AP Photo/Chris PizzelloKhloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom surprised us by getting married after a month-long courtship.

Things that should have gone wrong:
1. An athlete getting in legal trouble for something said on Facebook or Twitter
2. Michael Vick's return to football
3. Brandon Jennings' rookie season
4. Ron Artest on the Lakers (still pending)
5. The Angels' season after Nick Adenhart's death

Things that should have gone worse than they actually did:
1. Serena's meltdown at the US Open
2. The Odom/Kardashian wedding
3. LeGarrette Blount's football career and the Oregon Ducks' football season
4. Tim Donaghy's "60 Minutes" interview
5. "Sunday Night Football" losing John Madden

Sports stories that should have been bigger:
1. Jimmie Johnson winning a fourth straight Sprint Cup championship
2. The Penn State women's volleyball team winning a third straight NCAA championship (and extending their win streak to 102 matches)
3. Santonio Holmes' catch in the Super Bowl (note: David Tyree got a book deal out of his catch and it wasn't nearly as spectacular or game-winning)
4. Jim Caldwell stellar job of replacing Tony Dungy as Colts head coach
5. Sasha Vujacic dating Maria Sharapova

People who shook the Sports Illustrated cover jinx:
1. Mark Ingram (won Heisman two weeks after being on cover)
2. Mariano Rivera (won the World Series one month after cover)
3. Joe Mauer (won AL MVP despite June cover)
4. Nick Saban (Alabama is still undefeated, playing for BCS title even though he was on regional SEC preview cover)
5. Stephen Colbert (his show is still on Comedy Central one week after cover)

Best sports films:
1. "Invictus"
2. "More Than A Game"
3. "The Damned United"
4. "Sugar"
5. "Tyson"
(and best non-sports films: "This Is It," "The Princess and The Frog," "District 9," "The Hangover," "Up")

Must reads:
1. Shaq's tweets
2. Chicago Tribune's 36-page HOF pull-out tribute to Michael Jordan
3. Howard Bryant's "Faith unrewarded" piece on David Ortiz
4. Tim Keown's "Don't quit your day job" piece on Manny Pacquiao
5. Terry Shropshire's commentary on Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas on Rollingout.com

[+] EnlargeUsain Bolt
Fabrice Coffrini/Getty ImagesIf you blinked (or didn't tune in) when Usain Bolt ran, you missed something spectacular.

Next "Nexts:"
1. Skylar Diggins
2. Malcolm Jones
3. Harrison Barnes
4. Bryce Harper
5. Tiffany Perez

Names you'll hear more than once in 2010:
1. Mark Steinberg
2. IMG
3. Latosha Lee
4. Didier Drogba
5. Jerry Jones

Things the media got right:
1. Time magazine making Usain Bolt a person of the year runner-up
2. National Enquirer reporting on a Tiger Woods affair before the accident
3. Everyone who predicted Charlie Weis' firing at Notre Dame
4. Skip Bayless saying T.O. would not work out in Buffalo
5. Selena Roberts on A-Rod

Games/events that should not have been missed:
1. 100 meter and 200 meter finals at the world track championships
2. Syracuse-UConn six-OT epic in the Big East tournament
3. MLB game No. 163 between the Twins and the Tigers (AL play-in game)
4. NCAA women's volleyball championship match (Penn State-Texas)
5. Games 1-6 in first-round playoff series between the Celtics and the Bulls

Things that got way too much attention:
1. Jordan Crawford's dunk on LeBron James
2. Bill Belichick's fourth-and-2 decision
3. Melanie Oudin's run through the U.S. Open
4. Rush Limbaugh's interest in becoming part of an ownership team bidding to buy the St. Louis Rams
5. Uh … Tiger Woods

Scoop Jackson is a columnist for ESPN.com.

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