Or, more accurately, the top ten stories of 2010 affecting the Mets, Jets, and the world 200 Miles From The Citi.
(Yes, I wish I had better artwork for my year-ender...maybe a year from now...)
#10 - Twitter
In 2010 I dove headfirst into the twitter world. I've realized its benefits, drawbacks, and annoyances. I've connected somewhat with other Jets and Mets fans. I may have gained one or two more readers. I've upped my followers quite a bit since I started actively using twitter in the fall. It's been a fun - and sometimes frustrating - resource to explore. I'm sure my usage of twitter will only increase in 2011 when I'm on for a full baseball season. Follow along @200miles_citi.
#9 - Mets First Half
The fact that the Mets slogged to a fourth place finish four games below .500 was not a shock - in fact, it was better than what I expected from them before the season. But the fact that the Mets entered the All Star break just four games back of Atlanta, in second place, was a big part of my 2010.
#8 - End Of The Line For Chad Pennington?
It's not a major story in the wide world of sports by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a tremendous story in the world according to '200 Miles From The Citi'. We may have seen the last of Chad Pennington on a football field in 2010. His comeback as a player lasted all of one possession for the Dolphins in November before he was injured again. Time to stop messing around, Chad, and take your place as the next great coach.
#7 - New Meadowlands Stadium
Since I'm obsessed with ballparks/stadiums, it's impossible not to put the new home of the Jets on this list. I'm not sure if the bigger story here, though, is the fact that I attended the first-ever Jets game at New Meadowlands Stadium - the pre-season game with the Giants - or the fact that I never made it to a regular season game at the stadium. I was counting on a playoff home game...clearly a gamble I lost.
#6 - Near No-Hitters
It's a well-known fact that the Mets have never thrown a no-hitter. It's only slightly lesser-known that I have never attended a no-hitter. (Or many other significant events, for that matter...but that's a story for another day.) 2010, though, brought two near-misses. The first came on the second of two games I attended on my trip to Safeco Field in Seattle this summer. The game ended 8-6 in extra innings, but the no-hitter for John Lackey lasted until there were 2 outs in the eighth inning.
The second came in August - my last visit to Citi Field before my self-imposed Mets boycott took effect. R. A. Dickey lost his no-hitter earlier in the game, but it was the only hit he gave up in a complete game effort - and it was to Cole Hamels, the opposing pitcher. Maybe 2011 will bring better luck for me as far as historical events are concerned.
#5 - Jets 2010 Regular Season
The groundwork for the Jets' 2010 regular season was laid in January, with the 2009 team's run to the AFC Championship Game. Then there were additions like Antonio Cromartie, Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes, and LaDainian Tomlinson, and the expectations were cemented - Super Bowl or bust.
There's been some bust mixed in with success - plenty of scandal Monday through Saturday to complement the football on Sunday - and the end result of 2010 for the Jets is a wild card playoff berth heading into this January.
#4 - Jets on 'Hard Knocks'
Better even than the Jets regular season was the Jets preseason. Was 'Hard Knocks' as awesome as it was built up to be or what? From the pump-you-up opening theme song to the Darrelle Revis signing and joining the team in the final episode (all of which I reviewed), it was a pretty good way to get primed for an exciting year. A brutally honest look at the hometown team, though...I don't know that I would choose to go through it again. (Justin at Sports Crackle Pop! will do it again next year, no matter who the team is...make sure you read his reviews in 2011 and beyond.)
#3 - Mets Fire Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel
I haven't written much about the hirings of Sandy Alderson (and five other GMs in assistant roles) and Terry Collins. In 2010, they're unknowns for the Mets. What was known in 2010 was that Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya were not bringing a championship to Citi Field anytime soon. So the end of their tenures got more attention from me than the subsequent hirings.
#2 - I Pick The 2010 World Series - In March
I made a pretty big deal out of this all through October. But back in March, I picked 7 of the 8 Major League Baseball playoff teams, and I had the Giants beating the Rangers in the World Series. The pick didn't quite lead to the worldwide fame and fortune I anticipated, but I'm still pretty proud of what I did. You might be tired of hearing about it, but it's not like I picked two favorites - and it's not like it was totally luck. It was the result of thinking outside the box, careful analysis.....and a bit of luck.
#1 - Jets Playoff Run
Sad but true, the best part of 2010 came in the year's first month. The Jets playoff run to the AFC Championship Game may have ended in disappointing fashion, but it was an awesome ride.
And I'll tell you what was even more awesome about January. Watching the Jets is usually a (self-imposed) isolated experience for me. I get a little too excited sometimes and I'm better left alone. Sometimes I have to watch the game with other people if I have to go out to a bar to see the Jets...but with the playoffs, every game is available in the privacy of my own home. And this January, I was able to share the joy of the Jets' run with others.
I watched the Jets beat the Bengals with my wife and kids, and I didn't scare them, so that worked out well. And when the Jets won, I knew I'd be watching them against the Chargers the following week with good friends who were visiting for the weekend (better known as Justin from Sports Crackle Pop!, the Southern Bureau, and Dave in Brighton). Although I think they enjoyed the experience of watching me watching the Jets more than the game itself, I loved having their company for the game. And my parents drove up to watch the AFC Championship Game with me, which was just awesome.
In 2011 I hope I can return the favor to my parents, at least. Except I hope a year from now my number one story of the year will be how I traveled to New York - or maybe Dallas - to be with my dad to watch the Jets win the Super Bowl.