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In recent days, I've been in a reflective mood. First I reflected on all the macaroni and cheese I ate during the holidays, and I'm aiming to do better in 2011 (I'll use fat-free cheese next time). And now I'm taking time to reflect on athletes who, despite all odds, had their Best Year Ever in the year that's coming to a close.
I know, I know. Favre enjoyed the best statistical season of his career in 2009, so it's hard to make the case that 2010 was his best year, considering his on- and off-field struggles. But think about it: Not having to participate in training camp. Teammates visiting your home to beg you out of retirement. Getting a slap on the wrist for what is normally a fireable offense. Except for some injures; Favre had it good this year.
Ultimately, the incriminating voicemails and photos, as well as the vicodin addiction that plagued him early in his career, will be mere footnotes in Favre's story. Yes, there was never a dull moment in his farewell tour. But as the future Hall of Famer's career comes to an end (I hope), I'll remember his decades of football heroics, and not the unsavory scandals.
Agent Zero's year started off rocky: he was suspended for 50 games and ordered to live in a halfway house for bringing a firearm to the arena. But two weeks ago, a blockbuster trade that sent him to the Orlando Magic, an Eastern Conference contender, gave Arenas a second chance at a successful career. How many people get to bring guns to the workplace and receive a promotion? That's essentially what happened to Arenas.
After Vick lit up fantasy football scoreboards with six TDs against the Redskins, folks around the country were saying, "what dogs?" Vick was also named a Pro Bowl starter, and has been mentioned as an MVP candidate. Off the field, Vick starred in a commercial for a local car dealer, was backed by the Humane Society of the United States, and got a shout-out from Soul Brother No. 1, Barack Obama. That's what I call a good year.
Leave a comment and tell me who you think had the Best Year Ever. Other possibilities could be the Connecticut Huskies (or all of women's college basketball), the resurgent New York Knicks, or Blake Griffin.