There are a million 'Top 10' or 'Best of' posts floating around this week, so naturally I thought I would take a stab.
But first, a disclaimer: This will be the best 10 minutes of your day, I promise.
Thanks to the wonders of online video, virtually any great play you can remember can be found on YouTube.
Doesn't matter the sport, the season or the team, someone has probably uploaded it.
This year saw some great sports moments (Bears, Bulls) and some not so great moments (Bears, Cubs, Sox).
Even if you aren't a sports fan, this kind of post is for you as you can quickly peruse a year's worth of exceptional athletics without commercial interruption.
10. The Blackhawks come from behind...and lose
The Blackhawks snuck into the playoffs, dug an 0-3 hole and came back to force a Game 7 against the heavily favored #1 Vancouver Canucks. The game went to OT and then in one blink of an eye, the game was over. The season was over. But that extra rest seemed to help the team, who are now the first team to 50 points and looking at a #1 seed for the 2012 playoffs.
9. Oh say can you beat the Seahawks?
This isn't as much a play on the field, but Jim Cornelison sang the National Anthem before the Bears/Seahawks playoff game last January. It was a breathtaking performance and one that motivated our team (and fans) to a playoff win. They tried it again the next week and at the beginning of this year, but the moment against Seattle was by far the best. The combination of the bombs, the jets flying over, the snow and the screaming fans? Too much! USA! USA! USA!
8. Eww, backs aren't supposed to bend that way
This is one that you might want to skip if you are squeamish. Johnny Knox made Chicago hold its collective breath after this back-breaking (literally) hit.
7. Adam Dunn strikes out in the Chi!
Adam Dunn came to Chicago with hopes of becoming the next huge slugger. Instead, he set records for strikeouts and low batting average. Thanks to a YouTube creator, we are given a Justin Bieber mix to along with the strikeouts! How great is that?
6. The end of the Bears 2011 campaign
The Bears were throttling the San Diego Chargers. The Bears were about to win five in a row. The Bears were the only team that could challenge the Packers. After this play (and a few hours of post-game media), we were told that the season was over and that all thoughts should be diverted to the 2012 season. Johnny Knox fell down, the Bears fell apart. Surprisingly, I can't locate the clip of that play. So instead I give you the great parody song inspired by the injury.
Oh yeah, and then add this Barber boneheaded play and the season is officially over. I like this clip because the guy just put his TV on slow motion to really showcase the idiocy.
5. Devin Hester is ridiculous (and hall of fame bound)
Okay, there were a handful of good moments this season. Devin Hester set the NFL record for punt returns against the Panthers. He didn't make the Pro Bowl this year, but what a great moment for a star that makes us wait to go to the bathroom after punts.
4. Carlos Zambrano's annual flip-out
The bombastic pitcher didn't disappoint the Cubbie faithful by continuing his streak of total meltdowns. This year wasn't all about what was on the field, but I guess after this ejection, he told the clubhouse that he was retiring and cleared out his locker. Quade flipped and fired him, then brought him back and IR'd him and didn't play again in 2011. Will he be a Cub in 2012? Hopefully, just for the blow-ups.
3. Derrick Rose.
This list can't be complete without a poster play from Derrick Rose. Um, how bout several poster plays from Derrick Rose. I'm not the only one that thinks this - ESPN made a top 10 plays of Derrick Rose. And all could make this list. Unbelievable. And it doesn't even include Xmas day's heroics against the Lakers.
2. Julius Peppers vs. Aaron Rodgers
Sure we lost the NFC Championship and sure this is technically illegal, but this play might be my favorite play of the year. Watch the replay too.
1. Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson?
Taj Gibson's thunder-dunk in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals made the whole city stand up and clamor for a championship. Then the Bulls lost four in a row. But this dunk was probably the most talked about play in Chicago sports 2011. Congrats Taj.