My Top Sports Moments of 2011

Posted: December 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s the last day of 2011, and like everyone else, I’m making some sort of “Best of 2011” list. As many of you know, I’m a huge sports nut and have had the privilege of working for many teams, both professional and collegiate. So, I’ve decided to make a list of my favorite moments in sports in 2011, including memories from my time with Baylor and the Mavericks.

5. Baylor Lady Bears are Big 12 Champions

 The picture to the left is a personal picture that I took from my position on media row. I had the opportunity to work with the Athletic Communications staff for the Lady Bears and this moment was a very proud one. It was the culmination of a full season of hard work for this very special group of women. It was also an emotional moment for me because the Lady Bears were a favorite to win the National Championship and it was an exciting time. My memories from working for this team are all great. From Kim Mulkey wanting “snacks,” literally running into Brittney Griner, working with one of the greatest ladies I’ll ever know (Julie Bennett) and having the chance to help host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. I’ll never forget a moment, but this one was definitely one of the best. It was a moment of immense pride and joy. Just a happy moment for everyone involved and Baylor Nation!

4. July 25, 2011: The NFL is back

After 118 days of labor disputes, the NFL is back! This was definitely one of the best days of the summer. It was just too hard to fathom both the NFL and NBA missing parts, or all, of the season because of a lockout. After a summer full of arguing and negotiating, teams and players were ready to get back to work. The 2011 season has been a surprise so far. The Tebow craze, Suck for Luck and the rise of rookies are just a few. Tim Tebow started the season as third string quarterback and is now the starter and has led his team to 7-3 and a possible playoff contender. The Indianapolis Colts lost Peyton Maning due to neck surgeries and the “Suck for Luck” campaign ensued. Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Blaine Gabbert, Von Miller and DeMarco Murray all began their NFL careers in 2011 and have dominated for their respective teams.

3. Baylor Football

Where do I start? I could make a list of the greatest sports moments in 2011 solely from Baylor football. Let’s start with the Heisman. Robert Griffin III is the first Baylor player to win the prestigious award. He also broke, or holds, multiple Baylor and NCAA football records. The Baylor Bears finished 10-3. They were a perfect 7-0 at Floyd Casey Stadium and finished 6-3 in the Big 12. They are also Alamo Bowl Champions. Basically, the Baylor football dominated in 2011. On top of the success of this year, Baylor announced plans to build an on-campus football stadium in the near future. Robert Griffin III will also go in the first round if he decides to forgo his senior year and declare for the NFL draft. 2011 was a great year to be a Baylor Bear and a Baylor football fan!

2. December 8, 2011: The NBA is back

I’m a huge NBA fan, so on July 1, 2011, my heart broke when the NBA began its lockout. Every day that the negotiations drug on,my heart continued to break. The Dallas Mavericks, my hometown team, had just won its first NBA Championship and wasn’t able to celebrate together. So, on December 8, I was awoken by a text in the middle of the night that the NBA had agreed to a deal. Definitely a better day for me than when the NFL lockout was lifted. I couldn’t wait to see the Mavericks raise their banner and start the 2011-2012 season defending their title, even if the team wasn’t the same as the year before.

1. Dallas Mavericks: NBA Champions

The city of Dallas had a huge reason to celebrate on June 12, 2011. Their Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals to win its first NBA title. For me, it meant a little more. I had the chance to work as a member of the NBA Communications staff during the NBA Finals. Every home game of the Finals, I arrived a few hours before tipoff to help prepare for the game and get the press box and other media areas ready. I had the chance to meet so many wonderful people in the NBA and sports world. Pictures and stories can’t begin to explain what it was like. To be able to work for my favorite team was a dream come true, even if I was only a stat runner. It’s still unbelievable that I played a very small part in the Championship run. There were moments that I had to fight back tears and control my emotions (You can’t show favoritism in the press box). But what’s even more unbelievable is that a team full of 30-somethings, and a team most sports analysts doubted, are NBA Champions. MY Dallas Mavericks!

Christmas Day was the cherry on top of my greatest sports moments of 2011. Fighting back sports tears, I watched as the Mavericks raised their Championship banner to the rafters in the American Airlines Center. Seeing Dirk and Jason Kidd fight back tears didn’t make me feel bad for crying. They were finally fulfilling their dream, and so was I, although in a different context. Both of those guys had played their hearts and bodies out for years and finally achieved their goal. I was born and raised a Mavericks fan and suffered through many losing seasons. In 1997, when Dirk Nowitzki arrived in Dallas, I knew things would be different for the Mavericks in the future. It was always disheartening to go out in the first or second round of the playoffs year after year. And the greatest disappointment in 2006. All the haters and doubters were finally put to rest on June 12, 2011. And the video below was the final celebration. Banners fly forever, Mavs fans!!

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