We’re less than three weeks away from the dawn of a new decade, and it couldn’t come any sooner.
The sporting world in the first decade of the 21st century was full of cheaters, criminals and crazed bandwagon fans. ?In a lot of ways we’ll be glad to see the 2000’s go, but we won’t wave goodbye without counting down the best and worst of the decade:
Athlete-celebritysuperstar of the decade
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Derek Jeter and Tom Brady (tie)
Before you fire off a terse e-mail about how a tie is a cop-out, consider the ladies Jeter romanced this decade: Jordana Brewster (2002ish), Jessica Alba (2004ish), Jessica Biel (2006ish) and Minka Kelly (2008ish). No athlete can claim that kind of resume this decade — maybe, ever.
While Jeter has Brady in quantity, the Patriots’ quarterback had the best athlete-celebrity storyline of the decade: Dated actress Bridget Moynahan, then dumped her for a supermodel, Gisele. Then Moynahan revealed that she was pregnant with Brady’s baby. This story put Brady on the national map with the general public more than his three Super Bowl rings. As we’ve noted many times, Brady hasn’t won a Super Bowl since he began dating Gisele.?Now they’re married with a kid.
Sports fight of the decade
The fight in Detroit between the Pistons, Pacers, and some fans was David Stern’s worst nightmare. We blame the catastrophe on the lout who threw the beer at Ron Artest, as the surly, then-Pacer lay on the scorer’s table following a fracas with Ben Wallace.
A close runner-up: The helmet-swinging melee between the University of Miami and Florida International football teams in 2006. Who said The U was dead?
– Jason Raj McIntyre covers athletes off the field and runs the popular blog, TheBigLead.com.