For six years now, this column has closed out the calendar with a "Year in Sports" roundup. Here they are in what a history professor of mine, commenting on a history paper I'd written, called my "highly unorthodox, chronological style":
For Year 7, I'd like to do it a little differently.
My usual method is to spend a week in the desert consuming peyote and writing down everything that happens in my visions. Beats taking notes all year and you'd be surprised how often my visions have happened to be similar to what actually happened in sports over the previous 12 months. Readers haven't noticed anything amiss.
Alas, the recession has hit the peyote industry hard and my dealer was laid off last month.
So I'm turning to you. Not for peyote. Don't be silly.
Wait, can you get me some?
No, not for that. What I mean is let's do this together. In the comments section, please list what you think are the top three sports stories of 2008, based on whatever criteria you'd like. Then, if you would, tell us what you think the most under-appreciated story of 2008 will be. What story would you bet will be left out of most Year in Sports pieces, but shouldn't be.
The last is your chance to show off, to be like the music critics who declare an album of rhythmic sneezing by trained spider monkeys the Record of the Year, but without having to argue that the thrilling Bahamian 12-and-under badminton championship match was actually more important than the Olympics.
I'll collect your responses and then, I don't know, go drink myself silly on eggnog and write the Year in Sports piece.
Meanwhile, if you're looking for a good gift for that music lover on your list, "The Pepper Tapes" by the Rory Hawthorne Spider Monkey Quintet is the best thing I heard this year.