Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Autistic Sports Nerd's Top 13 Favorite Sports Moments of the Year

Hey guys, the Autistic Sports Nerd here!

I hope you all had a great holiday. The tradition for me has always been to do a multiple amounts of top 13 countdowns of different categories of this past year during the last week of the year. Tonight, I am doing a top 13 of my favorite 2010 moments in sports.


The Utica College Football Prime-time Game

October 2nd, 2010 the Utica College Football team played at night for the first time in the history of the program. The week leading up to it was full of buzz and excitement all throughout the campus. I was filming the game from the roof of the Charles A. Gaetano Stadium press-box and let me tell you, the atmosphere was incredible. The stadium was packed while thousands of fans were all on the outside watching the game. People were tailgating since the morning hours.

UC lost the game but it was still a good game. The students, faculty, and the fans really enjoyed it as did I. Hopefully this starts the tradition of at least one night game a year for UC football.


Utica College Soccer beats Skidmore in Overtime

A thrilling soccer game took place on September 15th, 2010. It was UC against a tough Skidmore team. A huge amount of fans came to see this classic. The game was tied at two and both teams got really good scoring chances during the final minute of regulation. The Pioneers won the game on a penalty kick with just 3:30 left to go in the first overtime. The crowd erupted and it was one heck of a game.


We won a Water Polo Game!

The Utica College men's hockey team always have a tradition of facing Utica College women sport teams in their own sports during training season. We faced the softball team in early September and lost.

The next week we took on the Water Polo team in water polo. We played them last year too and we won last year, but I did horrible. I could barely swim that year and coach ordered me to the bench after a couple of minutes.

"AJ, get to the bench, you're doggie-paddling!"

Ever since then, I kept doing swimming exercises in the pool. Finally, it was a new year and I swam a lot better during this game and got much more playing time. I had two assists. Th swimming exercises paid off.

As for the game, UC Hockey had a comfortable lead. The Water Polo team came roaring back and tied the game. In non-sudden death overtime we scored a goal and were able to hang on to the 11-10 victory.


WWE bans steel chair shots to the head

You guys are probably wondering, "where are the professional sports on this list?"

Well, this hasn't been the greatest year for professional sports in my point of view. In fact, my teams are going to be in my worst sports moments of the year countdown.

Back to the list, in wrestling you would normally see a wrestler receiving a steel chair shot to the head. Wrestling may be fake but that steel chair still hurts. In fact, over in TNA, Mr. Anderson got a concussion because Jeff Hardy was suppose to hit him in the back with the chair but got the back of his head by accident (this is a real-life situation).

You hear a lot of talk in football about more players getting concussions due to helmet-to-helmet hits. The same holds true to wrestling with a steel chair. WWE did the right thing by not allowing their wrestlers to hit people in the head with a steel chair.

TNA is even having a storyline coming from Mr. Anderson's real life concussion. A wrestler turned from heel to babyface because he didn't want to wrestle the babyface Mr. Anderson because of his concussion. He is advocating that wrestlers shouldn't wrestle if they have a concussion. A clever way to put a real-life problem into a great storyline.


UC Field Hockey beats Hartwick 2-1 in overtime

This has been a great year for Utica College sports. The UC field hockey team battled Empire 8 rival, Hartwick , in a battle to reach the postseason. The game took place on October 9th, 2010. The contest featured great goal-tending and great defensive plays from both teams.

The battle was so even and intense, it took overtime to settle it. The Pioneers won thanks to a game-winning goal by Avion Ashton on a corner play. Thanks to the victory, the Pioneers reached the playoffs for the first time since 2005.


My younger brother and I going to the Ranger game

Finally, one about one of my favorite pro teams.

I got Ranger tickets for Christmas so on January 4th, 2010, we went to Madison Square Garden to see the Rangers play the Bruins. The Rangers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but the Bruins scored two quick goals late in the third period to tie it. Christopher Higgins, a Long Island Native, scored the game-winning with just 1:29 left and the Rangers would hang on to win 3-2. What a great game to see in person!


The Knicks get Amar'e Stoudemire and they are having a great season so far

The Knicks have been bad for years! It was awful. But in the summer of 2010, things changed.

LeBron went to Miami and so did Bosh. All seemed lost but we got Stoudemire and Raymond Felton to join our team. These two have helped the Knicks get off to a great start. We might make the playoffs for the first time since 2004

I'm really excited how the Knicks are turning it around. The Rangers are having a pretty good start to their season as well. I think both of them are going to make the playoffs in the same year for the first time since 1997. I hope so.


Running the mile in less than six minutes

The Hockey team always have a test where they need to run a mile in six minutes or less during training season. I joined them and the first time I did it, I got 6:35. Knowing I came close, I got up at 6:00 am the next week and tried it again. Week after week I kept trying until I was able to run around the track four times (1 mile) in six minutes or less.

I was getting closer but still falling short. I decided to quit and wait until the spring since the weather was getting colder, However, my mom surprised me by mailing me up a pair of running sneakers. My old sneakers were not good for running. AFter giving these running sneakers a test run, I knew I could do the mile in six minutes or less the next time. Friday morning came. My assistant coach yelled go and off I went.

First Lap: 1:08
Second Lap: 2:40
Third Lap: 4:20

Just one more lap to go and then I crossed the finish line. Coach Noyes showed me the time on the timer: 5:52

It was awesome. I climbed over the fence from the track, and my right leg got stuck on top of the fence. Noyes had to come over and help get it off.

Okay no more bias picks in the countdown.


Team Autism wins its first basketball game ever

Okay, maybe one more.

Team Autism has battled many games in intramural basketball but we had always come up short. On November 30th, 2010 I took a nap and had a dream. I dreamt that I was in a house full of strangers. I told these strangers that Team Autism never won a basketball game before but we would win one in the future. Later that night, team Autism won its first basketball game in the history of the franchise by a score of 25-14. It was like a dream come true.


Going to the Yankee Game with my Grandfather, Uncle, Aunt and Cousins

August 16th, 2010, my Grandfather and Uncle surprised me on my birthday the day before by telling me they were taking me to the Yankee game. We went and we sat in the Mohegan Sun seats.

My all time favorite moment going to a Yankees' game was my Uncle asking me who my favorite Yankee was and I told them Andy Pettitte. My grandfather and Uncle came back a few minutes later with an Andy Pettitte shirt. I couldn't believe it. It was a great night.


The UC Hockey team is off to a great start

The Utica College men's ice hockey team is off to its best start in years. They are 9-4-0 and are now #12 in the nation. We had a stretch where we beat three nationally ranked teams in a row. We played the #1 team in the nation twice and lost by one goal in each of them. The Pioneers have fifteen freshman on the team but they as well as the veterans are working hard and playing great hockey so far.


The Wiffleball and Volleyball Tournaments

In February of 2010, the Autism Awareness Club hosted a volleyball tournament. Half of the money made for the tournament went to benefit people with disabilities at the Kelberman Center. The men's basktball team defeated men's hockey in the Championship game by a single point in the final set. The match didn't end until midnight. It was an incredible match and tournament. The winning team gets half of the total money made but the men's basketball team wanted to donate their share to the Kelberman Center. As a result, over $100 went to the Kelberman Center to benefit people with disabilities.

In September of 2010, the Autism Awareness Club along with the Utica College Disability and Disorder Society hosted a Wiffelball for Disabilities tournament. Team Disability made it to the championship game but fell to the men's hockey team 3-1. It was a great game and a great tournament. Men's Hockey also donated their winnings to the Kelberman Center.

It was cool seeing the different teams, organizations, sororities, etc. participate in the tournament. It was a special experience.

And speaking of Wiffleball..........


The Father's Day Wiffleball Game

It is a well-established tradition. Every Father's Day, we have a Fathers vs. Sons game of Wiffleball for nine innings. The Fathers have won every year. The sons have never won one. We vowed that this year (2010) would be different. Here's the pasted summary from a previous blog post on how the game went down.

"The sons have never beaten the Dads in a Whiffleball game before. Back in 2003, we fell to them 19-17 and a couple of years later, they blew us out.

This was our chance. We were a lot older now and the Dad's were getting too old.

I loved our chances.

It was a pitcher's duel early. Stephen pitched a scoreless inning while the Dads shut us down in the first two frames.

I pitched in the bottom of the second and faced a bases loaded jam. Kevin was up who doubled in his first at-bat. Luckily I was able to strike him out to escape the jam. Scoreless after two.

In the top of the fourth inning, Our bats exploded. Single, double, single, double....we scored six runs. A six run fourth inning. We were up 6-0, we were confident.

Stephen would have hit a home run but as the ball was going it crashed into some trees in front of the right field fence. The ball was dangling in the leaves and finally dropped down on the ground in front of the fence. Kevin Fitzsimmons with a great heads up play, made the catch as it fell from the leaves of the tree. We couldn't believe it! Had that tree not been there, Stephen would have hit his third Home Run in two days. This was Kevin's first game in the yard so it was amazing he was able to recognize the territory and make the play.

Our pitching rotation was going strong. We made it to the bottom of the seventh. (This was a nine inning game) We were still up 6-0. Unfortunately, the Dads started a furious comeback by dinking and dunking. Singles and doubles were getting hit and THEY scored six runs. We were tied at six at the end of seven. In the top of the eight, we scored two more runs to go up 8-6. We added an insurance run in the Top of the 9th to go up 9-6. It was the bottom of the 9th with the Sons holding a three run lead.

We were just one inning away from the first ever victory of the Sons over the Dads. Our best pitcher, Stephen was at the helm.

The Dads started singling us to death. One run scored, then another. All of a sudden the game was tied. The bases were loaded with one out. We were one out away from going to extra innings. Kenny was up. The lefty took Stephen's pitch and hooked it into the trees and the ball dropped in fair territory. The Dads beat the Sons 10-9 in a come from behind Walk-off win. I guess our defeat and their victory was a Father's Day gift from us to the Dads.

The Dads still remain unbeaten against the Sons."

Hopefully in 2011, the sons will finally win one. You guys are probably wondering, how could I put a game in which my team lost as the #1 favorite sports moment of the year? Because I love playing wiffleball with my family, that's why.

I'm the Autistic Sports Nerd, have a good night guys!


  1. Cool list, but hey... I went to Skidmore! I can't support #12 at all!
    Happy New Year ASN.

  2. Oh wow, I had no idea. haha

    Thanks Todd and Happy New Year to you as well.