Quoting the impassioned words in the Sam Cook song Cupid covered by prominent 1980s rock balladeer Graham Parker: "Cupid, draw back your bow and let your arrow go, straight to..." February, 2010, the sports month that roared like a grouchy tiger.
February as a sports month in America normally ranks in significance with Alabama as a winter sports destination and cheese puffs as a high nutrition food item. Most NFL players are resting their weary bones following another body-jarring season. The Major League Baseball season is in restless hibernation. The NBA season continues its painfully plodding pace toward the playoffs. The NCAA basketball tournament is gaining momentum with March Madness still weeks away.
With relatively little inspirational sports programming tempting sports fans to spend too much time in front of their televisions, February is the ideal month to schedule a national holiday (Valentine's Day) that celebrates expressions of love between romantic partners.
But with such stories as a rousing winter Olympics for North Americans, an inspirational Super Bowl performance and a much-anticipated Tiger sighting, February 2010 did in fact invoke heightened passions from American sports fans and can now be considered a sports month that mattered.
We begin the review with anticipated news out of the UK, where Fabio Capello, the head coach of England's national soccer team that is finally a favorite to win a World Cup title, on February 5 removed defender John Terry as captain of the revered side. That's like Captain Stubing being fired from his perched position of the Love Boat right before sweeps season.
The emphatic news was nonetheless not surprising because the married Terry had been accused for weeks of having an affair with the fiancé of one of his teammates on the England squad, Wayne Bridge. It was shocking, though, that the fiancé, French lingerie model Vanessa Perroncel, announced at a press conference that same day that she would not sell her story to the British tabloid media for hundreds of thousands of dollars and that she did not reveal that she had slept with Tiger Woods.
Two days later, at the Super Bowl in Miami, a more soothing kind of love penetrated the air in the form of football arrows fired by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees into the hearts of the team's now ever-loving fans. Brees orchestrated a passionate comeback against the Indianapolis Colts
Brees -- philanthropist, football cupid and all-around good guy -- has achieved such a high level of admiration from Saints fans that the only way he might alienate them is if he slept with Tiger Woods.
On February 14, Daytona 500 organizers left a hole in the hearts of NASCAR fans when a pothole on the track delayed the race for more than two hours. A rumor blamed the pothole fiasco on beer-parched NASCAR fans who snuck onto the track Saturday night after falsely hearing that a keg of crisp-tasting Pabst Blue Ribbon was buried under the track.
The hearts of NASCAR fans were left aflutter the previous day in Daytona when car racing diva Danica Patrick made her NASCAR debut in a 300-mile race. All the positive emotion has convinced Patrick to consider changing her sponsor from GoDaddy.com to Who'sYourDaddy.net.
Also on February 14, the most uninspiring sporting event on the planet also known as the NBA All-Star Game miraculously attracted close to 109,000 fans at the new Cowboys Stadium. Initial reports credited the record-setting crowd to rumors that all of Tiger Woods' mistresses would be performing a half-time dance routine. But NBA officials cancelled the performance, citing concern that the players would be too distracted to play to their potential.
Most athletes competed to their potential at the Vancouver Olympics, where the games started off on Feb. 12 with the devastating death of a luge athlete from the country of Georgia. Warm weather and disappointing performances by Canadian athletes during the first week, including a heartbreaking loss to the United States by Canada's men's hockey team, further dampened the spirits of the home fans.
Meanwhile, American athletes quickly tugged at the heartstrings of its enamored fans, mostly women who passed out at the site of short track speed skater Apolo Anton "the Adonis" Ohno winning his first medal of the games, a silver, on the second day of competition.
Mainstream America fell in love for the first time with skiing's most dominant athlete, the photogenic Lindsey Vonn, who showed as much guts as heart by winning her first gold medal in her first event, the downhill, despite enduring a bruised shin that, if as painful as suggested, must have looked like lice-infested liverwurst.
After the games Vonn proclaimed, as many past female Olympic champions have, that she would like to immediately start a family, although she vowed that it would not disrupt her competitions. That prompted Vonn's husband/spokesman Thomas to comment that Vonn is so tough that she would even give birth on the chair lift riding up to the starting gate for a World Cup downhill race, and still attempt the race, if that's what it took to win.
Americans revived their passion for former bad boy turned humbled first-time father Bode Miller, who also won his first Olympic gold, in the super combined, an event that features a downhill, a slalom, and, for the first time at the Vancouver Games, a beer pong game held out of site of the fans and media.
Miller likely ended his storied career as the best U.S. skier in history and hinted that he might return for another Olympics only if Zen master Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to be his coach.
Canada finished strong at the Olympics, winning more gold medals (14) than any other country. All but three of them were won on ice surfaces (bobsled, curling, hockey, skating), inspiring the Canadian government to consider freezing the country's entire landmass to ensure success at future Olympic games.
No event was celebrated more grandly by Canadians than the men's hockey team winning gold in overtime against the U.S. on the last day of the games. Such profound wins in sports often lead to an increase in amorous activity during evening celebrations, likely resulting in a flurry of Canadian love children who will all become Olympic champion ice hockey players or curlers.
In an act of political sportsmanship, President Obama promised to deliver on his lost wager of a case of Molson Beer to Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper, who breathed a sigh of relief after the Canadians' hockey win. It was rumored that if Canada lost, Harper would have had to deliver free health care to all U.S. citizens.
Now that most of Tiger Woods' sponsors have dropped the globe's most prominent sports figure, free health care would help Woods more easily pay for therapy for a still unspecified sexual condition that prompted the golfer to set a world record for holes-in one made off of a golf course.
The media were hoping to find out all about Woods' philandering at a press conference the guilt-ridden golfer gave on February 19. Instead, they heard Tiger apologize repeatedly for being unfaithful to his wife and that he has been receiving "guidance for issues" he was facing.
Arnold Palmer, considered one of the most dignified golfers in history, later commented that he was relieved that Woods was making an effort to curtail his excessive use of loud profanity and a tendency to slam and throw clubs at PGA tournaments.
Speaking of tournaments, a big one takes place in March, promising to make it a second consecutive mad month for sports.