"The asterisk really has no place in sports." - Brad Berkowitz
I couldn't agree more with Mr. Berkowitz's opinion. Nevertheless, asterisks are showing up more frequently throughout the sports world. This is one fan's list of the top five sports asterisks that have appeared in 2012:
5. Olympic Games Gold Medal: The official website for the London Olympics lists New Zealand's Valerie Adams as the gold medalist in the women's shot put, with a winning effort of 20.70 meters. Belarus' Nadzeya Ostapchuk achieved 21.36 meters and was awarded the gold medal on the field. She was later disqualified for testing positive for an anabolic steroid. Adams was surprised when first informed she would be receiving the gold medal.
4. Batting Title: Officially, Buster Posey, catcher for the San Francisco Giants, has won the National League batting title with a .336 average. By the League's own rules, Melky Cabrera (also with the Giants) qualified for the award with a .346 average. Cabrera, however, had received a 50 game suspension for a positive testosterone test. To his credit, Melky Cabrera requested that the League remove his name from consideration for the award.
3. No Hitter: The June 2nd cover of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch featured the headline "NO-HITTER*", referencing Johan Santana's no-hitter thrown for the New York Mets. The game was marred, in some people's opinion, by an umpiring blown call that should have resulted in a hit. A hit would, of course, had ended the bid for the first no-hitter in Mets' history.
2. Tour de France: Lance Armstrong was awarded the yellow jersey, for winning the Tour de France, seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005. The United States Anti-Doping Agency recently stripped Armstrong of all competitive results from August 1, 1998 through the present. Armstrong had been accused for years of having used performance enhancing substances, but no definitive proof was ever presented. In 2012 he chose to stop fighting, but those of us who watched any of those races will never forget his dominance.
1. College Football: Joe Paterno earned 409 victories as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, the all-time major college record. As part of a punishment to the University for off-field activities, which had nothing to do with the team's performances on the field, the NCAA "vacated" 111 wins from the record, enough to not only remove Paterno from #1, but all the way out of the top 10. According to the Chicago Tribune of July 20th, "The city attorney and mayor of Grambling, LA. ..." had requested that the NCAA remove some of Paterno's wins, so their own coach could once again hold the record.
Harold Andrews has been an avid sports fan for nearly 50 years. He believes the results of competition should not be altered, and that Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.sources:
Brad Berkowitz, The Sports Asterisk, available at http://www.examiner.com