If you are a sports fan, there is no better place to live than Southern California, with all the great events, venues, teams and players, you will never go very long without some excitement. Sunday night, whether you were in person at the Beverly Hilton or watching it live on FSN Prime Ticket, you were able to relive the top events of 2006 at the 2nd annual Greatest Moments in Sports Awards, presented by the Los Angeles Sports Council.
The event was co-hosted by sportscasters Bill Macdonald and Petros Papadakis and was filled some of the biggest sports names in Southern California. A partial list of attendees included; long-time dodger announcer Vin Scully, Laker coach Phil Jackson, who accepted the award for Kobe Bryant, Cipper general manager and NBA-great Elgin Baylor, Olympian's Janet Evans and Sasha Cohen, Angel's pitcher Jered Weaver and UCLA Bruins Aaron Afflalo and Eric McNeal.
Basketball on this night dominated the show. Elton Brand of the Los Angeles Clippers was named Sportsman of the Year. The Los Angeles Sparks Lisa Leslie was named Sportswoman of the Year. Finally the Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant was given the award for the top sports moment for his 81-point game versus the Toronto Raptors. The executive of the year had co-winners, as Ned Collettie of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Brian Burke of the Anaheim Ducks each took home a trophy.
The complete list of the Top 10 moments as selected by a blue-ribbon media panel comprised of representatives from the local print and electronic media and was chaired by noted local sports historian Rich Perelman is:
1. Kobe Bryant scores 81 points (January 22): Bryant produced the second-highest single-game point total in NBA history in leading the Lakers to a win over Toronto.
2. Dodgers hit 4 consecutive homers (September 19): The Dodgers blasted back-to-back-to-back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the score against San Diego, then won, 11-10, on Nomar Garciaparra's two-run shot in the 10th.
3. USC-Texas Rose Bowl classic (January 4): In one of the greatest games ever in college football history, Texas quarterback Vince Young scored with 19 seconds remaining to lift the Longhorns to a 41-38 win and the national championship.
4. UCLA stops USC, 13-9 (December 2): The Bruins stunned their cross-town rivals in football to snap a seven-game series losing streak and knock the Trojans out of national championship contention.
5. UCLA reaches Final Four (April 3): The Bruins capped an incredible March Madness run by reaching the Final Four and Championship game for the first time in 11 years.
6. Clippers win first playoff series (May 1): The Clippers defeated Denver, 4 games to 1, to earn their first playoff series win since 1978.
7. Jered Weaver wins 9 straight to begin career (August 18): The Angels pitcher went 9-0 to start his major league career, tying Whitey Ford's rookie mark set in 1950.
8. Ducks set NHL record for best start (November 9): Anaheim established a new NHL record by recording at least one standings point in each of their first 16 games, going 12-0-4.
9. Lisa Leslie scores 5,000th career point (June 24): Leslie became the first WNBA player to total 5,000 career points.
10. Tiger Woods wins 6 straight PGA events (July 23-October 1): The native Southern Californian won six consecutive PGA Tour events and eight overall, retaining his No. 1 world ranking.
In addition to those awards, eighteen other awards were presented for the top moment of the year for each major local team and university, as well as for golf, horse racing, motor sports and tennis. Voting for these awards was based on fan votes taken at the L.A. Sports Council's website, www.lasports.org. Roughly 10,000 votes were cast.