David Letterman might stop at 10 on his lists, but 2008 had enough interesting things happen on a local level to merit a secondary story.
Consider the following second-team All-2008 story lines:
• More Jazz: Millsap and the M*A*S*H unit During the 2007-08 season, Jazz players combined to miss just 45 games because of injuries, illnesses and personal reasons. Those were the good ole days. Less than two months into this season, and the Jazz have already doubled that number. Grab one hand and count the guys who haven't missed any action due to those reasons: C.J. Miles, Ronnie Price, Morris Almond, Kosta Koufos and Paul Millsap. Speaking of Millsap, the Jazz Ironman has played in 194 straight games since entering the NBA. He also had an impressive streak of 15 straight double-doubles snapped at Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Jazz are now holding their breath an MRI on the left knee he injured Tuesday doesn't reveal significant damage.
• Silver lining (again) for Utah gymnastics Red Rocks were sterling, though not quite golden, as they finished second in the nation for the third year in a row. The season was the swan song for gymnast extraordinaire Ashley Postell, a 20-time All-American and most decorated collegiate gymnast ever who won 120 events and thousands of hearts during her gracefully athletic career.
• Timpview and Alta defend prep football titles The Thunderbirds not only won their third consecutive Class 4A championship, but they also upped their winning streak to 36 games and capped a second straight undefeated campaign by holding off Cottonwood. Their players reaped some big-time awards, too, with safety Craig Bills being named Utah's Mr. Football, lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo earning 4A MVP honors and five other players making first-team all-state. As for the Hawks, they brought home a second straight 5A trophy from Rice-Eccles Stadium led by 5A MVP and Utah Gatorade Player of the Year Ammon Olsen. Attention schedule-makers: Alta vs. Timpview, fall of 2009. Make it happen.
• Tyler Haws-led Lone Peak tops in hoops again The Knights' talented 6-5 shooting guard followed up his 5A MVP sophomore season by helping his deep team win another state title, earning Utah's Mr. Basketball honors and informing BYU coach Dave Rose that the Cougars had won the Tyler Haws Sweepstakes. What's he going to do for an encore start shooting left-handed?
• Park City residents put U.S. skiing back on map Lindsey Vonn won the overall World Cup skiing title becoming the first American woman since 1983 to lay claim to that crown and took the downhill title to boot; Ted Ligety brought home some hardware of his own, capturing the World Cup giant slalom title.
• Hoops history made at Utah State The NCAA tournament selection committee might not have seen it this way, but 2008 was an incredibly successful and significant one for the Aggies. It will mostly be remembered for Stew Morrill becoming the all-time winningest USU coach, for Jaycee Carroll wrapping up a stellar career by becoming the school's all-time leading scorer and reaping numerous accolades, and for the team winning another regular-season WAC title. Their year ended with little fanfare as the Aggies fell in the conference tourney semifinals and then were ousted from the NIT first round.
• Utah Olympians strike gold, silver and bronze The Beehive State had its fair share of success in Beijing. Not only did Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer win gold medals with the U.S. men's basketball team, but former BYU athletes Ryan Millar and Rich Lambourne helped the men's volleyball team win gold, too. Highland High product Logan Tom helped Team USA win an emotional silver medal after the father of their coach was murdered. And three guys with Utah ties won bronze Salt Lake Bees standouts Kevin Jepsen and Matt Brown in baseball, and cyclist Levi Leipheimer.
• Bittersweet year for Ute hoops While the Runnin' Ute men could brag about winning a game in the CBI to end Jim Boylen's first season OK, brag might be the wrong word the women ended the year on a sour note. They went 16-0 in the MWC's regular season only to lose to an 0-16 Colorado State team in the first round of the conference tournament. That led to a lower-than-expected seeding and a tough first-round matchup-turned-early-exit at Purdue.42 comments on this story
• A buzz at the ballpark The Salt Lake Bees opened the '08 season in record fashion. Their 21-1 record marked the best-ever start in minor- league baseball history. Unfortunately, they lost much of their sting by the end of the summer winning their third straight division title but then losing in the first round for the third year in a row.
• Utes bump, set, spike way to Sweet 16 Utah's women racked up a slew of individual honors including MWC co-player of the year for standout Lori Baird and coach of the year for Beth Launiere en route to making a nice run through conference action and well into the NCAAs.• Go watch it on The mtn. DirecTV finally won (or lost?) a leg wrestle with negotiators of the network that carries the MWC, giving subscribers of this satellite system the opportunity to watch Wyoming and New Mexico play to their hearts' content. People who didn't make the jump from the Dish Network or become Comcastic still need to find or make friends and family members with the hard-to-get channel.