Athletes with spectacular performances earn all kinds of accolades, from MVP awards to trophies, and so on. Here, at The Wife Hates Sports, GOLD STARS are earned – kind of like a grade school teacher would stamp on a good student’s homework. After another hot weekend in the world of sports, there were just too many great stories and performances not to break out a new batch of stars to honor some of the best…kp-gold-stars

Gold Stars: December 19, 2010

Orlando Magic

It’s not often that you see a strong contender complete a roster overhaul one-third of the way into the season, but that’s just what the Orlando Magic have done by making two major trades – one with the Washington Wizards and another with the Phoenix Suns. Gone: Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat Arriving: Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark These are gold star worthy moves by Orlando.  First off, Turkoglu was a fan favorite and had a great impact on the team before leaving a few seasons ago.  Both Rashard Lewis and Vince Carterdwight-howard-flexes-orlando-magicfloundered in last year’s playoffs, and it was becoming more apparent that if the Magic wanted a chance to compete with the Celtics and Heat, something would have to be done. Orlando can only hope these moves appease big man Dwight Howard, who was growing more frustrated with the team’s defensive performance – or lack thereof.

Tim Tebow

If you hadn’t heard, “The Chosen One” made his debut for the Denver Broncos on Sunday, and Tebow’s overall performance likely exceeded the expectations of many. While the Broncos lost to the Raiders, here was Tebow’s line by game’s end: 8-16, 138 yards, 1 passing TD, 8 carries, 78 yards, 1 rushing TD Not bad, rook.

Dan Connolly

Listen, DeSean Jackson’s game-winning punt return was impressive, but New England Patriots offensive lineman Dan Connolly’s kickoff return was among the best ever. It was record setting – and no lineman has ever returned a kick that far – as Connolly rumbled 71 yards to set up a Patriots touchdown against the Packers on Sunday night.goldstar

Maryland Football

The situation with Ralph Friedgen and Maryland is not a positive one, but if one Big 12 source is accurate – and it’s true that Mike Leach will be the next coach for the Terps – then Maryland deserves props.  Sure, Leach is controversial (e.g. the Adam James closet story), and he’s also a little weird with his pirate obsessions.  But one thing’s for sure, Leach can sure build a potent offense, and if he can score a ton of points in the Big 12, then imagine what he can do in a weaker ACC conference. That is, if he does wind up there.

Philadelphia Eagles

In a game that could very well decide the NFC East, the Eagles never gave up.  Trailing 31-10 with 7:30 to go, Philadelphia pulled off a miracle comeback, scoring four touchdowns, including the game-winning punt return for a TD by DeSean Jackson as time expired.

The Big Ten Conference

After an overwhelming negative response towards its new logo and division names (Legends andnew-big-ten-logoLeaders), the Big Ten reportedly may consider making a change. One poll had a vote of 90 percent against the new logo and names.  It’s hard to imagine 10 percent approval – unless it was Delany himself logging in as hundreds of different fictional people. Either way, the conference shouldn’t consider it… they should just do it – end of story.

UConn Women’s Hoops

Make that 88 straight wins for Connecitcut women’s basketball, which ties the mark previously set by John Wooden and UCLA men’s hoops. It’s a safe bet that Geno Auriemma and his team will break that record, and then some. And finally, five stars to… Penn State Volleyball – for winning its fourth straight championship Matt Flynn – for filling in admirably for the concussed Aaron Rodgers Michael Vick – for engineering a huge comeback for the Eagles Milwaukee Brewers – for making a splash and trading for Zack Greinke Detroit Lions – for ending their record 26-game road losing streak This has been Gold Stars, where legends and leaders are made – and honored.

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