2020 sports year in review

2020 sports year in review
December 30
12:00 2020

2020 was a unique year as it pertains to sports. Due to the pandemic, games were canceled, seasons postponed, and athletes across all levels of sports had to question was playing worth the risk of possibly contracting the virus and putting others in jeopardy. 

As we close out the year, I wanted to look back on the year of sports, because I don’t think we will ever see another year like this.  

The conclusion to the 2019 college football season was settled in early January. The LSU Tigers and the Clemson Tigers played one of the most highly anticipated games in recent memory. LSU, led by future No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow, overwhelmed Clemson in route to a dominating 42-25 victory.

The death of Kobe Bryant on January 26 shook the world. The basketball legend was killed in a helicopter accident with his daughter and several others. Bryant was idolized for his work on and off the court and was headed into the next phase of his life following retirement.

The Super Bowl in February was a great game between two great teams. The Kansas City Chiefs and their high-octane offense faced off against the San Francisco 49ers and their dominant defense. The 49ers were outplaying the Chiefs for most of the game, holding a 20-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Niners, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes went to work. The Chiefs’ offense, which had been rather stagnant all game, woke up and stormed back into the game. Kansas City scored 21 unanswered points to pull away in the fourth quarter to win the big game. Mahomes cemented himself as the best quarterback in the game.

Novak Djokovic and Sofia Kenin were the champions of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year. This was the 17th Grand Slam title for Djokovic and his record 8th Australian Open Championship. For Kenin, this was her first Grand Slam title and was named the WTA Player of the Year for 2020.

There were All-Star games from the NBA and NHL that followed in February. This was around the time the pandemic started to affect more and more people and sporting events began to be canceled and postponed. The coronavirus was spreading and people were starting to take notice.

The NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA and all college spring sports were either canceled or postponed, which was an unexpected result at the beginning of the year. Many around the world of sports started to wonder if sports would return in 2020 at all due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths around the nation. The most disappointing cancellation was the Summer Olympics, because all the athletes have been training for four years for this opportunity and to see it taken away because of COVID-19 was heartbreaking.

Virtual meetings became the norm. Even the NFL Draft in April was a virtual draft with all the college prospects holding draft parties at their homes with family and friends.

As the summer months rolled around, there were rumors circulating about the return of the NBA, NHL and MLB. All the major sport leagues were able to figure out a way to return to play.

The Los Angeles Lakers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Los Angeles Dodgers all persevered through the postponements to win titles this year in their respective leagues. At a time when the country was split and divided due to the fight against social injustice, the election and the virus, it was good to have sports to watch to give us a break from our everyday lives.

The NHL successfully returned in late July and easily finished their regular season and playoffs with little to no problems. The NBA returned to a “bubble” in the state of Florida to finish their regular season and playoffs with relative ease.  

The same could not be said for Major League Baseball. Instead of separating their players, the league decided to allow their teams to stay at their locations to finish playing the season. There were many cases of COVID-19 with several teams early on. There was a question as to whether MLB would finish the season, but in the end they did.

It was up in the air as to what the NFL and fall college sports were going to do. It looks as though professional and college football will finish their seasons. It is still up in the air if college basketball will finally conclude in March.

The one positive from the college football season is that the players will not have to use a year of eligibility. Many college players were able to gain valuable experience and still can retain the status quo on their eligibility.  

It was good to see sports such as tennis, boxing and golf return in August. Although many of the sports have returned, the lack of fans in the stands is still somewhat of a letdown. I know from personal experience how fulfilling it can be to witness your favorite sports team win a big game while you are in the stands. That seems to be the price we fans must pay in order to have sports. 

This seems to be the new norm that we are going to have to deal with to have our favorite sports to watch on television. Who knows when we will return to normal?  But in the meantime, I will take what we have as it pertains to sports.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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