It's the dawn of a new year already, where does the time go? Much like every years past 2016 was full of ups and downs. This week I take a gander back at the calendar and reminisce on the year that as in sports.
Does the Tide ever really stop rolling? After being upset by Ohio State in the first year of the NCAA’s new college football playoff, ‘Bama was not having that again. Squaring off against undefeated Clemson, an offensive battle went on throughout the game. The teams combined for over one thousand total yards, and eighty-five points. Neither team held a lead of more than one possession until half-way through the fourth quarter when Alabama returned a kick 95 yards. Nick Saban went on to win Alabama yet another title, with a score of 45-40.
Honorable mention: Rams leave St. Louis
I’m sure some of you remember the first Super Bowl. And I’m sure you felt even older reading that last year’s game was the 50th. Cam Newton and the league’s top offense got the opportunity to take on Von Miller and the league’s top defense in what turned out to be Peyton Manning’s last game. The Denver Broncos D proved to be too strong. Von Miller’s strip-sack of Cam Newton led to a Denver touchdown that helped set the tone for the rest of the game. The future hall of fame quarterback only threw for 141 yards, but that was enough for the Denver Broncos to win 24-10, and go on to be your Super Bowl 50 champions.
Just short of his 40th birthday, the aforementioned Peyton Manning retired. The debate for greatest quarterback of all time is not for now, but everyone can agree, Peyton was one of the best of all time. The five-time MVP finished his career as the winningest quarterback of all time, the leader in passing yards, the leader in touchdowns, and as a two-time champion. The league lost their face, and while it was time for him to retire, it was sad to see him go.
Honorable mention: Adam LaRoche’s retirement
It’s called March Madness for a reason, but when brackets are filled out, everyone only has one question. “Who is in your final four?” Well, each year, the finals and semi-finals take place in April, and that’s when we saw the end of this exciting NCAA Men’s basketball season come to an end. The story this time around was all the upsets. We saw a two seed and a three seed lose in the opening rounds, leading the way for a run by Syracuse to win their region as a ten seed! In the year of the upset, Villanova defeated UNC, overcoming a five-point halftime deficit to win their second national championship.
Honorable mention: Kobe’s retirement
The NBA playoffs were underway, and we saw pure dominance from the two teams making it all the way to the NBA finals. LeBron and his Cavaliers lost two games on their road to the finals, while Steph and the Warriors didn’t have any trouble winning other than against Oklahoma City. Really, May was the most boring month of the year
We had the best player in the NBA take on the best team of all time. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers took on Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors. Going into the finals, Golden State had the best single season of all time, and LeBron had led two different teams to six straight NBA Finals. What more could you ask for in a series? To start it out, Steph and the Warriors won two games, and then game four too. It didn’t look like the Cavs had much of a chance. LeBron helped his team put up a fight, with game seven not being decided until the final minute of the game. Cleveland won their first title in a long time, and their first ever in basketball.
Honorable mentions: 2016 Stanley Cup Finals, the passing of Muhammed Ali
All-star games are usually meaningless. The Pro-Bowl is a joke, and the NBA all-star game doesn’t provide enough defense. This past July, the last all-star game with meaning was played. The game itself was not one for the record books, as every run was scored before the fifth inning, but no longer will the winner of the game effect who will get home field advantage during the World Series. With the league’s newest CBA, the only incentive for players will be money. I’ll personally miss the extra factor to the game, but at least we can still look forward to the home run derby.
Every two years, athletes from around the world gather to compete in the Olympic Games, and only once every four years do they have constant entertaining games. Rio de Janeiro hosted the 31st Olympiad, with the United States taking home the gold, and then 45 more golds. With polluted waters, the fears of a Zika outbreak, and crime all over the city, this was probably the least prepared Olympic city ever. The United States won their 1000th Olympic gold medal, in what was probably Michael Phelps’ last time representing our country. Ryan Lochte might have left the legacy of United States swimmers though.
Honorable mention: No more A-Rod
Late into September, as baseball season was concluding, the Miami Marlins faced a problem no team wants to face. Their star pitcher, Jose Fernandez, passed away in a boating accident. Jose Fernandez did so much for the city of Miami. A Cuban born pitcher, Fernandez was able to connect with the city unlike any other player. On the field, the kid was a stud. He had no problem striking out batters, and opposing teams had an incredibly difficult time hitting off of him. Fernandez was on his way to a stellar career, and at this point, we can only imagine what if. It was a shame to see him go. On my weekly BobCast, Psycho Sports we py tribute to Fernandez you can listen here.
In a year when we saw a bunch of old stars retire, there was nothing like one coming back. Tom Brady returned from suspension over the deflategate scandal, and it’s been great to see him back in action. The story all off-season, from even before this article dates back to, was the Patriots deflating footballs during the previous post-season, and Goodell decided to suspend the quarterback for four games. Well, the Patriots are currently leading the AFC, and Brady is a major part to that. Brady’s return has meant a lot for the team, but the best part about his return was it meant all of the deflation talk was over.
In November, it took me a while to get a certain song out of my head. Go Cubs Go was on an endless loop, because for the first time in 108 years, the Chicago Cubs were World Champions. Right from the beginning of the season, the Cubs had far and away the best team. An offense led by Anthony Rizzo and the young Kris Bryant matched well with one of the better rotations to be the best team. Or so we thought. The Cleveland Indians led the series three games to one, with the Cubs having to win twice in Cleveland to take home the pennant for the first time since 1908. They did just that, winning in extra innings of game seven to lose their title of the lovable losers, and take one home of World Champions.
While I don’t necessarily believe wins are what defines a quarterback, most people do. When we talk about football teams, and how good they are, the player that matters most is the quarterback, and they are credited with the wins. Tom Brady became the NFL’s all-time wins leader a few weeks ago. Brady lovers can now add that to his resume for being the greatest player ever, as his legacy is (for now) being the winningest quarterback. His already hall of fame worthy career is not over yet, and we’ll definitely see him expand upon his lead.
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