2016 has been a hell of a year for sports and I am here to tell you that it has been the best year for sports ever. That's right, EVER. If you really take a look into all that has happened this year, it's very hard to argue.
Peyton Manning wins Super Bowl on the way out to retirement
Yes he did not have a great year statistically and with injuries, but Peyton Manning left on the highest note with a win in Super Bowl 50 against the Panthers. The best regular season quarterback of all time and arguably the greatest of all time ended his NFL career with the coveted 2nd Super Bowl. No more shit talking from Eli about having more rings. We also got to watch Cam Newton finally get a reality check and cry like a baby when he faced a good defense. Peyton ended his career the best way possible and rode out into the sunset with a lifetime supply of Papa Johns pizzas.
Villanova wins NCAA Basketball Championship on a buzzer beater
Of course our brackets were already busted, but the 2016 NCAA Men's basketball tournament did not disappoint. If you follow college basketball and fill out your bracket every year, you know better than to put a Big East team far in the tournament. They always seem to let us down, but Jay Williams and the Villanova Wildcats had other plans. Anyone that isn't a North Carolina Tarheels fan loves to watch them lose, so what better way for them to do that then by losing to Villanova on a buzzer beater 3 pointer. The whole game was electric from the start. The circus shot by Marcus Paige with six seconds left in the game practically ensured overtime, but March Madness lived up to the hype. Villanova drew up a great play and Kris Jenkins absolutely nailed the 3-pointer to win the game. A shot that is going to be shown for years to come and gave us Tarheel haters giant grins on our faces.
Kobe puts up 60 in final game
Other than the fact that this was Kobe's last game, this game meant absolutely nothing. Oh but did Kobe put on a show for the Staples Center crowd. He turned back the time machine dropping 60 on the Utah Jazz for a win that finished off the Lakers worst season in franchise history with an astounding record of 17-65. But this is beside the point. This game was classic Kobe. The Lakers were essentially trailing the whole game, but Kobe was able to outscore the Jazz 23-21 in the fourth quarter and put the finishing touches on the game with a three pointer with 31 seconds left. For someone who disliked Kobe because of his selfishness to never pass and take the money instead of helping grow his team, I have to respect his game. It wouldn't of been a final game for Kobe if he didn't at least put up 50 shots from the field.
2016 NBA Finals: Warriors blow 3-1 lead to Cavaliers/Warriors set NBA regular season record with 73 wins.
In my opinion, the best sporting event of the year aside from the World Series. A rematch of the 2015 Finals were it was Lebron vs the Warriors. This time the Cavaliers came in with a healthy Kyrie and Kevin love, who proved to be vital in the series. It looked as if the Warriors were about to run away with the series when they won game 4 and were up a convincing three games to one. This is were the fun began. The Cavaliers became the first team to ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals to win the championship. We saw everything from Draymond Green punching and kicking genitals, Stephen Curry hitting a Cleveland Cavaliers fan with his mouthpiece, to irrelevant Ayesha Curry opening her big mouth and claiming that the NBA was "rigged". Lebron had one of the best blocks I have ever seen against Andre Igoudala in Game 7 and Kyrie Irving proved he had ice in his veins as he hit big shot after big shot to secure the Cavalier's series win. Cleveland got their first NBA Championship ever and we were not sure if we would ever see J.R. Smith with his shirt on again. Never change Cleveland. Oh right, and during the regular season the Warriors also set the NBA regular season win record with 73 wins, edging out the 95-96' Bull's 73-10 record. No big deal.
500-1 odds Leicester City wins the English Premier League
I'll be honest, all I know about soccer is from playing Fifa, but this might be the best sports story of all time. 500-1 odds? are you kidding me? The Cleveland Browns have a better chance at winning the Super Bowl every year. Let that put it into perspective for you. This is the definition of a fairy-tale story. With powerhouses such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, no one even saw this coming from a mile away. Leicester City was able to stay above the top of the Premier League standings for most of the season. They bent, but never broke, and made some very lucky betters a shit ton of money. Star striker Jamie Vardy went from working 12 hour shifts in a carbon fiber factory and playing in lower English league football, to breaking Ruud van Nisterlrooy's record for scoring in eleven consecutive Premier League matches and eventually winning the title with his team. Have to think we will never see something like this again. You have to love the magic of sports.
Chicago Cubs win first World Series in over 100 years
This one is really self explanatory. It involves some goat and a guy named Steve Bartman. The Cubs were able to give Cleveland the pain of blowing a 3-1 series lead, to win their first World Series title since 1908. Even for non-baseball fans, this was an exciting moment for everyone. Much like the NBA Finals, game 7 did not disappoint. The Cubs seemed to be riding their way to a easy game 7 win, but a Raja Davis 2 run home-run in the bottom of the eighth inning tied the game a 6 and eventually sent the game into extra innings. All it took was a rain delay and a Jason Hayward pep-talk to rally the Cubs to a 8-7 win for the World Series Title. As a sports fan, it is amazing to say you witnessed this moment. Theo Epstein proved that his 5 year plan is more efficient than my 5 year college plan (sorry mom and dad) and took a team with 71 wins in 2011 to 103 wins in 2016. Somewhere in a small dark room in Chicago, Steve Bartman is smiling with joy.
Whether you agree with it or not, that is a pretty impressive line-up. As a fan of sports you have to appreciate this because you know some of these events only happen ever so often. Never take them for granted.
The Green Bay Packers have struggled at the running back position all season long and those struggles continued in the loss to the Indianapolis Colts today. The 31-26 loss to the Colts puts the Packers at 4-4 for the season and coach Mike McCarthy is now officially on the hot seat. The Packers best running game came from Ty Montgomery, who is a wide receiver converted to running back. With just a measly 53 yards gained, it became clear that there needed to be a change.
During the 3rd quarter of the game, play had to be stopped because a squirrel found its way on to the field and began to run around in the end-zone. The crowd and announcers immediately took a liking to the little guy. Immediately after the conclusion of the game, the Packers announced that the team would be signing the squirrel to a 5 year, $50 million dollar contract. This came to a surprise to many as the squirrel went un-drafted out of Country Club neighborhood. Scouts said the agility and speed were there, but the ability to hold on to acorns and nuts needed some work. It is clear that he has been working on his form as well. The technique while running in the end-zone was the best that scouts have seen. With a 4.8 40 yard dash time at the combine earlier in the year, it is thought that he has brought it down to a solid 4.5.
I think this a great move by the team. The squirrel spent more time in the end-zone during the game than the Packers, so they could use some more of that. The team has no problem airing out the ball, so the addition of another running back could help Aaron Rodgers. Next week the Packers will travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans, who just came off a game where they gave up 250 total yards to Charger's running back Melvin Gordon. This will be a great first match-up for the new running back and it is expected that he will put up some big numbers. Fantasy experts are predicting that he will be a solid RB-1 or Flex option for your fantasy team.
According to ESPN.com and other credible sports websites, the Cleveland Indians have signed Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry to a 1 game contract. Talks began as soon as last night, when the Indians lost game 6 in the World Series to the Chicago Cubs. The contract will be official for tonight and Curry will be able to return to the team for their next game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Many questioned this move by the team, especially since the last major basketball star to sign with a MLB was Michael Jordan, but there is a clear reason why this move was made. MLB insiders have reported that the team signed Curry for tonight's win or take all game 7 because they want to have some to blame if they blow a 3-1 lead.
Curry is very familiar with blowing 3-1 leads in championship series. Ironically, he is coming off blowing a 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Reports have said that the team does not plan on using Curry in the game plan, but more simply as a punching bag in the dugout if the team starts to lose. Indians Manager Terry Francona told reporters that if the team loses tonight, all the blame will be on Curry. If the Cubs win tonight, they would become the first team since 1985 to win the World Series after being down 3 games to 1. Mathematically speaking, none of the Cleveland Indians players could have been in the major leagues at that time, so they do not know the feeling of blowing a 3-1 lead... but Steph does. There were also reports that the Indians were set to bring in Tim Tebow to pray for the team so that they would not lose tonight. Since Tebow recently joined the New York Mets organization, the team was not comfortable in giving up a player who can only throw the ball in one direction... in the dirt.
It looks like the only splash Curry will be making tonight is from the puddles of tears he will be making once all the blame comes back on him.