It seems that each year at this time we are puzzled as to how quickly the year has gone by.2016 flew by and let us not forget about some of the most memorable moments from this past year in sports.
Peyton Manning limped out on top. Widely regarded as one of the most methodical and precise quarterbacks in NFL history, Manning had the cards stacked against him. Critics said he didn’t have “it” anymore, he was too old, and he wasn’t the same after his back surgery. It may have been true but despite the doubters, Peyton did just enough to get his team to the Super Bowl and then win it. When all was said and done Peyton had two Super Bowl rings, a handful of MVP awards, and the most passing yards in NFL history. Not bad for a goofy kid from Louisiana.
Another moment sports fans will have a hard time forgetting is the Chicago Cubs ending a 108-year World Series drought with a seventh game victory over the Cleveland Indians. Coming into the seventh game on a 2-game winning streak the Cubs squeaked out a rain delayed, extra-inning 8 to 7 win to bring an end to the longest championship drought in North American professional sports history. With their victory the Cubs became the last team since the 1985 Kansas City Royals to come back from a 3 to 1 game deficit to win the World Series. Bartman and “The Billy Goat” can now rest easy.
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Speaking of droughts being ended, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers brought the “Cleveland Curse” to an end with a seven game series victory over reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors. It was the first major sports championship won by a team from Cleveland in 52 years. For a brief eternity, “The Drive”, “The Fumble”, and “The Shot” were all erased from each and every die hard Cleveland sports fan. LeBron had fulfilled his promise of bringing a championship back to his home state. And like their baseball counterparts the Cubs, the Cavs won the championship coming back from a 3 to 1 game deficit becoming the 11th team ever to accomplish that feat and the first do it in the NBA Finals.
In the international sports arena, the Rio Olympic games saw some of the most decorated athletes closeout their careers on top. Swimmer Michael Phelps and sprinter Usain Bolt concluded their olympic careers fashioned with the medal they had claimed the most of, gold. For the past three Summer Olympics Bolt and Phelps were forces to be reckoned with. They were once in a century athletes. When we look back on the sport's history of the early 21st century, Phelps’ and Bolt’s achievements will be the ones that stand out.
Unfortunately, we also lost some of our most adored athletes in 2016. Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Jose Fernandez, Dennis Green, Gordie Howe, Pat Summit, and Craig Sager all influenced sports in a different ways and unfortunately passed away over the course of 2016.
The great thing about sports is that there will always be a next season. See you in 2017!!