A world pandemic wasn’t sufficient to cease the world of sports activities. Listed below are a few of the tales and moments that outlined the unusual 12 months.
As a lot as followers had hoped sports activities would distract them from the coronavirus pandemic, even the video games all of us love weren’t immune. Seasons have been postponed, canceled, put in bubbles or stay in a weekly world of flux.
Regardless of that, there have been incredible and weird moments many might have missed previously 12 months. Here is a have a look at 20 issues that outlined 2020 in sports activities.
LSU wins nationwide championship
Ed “Coach O” Orgeron and Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow led LSU to a dominating 42-25 win within the nationwide title sport over defending champion, Clemson. Burrow threw 5 landing passes and ran for an additional rating.
Dying of a basketball legend
It was the primary sports activities shock of 2020. Five-time NBA champion Kobe Byrant, 41, his daughter Gianna, 13, and 7 others have been killed in a helicopter crash on a foggy morning outdoors Los Angeles on Jan. 26.
Memorials for Bryant have been huge, taking place earlier than the coronavirus took maintain within the U.S. Fans flooded the outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles with a sea of vehicles, flowers, balloons, photographs and different mementos.
Hundreds attended a memorial on Feb. 24 (the date 2/24 honored Gianna’s No. 2 basketball jersey quantity and the No. 24 Kobe wore within the second half of his profession). Vanessa Bryant offered a poignant portrait of her NBA famous person husband and their daughter.
The NBA All-Star Game MVP Award was permanently renamed for Bryant. He’s set to be inducted into the Basketball Corridor of Fame in 2021.
Chiefs break Tremendous Bowl title drought with 4th quarter comeback
Down 20-10 late within the 4th quarter in opposition to the San Francisco 49ers, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs rattled off 21 factors within the ultimate 6:13 to win Super Bowl LIV, 31-20. It was the Chiefs’ first title in 50 years and Andy Reid’s first championship in 21 years as an NFL head coach.
Tom Brady period ends in New England, begins in Tampa Bay
Tom Brady took his six Tremendous Bowl rings and parted methods with the Patriots after 20 seasons in New England. He landed in Tampa Bay, getting solely the second head coach of his profession in Bruce Arians, a slew of latest weapons (and an previous one in tight finish Rob Gronkowski), and lots of excessive expectations for a championship.
NBA postpones season after 1st optimistic take a look at
Which NBA participant was the primary to check optimistic for the coronavirus earlier than the NBA suspended its season? Rudy Gobert is the reply to that trivia query. Information of the optimistic first postponed the Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game on March 11. Not lengthy after, the complete season was placed on maintain. Gobert joked in regards to the pandemic two days earlier by touching all the microphones set up at a press conference.
The unthinkable: NCAA tournaments canceled
The day after the NBA shut down, the NCAA adopted go well with by canceling the highly popular and lucrative “March Madness” men’s basketball tournament and ladies’s match. Shutting down an occasion that brings in a reported $1 billion in promoting income gave the largest indication of how severe the pandemic was.
2020 Olympics postponed
Suspending an occasion that brings hundreds of athletes from around the globe is not any small factor, however that is what occurred when the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo were put on hold in March. The pandemic was worsening, and few had a strong plan on the best way to conduct it safely. The Video games are now set for exactly one year later, but it surely stays to be seen whether or not they could look a bit completely different beneath pandemic restrictions.
Different sports activities paused, canceled
One after the other, leagues and occasions began hitting the brakes.
The MLB exhibition season was halted and the beginning of the season was postponed. The NHL, MLB and NASCAR seasons have been additionally paused. Wimbledon and golf’s U.S. Open have been canceled whereas The Masters would transfer to the unfamiliar confines of November. The Little League World Sequence was scrapped.
The NFL Draft was the primary main digital occasion — highlighted by folks ogling a photograph of Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s dwelling.
The revival of the XFL lasted 5 weeks earlier than it had to shut down, but it surely was then bought by a business consortium led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson within the hopes of bringing the league again.
And one 12 months after a historic eight-way tie for the title, the National Spelling Bee was C-A-N-C-E-L-E-D.
Washington NFL staff, Cleveland MLB staff drop Native American monikers
Seven years after proprietor Dan Snyder declared, “We’ll by no means change the title of the staff,” Washington’s NFL team announced it was dropping its maligned nickname that was seen as a slur in opposition to Native People. The change of coronary heart got here because the nation was embroiled in protests for racial justice.
For the 2020 season, it was merely often called the Washington Soccer Crew. The staff reportedly might hold that for 2021.
In Main League Baseball, the Cleveland franchise introduced in December it will change its title, however owner Paul Dolan said the change wouldn’t happen until after 2021.
Lakers win bubble ball
The NBA resumed its season in July, with solely the groups within the playoff hunt taking part within the so-called “bubble.” All video games have been performed on three courts at Walt Disney World with no followers within the stands however attending just about. It labored. The league completed out the season with no main coronavirus points. And in a 12 months honoring the passing of Kobe Bryant, his Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James, won its 17th championship, defeating the Miami Warmth in six video games.
Lightning strikes twice
The NHL additionally took the bubble route, with the Stanley Cup playoffs performed solely in Canada. The Tampa Bay Lightning won its second Stanley Cup, defeating the Dallas Stars in six video games.
Dodgers rule MLB season like no different
Baseball returned in late July, however with a number of adjustments to maintain it fascinating, aggressive and protected. Groups performed solely 60 video games, all in their very own geographic area. Followers have been stored away for many of it. Each leagues utilized the designated hitter. MLB added a brand new extra-inning twist: every staff would begin with a runner at second base.
Playoffs have been expanded to 16 groups and the Division, Championship and World Sequence have been performed on impartial fields.
After a 32-year drought, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, beating the Tampa Bay Rays in six video games. Corey Seager was named sequence MVP.
Seattle storms to 4th WNBA title
The WNBA adopted the NBA’s lead and performed its total season in a bubble, once more with few coronavirus issues. With Sue Fowl and Breanna Stewart getting back from season-ending accidents in 2019, the Seattle Storm cruised to its fourth overall championship, sweeping the Las Vegas Aces within the finals.
A month later, Fowl added a fifth ring — the engagement kind from U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
World No. 1 tennis participant DQ’d
On the U.S. Open, a pissed off Novak Djokovic fired a ball to the again of the courtroom out of anger and inadvertently hit a line choose. Djokovic was immediately disqualified from the match.
Austrian Dominic Thiem gained the boys’s title. Naomi Osaka gained her second ladies’s title in three years.
NFL struggles with COVID-19
The NFL has been in a position to make the 2020 season work, however not with out some struggles and numerous adjustments. Followers aren’t allowed at most video games. There may be strict enforcement that gamers and coaches should put on face masks when not on the sphere of play. However even with that, a number of video games needed to be rescheduled throughout the season as a number of groups struggled with gamers or workers contracting COVID-19.
The NFL canceled preseason, and there have been indications that it had a significant impact. A excessive variety of gamers suffered season-ending accidents early within the 12 months. Some groups struggled to achieve their optimum potential as a result of lack of additional preparation.
Because the season was winding down, the Chiefs was effectively on its means towards a doable return to the Tremendous Bowl; the Raiders, Rams and Chargers had opened their new stadiums; Brady had the Bucs poised for the playoffs; the Payments gained its first division title in a quarter-century; and three years faraway from a winless season, the Cleveland Browns was on the verge of its first postseason berth since 2002.
Disjointed faculty soccer season
The NCAA soccer season was much more of a conundrum. Some conferences, together with the Huge Ten and Pac-12, postponed their seasons solely to come back again beneath strain. Others, just like the SEC, pushed on from the beginning however with restricted schedules.
COVID-19 performed havoc throughout the nation. A number of video games per week have been canceled or postponed. Gamers and coaches have been sidelined as a consequence of optimistic checks, together with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
On the optimistic aspect, historical past was made when Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller became the first woman to score in a significant convention soccer sport.
The primary nationwide semifinal on New 12 months’s Day can be No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Notre Dame within the Rose Bowl Sport Offered by Capital One, which was moved from Pasadena to Dallas as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions in California. The opposite can be No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Ohio State within the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
The CFP championship is about for Jan. 11.
Like father, like son
Chase Elliott won his first NASCAR Cup Series title, becoming a member of his father, Invoice, in successful the crown. Each did it driving the No. 9 automotive. They be part of Lee and Richard Petty and Ned and Dale Jarrett within the father-son championship fraternity.
Dustin Johnson wins The Masters
Dustin Johnson was Mr. November as The Masters was moved from spring to fall as a consequence of COVID-19. Johnson shot a 20-under 268 for the 4 rounds, besting the report of 270 shared by Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.
Crew hoist MLS Cup
Not lengthy after the season began, Main League Soccer put the brakes on due to the coronavirus.
After the Portland Timbers gained the “MLS Is Again” match, the season resumed. The Columbus Crew won the MLS Cup, defeating defending champion Seattle 3-nil.
‘Relaxation In Peace’
From the world of sports activities leisure, the legendary determine often called The Undertaker retired from WWE. He made the announcement on the Survivor Sequence pay-per-view, the identical occasion the place he made his debut 30 years earlier.