2021 Sports Year in Review

2021, much like 2020, was a whirlwind. Still partially recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and looking for some normalcy, the one place it was partially found was sports. With sports bouncing back and allowing fans in attendance, it was somewhat of a comfort to others, almost reassuring everything was okay. As the year wraps up and everybody prepares to enter 2022, let’s look back at some of the most important moments and stories from the year that was in sports.

Brady Does it Again

There’s nothing Tom Brady can’t do at this point. I’m thoroughly convinced of it. At 43 years of age, old man Brady led the Tampa Buccaneers into Super Bowl LV against a Kansas City Chiefs team that looked dominant all season. But Tom Brady did what Brady does best and shined on the biggest stage, earning his seventh title, fifth Super Bowl MVP, while also having his largest margin of victory in the big game, winning 31-9. He solidified himself as the greatest football player of all time, and I don’t think there will be anybody to debate it for years to come.

Mental Health Takes Center Stage

Athletes are a lot of things. They are celebrities, role models, and expected to perform under any circumstance. But do you know what else they are? Human. And as fans, we sometimes forget that. Simone Biles stepped back at the Olympics after suffering from what’s known as the twisties, and the best way I can describe it is vertigo while you’re spinning and flipping in the air, so you have no idea where you are going to land. Although this was not made public immediately, and I think the handling of the situation could have been better (topic for another day), she’s still an individual struggling with her mental health. Other individuals such as Naomi Osaka and Calvin Ridley have also taken a step away from the games they love in order to have the right headspace to compete both at a high level and at a safe level. In a world driven by the numbers and results, we overlook the work and pressure put on somebody to get there.

Milwaukee Bucks Win First Title in 50 Years

It was 50 years since the Milwaukee Bucks last won a title, until this summer. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks out of the Eastern Conference while Chris Paul and Devin Booker led the Phoenix Suns out of the West. Phoenix ended up taking a 2-0 lead in the series, just to watch it all crash down over the next 4 games. Giannis wins Finals MVP, Wisconsin finally gets to celebrate a non-football related title since Nixon was in office, and the rest of the world got to watch a finals without Lebron James, Kevin Durant, or Steph Curry.

MLB Locks Players Out

If you haven’t read the article previously written by Frankie, I HIGHLY suggest you give it a look, as it gives insights from all perspectives as to why the lockout happened. But as a synopsis, the players wanted a raise in minimum salary and different conditions when a player hit free agency, among other things. The owners weren’t keen on the idea, and proposed a counter offer, which the MLBPA was not a fan of. The meeting on the final day lasted about as long as it takes to walk your dog around the block, and a lockout was inevitable. Will this be resolved by the supposed start of next season? I don’t know. As a baseball fan, I’m discouraged tha a compromise could not be reached. As a Mets fan, I don’t know if I should be upset that we may not play in a season that looked promising from a roster standpoint, or relieved that I don’t have to watch another underwhelming Mets season. But this is a game of cat and mouse that only the fans of baseball really lose.

Chicago Blackhawks Assault Allegations

This storyline isn’t one you immediately hear of if you aren’t a big hockey fan, but this allegation has been going on for over a year and it has finally drawn a conclusion. Chicago Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted a player of the 2010 Blackhawks roster during their run to winning a Stanley Cup. This player, who was later revealed to by Kyle Beach, had been pressing this issue for years until the NHL finally brought it to the forefront. After the statements Beach made were confirmed through investigation, GM Stan Bowman stepped down and Florida Panthers head coach, and former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was fired due to their culpability. Personally, I think the NHL did a poor job in handling the situation, as it took eleven years for somebody to get closure for events that not only impacted his life forever, but were also swept under the rug by the league. From Commissioner Gary Bettman all the way down to the players on that roster, Kyle Beach was done a disservice.

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