You Can’t Stop Sports: 2020 American Sports Year in Review

Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license. Fans of Kobe Bryant mourn his death at a memorial in Los Angeles.2020 was a difficult year for many people, including athletes and sports fans. However, if 2020 has taught the sports world anything, it’s that no matter what, you can’t stop sports. Let’s take a brief look at every month this year, and what exactly was happening in the world of sports.

2020 was a wild year for many, including athletes and sports fans. However, if we have learned anything, it’s that sports stop for nobody. Let’s take a look at the most memorable sports moments of the year, through the highs and the lows.

January: The Legacy of Kobe Bryant – On January 26th, Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna, along with 7 others tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash located in Calabasas. This tragedy left the sports world in a state of shock, as Kobe was an inspiration for millions across the world. Students and sports fans of HWRHS described Kobe as “fearless”, “relentless” and “an inspiration to all”.

May all the victims involved rest in peace. Mamba Forever.

February: Chiefs Win Super Bowl For the First Time in 50 Years – On February 2nd, The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers by a final score of 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named the MVP for the chiefs as he helped the chiefs mount a 10 point second-half comeback.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license. Chiefs fans celebrate a Super Bowl victory.

March: March Sadness – On March 12th, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament known as March Madness was officially canceled. This took place a day after the NBA shut down its season for at least the next 30 days. Furthermore, the NCAA canceled the rest of sportsfor the remainder of the sports season. This shutdown was shocking to many, as people were clueless to knowing whenever sports would return. 

April: Sports are Back (sort of) – On April 23rd, the NFL hosted the first ever virtual draft. Although this wasn’t exactly a sports game, the draft excited many fans as people were desperate to see sports again in some shape or form. The Cincinnati Bengals selected Quarterback Joe Burrow from LSU with the first overall pick. This event left many fans hopeful that they were nearing the return of sports. 

May: NASCAR Returns – On May 17th, NASCAR had returned after a 10-week absence. This was made possible because NASCAR is a non-contact sport, therefore the safety protocols are easy to follow. Whether you consider NASCAR a sport is up to you. However, May was a very quiet month in sports, which in many years past is not the case. Nonetheless, this was at least something for sports fans and a step in the right direction.

June: Contact Sports Return – On June 27th, the national women’s soccer league made its return. This marked the first official return of team related contact sports in the U.S. Soon after the return of the NWSL, more sports continued to return. This was a long-awaited return for contact sports that had lasted over 3 months.

July: The NBA Bubble – On July 24th, the NBA returned to the massive complex of DisneyWorld in Orlando, FL. The bubble was utilized as a way to ensure player safety from the coronavirus. By following strict social distancing protocols in the bubble, the NBA season was finally resumed from its 4 month absence.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license. Bird’s eye view from the outsides of DisneyWorld in Orlando.

August: Milwaukee Bucks Protest – On August 26th, The Milwaukee Bucks led a protest after the shooting of Jacob Blake. This protest expanded to every other american sports league, as sports were canceled for the day. People began to question the future of the NBA bubble, as there was a possibility that players would drop out due to the social injustice issues outside of their respective sports.

September: Tampa Bay Lightning Win the Stanley Cup – On September 28th, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars in 6 games to win their second Stanley Cup. Throughout the difficult season dealing with the Coronavirus, the Lightning persevered until the very end, even after the NHL season was postponed for two months. 

October: Lakers win NBA championship – On October 11th, The Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA Championship, defeating the underdog Miami Heat in 6 games. The Lakers battled throughout the over three month period inside the NBA bubble. At 35 years old, Lebron James was named the finals most valuable player, marking the fourth time in his legendary career.

November: Kim Ng Makes History – On November 13th, Kim Ng was officially named the new General Manager for the Miami Marlins. This move was groundbreaking for the game of baseball as well as sports in general, as Ng is the first female general manager in North-American sports history. Hopefully, this accomplishment will help further remove gender-inequality in all sports, not just baseball.

December: Sarah Fuller Breaks Barriers – On December 12th, Sarah Fuller became the first woman to score a point in a Power Five Conference football game. Fuller scored two PATs in a Vanderbilt blowout loss to Tennessee. Fuller. Like Kim Ng, has proven once again that sports have no gender. As of recently, Fuller was even invited to President-Elect Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration due to her accomplishments.