One of the many reasons people of all ages love Christmas so much is that no other holiday reminds of the past the way it does. While there are many sad stories from millions of us out there, I also know there are great memories of holidays long ago. In some cases those warm thoughts revolve around a present or a family member coming home from the service. Regardless, Christmas also is a time to reflect on sports from the past year and I want to take a moment to do that on this Christmas morning.
Boston – It really doesn’t matter what your feelings are about the city of Boston and/or its’ passionate fans because this city once again saw the greatest highs of the sports world and sadly it’s’ greatest lows.
On April 15th, the Boston Marathon was moving along at its’ usual pace when two explosions rocked the venue leaving scores with horrifying injuries. The blasts, a result of two young brothers on a quest to attack America, once again made us question our safety at athletic events. Thankfully, one of the suspects was killed in the hours afterward while his brother remains in federal custody.
Riding the theme of ‘Boston Strong,’ the bearded Red Sox battled the Yankees, Orioles and Rays all season long before finally taking the American League East. They dispatched the Rays and then the Detroit Tigers to win the AL Pennant. Behind an amazing David Ortiz, the Sox won the 2013 World Series four games to two over St. Louis.
Concussions – The National Football League somewhat surprisingly settled a lawsuit with former players over the issue of head trauma. The three quarters of a billion dollars actually seemed like small potatoes and for many experts it was. The NFL and their owners were getting off pretty easy. Despite the culmination of the lawsuit, the league continued to go after violence in the game and will no doubt take more revolutionary steps this offseason as well.
The Super Bowl – The Baltimore Ravens went on to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII as they tuned the Niners away inside the five yard line late in the game. The game really wasn’t the story though. With the Ravens leading 28-6 in the third quarter, a significant portion of the lights in New Orleans’ Superdome went out.
Following the lengthy delay, the Niners went on a furious rally before finally losing 34-31. Prior to this season beginning, the Ravens’ Terrell Suggs said in an interview that he thinks Roger Goodell had something to do with the loss of power. Let’s just say Suggs is far from the only one that believes that.
Golf – The Major tournaments of professional golf saw foreign players win the first two. Australian Adam Scott captured the Masters in a fabulous playoff over Angel Cabrera and then Justin Rose of Wales won the US Open.
The Americans got on the board when Phil Mickelson won his first British Open and then fan-favorite Jason Dufner won the PGA Championship at the end of the summer. None of those four men however won the player of the year award though because Tiger Woods captured six tournaments and won the award. Woods is still stuck on 14 Major championships as his quest for Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 continues.
Other Sports – In the National Basketball Association, the Miami Heat captured their second straight title by defeating the San Antonio Spurs in seven games… The Chicago Blackhawks won their second Stanley Cup in the last five years by defeating Boston. NHL realignment also sent Winnipeg to the west and Detroit to the east… Louisville defeated Michigan for the NCAA Basketball title while Alabama won a third college football title in four years under Nick Saban.