Best Sports Moments of 2020

Alexzander (AJ) Braaten, Reporter

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  • The college football sensation of 2019 and later #1 overall draft pick, Joe Burrow, led the undefeated LSU team to a national championship win. That season they went undefeated despite 7 games against teams in the top 25. They started at 6th in the preseason rankings and ended their season with a 42-25 win against the Clemson Tigers.

  • On November 18th of 2018 Alex Smith, the veteran Quarterback for the Washington Redskins suffered a terrible injury. He went down awkwardly after being sacked by two-time defensive player of the year, JJ Watt. Smith suffered a compound fracture that broke both his Tibia and Fibula. To make matters worse, he got infected with a flesh-eating bacteria after his initial surgery. Doctors feared for his life and thought it was very likely they would amputate but Smith pursued. After an eventual 17 surgeries he made his comeback in October and currently has a 3-1 record as a starter.

  • Liverpool FC ended a 30 year Premier league title drought in style by becoming the fastest team to clinch the title, after winning 32 of their 38 games. Not only did they dominate in the standings but they did so in ways that had never been done before. They broke records for most consecutive wins (18), most home wins (18), biggest point lead (25), their total win tally of 32 is also the most in league history.

  • Former NBA veteran Nate Robinson, and social media influencer Jake Paul, set up a boxing match as an undercard fight to Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. The fight ended when Robinson suffered a knockout blow in the second round. This resulted in a lot of memes and tweets poking fun at the former NBA vet.

  • The NBA all-star game has always been a way for the biggest stars and up-and-comers to play in a fun scrimmage match around mid-season. This year the format was changed to add a bit more intrigue and spice things up from the generic basketball format. Now each of the first 3 quarters act as 12 minute “mini games” with the winning team each quarter getting money donated to a charity of their choosing. In the 4th all the points from previous rounds are added up and the first team to add 24 points to that total would be crowned the winner. The number 24 being in homage of NBA legend and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, who tragically passed away earlier this year.

  • Vanderbilt women’s soccer goalie Sarah Fuller made history this year, being the first female ever to play in a “Power 5” college football game. She took over as the team’s place kicker and was able to kick-off the second half of Vanderbilt’s game against Missouri. At the time of making this she is still on the team’s roster and will continue to play if allowed.

  • As most sports were being canceled in 2020 E-sports found a way to thrive. Online E-sports events gained millions of viewers throughout 2020. The league of legends world championship reigns supreme in viewership with a peak at 3.8 milloin. Meanwhile “The International” raked in 88 million hours watched and the biggest prize pool with a whopping 34 million. It is estimated that there will be 495 million total viewers for E-sports events in 2020 and that number is expected to continue trending upwards for years to come.

  • After ending his 2019 season with severe elbow surgery “Big Ben” Roethlisberger came back to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. He led his team to their best start in franchise history with 11 straight wins to start off the year.

  • After years of NASCAR races, 40 year old Denny Hamlin is cementing himself as one of the greats. Hamlin won his second straight Daytona 500 race in a near photo finish with Ryan Blaney. 0.014 of a second was all the time between their finishes, the second closest in Daytona history. Hamlin has been a top competitor as of late with a win in the 2016 Daytona and now back-to-back wins under his belt.

  • The Russian hockey phenom and 15 season NHL veteran put op his 700th goal in the league. He is the second fastest player to hit that mark, only behind the great Wayne Gretzky.

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