2016 Sports Moments: Top 10


What a year! I hope everybody enjoyed 2016. If you didn’t for whatever reason, I hope 2017 will be a better one. In the sports world, we definitely had our fair share of good and bad moments. We even had some interesting moments like Odell Beckham Jr. going one on one with a kicking net (and losing), Rougned Odor knocking the shades off of Jose Bautista’s face, Kevin Durant shaking up the NBA by signing with the Golden State Warriors, and JR Smith being topless for about half the week (supposedly) since the beginning of the Cleveland Cavaliers championship parade.

Honorable Mentions

  • Joe Thomas Sr. (55 year old running back from South Carolina State becoming the oldest man to play Division I football. His son Joe Thomas Jr. is a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers)
  • Colin Kaepernick Kneeling (You may or may not agree with Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling to the National Anthem, but the reason behind the action should be the focal point)
  • Conor McGregor Dominance (Conor McGregor became the first 2 division champion in UFC this year. His next venture may be a fight with Floyd Mayweather, but we’ll see)

10) Ken Griffey Jr. Hall Of Fame (Almost) Unanimous

“The Kid” is my all-time favorite baseball player, ever since I saw him swing with the Seattle Mariners (I barely remember that). In January, Griffey and Mike Piazza were the only two players elected to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame. This is the hardest sport to get placed into the hall of fame because it requires 75% of the vote. The most impressive and staggering note to take away is that Griffey received the highest percent of votes in the history of Major League Baseball at 99.3% (437 out of 440 votes). Personally, Ken Griffey Jr. should have been the first unanimous hall of famer, and I would love to hear their reason for not voting Griffey in for those 3 voters who didn’t vote for him. Nevertheless, this is an astonishing achievement to cap off a remarkable career.

9) Stephen Curry: Unanimous MVP

Speaking of unanimous, Stephen Curry became the first player in NBA history to be voted unanimous MVP of a season. In 2015, the Golden State Warriors shocked the world by winning their first NBA Title in 40 years. Trying to top that achievement in 2016, the Warriors won the most games in a season in NBA history with 73, while Steph Curry was putting on a display. Even though Golden State came up a Draymond Green kick and few plays short of repeating this past June, they found a way to steal the headlines over the summer (signing of Kevin Durant).

8) Von Miller Dominates Super Bowl 50

Even though Cam Newton (#1 overall pick) was the only player selected ahead of Von Miller (#2 overall pick) in the 2011 NFL Draft, Von Miller came out on top on the biggest stage. Newton looked like “Superman” throughout the whole season until the Super Bowl, where Miller registered 2.5 sacks and forcing 2 turnovers. His constant pass rush disrupted the Carolina Panthers offense the entire game. If Von Miller wasn’t hitting the quarterback, Demarcus Ware was definitely getting a few hits in from what I remember.

7) Bolt, Phelps, USA Takeover Rio 2016 

Rio 2016 will go down as one of the most memorable summer Olympics ever. It signifies the end of an era with Usain Bolt accomplishing the “triple-triple” (winning the 100m, 200m, and 4 x 100m relay races consecutively in 2008, 2012, & 2016) and Michael Phelps winning a total of 28 medals (23 gold medals). The United States also were dominant in swimming events, gymnastics, and track and field events. I’m going to miss seeing Bolt and Phelps dominate their respective competition, but I’m excited to see who’s going to be the next sensation on sports’ biggest stage in Tokyo 2020.

6) Villanova Buzzer Beater

From what I remember, Villanova has always been a tournament let down whenever they are seeded high. This past March and April, Villanova actually lived up to the hype. Their mind-blowing victory over North Carolina in the NCAA Championship game was the icing on the cake. That game, in particular, was arguably the best championship game I’ve ever witnessed. The game had non-stop action with suspense and an appropriate climax. Kris Jenkins brought the game to a close and a National Title home to “Nova”.

5) Eric Berry’s Homecoming

PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO. Eric Berry has been my favorite safety in the NFL since he came into the league back in 2010. Berry was diagnosed with cancer in December of 2014 and was pronounced cancer free in July of 2015. When he bounced back after 7 months, it gave me a stronger reason of why he’s my favorite safety. Atlanta is Eric Berry’s hometown and where he received treatment during his fight against cancer. In his first visit back since therapy, Berry had a “pick 6” and a failed 2 point conversation returned for a touchdown (another pick 6) to solidify the Kansas City Chiefs victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

4) Mamba Out: Kobe Bryant’s Final Game

On the last day of the 2015-16 regular season, you had the choice to either watch the Golden State Warriors go for 73 wins or Kobe Bryant’s last game. I caught the 4th quarter of “Mamba Out”. I wasn’t the biggest Kobe fan, but I truly respected him. Watching the final 3 to 4 minutes live gave me chills and rewatching this video duplicated how I felt about it. Seeing him leave the game lets you know that an era in the NBA has ended (and my childhood basketball icons are gone). When you add Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen (officially announced his retirement) to that list of retirees in 2016, you have a higher level of appreciation for the game of basketball (and an epic hall of fame class down the line). Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, and Manu Ginobili are next in line.

3) Cavaliers Comeback 3-1

In June of 2015, the Cleveland Cavaliers came up short in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. Even though LeBron James nearly averaged a triple-double, missing Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving due to injuries played a crucial part of them coming up short. A year later (with healthy teammates), the Cavs pulled off an improbable comeback in the NBA Finals. What really makes this achievement special is the fact that this is the first major championship for the city of Cleveland since the Cleveland Browns won in 1964 during the Jim Brown era. This was also the first ever NBA Title for the Cavaliers. Being a Chicago Bulls fan, I wasn’t thrilled about Cleveland winning, however, I know the importance that particular title meant to the city of Cleveland. Congrats, again, to the Cleveland Cavaliers!

2) Passing Of Legends

With the amazing things that I’ve previously mentioned during this countdown thus far, we lost some great people along the way of this special year of 2016. Some of the icons that we’ve lost this year includes boxing legend Muhammad Ali (His contributions inside and outside the ring can’t be compared to another), golfing legend Arnold Palmer (golf’s most beloved figure and he surged the sport into popularity), legendary sports broadcaster Craig Sager (#SagerStrong), former NFL head coach Dennis Green (coached the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals), legendary women’s basketball head coach Pat Summitt, and ESPN’s reporter John Saunders. I know it can be sad to think about, but we should remember their achievements and how meaningful their contributions were.

1) Cubs Win!

This is by far the most memorable moment for not only this year but the best moment for certain people’s lives. There have been generations that have waited for the day for the Chicago Cubs to win a World Series championship since 1908. I remember a little over a decade ago in 2003 when the Cubs were 5 outs away from the World Series. Then…the Steve Bartman incident happened. I seriously believe Chicago is the best sports city and Chicago Cubs fans are the most loyal fans amongst all major sports. Chicago coming back from 3-1 against Cleveland (pretty ironic), which included an unreal rain delay in extra innings of game 7, made their championship more fitting for the franchise. I know a few Cubs fans that are still celebrating (and it’s well deserved). 2016 is your year, Chicago Cubs.

Happy Holidays!!

JGOOD

 

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It’s Over! Cubs Win World Series


Witnessing the Chicago Cubs winning the 2016 World Series goes down as one of the most remarkable moments in sports history. The Cubs hasn’t been to the World Series since 1945 and hasn’t won a title since 1908 before this achievement. As a Chicago White Sox fan, I am extremely happy for the Chicago Cubs organization and their entire fan base. There have been generations that haven’t seen the Chicago Cubs on top of Major League Baseball. The Titanic sinking was more recent than the Cubs last championship title before this one (let that SINK in).

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I’ve watched quite a few games this postseason just to see if the hype around this team is true. This team on paper is strong in all the major categories: hitting, pitching, baserunning, fielding, and coaching. However, the one word that has defined this postseason run for the “Northsiders” is resilient. The Cubs hasn’t faced adversity all season until they reached the playoffs, and a lot of people and baseball analyst wasn’t sure how this team will react when their backs were against the wall. This Cubs team has proved multiple times during this postseason run that they will not give up. Game 4 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants was a prime example. The Cubs were down 5-2 in the top of the 9th inning. Chicago scored 4 runs that inning to win 6-5 to eliminate the Giants (The Giants emptied their whole bullpen and still couldn’t stop the bleeding).

The fact that the Cubs forced a game 7 after being down 3 games to 1 is resilient within itself. This game 7 will go down as one of the most memorable game 7’s in the history of sports, in my opinion. From the Cubs being up 5-1 in the middle innings to Cleveland hitting the 2-run home run down 3rd baseline to tie the game at 6 in the bottom of the 8th inning to the, now infamous, rain delay, this game had a story book ending. Two teams have suffered for decades, and both teams were deserving of ending their respective titleless droughts. Words can’t fully describe the story and impact of this game, but the atmosphere was like no other. Here’s the highlight to game below.

This Chicago Cubs team that is currently constructed is poised to be contenders for the foreseeable future. There were 1 million people that turn out for the Chicago Blackhawks parade and festivals in 2015. I seriously believe that number will at least triple for the Chicago Cubs. Wrigleyville in Chicago was packed instantly after the win.

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This was by far the best game of 2016. To me, this game tops game 7 of the NBA Finals when Cleveland came back down 3-1 to beat the Golden State Warriors. I know that the city of Cleveland hasn’t won a sports title in over 50 years until that moment. However, this Cubs team is “America’s Cinderella” that had never gotten over the hump for 108 years. This was the LONGEST drought in NORTH AMERICA sports (mind blowing). Cubs fans from all over the world will come to their victory parade. Congratulations again to the Chicago Cubs of ending something that has lasted for far too long. Chicago has truly become a “City Of Champions”. “Fly The W” Northsiders, you truly deserve it!

JGOOD

Cy Young and MVP Contenders


One of my good friends, Chris (follow him on Twitter @mrwsa11), and I have compiled a list of contenders for this year’s Cy Young and MVP awards in each conference.

A.L. Cy Young 

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Zach Britton (Baltimore)

The Orioles closer has been unreal pretty much all year. He has 40 saves, 62 strikeouts, and an insane 0.65 ERA. Since May 1st, Britton has only allowed one earned run, and is the clear cut favorite for the Cy Young.

Corey Kluber (Cleveland)

The Indians ace is sporting a win-lose record of 15 and 9, helping to lead the charge for the club’s rotation. With 198 strikeouts and an ERA slightly above 3, he may benefit from the fact that voters usually don’t consider voting for closers (i.e. Britton) for the Cy Young.

Rick Porcello (Boston)

With an outstanding 20-3 record, Porcello has the best record amongst all pictures. It has been a resurgent year for him as he leads the Red Sox staff.

N.L. Cy Young

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Max Scherzer (Washington)

The Nationals ace is top 5 in wins, strikeouts, WHIP, and ERA. He is also tied for the most wins in all of baseball. It’s hard to argue against him.

“The 3 Cubbies” (Chicago)

Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jake Arrieta are all candidates for the Cy Young. Lester is top 10 in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. Arrieta is tied for wins in the N.L with Scherzer and Lester (16). The surprise, Kyle Hendricks, leads all of baseball in ERA. His pitching isn’t as dominate as the others, but he still makes it difficult for opposing batters.

A.L. MVP

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Jose Altuve (Houston)

The Astros captain and leader, is batting .339 on the year. He leads the MLB with 190 hits, and is boasting a career best with 22 home runs and 92 RBIs. He’s your complete player.

Josh Donaldson (Toronto)

The Blue Jays star continues to be a solid all-around player in the MLB. Doesn’t matter from his bat to his glove, he has the opportunity to win his second consecutive MVP.

Mike Trout (Anaheim)

The game’s best player continues to put on a show. With his amazing defense and great hitting, Trout has proved that he will continue to dominate the majors, night in and night out.

Mookie Beets (Boston)

Beets is hitting .315 on the year with career best in home runs and RBI’s. If Beets can lead the Red Sox to a division crown, he has a legitimate chance of  walking away with his first individual award.

N.L. MVP

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Kris Bryant (Chicago)

In only his second year in the league, Bryant has become one of the top hitters, fielders, and base runners in all of baseball. With his versatility in these categories, he has become a clear favorite for taking home the N.L. MVP.

Daniel Murphy (Washington)

Murphy leads the N.L. in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. This makes him a viable candidate.

Nolan Arenado (Colorado)

He leads the N.L. in home runs and RBI’s for the second straight year. You can’t argue against those accolades.

Anthony Rizzo (Chicago)

Rizzo is on track to hit 30 homers and over 100 RBI’s for his second consecutive year. With him being the leader for the best team in baseball, he will continue to be a contender.

 

Chicago Baseball On Fire


The Chicago Cubs went into this season as the favorites to win the World Series and they are playing like it. What’s surprising to most is that the Chicago White Sox are playing at an elite level as well. Both teams’ pitching and batting has been stellar.

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Personally, I would love to see both teams make a strong playoff run. I know we have a long ways to go but nevertheless this start is awesome for the city of Chicago!!

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JGOOD

Post March Madness


Congratulations to Marcello for winning
the JGoodWithSports March Madness contest. His prizes are on his way.

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That game was one of the best that you will ever see in any sport so don’t take it for granted. I have the same emptiness when the Superbowl ended and football season was over (luckily we’re getting closer to the NFL draft).

In other sports:

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NBA – My Bulls are about to be officially eliminated from playoff contention. This has been one of the most disappointing seasons that I can remember. It’s basically the same team as last year (adding Bobby Portis). The only thing changed is the coach and culture. We lost our defensive, gritty, and resilient identity. I’m not sure what will happen in the offseason but I wish we’ll get our defensive, gritty, resilient identity back.

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NFL – The season is still some months from here but the NFL Draft is only a couple a weeks away. “Draft Town” will be in Chicago for a second consecutive year (a 3 day event for fans to meet former players, participate in activities, food, prizes, and have a chance to win tickets to the actual draft blocks away) and guess who’s going?? (Wait for it… You guess it.. It’s me!) I’m very excited. I wanted to go last year but didn’t have the courage to skip work for it. I will let you know how it goes.

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MLB – My Chicago White Sox has started the season off on a positive note by winning 3 of 4 in Oakland against the A’s. Even though the Chicago Cubs are the talk if the town as the World Series favorite, we’re are projected to make a run for the AL Central. We added some much need bullpen help in the winter. Hopefully that’s enough to get some extra wins.

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NHL – The Blackhawks are set to defend the Stanley Cup. The Dallas Stars and the St Louis Blues have been consistent all year. The Washington Capitals are looking like the favorites to meet of those 3 teams in the Stanley Cup. Personally, I want to see Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews against Alex Ovechkin.

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The Masters are underway this weekend. Honestly I’m not sure who will come out on top. I just hope it’s a close finish on Sunday (preferably down to the last hole).

JGOOD