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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The Greatest


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We often call players who leave a significant impact “great”, and we call the greatest of the greats “The G.O.A.T.” (Greatest Of All Time). The players are legends, icons, extraordinary, almost invulnerable… we usually use them as the rubric to grade others by. These players set the bar of precedence. Only few players are even considered to enter “the conversation” and even at that point you will get heavily ridiculed. So what does it take to be considered the greatest, the best to ever do it, The G.O.A.T.??? What does it take to even be mentioned in “The Conversation”??? If you can’t even enter the debate, then you have been disqualified for the greatest throne.

How do you enter “The Conversation”? There has to be some guidelines right? (A sign that says “you have to be this tall” like at Six Flags or something).  Lets break it down!

Numbers
Do these individuals have the stats? We all heard the phrase “men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”. For the most part that’s true, and that’s the part we’re going to focus on right now. These players has to put up numbers superior to their piers. They should have the ability to rank in the top 10 in multiple statistical categories.

Consistency
Anybody can put up incredible numbers for a season or 2 but can they do it over the longevity of their careers? These individuals have to preform on a nightly basis. They have to average staggering numbers while playing at an elite level over several seasons.

Accomplishments
How many times were these players named to the all star team and/or all pro? Awards like Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and even the team awards are vital. And of course winning championships are an important factor.

Clutch Factor
Can these players perform when it counts? They have to have the ability to close out games, make game saving plays, and make the impossible happen at times.

Hall Of Fame
When its all said and done, will these individuals be enshrined? These players have to be good enough to make it to Canton, Ohio, to Cooperstown, to “The Hall”.

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So with those factors to consider, that will eliminate almost everybody. Once we get down to the smallest of smallest pools, we can only then enter them into “The Conversation”.

Once you enter “The Conversation”, it’s survival of the fittest. These are the likes of Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Pele, Wayne Gretzky,  Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Floyd Mayweather, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and the list goes on. So how do we separate the greatest from the greats? There are other factors, deeper factors, we will have to consider:

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Intangibles
All great players can make plays that show up on the score box but what about the plays and the characteristics that you will remember? “The Catch” by Willie Mays, “The Drive” by John Elway, “The Shot” over Craig Ehlo by Michael Jordan, “The Rumble In The Jungle” with Muhammad Ali, are prime examples of what this category is all about. It was their willingness to win plus the enchanted moment that lives on forever. You can’t teach heart and a desire to win. Only some players have that gene inside of them.

Revolutionary
Did these players change the way you play the game or the game itself? Were other players or teams have to alternate their game plans to try to deflect the greatness of one individual? Were the rules of a sport ever altered because of one’s dominance? This category will eliminate majority of the remaining  participants.

Iconic
When these players still be remember generations from now? Could people from all over the world still remember who you are and your greatness 20 years after retirement? Are people owning their memorabilia?

Legacy
Will everything they have ever achieved,  earned, accomplished, live on forever? Can something that has taken a whole career to build be demolished by any negativity? The legacy is a players ultimate portfolio, resume and transcript. ALL tangible and intangible factors are weighed and utilized to determine your rank amongst the field.

Only the strongest survive. Having debates over the greatest will forever live on. My plan wasn’t to pick the greatest but to give you all a template on how to pick one yourselves. With that being said, let the debates begin!!!

JGood