As we say goodbye to this past decade, a lot of times I like to reflect on the years that have gone by and think about how fun and exciting those times were. We’ve seen legends come and go, dynasties constructed and some of the best collaborative sports years ever. For a formal au revoir, I thought I’d look back at some of the highlights of the past 10 years as we get ready to ring in a new decade. In no particular order…….
In what would have been a future altering miss, Ray Allen grabs a pass from a Chris Bosh rebound, steps back and ties up Game 6 of the NBA Finals vs the Spurs, forcing overtime and Game 7, which the Heat ultimately won. This is arguably one of, if not the biggest clutch moment in NBA History, as a miss would have meant a loss.
If this isn’t as important as others may think, call me out on my Lebron love….that said, I consider this to be one of, if not the best, defensive play in NBA Finals history. LeBron traveled full court, elevated himself, and played the ball perfectly to keep the Warriors off the board and solidify the Cavs’ lead. Incredible.
In a series with two beloved teams that embraced losing, one of them had to come out on top. The Cubs ended their 100+ year World Series drought by finally overcoming all the odds and winning it all. A team with such promise like Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and more, they haven’t come back to fulfill said promise, but the memories of that season will live forever.
While the Patriots are considered my team of the decade with their many many championships, what made their most impressive win so incredible was the amazing comeback against the Falcons a few years ago. Down 28-3, Atlanta had everything going their way offensively and defensively. However, never count out the greatest coach in the history of football. Tom Bill Belichick and Co. fought, scratched and clawed their way back and won it in overtime, making this the greatest comeback ever.
Tiger Woods made his way back to the winner’s circle at Augusta and won his 15th major, pulling to within 3 of the career leading great Jack Nicklaus. It was a glorious return that saw family and friends reunite with a familiar Green jacket and a great way to become elite once again.
The Title Winner
It’s not every day that one particular shot actually wins a title, but this one did. It was at the buzzer, it ended regulation, and solidified itself as one of the all-time greats in clutch performances.
In this, an era where it’s much easier to prepare for an opponent, we saw many dynasties this past decade that will live for eternity. The Patriots just keep on winning, despite age and talent on the field. The Crimson Tide recruit, build and execute on an elite level. The Spurs (to an extent) and the Warriors have dominated the sport for years and may return to glory soon. I have a love/hate relationship with dynasties but I am always respectfully in awe.
So many of the greats in sports said goodbye over the past 10 years, that you could almost make a Mount Rushmore with them in their respective sports. Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, Tony Gonzalez….and so many more.
It’s been a great run for athletes getting paid this decade, as salaries have skyrocketed thanks to TV deals. Some have been great in helping franchises win (Kevin Durant got his max contract because of previous Curry injury-ladened low salary and a new TV deal), while others have been team crippling (Luol Deng and Matt Ryan…..really?) As we approach the next decade, one can only imagine where the money will be headed.
Free agency has taken quite a big turn over the past decade. It started with LeBron earlier in the decade holding an hour-long televised ESPN press conference to announce where he was taking his talents, which he has gone on record as regretting. The good from it was that it changed the way that players thought about free agency and put them in the driver’s seat when thinking of their own personal futures. Now, players get to play not only where they want, but they get to pick who they want to play with as well. It’s turned sports into a business and has taken many of the personal feelings out of it.
The Social Media
As we turned the calendar into the new decade, social media was just starting to gain its traction as a method of communicating. From Twitter, for example, from just over half a year to end the decade to the beginning, the number of daily tweets seemed to almost double. Athletes began interacting with fans on Twitter, teams would promote players and their actions to their fans, and highlights were readily made available. Putting it like this, Cristiano Ronaldo has more Twitter followers than President Trump.
Here’s to an even better decade ahead of us all.
And there you have it.