2021 is winding down, and that means it’s time to look back on the best sports moments of the year. If you want to check out the best sports moments of 2020, check out my article from last year here. However, most people want to put the past two years in the rear-view mirror because of COVID-19.

Before the ball drops, let’s appreciate the best moments of 2021 in the greatest arena in the world…sports!

Braves Win First Title Since 1995

The Atlanta Braves were 30-35 on June 16 and written off by everyone in baseball. In July, they lost their star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. to a season-ending knee injury, but the franchise kept hammering the rock.

best sports moments

They took advantage of a weak division to win the NL East by 6.5 games, thanks to players like Freddie Freeman and Joc Pederson. They took down Atlanta in four games and then did the unthinkable by beating the Dodgers in six.

The Astros finished off the Astros in six games on November 2 to win their first World Series since 1995.

Tom Brady Solidifies his GOAT Status

Tom Brady won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, but he traveled down to Tampa Bay when the romance ended in Foxborough.

best sports moments

Brady led the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl and defeated the Kansas City Chiefs with ease in his home stadium, giving the GOAT his seventh ring. It also caused Bill Belichick to not sleep for the entire offseason…

Helio Castroneves Joins Elite Group in Indy

The Indianapolis 500 is the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and the Super Bowl of IndyCar. Before the 2021 race, there were three four-time champions. Following 200 laps on May 30th, Helio Castroneves joined Al Unser Sr., A.J. Foyt, and Rick Mears in the four-time champs club.

Alex Palou, the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series winner, battled Castroneves down the stretch, but the veteran solidified the top spot on the final two laps.

Lightning Strike Again

The NHL crowned a repeat champion for the second time in six seasons in 2021. The Tampa Bay Lightning won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 2020 with a 4-2 series win over the Dallas Stars. They followed it up in 2021 with a 4-1 series win over the Montreal Canadiens in 2021.

Tampa Bay went through Florida, Carolina, and the New York Islanders to earn their cup bid. They needed five to hoist the Stanley Cup in 2021.

Tide Claim Sixth National Title Since 2009

Alabama is the greatest college football program of all time under Nick Saban. In 2021, Saban and the Tide rolled to their fifth, sixth championship since 2009.

Mac Jones, Devonta Smith, and Alabama left no doubt they were the best team in the nation, beating Ohio State 52-24 in the final. Jones was 36 of 45 for 464 yards and five touchdowns, which helped solidify his first-round grade.

Name, Image, and Likeness

On July 1, the landscape of college sports changed forever. NCAA athletes immediately benefited from their name, image, and likeness. This had been a problem for years and led to many players like Reggie Bush receiving penalties in the past.

Alabama QB Bryce Young received well over $1 million in NIL deals before taking a meaningful snap for the Crimson Tide.

Shohei Ohtani Does it All in the Midsummer Classic

Shohei Ohtani received a lot of press during the 2021 MLB season, despite playing for a bad Los Angeles Angels club. Nevertheless, he did help put baseball on the map by pitching and hitting at a high level.

This was something baseball had not seen since Babe Ruth, and it earned Ohtani the starting pitcher and DH spot for the AL in the All-Star Game. Ohtani gave baseball, a regional sport, global attention.

Phil Mickelson Ain’t Done Yet

Phil Mickelson was set to dominate the PGA Tour Champions in 2021, but he was not done beating up the young guys just yet. Mickelson won the PGA Championship, which took place at Kiawah Island, at age 50 this year.

The golfer led after three rounds and bested Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen by two strokes with a final-round 73. He is the oldest major champion in PGA Tour history.

Matsuyama Makes History for Japan

Prior to 2021, there had never been a Japanese or Asian-born golfer to win the Masters. Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champ, garnered the reputation of a great golfer that couldn’t win on the big stage.

In the 2021 Masters, he left no doubt that he deserved to win. Matsuyama hit countless big shots in the final round to fend off Will Zalatoris and win the major by one shot.

Baylor Upsets Gonzaga

The entire NCAA Tournament occurred in Indianapolis this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Gonzaga entered the tournament as the heavy favorite, but did not leave Indianapolis as champs.

Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler led the Bears to an 86-70 victory over Gonzaga for their first national championship in program history.