2020 has been a difficult year for so many people throughout the world. However, there were still a countless number of amazing sports moments that took place this year. Some of these moments made us smile and others made us cry, but all of these events will be talked about for decades to come.
Here are the best sports moments of 2020.
The Best Sports Moments of 2020
#10 | Sarah Fuller Kicks her Way into the Record Books
The Vanderbilt University Football program was short on athletes because of a COVID-19 breakout in November. The team needed a kicker, and they filled this void with Commodores Women’s Soccer goalie Sarah Fuller. Fuller became the first female to appear in a Power Five football game when she kicked off against Missouri on November 28th.
Fuller stuck with the team through December and broke another record. She became the first woman to score points in a Power Five contest when she knocked two PATs through the uprights against Tennessee on December 12th.
#9 | Dustin Johnson Takes Home his First Green Jacket at Augusta
The Masters Tournament was altered this year due to COVID-19. The tournament usually takes place during the first full week in April. Although, the pandemic forced the PGA to reschedule the tournament to November. No spectators were allowed at Augusta National, but this didn’t phase Dustin Johnson.
Johnson has been one of the top golfers in the world throughout his career, but the 36-year-old didn’t claim his first green jacket until this past November. Johnson dominated the field and finished 20 strokes under par over his four total rounds.
The two second-place golfers finished five strokes behind Johnson. Johnson set the Masters Tournament record for best score with his dominating performance at Augusta.
#8 | Breanna Stewart Wins the WNBA Finals MVP
Breanna Stewart has made a massive impact in professional basketball since she was taken 1st overall by the Seattle Storm in the 2016 WNBA Draft. Stewart led the Storm to a 2018 WNBA Finals victory but missed the whole 2019 season because of a ruptured Achilles.
The 26-year-old was injured competing overseas for the Dynamo Kursk in the EuroLeague Women’s Championship in 2019. She watched from the Storm bench throughout the 2019 season, but returned in 2020 with a vengeance. Stewart led the Storm to a 2020 WNBA Finals sweep over the Las Vegas Aces.
The UConn Women’s Basketball legend was named MVP for her heroic performance where she averaged 19.7 points and 8.3 rebounds over four games.
#7 | Baseball is Back
MLB Spring Training was canceled by the league on March 12, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 16th, the commissioner announced that the season would be postponed indefinitely. Due to issues with the players association and the league, there were concerns that there would be no baseball season at all in 2020.
A second spring training, which was rebranded as “Sumer Camp,” resumed on July 1st. Each team was slated to play 60 games with minimal days off. Opening day was July 23rd and even though fans weren’t present inside stadiums, the Opening Day pageantry was still one of the best sports moments that the world experienced in 2020.
With everything that the MLB had to endure to deliver baseball in 2020, it’s remarkable that there even was an Opening Day in 2020.
#6 | The Lightning Strike Again
The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup for the second time in franchise history in 2020. Their first title came in 2004, but they weren’t able to seal the deal once again until earlier this year. The Lightning were on a mission during the 2020 NHL Playoffs.
Tampa Bay was the favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2019, but they were swept in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets. In 2016 and 2018, the Lightning lost in the Conference Finals in seven games both years.
The pieces of the championship puzzle came together in 2020 as the Lightning were able to defeat the Dallas Stars in six games to take home the Stanley Cup once again.
The Best Sports Moments of 2020
#5 | LeBron James Leads the Lakers to their First Championship in a Decade
The NBA was the first league to postpone play amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Players were sent home, and nobody knew what was to come in regard to the conclusion of the NBA season. Disney World’s Wide World of Sports Complex became the host site for the NBA Playoff bubble.
Los Angeles was still mourning the death of Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant and LeBron led the team in his honor. The Lakers rolled through the playoffs and finished the job against James’ old team, the Miami Heat.
Jimmy Butler battled for the Heat, but LeBron and the Lakers were too much for Miami. On October 11th, Los Angeles capped off the NBA Finals in game six to win their first title since 2010.
#4 | Clayton Kershaw Cements his Legacy in the World Series
Clayton Kershaw is the greatest pitcher of this generation. The 32-year-old is a first ballot Hall of Famer when he does call it a career, but there has always been an asterisk next to Kershaw’s name when it comes to the postseason.
Critics claimed that Kershaw couldn’t pitch in the postseason. Statistically, he hasn’t been as good in the playoffs as he was in past regular seasons. The Los Angeles ace put this negative reputation to sleep for good in the 2020 World Series.
This past fall, the Dodgers won their first title since 1988 and Kershaw played a significant role. The lefty started Games 1 and 5 of the 2020 World Series. He went 2-0 and struck out a combined 14 batters in 11.2 innings of work. Kershaw only gave up a total of three earned runs in the Fall Classic.
Kershaw confirmed in 2020 that he can indeed pitch in the postseason which was amazing to watch for baseball fans around the world.
#3 | Coach O, Joe Burrow, and LSU Bring the National Title Back to Tiger Land
The 2019-20 LSU Football program could be one of the best teams to ever step foot on a college football field in NCAA history. Coach Ed Orgeron’s passion paid off in 2020 when he won his first National Championship as a head coach.
Joe Burrow, the reigning Heisman Trophy recipient, was a questionable draft pick entering the season, but this changed drastically. Burrow burst onto the college football scene in a big way throughout the year and ended his illustrious college career as a National Champion.
The Tigers outplayed all their opponents over the course of the season, finishing 15-0. LSU defeated Clemson in the title game by a score of 42-25 in a dominating performance. The LSU offense started rolling in the second quarter and there was nothing that Clemson could do to weather the storm. This championship was the Tigers’ first since 2007.
#2 | Mamba Mentality: Remembering A Legend
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna’s unexpected deaths shook the sports world to its core. Bryant was an icon all over the world. Even if you didn’t watch basketball, you knew the name Kobe Bryant.
A month after Bryant’s death, the sports community came together inside the STAPLES Center to celebrate the life of the NBA legend. The service took place on February 24th and many people spoke including basketball icons, Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan.
The event was very emotional and a moment that brought the sports’ world to tears. Despite this, Bryant will go down as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The Black Mamba left his legacy on the court, in Hollywood, and in the Los Angeles community. KB will never be forgotten.
The Best Sports Moments of 2020
#1 | Andy Reid Wins his First Super Bowl as a Head Coach
Andy Reid is one of the best people in the game of football. The 62-year-old has been an NFL head coach for two decades with two different franchises. Reid led the Eagles to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIX, but lost to the New England Patriots by a score of 24-21.
Reid suffered some crushing playoff defeats leading the Eagles and the Chiefs. In 2020, he finally won his first ring as a head coach. The Chiefs’ players wanted this title for Reid, and it showed when adversity struck in Super Bowl LIV.
The Chiefs defeated the 49ers 31-20. At the start of the fourth quarter, Kansas City was trailing 20-10. They went onto score 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to shock the football world and win their first championship since 1969.
Patrick Mahomes established himself as the best quarterback in the NFL in Super Bowl LIV. His performance propelled the Chiefs to victory and gave Andy Reid his first title as a head coach.
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