2021: What a Year in Sports

2021: What a Year in Sports

Ageless Tom Brady leads the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl championship in his first year away from the New England Patriots. This makes seven Super Bowl victories for the former University of Michigan quarterback.

Shohei Ohtani was named AP Male Athlete of the Year. All he did was hit 46 homers with 26 steals and 100 RBI in 126 games as the AL’s best designated hitter. He started 23 games on the mound, going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts over 130⅓ innings.

The Summer Olympic Games, postponed from 2020 due to COVID-19, took place in Tokyo. The United States led in the gold medal and overall medal count, led by the women’s gymnastics and men’s and women’s swimming teams. Meanwhile, Simone Biles withdraws from most events due to mental exhaustion. In November, President Biden announces a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in communist China.

Tigers Woods survives a terrible car wreck on February 23. The all-time great professional golfer suffers multiple injuries after slamming a sponsor vehicle in a California crash that stunned the sports world. He would make a December comeback with his 12-year-old son in a professional event.

Led by first baseman Freddie Freeman, the Atlanta Braves win their first World Series title since 1996. They defeated the Houston Astros in six games.

The Milwaukee Bucks win their first NBA World Championship in 50 years as superstar forward Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo takes the MVP Award defeating the Phoenix Suns in six games.

A repeat in the National Hockey League as the Tampa Bay Lightning takes the Stanley Cup defeating the Montreal Canadiens, 4 games to 1.

College football witnesses yet another championship by Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide. #1 Alabama slammed #3 Ohio State 52-24 to win its 18th National Championship and the seventh overall National for Saban (six with Bama). In the 2021 season, Alabama, Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati finished one through four and qualified for the December 31 playoffs.

Scandal rocks the National Football League as the Washington Football Team and Oakland Raiders Coach Jon Gruden are mired in embarrassing scandal. The WFT was a workplace scandal and Gruden’s pathetic emails were uncovered during the same investigation. The Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) and Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) also had team personnel with improper behavior charges and dismissals.

(tie) Tennis star Naomi Osake withdraws from the French Open. The four-time Grand Slam champion admits to suffering through long bouts of depression.

Bubba Wallace becomes just the second African American to win a NASCAR Cup Series race October 4 at Talladega in a rain-shortened event.

DEATHS:

Hank Aaron, Joe Altobelli, Otis Anderson Jr., Lou Angotti, Fred Arbanas, George Armstrong, Neil Armstrong, Kimera Bartee, Elgin Baylor, Bobby Bowden, Bobby Brown, Roger Brown, Charlie Burns, John Chaney, Edwin Coil, Billy Conigliaro, Del Crandall, Irv Cross, Curly Culp, Sam Cunningham, Don Demeter, Terry Donahue, Diane Durham, Mark Eaton, Lee Elder, Tony Esposito, Lee Evans, Jim Fassel, Bill Freehan, Jim Fregosi Jr., Rod Gilbert, Mudcat Grant, Jay Greenberg, Walter Gretzky, Marvin Hagler, Jimmy Hayes, Roland Hemond, Ron Hill, LaMarr Hoyt, Sam Huff, Claude Humphrey, Shirley Fry Irvin, Bob Jenkins, Doug Jones, Leroy Keyes, Swede Knox, Stan Kwan, Tommy Lasorda, Floyd Little, Mike Lucci, John Madden, Mike Marshall, Bob McCammon, Paul McMullen, Bob McMasters, Ray Miller, John Muckler, Frank Orr, Pat Patrick, Mark Pavlich, Bob Plagar, Floyd Reese, Jerry Remey, J.R. Richard, Curt Ridley, Eddie Robinson, Patricia Rooney, Manuel Santana, Howard Schnellenberger, Marty Schottenheimer, Milkha Singh, Leon Spinks, Medina Spirit, Rennie Stennett, Pat Studstill, Don Sutton, Wayne Terwilliger, Sergei Thekmarev, Demaryius Thomas, Mick Tinglehoff, Tony Tolbert, Tony Trabert, Al Unser Sr., Bobby Unser Sr., Bobby Unser, Jr., Bill Virdin, Bugsy Watson, Paul Westphal, Sir Frank Williams, Ben Wright, Roger Zatkoff.

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Written by
George Eichorn