The calendar year of 2016 is coming to a close and boy was it a doozy in the sports world. The Cavaliers brought Cleveland its first title in 50 years. The Cubs broke the curse of the billy goat and ended their 108-year title drought. The year provided us with an endless number of sports highlights, but, for the sake of my sanity, we’ve narrowed it down to the Top 10 of the year.
10) DeflateGate Mercifully Comes To An End
Almost a full year and a half after the initial news about deflated footballs came into our lives, the case came to an end with Tom Brady accepting a four-game suspension from Roger Goodell. Now, Patriots fans will gladly still pull you aside to explain the “Ideal Gas Law” at any moment that they can, but in the end, Brady missed the first four games of the 2016 season.
All he’s done since is lead the Pats to a 9-1 record in games that he’s played and put his name in the MVP conversation by completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 3,064 yards and an insane 22-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
9) Peyton Manning Wins Super Bowl In Final Season
Yep, this did happen in 2016. Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it? Manning wasn’t close to his normal self in the 2015-16 season. Father Time finally caught up to him. He wasn’t great in the Super Bowl either, completing just 13 of 23 attempts for 141 yards and a couple turnovers, but it didn’t matter. Manning was on top of the mountain once again when the dust settled with the Broncos winning 24-10 and he was able to ride into the sunset. Or, well, into more Papa John’s, Nationwide and DirecTV commercials.
8) Colin Kaepernick Makes A Stand, By Taking A Knee
Whether you agree or disagree with his stance is immaterial. Kaepernick sparked a massive increase in athletes being outspoken for social causes during 2016. Players across the NFL and across sports followed his lead and spoke up when they saw injustices in the social sphere. In a year during which we lost one of the greatest socially conscious athletes of all-time in Muhammad Ali, it was especially fitting to see many big-name athletes find their voice and continue to try to use their position in society to effect change.
7) Dee Gordon Homers To Lead-off Marlins First Game After Jose Fernandez’s Tragic Death
There were plenty of down moments this year as well. One of the biggest, of course, was the death of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez in a boating accident in late September. The young pitcher was one of the sport’s brightest lights and best personalities and all of South Florida and Major League Baseball mourned his passing. In the Marlins first game back, his teammate and friend Dee Gordon, provided us all with an unforgettable moment.
No, you’re crying.
See the rest of the list at CBSLA.com.