Over the course of the last 13 months, the world has been put through the wringer and tested on every possible level. Through resilience, pride and perseverance, we have made steps to move forward.
Just like in the real world, the sports world has taken punch after punch throughout the time in this new normal.
Yet, with every single punch, every time we were told it wasn’t possible, and that things could never go back to the way they once were, we found a way.
“It’s not what anybody wants, but what I can tell you is that it’s going to be discussed."
In the wake of the Vancouver Canucks' COVID-19 outbreak, a bubble environment could be an option for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2021.https://t.co/FQ8YPyEZ1N
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 4, 2021
This pandemic has taught everybody new things about the power of resilience, and how important it is to find the best possible light in every dark situation. In the world of sports, barriers were broken over the last thirteen months that will help write the story of so many great books yet to be written.
COVID sports feels like its own category by now, with all of the things that have transpired and events that have taken place under these new, completely unforeseen circumstances, it is now its very own genre.
It started with actually no sports at all. In March of 2020, we saw every single pro and amateur sports league or association completely shut down all operations. Things went quiet for a bit until we found the information we needed and took the step out of the quarantine phase.
That was a difficult few steps to take. Things were just getting good, into the final stages of seasons and playoffs were approaching. The leagues and athletes worldwide were collecting cheques and the finances of sports were at an all-time high with no end in sight.
And one day it just all came crashing down.
As we went through the few months without any sports at all, we were then introduced to bubbles. Leagues like the NBA, NHL and MLS set the tone for how things would be run, at least for the time being.
Bubbles went well, it was fun for the short time as people readjusted to the dreaded new normal.
The NFL brought things to new heights once their season came around, proving that even in a full-contact game with a percentage of masked-up fans in their stadiums, the show could on safely and soundly.
— theScore (@theScore) March 16, 2021
Now, in April of 2021, regardless of anybody’s thoughts and how controversial they may be, the UFC is ready to host a soldout event in Florida later this month with every seat in the house already sold and secured.
Top Sports Moments in the COVID-19 Era –
There are moments in sports that you will always endear and remember from how crazy the roar of the crowds were, or how clutch that play was when there were 25,000 fans off their seats in a packed stadium.
In COVID sports, we will basically remember them for the opposite. Looking at last night’s game between Gonzaga and UCLA, I could not imagine what that moment would look like if Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy was full. The emotions of the players were in extra focus because even without the massive crowds, they created a memory that lasts forever.
Titles have been won and celebrated, huge performances, accolades and milestones have been reached for so many athletes across the globe, but no one was there to be able to help these celebrations.
LeBron James and the Lakers win the NBA Championship:
Alone with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL, they are the proclaimed ‘bubble champions’ of COVID sports.
Known for how dominant and locked in they were within the confines of the bubble, the Lakers made themselves at home during their 2020 championship run. Led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Los Angeles took down Portland, Houston, Denver and Miami with a total record of 16-6 in the playoffs, and captured the illustrious franchise’s 17th NBA title.
There we various great moments from the NBA bubble that were much needed in a time where happiness and fulfillment weren’t easy to come by; this may have been the best.
The sight of one of the greatest NBA players and athletes of all time, just sitting on the floor he just won his fourth NBA ring on, looking as if he had just finished a 12-hour shift on the job site.
SuperBowl LV – Brady Regains the Throne:
Super Bowl 55 marked the end of an NFL season that was not only one massive masterpiece in terms of COVID sports but was a barrier-breaker for every other sports league around the world.
They laid out the format before any other league did on how to approach a day-by-day, week-by-week schedule and work around the obstacles the pandemic brought.
In the Super Bowl, with over 10,000 frontline health care workers in attendance for free, the NFL brought together an atmosphere for the ages and the Super Bowl was an outgoing success.
😎🏈 Tom Brady stole the show when he completed a very special pass during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' boat parade to celebrate Super Bowl 55. pic.twitter.com/fPyXwgOoRD
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 11, 2021
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a team of destiny, who managed to make everything click when they needed it most. Under the guidance and experience of Tom Brady, Tampa Bay won their second major sports championship in the era of COVID sports.
Sarah Fuller Makes History:
Over a crazy, up-and-down college football season, there was a bright spot with all of the COVID troubles. A college soccer player named Sarah Fuller stepped in and became the first female to play in a game featuring a Power Five conference when she handled the second-half kickoff against Missouri on Nov. 28.
Sarah Fuller, the first woman to play in a Power 5 college football game, just made her first career extra point. pic.twitter.com/6bJkX9722v
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) December 12, 2020
She then became the first woman to score points in such a game when she converted two extra points versus Tennessee on Dec. 12.
Jalen Suggs Calls Game:
It had to be in here, because I’m still buzzing from it.
Rewatching this shot and the play before it by Johnny Juzang is like poetry in motion. The highs and the lows of basketball could not have come anymore into the spotlight during the final ten seconds of overtime.
SUGGS x TITANIC MUSIC 🔥
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 4, 2021
With Gonzaga’s perfect season on the line, Jalen Suggs stepped up and hit the shot heard everywhere if you’re a basketball fan, and it will for sure go down as one of the greatest memories of the COVID sports era.
Evan Power, Evolution 107.9