The world of sport serves as a distraction from ‘real life’. Watching a hockey game helps to get your mind off the big math test that you wrote earlier that day. In life, we all desire simplicity and ease, two things which we don’t possess in today’s complicated world. By watching sports, we are given this aspect of simplicity that we’re missing, which serves as a major source of comfort.
As opposed to learning the Pythagoras theorem in mathematics or educating yourself on all of the many complicated platforms that politicians talk about in their electoral campaigns, many sports have humble and simple rule books. This year, many different sporting events that took us away from our real lives, teleporting us into a world of competition and fantasy.
NFL: New England wins over Seattle
Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks was one of the weirdest and wildest finales in the historic event’s saga. The Seahawks had possession of the ball at New England’s one-yard line, and a simple pass from Russell Wilson to Seattle running back, Marshawn Lynch, could’ve likely provided a completely different outcome, but this wasn’t the case. Leaving both teams astonished, Patriots’ cornerback Malcolm Butler was made the unlikely hero of the night when he intercepted Wilson’s throw.
“For it to come down to a play like that,” said Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll following Seattle’s final play of the year.
“I hate that we have to live with that.”
Many players on the Seahawks’ roster were in denial following the game, including cornerback Tharold Simon.
“How do you throw the ball when you got Marshawn Lynch,” said Simon.
Unfortunately, Simon asked a question that will never produce a good enough answer from anyone, and for this, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are being crowned by many as the greatest Head Coach and quarterback duo of all-time.
MLB: Bumgarner Triumphs in 2014 playoffs
2014’s World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals was one to jot down in the history books as well. Madison Bumgarner carried the Giants throughout the duration of the post season, winning the team their third World Series title in the past five years. Bumgarner threw approximately 52 innings and maintained a 1.01 ERA, which is the bottommost number in a sole post-season in the league’s history with 40 innings pitched at the minimum.
Bumgarner’s teammate and relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt gave him all of the glory, asserting, “How it ended pretty much summed up the Giants in the World Series. That guy carried us. He flat-out carried us.”
As a result, he won MVP of the series and was also the deserving recipient of a brand new Chevy Colorado pick-up truck.
While presenting the award, Chevrolet sales and marketing executive Rikk Wilde was continuously stumbling on his words and even claimed that the truck “combines class winning and leading, um, you know, technology and stuff”.
This post-game gaffe ended up stealing the spotlight from Madison Bumgarner, and turned Chevrolet into a social media success. Nevertheless, Bumgarner’s incredible success in the post-season is a convincing argument that has many baseball analysts labelling him as the best World Series starter in MLB history. He is certainly one of the greatest, but he needs to get many more starts under his belt in order to legitimately hold the title of being number one.
IIHF U20: Team Canada wins gold at World Juniors
The 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, simply known as the World Juniors, also delivered entertainment to viewers across our nation, bringing home Canada’s first gold medal in five years.
Canadian-born Connor McDavid and American-born Jack Eichel were placed on a pedestal throughout the tournament, as it served as the biggest possible platform for both draft-eligible players to display their talents to all of the NHL scouts and fans watching around the world. Connor McDavid came out on top. He was a dominant force over the span of the annual tournament, notching eleven points, trumping Eichel’s four.
What also has to be taken into consideration is the fact that McDavid has missed the previous five weeks due to a broken hand in a fight against Mississauga Steelheads’ forward Bryson Cianfrone.
“Connor McDavid, he went into the tournament where he was 100 per cent healthy to play but he wasn’t 100 per cent on his game,” said Dan Marr, director of scouting for the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau. “You can see the more he’s on the ice, the more he’s playing, he’s getting up to where he’s at the top of his game. I don’t know that Jack would tell you that he was at the top of his game, but certainly his effort was there.”
Fans will likely see Connor McDavid as the number one overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, taking place in late June.
March Madness: Wisconsin upsets Kentucky
The Kentucky Wildcats, led by legendary Coach John Calipari, were 38-0 coming into their Final Four match up against the Wisconsin Badgers. Kentucky was the obvious favourite as the tournament’s winner, but this didn’t seem to intimidate Wisconsin, with the Badgers pulling a surprising 71-64 upset in Saturday night’s national semifinal game, earning the opportunity to face off against Coach K’s Duke Blue Devils in the championship game. Wisconsin had defeated the enemy that few expected to be beatable. National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky, a senior power forward for Wisconsin, totalled 20 points and 11 boards for the Badgers.
“We are a finishing team — that’s what we’ve been — and we didn’t,” said Calipari, following his team’s loss. “They did, and we didn’t.”
With TV shows and movies, you’re able to watch them once without any surprises, but you know what’s going to happen if you watch them again. In sports, we are all fortunate to enter a world where there is a lack of a predestined outcome; that’s what is so special about the industry. We’re fortunate to witness elite athletes partake in 100 per cent wholesome physical performances. We’re able to see athletes do something that 99 per cent of the population cannot do, and for that, we become emotionally attached to their efforts.
Nothing compares to sports, and for many of us, we were there watching the biggest moments, contributing to the communal dynamism at the exact instants that stories were written for the future generations to read about. Here’s to the many more stories that have yet to be written.