• Elijah Rader

Professional Sports Through The Decade

The 10s were, simply put, a great decade for sports. From the best finals series in NBA history to the best comeback in NFL history, there was something for everyone.

In Basketball, so many historic things happened. Kobe Bryant won his fifth and final championship in 2010 and dropped 60 points in his final game in 2016 to cap off his amazing career. He wasn’t the only legend to retire, we also lost another top 10 player of all time in Tim Duncan, Dirk, and Kevin Garnett. Not only did the game lose some of it’s very best, it also gained many future hall of famers. This list includes 2x finals MVP Kawhi Leanord, six time all star Kyrie Irving, the future of the league in Giannis, along with others. Regarding the best finals series in NBA history, well, we all should have a good idea. 2016. LeBron’s 6th straight finals appearance, searching for revenge after losing to the Warriors the previous year. This year was different for two reasons. The first is the fact that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were back from injury. The second is that LeBron had a chip on his shoulder. After coming back to Cleveland, he felt the need to give them their first ring in franchise history. There was no way he would lose two years in a row in these circumstances. Many fans were faced with doubts of this after they fell down three games to one. Almost everyone turned into doubters, and for good reason. No team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals in the history of the league, but no one had seen the best player of all time with so much to prove. After two great wins, Game 7 was amazing. After a comeback, my favorite moment of all time in LeBron’s block on Igoudala, and a dagger by Kyrie, the Cavs had done the impossible. “Back to Igoudala, AND IT’S BLOCKED BY JAMES!” My personal favorite basketball moment of all time.

The NFL also had many great games throughout the ‘10s. The Packers won a Super Bowl in 2011 led by an amazing Aaron Rodgers (they should have one at least two more, but that's a different story). The New England Patriots dominated the decade (they have been on top of the league since 2002). They played in four Super Bowls, and won three. Tom Brady had done nothing but improve his case for being the greatest of all time, adding three regular season MVPs and three Super Bowl MVPs. One of these wins was the greatest game of the decade, taking place in the 49th Super Bowl in 2015. It was a matchup against the NFCs best from the 2010s, the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams had great success in the regular season, and it was set to be a good one. The Legion of Boom against the best of all time. The future of the league vs the best. The game was a nail biter coming up to the end, and it did not disappoint in the final minutes. After a nice 10 point comeback led by Brady, the Seahawks were down 28-24 with 2:02 left on the clock with the ball in their hands.After a few amazing catches and plays, the Seahawks were left with the ball on the one yard line with one minute left to play. “Run the ball with the most dominant running back in the league” said literally everyone watching the game. For some reason, however, Pete Carrol decided to abandon his philosophy and brain cells by calling a slant route. Wilson forced the ball in to a tight window, and Malcom Butler of the New England Patriots intercepted the ball. The world was in shock, including the announcers. Why would you pass it? The world will never know, and the Patriots won the best game in recent memory. Another really memorable moment came from Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014. Everyone saw the catch that put the young athlete on the map. After getting pulled by the corner, he had to reach back with every ounce of will in his body to snag it with one hand. With the countless amount of praise for the catch came a lot of backlash saying his newfound fame was not deserved. People who said that were wrong, as he was already emerging before the catch and went on to be a consistent top three receiver in the league in all of the upcoming seasons after.

In baseball, the Cubs have the story of the decade obviously. The Chicago Cubs, led by third baseman Kris Bryant, were able to beat the curse and win their first championship since 1908 in 2016. The series win couldn’t have ended a better way, with a 8-7 victory in Game seven over Cleveland in the 10th inning. In more local news, after many years of inconsistency and heartbreak for the Brewers, a bright spot was finally shown. In the fateful month of January, 2018, the Brew Crew was able to trade for the up and coming outfielder Christian Yelich. Yelich was able to blow the league away, winning the NL MVP award with 36 home runs hit and batting .326. The team is being put together well and is giving fans hope for the 2020s.

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