Why All 2020 Champions Are Among Professional Sports’ Best Ever
Many supporters of sport doubt if 2020 produced legitimate competition winners, yet they have outshone many champions before them
“I don’t wanna talk
About things we’ve gone through
Though it’s hurting me…”
are the lyrics of the famous 1980 Abba song.
When I think of sporting championships in 2020 this song comes to mind simply because many sports followers will question whether championships won in that year are as legitimate as ones won in previous years given the nature of what occurred in 2020. Of course, that was the year that most of the western world went into lockdown for the first time as a result of the Covid-19 virus.
And I feel that if we don’t acknowledge the winners from that year as being true winners then we don’t know what competition is.
The seeds of competition:
To understand what a winner is we first need to understand what competition is.
‘Competition’ according to the Oxford dictionary is:
“an event in which people compete with each other to find out who is the best at something”
When we think of competitions run in 2020 we realize that without doubt, everyone that competed was trying to be the best that they played against.
I mean, let’s examine the facts of the big professional US sports and see if they were competitive.
- In early February the Kansas City Chiefs won only their second Super Bowl. Although they were losing by double scores with only a quarter to go they put in a great performance in the last few minutes to beat the famed 49ers and win by 31–20.
- The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA finals in 2020. Most Valuable Player (MVP) Le Bron James got a triple-double in the 6th game against Miami Heat despite his overall finals record having been 3–6 making 2020 a special comeback win against the Miami Heat. The Los Angeles Dodger eventually won the World Series in 2020 after also hosting the biggest Covid-19 testing site in the US and having been awarded the ESPN Humanitarian Team of the Year award for their work for disadvantaged African American youth and girls.
2020 American Football facts:
Okay, Kansas City didn’t go into its first lockdown until later on in March ’20.
But by the time the Super Bowl rolled around, the US authorities had already declared a public health emergency due to international concerns and this was only the sixth time in history that they had done this. And the first case of the virus had already been confirmed in the country on the 21st of January.
This all meant the virus had been proved to be real on state side.
And as anyone who competes in the National Football League (NFL) will know
that former New York Giants coach Bill Parcells aka ‘The Big Tuna’ once
“You are what your record says you are.”
So, in this case, we need to acknowledge the facts of the past.
2020 Basketball Facts:
After the first reported US death as a result of the Covid-19 virus was recorded on March 3rd, 2020 the National Basketball League (NBA) suspended its season indefinitely on March 11th. At this stage, the first cases of the virus had already been detected in Rudy Gobert who was the Utah Jazz center.
On that same day, the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared the virus a global pandemic.
2020 Baseball Facts:
A day later on March 12th Major League Baseball (MLB) canceled its spring training games and delayed the season by two weeks. Four days after that the start of the MLB was postponed until at least the middle of May.
Why all the winners of competitions in 2020 are legitimate winners:
2020 was a very difficult year for all humans on planet earth.
Not least because the year was so inconsistent, frightening, and involved unprecedented change and upheaval. Great teams, organizations, and competitors compete to win because they plan to do it. The year 2020 was no different in this regard.
Sure, plans changed but the best adapted and eventually won as a result of that.
The competition to save the world in 2020:
At the same time that sporting teams were battling it out to be considered the best in their respective competition; other organizations were competing with one another to be the first and most effective vaccinations to Covid-19.
Three prominent players were leading the way to be named the first to have the vaccine approved by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). They were Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Oxford- AstraZeneca. Before the end of 2020, Pfizer won the race to be the first vaccine approved by the FDA with Moderna being passed only a few days later. The Oxford-AstraZeneca was then given the go-ahead in the UK.
Although the Oxford vaccine was the last of the three and it initially proved to be less effective in fighting against the virus at least it honored its definition of competition by trying to be the best.
And the beauty about sport, as with all competition, is that when the winner is announced the competition is over and players can plan for the next contest ahead.
Perhaps that’s why we need to leave 2020 where it is and instead positively look ahead after finally listening to that last line of the Abba classic which noted:
“…Now it’s history.”