2021: A Recap of Another Bizarre Year in Sports
Creative collage of different athletes. The concept of sports

Latin Biz Today’s Dave Torromeo turns a jaundiced eye to the world of sports in his year-end round-up.

Folks, we are still dealing with Covid which is rearing its ugly head in various places in the sports industry—especially with athletes having to miss time due to contracting the virus. I guess this is just going to be our way of life for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, we do have every sport in full swing, attendance at these games and lots of fun…except in the New York area.  Yes, the greatest city in the world, where teams are stinking up the place in record fashion.

I will NOT go through them each individually but suffice to say there are very few positives to discuss, especially on the football field. Maybe this will put it in perspective for you: If the season were to end today, the New York Jets and the New York Giants would have four of the top 10 picks. What more can you say about the ineptitude of these organizations?

Embarrassing.

And I think it’s time that we call out, at least on the Jets side, a terrible ownership group—headed by Woody Johnson. The Johnsons have done nothing for this franchise.  For one, they have the team play in and share a staid, stoic, sterile stadium in New Jersey as opposed to being where their fan base is, on Long Island or in Queens. But, it’s all about money and as long as people keep paying these (adjective removed) owners, then the product will probably remain the same. Maybe someday they will catch lightning in a bottle, but I’m not holding my breath.

Maybe Bill Belichick was right to take that one-day coaching stint and resign? I say this because I’m actually a fan of the Jets and I’m just DETACHED. And that is a word no owner wants to hear a fan use.

The Rangers are on an early season roll and good for them. I will not discuss my team, the Islanders, right now— but put them in the above mentioned stench pile.

A championship for New York!? We know it’s not coming from the baseball teams, and we damn well know it’s not the football teams! The Brooklyn Nets are expected to do well, but the Knicks still stink. Nope, I’m talking about the NYC FC!

Congratulations to the NYC FC on winning the MLS (Major League Soccer) Championship and bringing the most recent title and first in soccer to New York.

The NYCFC did not get a parade through the Canyon of Heroes, but they did get a ceremony at City Hall with the mayor.  Maybe they can lead the way for the rest of the teams in New York to try to get down to Battery Park? This is the first championship in New York City since the 2012 Giants upset of the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Prior to that it was the Yankees in 2009 winning the World Series. So the greatest city in the world does not have the greatest teams in the world. And, quite frankly, fans around here deserve better.

My apologies for making this a New York-centric article, because there’s a lot going on outside of New York that’s great for sports. Steph Curry just broke the three-point all time mark for the NBA and he’s a tremendous player who seems like a truly good person.

The college football playoffs are coming up and, of course, Alabama is in it again (much to my chagrin). Alabama will be playing Cincinnati and Michigan will be playing Georgia, and everybody’s looking for the all-SEC final—which they will probably get.  As I always root for the underdog, I will say, “Go Cincy and Michigan!”

So…college football bowl season is here! There will be 44 bowl games, including the College Football Playoff and the national championship games, beginning Friday, December 17, and ending on Monday, January 10. I love all of the Bowls and I’ll watch as much as I can, starting with and including the Bahamas Bowl, featuring Toledo and Middle Tennessee.

I have to admit that even though I worked for one, I am not a big Hall of Fame guy.  I just don’t put a lot of stock in praising individuals for God-given ability. That being said, I am very, very happy that Gil Hodges was finally admitted to the Hall Fame. He and Minnie Minoso were the two that made me smile.

I do watch the NFL, and usually the Red Zone channel is my choice because it acts as my remote jumping around from game to game. There were two very good games that went to overtime on Sunday, as San Francisco beat Cincinnati followed by Tampa Bay beating Buffalo. However, I have to say the most exciting game of the day for me was watching the Canadian Football League finale in their version of the Super Bowl (called the Grey Cup) as Winnipeg won its second straight championship (after a year off due to Covid) defeating Hamilton.

Turning our attention to the baseball world. If someone had put a manual together on the way to kill a sport, then they are following it to a “T” because the sport is losing interest at the youth level, which means a smaller pool of people growing up with a passion, much less going to watch the games, etc. The commissioner is changing the game on the fly, you have the steroid issue, the juiced ball issue, the dead ball issue, and empty seats in stadiums and now have a lockout!

Multi-millionaire baseball players battling multi-billionaire owners on a collective bargaining agreement. Yes, this is what this country needed as we continue to experience the Covid crisis: The “national pastime” shutting down its game. They are hopeful that by spring training and regular season the games will be played but it has to leave a bad taste in one’s mouth knowing that this is happening while all around you people are suffering.   Skyrocketing inflation, you need a third mortgage to buy a tank of gas, and amidst all of this insanity you have these guys debating over a game THEY DO NOT OWN! They’ve just taken it hostage!

Finally, I just want to say that sports is a great conduit, release and business. However, there’s more to life than where your team finishes in the standings. Remember your family, remember your friends, remember to be generous in your giving.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year! At the end of the day, I wish you the very best!

Yours in sports!

Related content:

5 Hispanics Making a Difference in the Sports Industry

Fans Gone Wild: Professional Sports Need to Curb Bad Behavior

COVID-19 and Sports One Year Later

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