My 2016 Yearend Review: Droughts and Comebacks

Episode 115 – Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 (7302)

2016-sports

I’ve witnessed the sporting events that gave the team into success. Thanks to the powerful internet live streaming, I was able to watch live sports most especially from the professional leagues in North America (particularly United States) such as the National Football League (NFL – American Football), the Major League Baseball (MLB), and my all-time favorite, the National Basketball Association (NBA). Throughout this year, I had watched some significant match-ups such as NBA Playoffs, NBA Finals, NFL regular season games, and the World Series of MLB thru live streaming. I loved to watch sports, and these caused me to ease my boredom from work while being idle or feeling some frustration especially my loveless life, so that I really enjoyed watching these games live (and I loved U.S. commercials too) straight from the computer (rather than TV set).

But this year, I witnessed the biggest and most shocking sporting events that I ever watched either thru live TV or internet streaming. In this episode, I just want to have flashback about the happenings in the world of sports this 2016.

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Ending the Long Drought

2016 was really a significant year for those sports teams who finally ended their droughts and broke their long curse that they hadn’t won any championships for the longest time until this year.

brgy-ginebra

In the Philippine basketball (PBA), there’s one of my favorite teams where they were bullied as kangkong (water spinach) because of being losers and couldn’t win any championship for a long time. Barangay Ginebra had not been winning a PBA title since the last time that they won in 2008. I was in college back then, and I had so many memories during that time. The team couldn’t get any success to win a championship even there were several coaches handling the team, but they still failed. Enter two-time Grand Slam coach Tim Cone, the Gin Kings (that’s their moniker) advanced the Finals on the third conference for the first time in three years and played against the young team of Meralco Bolts. On Game 6 where the Gin Kings led the series 3-2, Ginebra import player Justin Brownlee sank his winning three-point shot as his team ended 8-year title drought to win a championship. Many solid Ginebra fans were so happy and joyful in tears as finally they won the PBA title after a long, long time.

cavaliers

In the NBA, last June, I was able to watch 2016 NBA Finals live thru internet streaming where the defending champions Golden State Warriors led by the two-time and first unanimous MVP Stephen Curry played against the four-time MVP LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a best-of-7 series. The whole series was so exciting although there were some lopsided victories both of them. But in the end, the Cavaliers became the new champions of the 2015-2016 NBA Season. The Cavs’ championship gave the city of Cleveland to have its first winning title from a major North American professional league in 52 years since NFL’s Cleveland Browns won their last NFL championship. It was also the Cavs first NBA title since entering the league in 1970. I was so glad for the people of the city of Cleveland to end their title drought for a long time.

From basketball, I’m now talking about baseball. As many people knew, the Chicago Cubs were considered as the “lovable losers” because they hadn’t won a World Series title since 1908. That was 108 years ago! I don’t know how many people who were born 1908 or earlier are still alive today when the Cubs won their last title. Mas kangkong pala ang Cubs kaysa sa Ginebra eh! Hehehe! But their long curse was finally ended last November.

In the 2016 World Series of MLB, the Chicago Cubs finally won their first ever World Series title in 108 years after defeating Cleveland Indians, who have also their long title drought of 68 years, in 7 games. Although I’m not a huge fan of any baseball teams (I’ve been watching baseball and the World Series only since late last year), I was so happy (with some tears) that the Cubs finally won the championship for the longest time, and I really witnessed it (thanks to the live internet streaming). Many Cubs fans were really shouting in joy and tears that the wait was finally over. Fly the W! After the Cubs winning the championship, I was in LSS when I was listening to their winning song, “Go Cubs Go!”

Comebacks and Chokers

Winning a championship is really hard especially when the team is down by a huge deficit, but they’re never giving up. We really witnessed that 2016 was the year of comebacks and miracles in the world of sports where many thought seemed too impossible for the team to come back from 3-0 or 3-1 deficit, but they proved wrong. These teams made sports history so remarkable after they came back from the bottom to win the championship.

Prior this year, in the world of basketball, no team had overcome from 3-0 deficit to win in a best-of-7 series (even in the NBA). But this miracle was actually happened early this year in the Philippine basketball. In the Finals of the Philippine Cup Conference of the PBA, the Alaska Aces won their first three games against the San Miguel Beermen giving the Aces a huge 3-0 deficit in a best-of-7 series. Many thought that the Aces would win easily in Game 4 and achieved the championship; however the Beermen started to resurrect from the bottom. After winning Game 4, the momentum was now shifted to the Beermen where they won Games 5, 6 and 7 to capture their 22nd championship. They made incredible miracle as they became the first team in the world of basketball to bounce back from 3-0 deficit in a best-of-7 series to win a title. And for Alaska Aces, it’s a huge blow for them after they failed to capture the title four times despite that they had 3-0 lead.

blew

In the NBA Finals happened last June, no team had overcome from 3-1 deficit to win the title. But only one team made the historic comeback. Down from 3-1, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the final three games of the Finals to capture their first NBA title over Golden State Warriors. In Game 7 of the series, Kyrie Irving of Cavs sank his crucial three-pointer in the final minutes to seal the championship for good after the long battle. And for the Warriors, it’s a huge disappointment for them to not seal the championship despite of their great regular season after breaking several NBA records and accomplishments including 73-9 win-loss record and first unanimous regular season MVP, Stephen Curry. After the Finals and even until now, many Cavaliers fans and other haters of Warriors team chanted the infamous joke mostly on the Facebook meme pages that “the Warriors blew 3-1 lead” over and over again. However, a bad karma came for the Cleveland sports team in baseball.

In the World Series held last November, the Cleveland Indians had their 3-1 lead advantage, and there’s one game away to win their title in 68 years (it was the second longest title drought after the Chicago Cubs). However, they failed to win the remaining games as the Cubs bounced back from 3-1 deficit by winning the last three games (including two on Indians’ home field) to win the World Series title for the first time in 108 years. Same feat as the Warriors, the Indians also blew their 3-1 lead.

I really felt so bad for those teams who had huge advantage to win the championship, but they suffered the biggest blowout in the best-of-7 series. They choked and failed to capture the crown so easily despite of their huge leads.

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Other Sporting Events in 2016

There are many events in sports happened this year where I watched, witnessed, or read these thru live streaming, on TV or within headlines. And there are some notable lists in chronological order:

  • NFL’s Super Bowl 50 was held in Santa Clara, California last February 8 where Denver Broncos won their second Super Bowl title over Carolina Panthers. It was the perfect time for Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning to win another title (he previously won in Super Bowl XLI while playing for Indianapolis Colts) as he announced his retirement after 19 NFL seasons prior the playoffs.
  • The 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend was held in Toronto, Canada (home of the Raptors) last February 12-14 for its first All-Star games ever that were held outside United States.
  • On the last day of NBA regular season (April 13), Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers played for his final NBA game as he exposed 60 points in a win over Utah Jazz. He previously announced, last November 2015, his retirement after playing 20 NBA seasons with only one team (Lakers) and winning 5 NBA titles.
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Kobe Bryant played for his final game of his NBA career after 20 seasons for Los Angeles Lakers (Photo courtesy from Associated Press)

  • On the same day, the Golden State Warriors ended their regular season to be the greatest as they captured their 73rd win, surpassed 72-10 win-loss record of 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls, with their victory over undermanned Memphis Grizzlies. I was the one to watch both this and Kobe’s final game simultaneously thru live streaming.
  • After his Oklahoma City Thunder failed to qualify the NBA Finals (and they also blew their 3-1 lead), after released his free agency last July, to bring his talents to the Bay Area and played for the Golden State Warriors, the team who defeated him and the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
  • The 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament was held in Manila (as one of three tournament hosts – the other two were Belgrade, Serbia and Turin, Italy) last July 5-10 where the Philippine basketball team (Gilas Pilipinas) failed to win two important matches against France and New Zealand.
  • The 2016 Summer Olympic Games were held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil despite of controversies and health concerns regarding to the Zika virus. The U.S. Olympic Team once again topped on the medal tally standings while the Philippine Olympic Team took the lone medal (first in 20 years) thanks to Hidilyn Diaz who took the silver medal after placed second in the weightlifting category. She became the third silver medalist for the Philippines, first Filipina athlete, and first silver medal that she won from a non-boxing category.
  • Filipino icon boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao returned to the ring after a long hiatus as he defeated Jessie Vargas for a WBO welterweight championship match held in Las Vegas, Nevada last November 5. Prior his fight, Pacquiao recently won the senatorial race last May after he was placed 10th of the 12 slots for senator.

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I have already witnessed so many events happened in the world of sports this year with something great. This was the year of ending the long title droughts and comebacks. But while the teams already did their incredible fashion, will this be also the end of my love drought? Will there be a love comeback? I’m so dreaming when will it happen in my frustrated love life? Hmmm…

I don’t know if I’ll do this what they did. It is either ending the long drought in love or coming back from the better past that I’m thinking about. Despite of the distractions happened this year, I’ll make things better to get another one for my new girlfriend (and, as well, my forever girl) next year. Just keep praying and wishing for my love life as what these sports teams did it to bounce back and to end the long drought which were finally happened this year.

drought

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