This is a dumb assertion for you: What a 12 months it has been!
It is exhausting to even write a gap paragraph to arrange this column through which we will look again at the most effective, worst and most noteworthy of 2020. The sports activities world utterly modified on the evening of March 11, when Utah Jazz ahead Rudy Gobert examined optimistic for COVID-19. That optimistic take a look at shut down sports activities for a very long time. The NCAA Match was carried out. The XFL went out of enterprise. Baseball’s Opening Day was worn out.
Fortunately, sports activities ultimately returned months later and we had been capable of get again to some normalcy, no less than the place sports activities are involved. Issues had been nonetheless utterly screwed up (howdy, faculty soccer and your full joke of a season), however sufficient occurred—good and dangerous—that we are able to nonetheless hand out some awards.
MOST HILARIOUS SPORTS LAWSUIT OF THE YEAR
It is exhausting to recollect some issues that occurred pre-pandemic, however earlier than COVID-19 took over the sports activities world, one man filed a lawsuit against the NFL as a result of he claimed the shaking and gyrating of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira put his life “at risk of hellfire,” and that the NFL “let that spirit in my home” whereas the Tremendous Bowl LIV halftime present was “pandering pornography” and “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”
CONTRACT OF THE YEAR
One other factor that occurred earlier than the pandemic: CBS forking over more than $17 million per year to retain the providers of its high NFL analyst, Tony Romo. With ESPN attempting to revamp Monday Night time Soccer on the time, Romo used his free-agent standing to money in like no different broadcaster in sports activities media historical past.
BEST INTERVIEW OF THE YEAR
On April 8, new Bucs quarterback Tom Brady spent two hours on SiriusXM’s Howard Stern Show. Brady was extra open than we have ever seen earlier than, speaking about his soccer and non-football life. He revealed that he knew final season can be his final in New England, Gisele was not happy with their marriage at one level and that is why he skipped OTAs that 12 months, and that he does not perceive why gamers nonetheless bathe collectively.
BEST USE OF ZOOM
Zoom began to change into a large a part of everybody’s lives in April and that is when ESPN’s Katie Nolan came up with the creative idea to see how many athletes/celebrities/famous people she could get on one Zoom call. Amongst those that ended up on the decision sooner or later: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dwyane Wade and Clayton Kershaw.
BEST SPORTS-PORN CROSSOVER STORY OF THE YEAR
When Joe Buck determined to kill time through the lockdown, he began doing play-by-play on movies despatched in by followers. One adult site tried to capitalize on this and offered Buck $1 million to call a live sex scene. Buck turned down the supply, telling SI.com on the time, “I’m extremely certified as I’ve been working towards these calls most of my life, however I don’t wish to simply take that job with no correct, open audition. So in the event that they get Jim [Nantz] and Al [Michaels] and Mike [Tirico] and all of the others who do what I do to audition, I’m in. If any considered one of them say no, I’m out. That’s all I can decide to presently. I can say I’ve NEVER been extra flattered. And I do know my dad can be proud.”
MEDIA EVENT OF THE YEAR
ESPN’s 10-part docuseries The Final Dance got here on the good time when sports activities had been shut down and folks had been craving one thing to sink their enamel into. And it delivered big time.
BIGGEST BAIT-AND-SWITCH OF THE YEAR
Twitter went nuts when Eli Manning joined the social media service in late Could. He began off by exhibiting a good humorousness, however the feed rapidly changed into a promotional web page, with Eli always plugging merchandise.
STEPHEN A. SMITH MOMENT OF THE YEAR
Stephen A. Smith was very involved about NBA gamers and their “leisure actions” whereas within the Orlando bubble. The result was this sensational rant.
MOST CRINGEWORTHY MEDIA TREND
Reporters reminiscent of Jay Glazer and Adam Schefter teasing information on optimistic coronavirus exams as a method to get folks to tune in to their respective reveals. So seedy.
SCOOP OF THE YEAR
When Patrick Mahomes signed the largest contract in NFL historical past, the information wasn’t damaged by Adam Schefter or Ian Rapoport or Jay Glazer. It was broken by a Kansas City liquor store employee.
DUMBEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR, No. 1A
It is nonetheless exhausting to fathom Thom Brennaman would brazenly use a homophobic slur while on a mic throughout a baseball sport, however he did. And it value the longtime Reds play-by-play man his job.
DUMBEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR, No. 1B
Fox pays Skip Bayless to get consideration, and the carnival barker did that in early September when he said Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott shouldn’t publicly talk about his issues with depression. What a pathetic particular person.
BIGGEST DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR
ESPN lastly bought critical about filling the sales space for his or her further sport on the primary Monday of the NFL season. Previously, the community has used gimmicks to get by within the late sport of their opening weekend doubleheader. This 12 months, ESPN used its high faculty soccer broadcast group—Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit—to name the Steelers-Giants opener, and they were a smash hit.
MOST FUN DAY ON TWITTER OF THE YEAR
I’ve three phrases for you: disheveled Bill Belichick.
MOST ABSURD PUNISHMENT OF THE YEAR
NFL Community put Ian Rapoport on the bench for 2 weeks because he promoted a men’s below-the-waist grooming product on Instagram.
THE I-DON’T-WORK-THERE-ANYMORE-SO I-CAN-SAY-WHAT-I-WANT AWARD
When it grew to become public ESPN would have huge layoffs, Bob Ley, one of many firm’s Mount Rushmore personalities took to Twitter to let everybody understand how he felt in regards to the job reductions.
BIGGEST NON-STORY OF THE YEAR
People went nuts in late October when video leaked of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman speaking about army flyovers at soccer video games. There was additionally a contact of politics thrown into the transient dialog, so, naturally, everybody took sides. The one downside was that Buck and Aikman weren’t making these feedback. They were sarcastically imitating a colleague and people on their crew.
LEAST SURPRISING ESPN DEPARTURE OF THE YEAR
Close to the tip of 2020, the marriage between ESPN and Dan Le Batard finally came to an end after a string of controversies. Le Batard’s final present for ESPN will likely be on Jan. 4.
MOST SURPRISING ESPN DEPARTURE OF THE YEAR
Whereas Le Batard leaving ESPN is not a shock, Tom Rinaldi bolting the company for Fox Sports actually was a stunner.
Make sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and take a look at the Sports activities Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You too can observe Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.