What I Learned in December


Daniel Johnson
    Sports Editor

Hello, fellow students; allow me to welcome you back to the university.  Despite the fact that winter break is a time period for resting, relaxing, and taking a break from the stress of college life, the brain never rests. As I spent the breaking reading and watching different sports stories, games, and analysts, I came up with five observations from the wide world of sports, from the national level of professionals to our own university.

1.    The NBA is a three team league.

At this point, it is safe to say that out of the four major professional North American sport leagues, the National Basketball Association has the least parody. The championship does not go to the hottest team or the team with the best goalie; it goes to the best team. Cream rises to the top. And that cream this season has been the San Antonio Spurs, the Golden State Warriors, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The three teams are a combined 88-17 and have had a control over their Conference over the past two years. Barring injury, the NBA Finals will be two of these three teams.

2.    Women’s Basketball is much Better than Last Year

Coming into this season, the women’s basketball team was coming off their worst season in recent memory, going 6-24 and only one conference victory. Already this year, the team has an 8-8 record and looks significantly better on court than last year. The team is shooting 38 points higher from the field (.357 to 395) and holding opponents to a much lower field goal percentage compared to last season (.472 to .406). Leading the team is senior guard Lucy Mason who is averaging twenty-four points per game while shooting above .400 percent. With UNCG just now entering the conference season, it will be great to see how the team continues their success.

3.    The NFL will not have another perfect team.

When the perfect season of the Carolina Panthers ended with a 20-13 loss in Atlanta, many people saw the game as an upset and a bad Panther performance. I saw it as a reminder that perfection will not come to the NFL again. When the Miami Dolphins went 17-0 in 1972, it was the perfect storm of a strong all around team, an all time coach, a very weak schedule, a time period where defense ruled the game (look at the 1985 Chicago Bears loss to the Dan Marino led Dolphins as an example) and a fairly weak Super Bowl opponent in the Washington Redskins (look at the 2007 New England Patriots loss to the New York Giants as an example). Add the amount of parody in the NFL, the media coverage of a perfect team, the way the game is played, and the hope of not facing a major injury to a key player, the days of a perfect team in the NFL expired along with bell-bottoms jeans.

4.    The Steroid Era in Baseball does not destroy my childhood

Throughout my baseball career in high school, I wore number 24 and played all around the outfield. Most baseball fans my age idolized Ken Griffey Jr. as children. With a swing prettier than any model and a boyhood enthusiasm, “The Kid” was baseball in the 1990s. Also, as a child in Connecticut, the Yankees and Mets were on television every night of the summer.

Despite living in a Yankee house, my man was the Mets catcher, Mike Piazza. My only baseball jersey is my Piazza jersey from when I was six. Though the steroid era has put a black mark on baseball, seeing two of my childhood heroes get into the Hall of Fame made my five-year-old self squeal a bit.

5.    Women Rule the Sports World

2014 was the year of women in sports. The US Women’s Soccer team’s victory in the World Cup helped further the popularity of soccer in the US and illustrated how much more popular they are to their male counterparts.

Serena Williams continued her legendary career on the tennis court with three majors and being named “Athlete of the Year”. Every Serena match is now a must watched event. Ronda Rousey’s dominance in the ring mirrored that of Mike Tyson. Even with her loss to Holly Hohm, she will become the first UFC fighter to host “Saturday Night Live” and their rematch is the most hyped match in the fighting world.

The early 2016 Olympics star is swimmer Katie Ledecky. The Battle of the Sexes have become a lopsided blowout in favor of women.

Categories: Campus Sports, News, Uncategorized

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