Sports

5 Things I Learned in September

 

Daniel Johnson
  Staff Writer

A fresh, cool breeze is marking the end of the summer season and beginning Autumn. With the beginning of the new season, the campus becomes riddled with intramural, club, and university sports. Each night, you can look out to the Recreation Field, the Soccer Stadium, the Baseball and Softball Fields, and Fleming Gymnasium, and see students practicing for the season or already playing real games. The month is as full of sports as it is of Halloween decorations and here are five observation from the month.  

 

  1. 2021 will be the Greatest NBA Hall of Fame Class

Headlined by Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming, and Allen Iverson, the 2016 NBA Hall of Fame class certainly holds a spot on one of the best classes of all time. However, with the retirement of Kevin Garnett on September 23, the 2021 NBA Hall of Fame Class officially became the G.O.A.T of all classes five years before it is selected. Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett combined have 11 championships, 25 NBA First Teams, 4 MVP awards, and enough career memories to have their own Hall of Fame. Barring the impossible (one of these three not being selected on their first ballot), the 2021 Class will stand as the cream of the crop.

 

  1. Club Football: Defense Wins Championships

In the first two games of their inception, the Club Football team has split their games with a 12-7 loss against UNC Chapel Hill and a 28-22 victory against Longwood University. And while the team had some early, expected struggles like every football team deals with, the defense for the club’s team has held solid as a rock, first holding the Tar Heels to two touchdowns in their inaugural game, then forcing three turnovers against the Lancers of Longwood. Against Longwood, the Spartans’ offense definitely opened up much more than the week prior, however the strength of the blue and gold crew comes on the defensive side of the ball.

 

  1. Women Soccer and Volleyball Need a Solid Conference Record

The end of September and beginning of October marks the start of in-conference play for the university teams of the Spartans. Not that the past games do not matter, but conference games marks the seedings for the Conference Tournament as well as the winner of the regular season championship. And for the Volleyball and Women’s Soccer team, they need a very strong SoCon record in order to make up for the unimpressive record both teams have. With a 6-9 record for the Volleyball team and a 3-7-1 record for soccer, each team needs to find momentum in order to go on a long run to give them solid seeding the SoCon Tournament.

 

  1. The Heisman is Boring and Useless

It’s a quarterback and running back award people. There is absolutely nothing exciting or interesting about the Heisman Trophy. DeShaun Watson and Leonard Fournette, both entered the season not only as two of the favorites but as two can’t miss NFL prospects, and both are already out of the running for the trophy. And for every Barry Sanders and Cam Newton, there are more Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow, Jason White, Troy Smith, and Archie Griffin who makes little to no impact in the next level.

 

  1. Jose Fernandez was a Hero for the Miami Community. Baseball is Beautiful.

When Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins’ 24 year superstar pitcher, died ten days ago, I did not personally realize the impact that Fernandez had on that community and franchise. As a defector from Cuba who spent time in jail as a teenager for failed defecting attempts, every time he took the mound, it was a victory for all those who fled the Communist nation. With a Marlin franchise whose fan-base was close to nonexistent, in 2013 when Fernandez was a rookie, he helped bring fans and excitement back to the stadium, especially when he pitched, going 24-1 in his career at home. His smile and passionate personality brightened up young fans who flocked to wherever he was on the field for autographs. And watching grown men in Miami breakdown and cry for his death, you could see the power that Fernandez had on a city and a sport. When Dee Gordon hit a leadoff home run in the team’s first game since his death (a game he was scheduled to pitch in) and tear up as he round the bases and St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who had been childhood friends with Fernandez in Santa Clara, Cuba hit a grand slam in his first game after mourning, nothing more shows the beauty of this sport with spectacular plays in the face of tragedy.  

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