Thanksgiving 2019 - Best Sports Moments - NCAA - USWNT
I am back after a short traveling hiatus—one in which I went back to my childhood state of Indiana. While there, I saw family and friends, spent time with my nieces and nephew, ate too much food, and had to endure the cold snowy weather. But now I’m back home in sunny North Carolina, and now it’s time again for some Scorum fun.
To all my friends, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope this year was kind to you and provided your life with lots of things to be thankful for. Thanksgiving is a day we try to reflect on all that we are thankful for. Then we eat lots of food and watch football all day. Not joking.
For this year, to honor the holiday, I put together my list of the 5 sporting moments of 2019 that I am most thankful for.
Nationals Win First World Series (Oct. 30th)
We’ll start with one of the more recent events: The Nationals winning their first ever World Series. Now, I’m not a Nats fan—far from it honestly. I’m a bitter Cleveland fan, so in this World Series, I didn’t have a dog in the fight. Well at least until rumors were proven true that the Astros were cheating.
Since then, the story broke of the Astros cheating scheme, one involving the use of a close-circuit camera system to steal pitching signs and relay that information real time to the batter at home plate.
The story has blown up in the world of baseball. Fans and pundits alike are waiting for the league to have some sort of reaction to this catastrophe. All this made the Nationals winning the World Series away in Houston all that much sweeter.
For me, I was betting heavily for the Nationals to win, so I couldn’t be happier with the result. Winners never cheat. Cheaters never win. Astros are a trash franchise. Shame on them.
USA Women Win 2nd Consecutive World Cup (June 20)
The US Men’s National Team and the Women’s National Team are contrasting opposites. One is the ying to the other’s yang. One is black. One is white. One is good. One is bad. One is kind. One is evil. One couldn’t even qualify for the World Cup. The other won it for the second time in a row.
Not only did the Women win the World Cup once again, but they broke record after record along the way. Most goals, most wins, biggest goal differential, most final appearances. The list goes on and on. In their 10-match winning streak that resulted in lifting the WC trophy, they beat the likes of Japan, Germany, France, Netherlands and Spain. No major soccer nation could best them.
Anyone who watched even a little bit of the Women’s World Cup knows how far advanced the US Women are compared to everyone else, but this winning group is starting to age, opening the door up for new challengers future years.
It’s anyone’s guess whether the US Women can stay on top moving forward, but for now, 2019 was the year of US Women’s Soccer.
Virginia Wins First NCAA Championship (April 8th)
You might of forget this even happened this year. Almost eight months ago, the University of Virginia won their first NCAA Championship in a hard-fought game against Texas Tech. Not only did fans finally see a new NCAA winner, but they also got a final without Duke or North Carolina in it.
Being a resident of the Tar Heel State, you’ll usually find me cheering for NC State, Wake Forest, Duke or North Carolina, especially if they are playing a non-ACC team, but with that said, I was ready to see some new teams in the NCAA final.
When Virginia slipped past Auburn by one point in the Final Four, I knew I was going to try to cheer them to victory. It was the perfect situation for me. I had an ACC team to cheer for that wasn’t Duke or NC.
The final game was thrilling. Virginia won the first half. Texas Tech won the second, leaving the game tied after regulation. It would take Overtime to decide the winner, but in the final minutes, Virginia’s stellar defense was able to stifle Texas Tech enough to get the job done, and the Orange Cavaliers were the ones cutting the net down.
Pulisic Scores Perfect Hat-trick (Oct. 26th)
Being an American soccer fan is no different than Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a hill: brutally exhausting, humiliating, devastating, and painfully embarrassing. But every so often, like a rare celestial alignment, something wonderful happens to US soccer fans that gives us the strength to carry on. October 26th was one of those rare moments, and yet it had nothing to do with the US Men's National Team.
I’ll set the scene for you. Chelsea travel away to Burnley. Pulisic, our American treasure, is starved for minutes with frustration setting in. He hasn’t seen the pitch in almost a month, while Chelsea slip down the table. And on this day, Pulisic get’s his first start since the opening weeks of the season.
And so it began in the 21st minute, the boy from Pennsylvania gets on the scoresheet. Then again in the 45th minute. Finally, in the 56th minute, he wraps up his perfect hat trick (left foot, right foot, header) giving Chelsea a three-goal lead. More goals would come with the match ending a 4-2, Chelsea win.
Not only was this the moment when the entire Premier League sat up and took notice of the young American, but it also marked an important moment moving forward. Since then, Pulisic has been tallying goals and assists almost every single match.
Now Chelsea sit in 4th place, even after losing to City, only suffering 3 loses along the way. Not bad for a team lead by Frank Lampard who are on a transfer ban, and my boy Pulisic is at the center of it all.
Simone Biles Makes Gymnastics History (Oct. 4th)
Simone Biles is one of the greatest American athletes to ever live, yet she gets very little recognition outside the world of Olympic sports. I couldn’t write this post without dedicated one spot to the most decorated female gymnast to ever grace this Earth.
Simone Biles won her 21st World Championship medal this year in Stuttgart, Germany, leaving the 22-year-old only two medals away from the World Record for both men and women. But it wasn’t just her winning medals in Germany that made history that night. It was how she did it.
As if winning wasn’t enough, she had to do something even more unthinkable. She performed and landed two moves never done before in the sport, resulting in both moves being named after her. The first was her double-double dismount off the balance beam. The move, now called the “Biles” requires the gymnast to do a double twisting double back-flip while dismounting off the beam.
The other move, named the “Biles II,” is a triple-double flip performed during her floor routine. This move requires the athlete to twist three times around while also doing a double back-flip. Both moves are considered extremely risky and dangerous because of the increased chance of landing on one’s neck.
With her incredible winning record and ability to perform moves no one else on the planet can do, Biles won’t have to be worried about anyone catching her anytime soon. A true American hero and so deserving of a spot on this list.
There you have it boys and girls: my list of the 5 sporting events I’m most thankful for this year.
I hope this time of year finds everyone well and happy. Of course, I’m thankful for much more than a few entertaining moments in sports this year. My family, my friends, my beautiful wife and my peaceful home, to name just a few.
But this isn’t a place to get all lovey and sappy.
Instead, I want to hear about the sporting moments this year that made you the most thankful. Was it Liverpool winning Champions League? The Pats getting another Super Bowl ring? Or maybe for you Brits, it was bringing home the Cricket World Cup trophy?
No matter, I want to hear what 2019 moments in sports made you the most thankful this year.
Follow me on twitter: @thefootgeneral