From a sports perspective, 2016 couldn’t have gotten much better. It started with last year’s College Football Playoff National Championship, a high scoring affair that was won by the University of Alabama. Super Bowl 50 was okay but then Kris Jenkins buzzer beater gave us the madness we were looking for in the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship. The Warriors blew a 3-1 lead, LeBron did THIS! and Cleveland’s curse was lifted. Across the Atlantic, Portugal snatched the UEFA Euro title from host country France. The Olympics happened. Then the Cubs broke the biggest drought in all of sports with a dramatic Game 7 victory.
The world may never see a better sports year than 2016 but if the first week of this year is any indication, we could be in for a fun one. Monday night’s 35-31 University of Clemson victory in the College Football National Championship, a rematch between the same two teams from the year before, not only gave the country the only competitive football game of the weekend but maybe the most exciting contest of the year.
Wow this Nat Championship game is legit. Who needs the NFL playoffs??
— Tony Dunst (@TonyDunstWPT) January 10, 2017
World Poker Tour Raw Deal host Tony Dunst might have been happy his beloved Green Bay Packers advanced through the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs but all four games were not that competitive. It was the first time since 1995 that all Wild Card weekend games were decided by more than 13 points but the Clemson fourth quarter comeback and 4-point victory made up for a less than exciting NFL weekend.
Unreal game. Pretty crazy you have to run a play where def can commit any penalty they can think of and auto force a fg + they still get td
— David Peters (@dpeterspoker17) January 10, 2017
That fourth quarter comeback was capped by a more or less buzzer beater by Deshaun Watson and the Clemson offense. Down three, the Tigers drove the ball right through one of the greatest defenses in recent college football memory and then found themselves on the Alabama 2-yard line after a defensive pass interference penalty in the end zone. There were six seconds left and Twitter blew up before, during and after the play, calling for Alabama to do anything, legal or not, to stop Clemson to force a field goal. Alabama did the opposite though, letting wide receiver Hunter Renfrow open for an easy game winning catch.
Took this pic of Bo Scarbrough when he was in 10th grade pic.twitter.com/rpbnaWl99q
— Charles Power (@CharlesPower) January 10, 2017
Powered by the near superhuman running back Bo Scarbrough, Alabama didn’t have to go that deep into their playbook over the last few weeks. Scarbrough showed signs of last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Travis Henry through the second half of the season but then went down with a leg injury and did not return in the National Championship. The Tide were in trouble after that and by the look of 10th grade Scarbrough, every Alabama high school linebacker was too.
That was the best 9 hour game I’ve ever watched.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) January 10, 2017
The best thing about the West Coast, without debate, is sporting event start times. While the East Coast is struggling to stay awake, we’re just getting started. I know the pains all too well, I spent a quarter century praying for no overtime in these kind of games. Now, I’ll take all the free football I can get because it’s not even close to bedtime yet!
When you realize the next game you play will be for the Browns pic.twitter.com/GoEjTqjGid
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 10, 2017
Deshaun Watson was great. Deshaun Watson is great. Deshaun Watson is most likely going to end up playing quarterback for the Cleveland Browns and that is not great.