2016 was the greatest year in sports history. It wasn't even close. Starting with Alabama's dramatic on sides kick in order to defeat Clemson by one score in the College Football Playoff Championship Game, followed by Peyton Manning winning the Super Bowl in his final game before retirement for the Denver Broncos against a Panthers team that went 17-1, breaking all sorts of records for wins, and was heavily favored up until that point, followed by an NBA final where the winningest team of all time in the NBA regular season went up 3-1 in a best of 7 series before losing all of its remaining matches to Cleveland, a city that hadn't won any major sports title in ages, all thanks to the extraordinary effort and ability of LeBron James, followed by a Summer Olympics hosted for the first time in South America that went off flawlessly, despite all the dire predictions, with swan song performances that will never be matched by the peerless Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and the US Women's Gymnastics team, who brought their retiring coach Marta Karolyi to tears by chanting together 'We are the final five!'.
Katie Ledecky swam so well all the other swimmers apparently left the pool because we never saw them in the camera's field of vision anymore, smashing the previous world record for the 800m. It was a marvel to behold.
Sanne Wevers played the balance beam like a fiddle she was so in control, and rightfully won as a result, with a difficulty level that wasn't even her max, with her twin sister and fellow teammate from the Dutch National team cheering her on. You couldn't write this stuff!
Monica Puig, a completely unranked nobody, came out of nowhere to win Puerto Rico's first gold medal by defeating the #1 ranked Gerber in women's single's tennis, by no means an easy way to medal. It was no fluke. This amazon warrior put on a display of excellence and passion that Gerber could only shake her head at in bewilderment, fighting the whole way for every point and every set. It was the #1 performance of an Olympics already chock full of heroics. If you haven't watched it yet, find a way to watch it. You won't regret it.
38% of US athletes medaled at the Olympics, our most successful year ever, even more successful than the times we hosted the Olympics ourselves.
To top it off, at the closing ceremony advertisement for Tokyo 2020 put on a show involving girls in sailor uniforms and their Prime Minister emerging from a pipe dressed as Mario.
After the Olympics, it was Major League Baseball's time to shine. The Chicago Cubs, who hadn't won since 1908, played the Cleveland Indians, who hadn't won since 1948, the two longest droughts in the league. Somebody's drought had to end, and in fairy tale fashion, the Indians went up 3-1 in the best of seven series, only to lose the next three games. In dramatic fashion, the Cubs broke a 108 year curse by winning three elimination games in a row, with the last game requiring overtime, after a rain delay, to finally put away. The hardest curse ever broken, but at the very end they did it, showing that human tenacity is more powerful than even the Supernatural. There hasn't been a World Series like this one in baseball's entire history, and there probably will never be another one like it after either.
In college football's regular season, already a ton of dramatic games are occurring, like the record breaking match between Texas Tech and Oklahoma, who had the most potent offenses in division one college football history. Or the do or die match between Louisville and Clemson, featuring the two best quarterbacks in college football playing each other directly on the field for all the marbles. The playoffs will occur in 2017, but the road to the playoffs has already been rewarding.
It's positively dizzying that the same year had this many stories when most years in sports would be proud to have hosted even one such event. This is the best year in sports. It's not even debatable.