2021 Sports Championships: A Year In Review

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning

The Stanley Cup will stay with the Bolts for at least one more season, as the Lightning took home their second-consecutive championship and third in club history. Tampa Bay went through their Sunshine State rivals Florida Panthers in six games, took down the Carolina Hurricanes in five, and narrowly defeated the New York Islanders in seven games in the Stanley Cup Semifinals. The Bolts were almost eliminated, and it took a shorthanded goal from Yanni Gourde (now a member of the Seattle Kraken) to banish the Islanders from the postseason. From there, it was onto the Final, where they’d take on the league’s most historic franchise in the Montreal Canadiens. Tampa ran through the Habs like a hot knife through butter, ending the Canadiens’ Cinderella run in five games. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, posting a 16-7 record, 1.90 goals-against average, .937 save percentage and five shutouts.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks reigned supreme in the NBA this season, taking home their first NBA title in half a century. Their 2020 bubble run saw their season end in five games to the Miami Heat, and this time it was a revenge tour led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. The Bucks, with a record of 46-26, claimed the third seed in the Eastern conference and had themselves a rematch with the Heat. The Bucks swept Miami in their revenge series and went on to defeat one of the title heavyweights in the Brooklyn Nets in round two. From there, they disposed of the Cinderella Story team in the Atlanta Hawks, to face off against the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. As fate would have it, Giannis and the Bucks took down the Suns in six games to win it all. Speaking of Giannis, he took home the Bill Russell Award as Finals MVP, highlighted by a 50-point performance in the clinching sixth game. He’s one of only seven players to put up 50 points in the championship clincher in NBA history.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady’s first season away from the New England Patriots ended in a success story, as he helped lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory. The Bucs finished 11-5 on the season, earning themselves the fifth seed in the NFC postseason picture. Round one was capped off with a victory over the Washington Football Team, and round two featured more of the same as Tampa took down Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Of course, the road to the Super Bowl led through Lambeau Field, as the Bucs and Packers went to war in a star-studded affair. Ultimately, Brady bested Rodgers as the Bucs advanced to Super Bowl LV (55) against Patrick Mahomes and the reigning champs Kansas City Chiefs. The defending champs were dethroned as Tampa took it by a final of 31-9, headlined by Brady capturing his fifth Super Bowl MVP and seventh Lombardi Trophy. Tampa Bay also became the first team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl at home, as the game was hosted at the Bucs’ home field, Raymond James Stadium.

MLB: Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves are World Champions! Atlanta finished their 2021 season atop the NL East with a record of 88-73, earning them the third seed in the NL postseason picture. They took down the Milwaukee Brewers in the best-of-five NLDS in four games (3-1), and went on to eliminate the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the NLCS (4-2). From there, Atlanta took down the Houston Astros in the World Series in six games, taking home their first World Series title since 1995. Outfielder Jorge Soler took home the World Series MVP Award


The City is blue!! After being the fourth seed in the 2021 Audi Cup Playoffs, NYCFC, the team faced Atlanta in the first round winning 2-0, going into the second round the team faced first seeded New England and got away with a win in penalties by 5 to 3. In the conference finals, NYCFC faced Philadelphia and the club won 2-1. It was New York’s first trophy since starting in 2015 and the team went on to face Portland FC in the Cup match. Tied 1-1 the match went to Penalty kicks where New York prevailed 4-2 on shots and won the match. Sean Johnson the goalkeeper for NYCFC received MVP honors after saving Portland’s first two attempts on the PK which led to the victory and first major trophy in team history.

World Juniors: Team USA

As NHL Network’s Stephen Nelson said, “Red, white, blue, and gold!” Team USA took home the gold at the World Junior hockey championship in Edmonton this past year. Team USA, went on a tear in the Edmonton bubble, finishing the preliminary round atop Group B with a 3-1 record. From there, Team USA took down Slovakia in the quarterfinals (5-2) and narrowly defeated Finland in the semifinal (4-3), to create the perfect gold medal matchup: USA vs Canada. The U.S. took down the heavily favored Canadians by a final of 2-0 in the gold medal game, capturing their first World Junior gold since 2017. Ducks forward Trevor Zegras led both Team USA and the tournament in scoring, with seven goals and 18 points in seven games.

Summer Olympics: The countries with the Top five overall amount of gold medals for the Summer Games

  1. USA- 39
  2. China- 38
  3. Japan- 27
  4. Great Britain- 22
  5. ROC( Russian Olympic Committee)- 20


The top 15 countries with Overall Medals

*The Olympic Medal standings are listed by total gold medals


  1. USA- 113
  2. China- 88 
  3. Japan- 58
  4. Great Britain- 65
  5. ROC- 71
  6. Australia- 46
  7. Netherlands- 36
  8. France- 33
  9. Germany- 37
  10.  Italy- 40
  11.  Canada- 24
  12.  Brazil- 21
  13.  New Zealand- 20
  14.  Cuba- 15
  15.  Hungary- 20
March Madness: Expect the unexpected for this tournament, which was not held for the last two years due to Covid-19. As a result, teams were fired up that it was returning in 2021, and with venues only holding 25% fan capacity, the games felt almost empty not hearing the usual roars of the team’s fans… but the tournament went on. Coming from the first four out UCLA went on a historic Cinderella run as the 11th seed on the road to the Sweet 16. We saw other schools like Syracuse (11), Oregon State (12), Oral Roberts (15), and Loyola-Chicago (8) do more of the same. Oregon State made it as far as the Elite Eight only to be knocked out by Houston (2) and UCLA made it to the final four which is very rare to do for a first-team out, and they played Gonzaga(1) in the Final Four round to lose on a heartbreaking three by Jalen Suggs as time expired. The other team to face Gonzaga (1) was Baylor (1) who had a relatively easy time making it to the championship game. Junior guards Jaren Butler and Davion Mitchell, who also wears No. 45, led the charge during their tourney run with Butler averaging 13.8 points, 4.6 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals over Baylor’s five wins during the tournament. In the National Championship game Baylor prevailed(86-70) for the first time in program history and swept Gonzaga’s undefeated season away from them. Jaren Butler took home MVP nominations with 22 points and 7 assists.