Happy Tuesday. In this New Year, our hope is to see a full stadium rocking by the fall - how amazing would that be? Our goal is to have enough readers to do just that. If you like what you see, help us out by sharing the Sprint with your buddies.
In today's Sprint:
- 🏈 2020 Look Back
- 🏆 Heisman Trophy Predictions
- 🏀 Another Curry Masterpiece
Year in Review
Finally, hindsight really is 2020. And, with the NFL regular season in the rearview mirror, we're highlighting our top five storylines from a unique season and a few other interesting snippets.
Top Five Storylines
- While certain teams struggled to handle COVID-19 (@Raiders, @Titans, @Broncos), the NFL finished the regular season on time without canceling any games. That’s quite an achievement.
- Plus, to the best of our knowledge, no player who contracted COVID-19 was hospitalized.
- At the age of 43, Tom Brady threw 43 touchdown passes. He also helped the Bucs make the playoffs, breaking the league’s second-longest active playoff drought. Meanwhile, the Patriots missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Sounds like that Florida weather was good to Brady.
The Cleveland Browns
- After years of hype and an 18-year hiatus, the Browns finally made the playoffs. The team has shown that smart drafting and coaching is a great recipe for success. We think the Miami Dolphins are up next after their masterful tank job last year.
- Speaking of tanking, the New York Jets failed to tank for Trevor Lawrence, and will now look for a new head coach, General Manager, and likely a quarterback this offseason. The Jets may be the new Browns.
- The Atlanta Falcons and LA Chargers combined to lose 11 games by one possession after leading in the second half - one reason both teams are looking for new head coaches this offseason.
- The Buffalo Bills asserted their dominance on the field with Josh Allen leading the charge. The Bills are the first team in over a decade to win the AFC East not nicknamed the Patriots.
- The Washington Football Team, a team many expected to be at the bottom of the league, rode a late-season surge to win the NFC (L)east, albeit with a sub .500 record and a little help from the Philadelphia Eagles. Hats off to Ron Rivera, who coached a full NFL season while battling cancer.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars and LA Chargers sacked Doug Marrone and Anthony Lynn, respectively.
- Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy seems to be the leading candidate for every available head coaching position. Well deserved.
- Deshaun Watson led the NFL in passing yards and, somehow, the Houston Texans still managed to go 4-12. Free Deshaun.
WATER COOLER TALK
- 🏆 The Heisman Ceremony takes place tonight (7pm EST - ESPN). Sprint’s Prediction - Alabama WR DeVonta Smith becomes the first receiver to win the award since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991.
- ⚽ In the Premier League, Southampton shocked Liverpool 1-0, giving the Reds their first loss in more than five matches.
- 🏀 The NCAA announced the State of Indiana is the central location for the 2021 Men’s March Madness tournament, mitigating travel during the pandemic and drawing on the NBA’s ‘Bubble’ concept.
- ⚾ Seven years after signing a $155 million contract, free-agent pitcher Mashahiro Tanaka may opt to return to Japan instead of resigning with the Yankees.
- ⚾ Japanese superstar Tomoyuki Sugano, seen as this year’s second-best available free agent pitcher, is sliding toward a move to the MLB after being linked to the Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants.
KD Out Again
As the Brooklyn Nets look to build early-season momentum, they will have to do it without the help of Kevin Durant. He faces a league-mandatory seven-day quarantine, forcing him to miss the Nets’ next four games because of exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Expect Kyrie Irving to shoulder the offensive load until KD returns against the Denver Nuggets on January 12.
(5-3) Boston Celtics 126 vs. (1-6) Toronto Raptors 114
- Jason Tatum (40 pts, 6 reb, 2 ast) has had quite a couple of days, hitting a game-winner on Sunday and dropping 40 points last night. Meanwhile, the Raptors move to a disappointing 1-6 and look nothing like the team that won the championship two years ago.
(5-2) Indiana Pacers 118 vs. (4-3) New Orleans Pelicans 116
- In the game of the night, the Pacers escaped with the OT win. Malcom Brogdon (21 pts, 7 red, 11 ast) came up clutch, assisting the game-tying 3 to Miles Turner and sinking the game winning floater with three seconds left in OT.
(3-4) Dallas Mavericks 113 vs. (2-3) Houston Rockets 100
- Luka Doncic put up a ridiculous 33 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 assists to get the Mavericks back in the win column.
(4-3) Golden State Warriors 137 vs. (3-4) Sacramento Kings 106
- Stephen Curry followed up his career high 62 points with another masterpiece. He finished with 30 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists in the win.
Who was the last non-quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy?
- Mark Ingram Jr. RB, Alabama
- Reggie Bush, RB, USC
- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
- Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama