Replay: Cubs World Series victory atop 2016 most memorable moments

2016 has definitely been one of the most bizarre and exciting years in sports ever.

First off, the loveable losers broke their 108 years of cursed championship runs in one of the greatest game seven’s in the history of sports.

Don’t forget the Cleveland Cavaliers breaking their 46-year streak, and their first title for the city since ‘52. The greatest regular season team, the Golden State Warriors, blew a 3-1 series lead, one thing no one thought was possible.

The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl LI based solely on great defense, and against a Carolina team with an incredibly explosive offense. Peyton Manning, who is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, retired the only way a Manning can, by finishing a winner. The lights gleamed off the shiny Super Bowl trophy, and his great big oval-shaped forehead.

The kid himself Sidney Crosby hoisted his second cup, doing so by beating a great San Jose Sharks team. Now I’m going to countdown the greatest sports players teams and moments from 2016, starting at number five with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

5. The Pittsburgh Penguins kind of snuck themselves from the division series to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Sharks, on the other hand, dominated the playoffs, beating the Kings very easily in a series where Los Angeles was projected to dominate.

The Sharks were led throughout the series by wildman Brent Burns. Burns has more or less become a face of the NHL over the past season. Easily detectable by his thick and manly beard and toothless grin, Burns is one of the best defensemen in the league.

But since the Penguins won the cup last June, they have been on a tear to start the season. They’re third in the league right now, and Sidney Crosby is also on fire. Crosby has started off with 21 goals and 37 points, leading the team in both respective categories.

4. Super Bowl LI was a matchup for the ages. A highly explosive offense that’s speed was only matched by its unpredictability. Then there was a defense whose sheer willpower and determination cleared the way for easy access to the run game, but linebacker Von Miller (who won Super Bowl MVP) who was starting to seem unstoppable.

It seemed like Cam Newton and the Panthers could never get it going down the stretch against the Bronco’s surging secondary. Miller had two strip sacks that would both lead to touchdowns, the final one being one of the most iconic in history, as he put the game out of reach for the Panthers.

In the legendary QB’s final game, Manning threw for 156 and a completion percentage of 56 percent, almost identical to John Elway’s ‘98 Super Bowl performance.

3. The Golden State Warriors regular season stretching from 2015-2016 is the best ever in recorded NBA history. During the regular season, they went 73-9, beating out Michael Jordan’s ‘95 Bulls team.

The team was dominant from the first tip off in October to the fifth game of the NBA Finals before they blew a 3-1 series lead to the Cavs.

During that time, point guard Stephen Curry had one of the best seasons in history. He was the first unanimous MVP in the league, and he broke his own 3-point record about ¾ of the way through the season.  He finished with a record-shattering 402 threes made.

Averaging 30 points and 6 assists last season, Curry has slowed down to start this season, and since adding Kevin Durant over the summer, Curry and company have not been as great. Even though the Warriors have only lost four times, KD and Klay Thompson have been carrying the offensive load.

With a lackluster Draymond Green and Steph, one must wonder if we’re doomed for another Finals matchup with the Cavs.

2. Speaking of the Finals, how about the Cavs? As a fan, I am a little biased, but that still doesn’t change the fact that they upheld all odds to beat the Warriors.

Sitting at three games, I knew it was over. I thought that there was no possible way that they could come back. Not against the statistically best team in the history of the NBA. Not since the dynastic era that was headlined by Michael Jordan.

But they did it, majorly in part by three key factors. Curry was a no-show during virtually the whole playoffs. Green’s crucial game five suspension due to flagrant fouling was a huge handicap.

And Lebron James. Lebron absolutely came alive in the last games of the finals, including the iconic chase down block on Andre Iguodala in the closing seconds of game seven.

I also might add that the Cavs couldn’t have won without Kyrie Irving in the final three games of the series. Game five Irving went off for 41 points alongside James, and that really throttled their comeback.

Finally, that game-clinching three in Steph’s face. It is nearly as iconic as the chase down block.

1. Finally number one. You guessed it, the ending of the 108-year championship drought. The Cubs managed to win against all superstitious odds. They handled the Giants even with all that even year mumbo jumbo.

In the beginning of the Dodgers series, things were not good. Rizzo and Bryant were struggling, the bullpen was starting to disintegrate against the veterans like Adrian Gonzalez and I started to worry.

Game four changed everything. In the beginning, a crucial run was disallowed because of inconclusive evidence. It was a big break for the Cubs and one that started a huge offensive explosion. In the end, the Cubs scored 10 runs and it didn’t let up after that. Rizzo finally found his bat, and the pitchers found their stroke.

Then came the Indians. Both were battling streaks, and both had things to prove. The final series was like a boxing match where the Indians were landing steady blows. The Cubs could not bounce back and all hope in Chicago seemed to diminish.

Aroldis Chapman may have singlehandedly stopped the Indian onslaught and preserved the Cubs chances of a World Series championship.

Game six was a different story. Kris Bryant went yard twice off the Indians pitching staff. The sizzling Addison Russell hit a grand slam that went halfway up the outfield bleachers, and Rizzo hit a major confidence booster deep into the left field nosebleeds.

Arrieta pitched a perfect game into the fifth inning before giving up a home run to Kipnis. The game was a dominant sign that Chicago would not give up.

Then came game seven. A number of nerves I felt during the game was a lot, to say the least. The four runs that the Cubs put up in the first few innings seemed like enough to cruise to the end with, but, of course, it wasn’t.

The Indians soon posted enough to tie, and after Rajai Davis’ eighth-inning home run, I thought all hope was lost. During the rain delay, I had almost fallen asleep, but little did Chicago know it was a blessing in disguise.

Zobrist’s RBI double and Almora’s excellent baserunning were the factors that ended the drought. It was all elation from then on, and all the Chicago curses were finally slain. Now Chicago is looking to go back to back with key acquisitions of Wade Davis and Jon Jay. See you in October in Chicago.

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