2020 Sports Year in Review: What was it like without them?

2020 Sports Year in Review: What was it like without them?

Rocco Pellegrino, Staff Writer

For so many people, the year 2020 brought so many ups and downs, twists and turns, and changes to the daily, routine lifestyle that they became accustomed to.

A lot of those daily procedures probably revolved around sports. Whether it was bringing their child to a game of theirs, watching sports on the couch for hours at night, or even going to a game with some family or friends on a weekend.

2020 welcomed people to a world of the unknown, life without sports.

The age old saying goes as follows: You don’t realize how much you love something until it’s gone. Many sports fans around the world started to realize how much they loved sports as a result of the pandemic, and I think no one will be taking them for granted anymore after a 3-4 month stretch without them in March-July. Here’s a recap of sporting events that took place in the 20th year of the 21st century.

January: The NFL Playoffs officially started on January 4th, opening with the AFC Wild Card between the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans. Remember that crazy overtime game? That took place in 2020. Mid-January was also headlined by the stunning upset of the 14-2 Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs, courtesy of Derrick Henry and the Titans. San Francisco and Green Bay advanced to the NFC Championship, eventually resulting in a 37-20 beatdown in the 49ers favor for a trip to Miami where they would face Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes. Also somewhat forgotten from this year is the College Football National Championship between Clemson and LSU that took place on January 13th. It’s crazy that this happened in 2020, it feels like centuries ago. LSU came out on top, and QB Joe Burrow went on to become the number 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft in April. 

February: Super Bowl LIV headlined the month. The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers fought for 60 minutes down in Miami for the Lombardi Trophy. San Francisco entered the final quarter of the season with a 20-10 lead, but got shutout in the final 15 minutes while giving up 21 straight to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Andy Reid finally won his first Super Bowl, and Mahomes possibly wrote the first chapter of the book on a potential hall of fame career. 

March: As you likely remember, March flipped a lot of people’s worlds upside down. As I wrote about here https://qchspawprints.com/category/sports, Rudy Gobert’s positive test on March 11th that eventually shut the NBA season down changed perspectives on COVID-19. By March 13th, almost all sporting events in the US had been cancelled. While this is obviously one of the extremely minor impacts of the coronavirus compared to the other effects, lots of people lost their main source of entertainment during a time of pure boredom.

April-June: Nothing. No sporting events took place during these months, just pure emptiness. Speculation and planning for the return of the NBA, NHL, and MLB seasons began, but no live events in the US. “It was so odd,” Blake Koehler, a student at Quakertown High School said. “Normally I would get home, do something productive, then watch whatever game was on that night. That wasn’t there in April or May.” 

July: The return. Sports had finally entered back into the daily lifestyle of many fans. The MLB shortened season finally began, while the NBA’s restart after a 4 month pause commenced with 8 play-in games for the invited teams before the playoffs. The Yankees and Nationals played in the first game of the MLB season, with Dr. Anthony Fauci throwing out the first pitch (although I’m not sure you can call it an actual pitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eD5xkn4WLA) The Yankees won 4-1 virtue of rain delay in the 6th inning which considered it a “complete game”. On the NBA front, Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans dropped their first play-in game vs. the Utah Jazz and Donovan Mitchell.

August: The NHL season restarted with best-of-5 series’ between teams located in the 5-12 seed range to determine who would face the 1-4 seeds in the conference quarterfinals. The NBA playoffs also began after the conclusion of the final play-in games on August 13th. Most of the first round matchups concluded at the end of August, with the HOU-OKC and DEN-UTA series wrapping up in 7 games on September 1st and September 2nd.

September: The 2020 NFL Season finally kicked off with Houston and Kansas City, a rematch from the January faceoff in the AFC Divisional round where the Chiefs came back from a 24-0 deficit, outscoring Deshaun Watson and the Texans 51-7 after the first quarter. The NBA, NHL, and MLB all progressed through their respective playoffs, with the Tampa Bay Lightning wrapping up their successful season with a Stanley Cup. The most notable series from the September slate of games took place in Orlando, where the Denver Nuggets won 3 straight games vs. the contending Los Angeles Clippers to shock the world in a seven game battle.

October: Without a doubt, the riveting comeback from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS vs. the Atlanta Braves came as the biggest shock to the sports world during the month of falling, color-changing leaves. Los Angeles became one of the five cities to have multiple sports teams win a championship in one season, joining Boston, Detroit, and New York as the only three cities to accomplish this feat multiple times.

November: November was essentially ruled by the NFL, as no other big-four sports leagues took place. One of the memorable matchups from the eleventh month of the year included the New Orleans-Tampa Bay destruction on Sunday Night Football, with the Saints and Drew Brees trouncing the Buccaneers 38-3 on national television. The two Thanksgiving games also may be remembered as rather boring games, but the 41-16 Washington Football Team win over the Dallas Cowboys came as a nice sign of normalcy and comfort for football fans that enjoy watching the sport on the national holiday.

December: To close out the 12 month slate, the NBA returned for the start of their 2020-21 season, tipping off with a matchup between Golden State and Brooklyn. The late season NFL playoff push also commenced, with the Ravens and Bears both going on short, important win streaks to propel their clubs into the postseason. Now in January, Baltimore will head to Tennessee, and Chicago will travel to New Orleans as a result of their solid regular season finishes. The NFL Playoff field is shown below:


  1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-2, Bye)
  2. Buffalo Bills (13-3, vs. IND)
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4, vs. CLE)
  4. Tennessee Titans (11-5, vs. BAL)
  5. Baltimore Ravens (11-5, @ TEN)
  6. Cleveland Browns (11-5, @ PIT)
  7. Indianapolis Colts (11-5, @ BUF)



  1. Green Bay Packers (13-3, Bye)
  2. New Orleans Saints (12-4, vs. CHI)
  3. Seattle Seahawks (12-4, vs. LAR)
  4. Washington Football Team (7-9, vs. TB)
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5, @ WFT)
  6.  Los Angeles Rams (10-6, @ SEA)
  7. Chicago Bears (8-8, @ NO)

The odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl (+190), Kansas City, will look to repeat and give Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes their second ring. The teams with the next best odds come from Green Bay (+500), New Orleans (+750), and Buffalo (+750). The games will start on January 9th, with Indianapolis traveling to Buffalo in the AFC 2 vs. 7 matchup.

“I’m not going to take them for granted anymore.” Jack James, a 10th grader at Quakertown High School said. “Just not having them on as a background filler was weird. (You) don’t realize what it’s like without them until they’re gone obviously.” 

Hopefully no one has to experience this situation ever again. After the 3.5 month absence, people saw what they failed to see for a while. Sports are critical parts of everyone’s life.