Holiday Sports Never Give Up

Joshua Lasarte, SPORTS EDITOR

   In a time known for various holidays from Christmas to Hanukkah, and all the way to ringing in the new year, one tradition that has always dominated households is watching sports during the holiday season. With a year like no other, more people are going to stay home and enjoy the entertainment they can find on TV. The biggest events on television will be the NFL regular season nearing its end, the return of the NBA after a short offseason, and the college football playoffs. 

   After canceling their preseason, the NFL season started as normal — sort of. There have been big surprises throughout the season, like the struggle the Buccaneers are having with Brady, the Patriots most likely missing the playoffs, and the Steelers being 11-0. At this point in the season, some division leaders have already clinched their playoff spot while others hope to make a final push to get in. Multiple teams have had lots of off the field issues relating to COVID, where teams have had to bench star players and cancel games due to the virus. 

   Unlike the NBA and MLB, the NFL has no current plans to create a bubble for their playoff teams.  Sophomore Devin Epstein said, “The NFL and the players are doing the best they can to stay safe and provide us entertainment.” On Christmas Day, the New Orleans Saints will host the Minnesota Vikings, and in the following 3 days, there will be 15 more games. 

   Though the NBA only wrapped up its season just over two months ago, commissioner Adam Silva confirmed that the NBA will return on December 22. The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, who were the two teams in the finals, will only receive 71 days of rest while other teams have had over 200 days. After an unorthodox finish to the NBA season, the offseason also saw some big moves like the Lakers resigning their stars, LeBron and Anthony Davis. 

   One of the biggest moves that shocked the NBA world was the Houston Rockets trading star player Russel Westbrook to the Wizards for Washington’s star player, John Wall. Junior Anthony Fernandez said, “We are taking home the championship this year, we have only got better and Jimmy Butler’s leadership will lead the Heat.” Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the NBA will also enforce stricter penalties to people who violate their safety protocols. During the offseason, the NBA also made a huge announcement that they will no longer drug test for marijuana. 

   After delays for weeks and even months, the college football regular season is nearing an end. The rush to the top four has been an airtight race that has no clear winner. In a few weeks, division leaders will meet in their respected conference championships to ultimately decide who will head to the playoffs. Ohio State, who is almost guaranteed to go to the playoffs, is facing disqualification if they cancel one more game. 

   The most competitive playoff race seems to be the ACC as Notre Dame is the number two ranked team, while Clemson is the number three team in the country and those two teams will most likely meet in the ACC championship. Bowl games will start December 22 and the playoff games are both on New Years Day with the Nation Championship on January 11.