As 2020 slowly draws to a close (and that can’t come soon enough) I can safely anoint this year as the ‘suckiest’ of all time, at least in my four-plus decades on this planet.
Frankly, it’s not even close.
The COVID-19 pandemic gets much of the blame for ruining just about everything this year, even something as trivial as attending a sporting event.
2020 has also been a year of great loss in the world of sports and I am not talking about lost seasons, empty stadiums or financial strain — although all of those things have really hurt, too.
From the shocking death of former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash in January to news that broke Thursday that Italian soccer icon Paolo Rossi had died after battling an incurable illness, it has been a rough year.
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The hockey world mourned the deaths of Henri Richard, Dale Hawerchuk, Howie Meeker and Eddie Shack.
Baseball lost a handful of Hall of Famers this year — Don Larsen, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Joe Morgan, Lou Brock and Al Kaline.
Former Notre Dame and Green Bay Packers football star Paul Hornung passed away in November, two weeks before the death of Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona.
We lost the ‘Kansas Comet’ Gale Sayers, longtime Georgetown University basketball coach John Thompson, Harlem Globetrotters great Curly Neal, former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Sam Wyche and Utah Jazz bench boss Jerry Sloan.
We said goodbye to several former members of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this year, including owner David Braley, receiver/place kicker Tommy Joe Coffey, running back Dave Fleming and defensive end Pete Neumann.
Too many names, and these are just a few.
But their legacy is the joy they brought to their craft and the excitement we felt when we cheered them on.
Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.