This year in sports: 2013’s major moments

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A key moment of the 2013 season of the NFL was its conclusion. 13-time Pro-bowl linebacker Ray Lewis won the second Super Bowl of his career with the Baltimore Ravens. Lewis had been in the league since 1996, and never played for any team except for the Ravens. The Ravens beat the San Fransisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII by a score of 34-31.

Adam Keltz, Contributing Writers

As 2013 comes to a close, The Schreiber Times would like to take a look back at the  year of professional sports.  2013 was filled with upsets, comebacks, and even a repeated title in the National Basketball Association.  From the basketball courts in Miami to the soccer fields in Munich, this past year in sports will be remembered for a long time

 

NFL: 

The year started with football and will end with it.  On Feb. 3, the Baltimore Ravens squared off against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

The game was played in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  The final score was 34-31 in favor of the Ravens.  This game was made more interesting by the fact that the opposing coaches of the teams are brothers.

Jim Harbaugh coached the 49ers and John Harbaugh coached the Ravens.  The win gave the Ravens its second ever Lombardi Trophy, its first one came in 2001 against the New York Giants.

On Sept. 5, the National Football League kicked off its 2013-2014 season with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens against the star-studded Denver Broncos.  The NFL is now in week 16 of the regular season.  The league leaders in the American Football Conference  are the Denver Broncos (AFC West), the New England Patriots (AFC East), the Cincinnati Bengals (AFC North), and the Indianapolis Colts (AFC South).

In the National Football Conference, the leaders are the New Orleans Saints (NFC South), the Detroit Lions (NFC North), the Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East), and the Seattle Seahawks (NFC West).  The Kansas City Cheifs are the league’s biggest surprise this year.  Currently placed in second in the AFC West they have a 10-3 record, which is better than most teams in the NFL.  Last year, the Chiefs had one of the worst records in the NFL (2-14).

Super Bowl XLVIII  will be played onFebruary 2, 2014.  The game will be played at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, the home stadium of both the Giants and Jets.

 

NBA: 

The NBA ended its 2012-2013 season on June 20 with the Miami Heat defeating the San Antonio Spurs to win their second consecutive Larry O’Brien trophy.  The Heat, led by four-time MVP Lebron James, dominated for almost the entire regular season.  The Spurs, led by veterans Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan, stayed under the radar throughout the season and quietly earned themselves the second seed in the Western Conference.

In the semi-finals, the Spurs cruised passed the Memphis Grizzlies, sweeping them in four straight games.  Miami had a more difficult time.  The Heat played the Indiana Pacers, a young, yet skillful team featuring guard Paul George, and center Roy Hibbert.  Both teams kept a competitive series as it went into a final seventh game.  The Heat prevailed.

The 2013-2014 season for the NBA started on Oct. 29, with former champions, the Miami Heat against the Chicago Bulls, in which all-star point guard Derrick Rose returned to action for the Bulls.  It was Rose’s first game since tearing his ACL in game one of the 2011-2012 playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers.  Rose was re-injured on Nov. 22 and was declared out for the remainder of the season a couple of days later.   Before the opening game, there was a special ceremony in which the Miami Heat players received their championship rings.  Nearly two months into the season, the current leaders are the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference and the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference.

Last season the leading Trail Blazers finished in 11th place in their conference, so this season has been a huge turnaround.

Another surprise this year came from the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, two teams that made the playoffs last season, but now have two of the worst records in the NBA.

The Knicks had a nine game skid, lasting from Nov. 10 to Dec. 5, when the team finally snapped the streak, beating the cross-town rival, Brooklyn Nets.

 

Soccer: 

The UEFA Champions league is a league made up of the best 76 or 77 teams in Europe.

In the semi-final match, Bayern Munich faced off against FC Barcelona.  Munich won the match 7-0 on aggregate and earned its spot in the finals.

In the other semi-final match, Borussia Dortmund faced Real Madrid, a Spanish team.  The final score on aggregate was 4-3, and Dortmund earned its spot against Munich.

The final match was between German powerhouses Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, an exciting rival match-up that was anticipated from the start of the tournament.

The final was played at Wembley Stadium in London, England on May 25.  This was the 58th season of the UEFA Champions League.  A whopping 86,298 people were in attendance to see the match.  The match ended 2-1 in favor of Bayern Munich with a late goal in the 89th minute by Dutchman, Ajern Robben.

Robben was later named the UEFA Man of the Match.

The World Cup will take place this summer in Brazil.  U.S. soccer fans were disappointed to see the group drawn by the team.  The United States (14) was placed in a group with top teams including Germany (2), Ghana (24), and Portugal (5).  Despite the draw, the U.S hopes to advance past group stages, and make a run, like that of the 2010 World Cup.

 

MLB:

The Major League Baseball season started on Mar. 31 and ended on Oct. 30.  In almost every division, the standings were close throughout the regular season and provided an exciting finish.

By the end of the postseason, the National League Champions were the St. Louis Cardinals and the American League Champions were the Boston Red Sox.

The World Series began on Oct. 23 and ended on Oct. 30, with the Red Socks winning the series in six games.  This was the Red Sox’s eighth World Series title.  David Ortiz of the Red Sox won the World Series MVP award after hitting multiple home runs to secure the win.

Some exciting news has recently popped up in the MLB.  Robinson Cano, long-time New York Yankee and all-star second baseman, signed with the Seattle Mariners for a 10-year/ $240 million deal.  Despite the loss of Cano, the Yankees made a splash this offseason by signing three of the strongest hitting free agents in former Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann, former Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran.  Beltran is making his second appearance in New York, but this time, in pinstripes for the Yankees.

Another Yankee was signed to a different team around the same time as Cano’s signing.  Outfielder Curtis Granderson signed with the opposite borough of New York, in Queens, making him a member of the New York Mets.  Granderson signed a 4-year/ $60 million deal.  Both of these signings occurred in early December.

 

NHL: 

The 2012-2013 strike-stricken National Hockey League season yielded success for two of the three New York teams.  The Islanders, and Rangers both made the playoffs and found their identities along the way.

The Islanders forced a game six against the first seeded Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Rangers beat the Washington Capitals in game seven, but then lost to the Boston Bruins, who then went on to the Stanely Cup.

The Chicago Blackhawks, seeded first in the Western Conference, went on to win the Stanely Cup in six games, defeating the Bruins 4-2.  The Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP) went to Blackhawk right winger Patrick Kane.  The 25 year old became the fourth American to win the trophy and the third in a row.

Thusfar in this season, the Chicago Blackhawks have continued its dominance and have the best record in the league.

However, the Islanders and Sabres sit at the bottom of the pack with a mere 23, and 16 points.

 

Looking ahead to 2014, sports fans around the world have a lot to be excited about: the Super Bowl at Metlife Stadium, the World Cup in Brazil, and, of course, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  The Winter Olympics will begin on Feb. 7 and end on Feb. 23 with the medal ceremony.  65 countries will compete in 15 events, including ice hockey, luge, bobsledding, and curling among others.