I remember one time I had front row seats to see Pedro Martinez pitch for the Red Sox against the Rangers. I almost couldn’t sleep the night before. I was so excited, I just couldn’t hide it.
But my joy was short-lived as Pedro got hit pretty hard that day, was knocked out early, and recorded one of his only losses of the season. It sucked. And it’s a pretty fair analogy to how I feel about 2020.
I had such high hopes for the year. I came running out of 2019 at full speed like Robin Ventura only to find that 2020 was Nolan Ryan.
My 2020 started with so many high draft picks, yet I ended up with Johnny Manziel, JaMarcus Russell and a bunch of extra toilet paper.
It’s as though at the end of 2019, former Clippers owner Donald Sterling bought 2020 and hired Isiah Thomas as the general manager and Magic Johnson to coach after trading all of our good players to fund a Broadway play.
I know you lived through this year in sports hell as well, but just in case you have not seen the utter carnage displayed in one place, here you go.
The greatest quarterback of all time leaves town.
The Sox trade Mookie Betts.
The Patriots miss the playoffs.
UMaine football misses an entire season.
The decision is made to cancel the 2021 high school basketball tournaments.
The Red Sox were the worst team in baseball most of the summer.
Kobe Bryant is killed.
Alex Cora is suspended for cheating.
No March Madness.
No Hockey East tourney in a year when the Black Bears actually had a shot at winning.
No “countable” high school sports in Maine after February.
Zdeno Chara leaves for the Capitals.
The only thing that could have made this sports year worse would have been Roseanne Barr “singing” the national anthem.
There was nothing we could do to get the year back on track. We tried to call timeout, but like Chris Webber, we didn’t have any TO’s left.
2021 has to be better. It’s going to start slow and be painful to watch. Kind of like David Ortiz was for a couple of seasons. But Big Papi finished his career strong, and I think 2021 will end up great as well.
Stay safe and Happy New Year!
Jeff Solari is the founder of the Maine Sports Chowdah, Maine’s only free, weekly sports email newsletter. He has been in sports media since he was 17 and is not shy with his opinions or perspective on the world of sports. The longtime sports broadcaster is a graduate of Mount Desert Island High School and the University of Southern Maine. Previous gigs included WLBZ-TV and WCSH-TV, host of “The Shootaround” talk radio show on WZON and stints with “Downtown” and “The Drive.” Solari has won more than 15 Maine Association of Broadcasters and AP broadcaster awards.