The first seven months of this year certainly qualify as the strangest, scariest, and frustrating stretch of my lifetime. I do not need to delve into the sordid details. With sports on the precipice of returning, we hope, wouldn’t it make sense that the bizarre would occur when they start up again?
The NBA will resume play in late July in a bubble setting at Disney World. The perfect scenario to match this crazy year would be a Bucks-Clippers Finals. The Bucks haven’t been to the Finals since 1974 while the Clippers have never even played in a Conference Final. In addition, the Clippers, until Steve Ballmer purchased the team six years ago, were the most dysfunctional, poorly run professional franchise. A title now bestowed upon the New York Knicks.
The Bucks and Clippers along with the Lakers are the three favorites to win the title. So it is a real possibility that these two flawed franchises would battle it out for the championship with no fans in the stands at the home of Mickey Mouse.
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The Clippers would make the more interesting story based solely on how over the top Steve Ballmer’s reaction would be to winning a championship. The man goes ballistic when his name is called while waiting for a table at a restaurant.
Meanwhile, hockey will reopen with two bubble cities, Toronto and Edmonton.
Since the NHL playoffs are usually the most unpredictable of all post-seasons, any Stanley Cup Final seems possible.
In the bizarro world of 2020, I have the Columbus Blue Jackets and Arizona Coyotes facing off for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
With the social unrest gripping the nation it would be apropos that a city named after Christopher Columbus would win the Cup. Columbus’ statues throughout the nation are being toppled. By the time we get to the Final maybe Columbus, Ohio will be renamed Woody Hayes, Ohio.
As the least valuable franchise in all of the four major sports leagues, the Coyotes make perfect sense to win the Western Conference since they are quite comfortable playing in front of empty seats.
A shortened Major League Baseball season will end its regular season in late September, followed by a “normal” postseason.
Since the Cubs ended their 108 year World Series drought in 2016, Cleveland is the team with the longest dry spell in baseball, last winning a World Series in 1948.
Let’s put Cleveland in the World Series against the Milwaukee Brewers. a team that has played in exactly one World Series in its 51-year history.
The city of Cleveland has won one championship in the last 56 years. It deserves another. On the road to the World Series, the Indians will change its nickname to the Fellers, after the greatest player in franchise history, Bob Feller.
Finally, we get to Super Bowl LV in Tampa. Representing the AFC will be the Cleveland Browns while the Detroit Lions will represent the NFC. Neither team has ever played in a Super Bowl.
In a wild game, the Lions prevail 38-35.
So the champions for 2020 will be the Clippers, Blue Jackets, Fellers (formerly Indians) and Lions.
Look at last year’s championship teams: The Raptors, Blues, Nationals, and Chiefs. Not exactly the Celtics, Lakers, Canadiens, Yankees, and Packers.
Strange days indeed.
John Sapochetti is Co-Host
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