Are this year’s champions still valid?


Collin Kilpatrick , Sports Editor

Champions have been crowned in multiple major sports leagues, but this year’s champions should have an asterisk next to their name.

 When all sports suddenly came to a halt, we were given one of our first signs that life would be drastically changing. Players walked into stadiums expecting to play their games, and walked out with their seasons postponed, or cancelled all together. For months, sports fans were yearning for the return of their favorite teams. 

When sports finally came back, they looked very different. The NBA, and NHL both used the “bubble” method, in which all the players were kept in one location, in order to limit their interactions and avoid an outbreak. While both of these leagues provided a much needed escape for sports fans, their championships do not carry as much weight as they would in other years. 

While winning a championship any year is impressive, playing a championship series in a single location, in front of an empty stadium is certainly not the same as traveling between cities to play in front of thousands of screaming fans. This year, fans weren’t even watching the games on TV, as both the NHL, and NBA saw their TV viewership plummet. Both leagues tried their best to make their playoffs feel the same, however they came up short, and fans were disinterested. 

The MLB started their season months later than usual, and played in empty stadiums. The league decided to play 60 games, which is a long way from the 162 games that would be played in a normal season. The MLB tried to make up for this by adding playoff spots, however the league still failed to give this season the same feeling as every other season. This year’s champion, Los Angeles Dodgers, cannot be put on the same level as previous champions who had to endure a full season, playing in packed stadiums. 

College football has suffered greatly, as every conference is playing with different restrictions, some are allowing fans, while others aren’t, and games are constantly being cancelled. At the end of the season, all teams will have played different amounts of games, and played under different regulations. Without uniformity among all of college football, you cannot crown a champion without putting an asterisk beside their name. 

As far as adapting to the circumstances goes, the NFL has done the best job. The league has not cut down on any games, and has been running relatively smoothly, aside from a few game postponements. While the NFL has been doing the best job out of all the leagues, it also faces the same problem as college football, which is the lack of uniformity. Each team is allowing different amounts of fans into stadiums, as some are choosing to allow none, while other teams are allowing up to 25 percent of the stadium to be filled. This makes the playing field uneven, as some teams now have a greater home field advantage. 

Overall sports are a welcomed escape from everything that has gone on in 2020, however, the games played, and champions crowned this year should not be held to the same level as any usual year.