What a year it has been for Sports…

We have now arrived at the last days of 2021. It has been quite a sports year. It began in January with the NFL playoffs for the 2020 season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first team in NFL history to play in a Super Bowl in its own stadium.

In April, the Baylor Bears and Houston Cougars made it to the Men’s Basketball Finals, becoming only the second Texas men’s basketball team to win a National Championship. That same month, Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese male golfer to win a major when he won the Masters.

A month later, in May, Helio Castroneves became just the fourth driver to ever win the Indianapolis 500 four times.

This year, the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals were played for the first time in July. Both were played in July after the 2020-21 season was postponed for both the NBA and NHL. The Milwaukee Bucks won their first NBA title since 1971 and Tampa Bay Lightning won their second straight Stanley Cup.

In July, the Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled for 2020, finally got underway. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Olympics were held without fans for the first time in the history of the modern Olympics.

In August it was the start of volleyball and football. Here locally, all five volleyball teams made it to the playoffs. During the high school football season, Jourdanton, Pleasanton and Poteet made it to the playoffs.

Poteet won his first district crown since 2005 and his first playoff game since 1958. The Aggies 10-2 record was also their best since 1958. Pleasanton reached the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Further down in San Antonio, the three collegiate soccer teams took a combined 31-6 this season as UTSA, UIW and Trinity all made it into the postseason, the first time all three achieved that in one season. UTSA finished 12-2, winning its first conference championship in just its 11th football season.

In October, the Houston Astros made the World Series for the third time in the past five years. They came up short against the Atlanta Braves, but if I see them regularly in the World Series, I hope it doesn’t end soon.

Now that the days of 2021 are over, the NFL season has passed from the beginning when every team believed it could make it to the playoffs to now when only a few teams are left on the hunt. Of my teams, the Houston Texans were the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs. The New Orleans Saints are still battling for a spot in the playoffs. Then there’s Jerry Jones’ Arlington football club that won the NFC East for the first time since 2018.

Another NBA season has begun. The San Antonio Spurs and my Houston Rockets are both young teams but have managed to stay competitive. The Spurs will probably have the best chance of a playoff spot in 2022, but the Rockets are showing a glimpse of a bright future.

Speaking of bright futures, the year 2022 is arriving this Saturday and the early exploration report says it is a year full of promise and opportunity. It will certainly have big shoes to fill after all that the year 2021 has brought us to the sport.

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