It’s Been a Tough 2020 in Boston

2020 has been labeled one of the worst years in recent memory by most around the world. Starting with wildfires in California, a fear of a potential third world war, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Boston sports fans, 2020 has had a little bit of extra disappointment added on.

Here is a timeline of the some of the worst Boston Sports moments of 2020:

January 4, 2020

The New England Patriots would play the Tennesee Titans in the NFL Wild Card Round. While most fans were hoping they could win another Super Bowl and squash away the rumors of Tom Brady leaving, this did not come to pass.

Brady would struggle throughout the game, magnifying the issues with the team that surrounded him.

This would be Brady’s final throw as a Patriot and the last way fans want to remember the greatest quarterback in the franchise and NFL history.

All hope was taken away as the Titans would win and an offseason of questions lay ahead.

January 14, 2020

The difficulties continued early for Boston sports fans as Alex Cora was fired 14 days into the new year. The world series winning coach was beloved by many fans and many in the organization. Even though he had only been coaching for two years, he looked like a man that would be a part of the organization for a long time. After two sign-stealing scandals and a lengthy suspension, things were not looking good for Alex Cora.

When the report came out about who on the Red Sox took part in the scandal, it was revealed that Cora was actually relatively innocent. The damage was done. Cora and the Red Sox leadership thought it best that he step away.

February 4, 2020 and February 11, 2020

On February 4, 2020, Boston sports fan’s worst fears came to life. Mookie Betts had been traded. In return, the Red Sox would receive Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers and Brusdar Graterol from the Twins. When the reports first came out, the trade was immediately panned. The Twitter world came to life, shocked that the Red Sox were that desperate to trade a 27-year-old and former MVP and for such little in return.

Soon after the reports came out of the deal, the Red Sox backed out as they wanted extra compensation due to fear of Graterol’s injury history. Some say this was actually due to such heavy backlash from, almost, the entire sports world.

Boston fans prayed as maybe, just maybe, the trade would fall through and Betts would stay with the team. This was not the case.

Betts was traded on February 11th for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong. Nothing compared to the greatness that was Mookie Betts.

Little did fans know, this was not the worst thing to come of 2020. Not by a long shot.

March 17, 2020

Soon after the NHL and NBA revealed they were postponing their seasons, Boston fans received even sadder news.

Everyone knew the day would come when Tom Brady would no longer be a New England Patriot. Brady had always been saying he planned to play until he was 45 and Boston fans were okay with him riding out his career with them. There had been plenty of speculation as to what Brady’s plans were for the 2019-20 offseason. Everything Brady did was looked at as a clue for what he might be doing in 2020. Deep down everyone knew this was coming, but nobody wanted to hear it.

On March 17, 2020, Tom Brady officially announced he was not coming back to the New England Patriots. Nobody wanted to see Brady on any other team. Many wished he would have retired a Patriot and been one of the few sports legends that spent their entire career with one team.

The pain only got worse for Boston.

Rob Gronkowski was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to play with Tom Brady. Even though he was retired for a year, to see the fan-favorite playing with the greatest Patriot of all time on another team was no easy sight.

July 22, 2020

Since February 5th theories were swirling about how the Red Sox may have pulled off the biggest swindle of all time. Mookie Betts was going to come back to Boston after playing one year in LA. He loved it in Boston and wanted to finish his career there.

Nope.

Betts broke the hearts of Sox fans everywhere as he signed a 12-year, $365 Million dollar contract extension with the Dodgers. What made things worse is that the Dodgers got Betts for a discount. When negotiating with the Red Sox, Betts said he wanted $420 million but they would only offer him $300 million. It makes fans wonder if Betts had given out that lower number for the Red Sox, would he still be there today?

August 31, 2020

For the entire NHL season, the Bruins were the team to beat. Fans were ready to bring the Stanley Cup back to Boston. Unfortunately, Covid-19 hit and fans were left dreaming of a title that was no longer going to come.

All momentum had come to a sharp halt as the NHL season stopped to figure out how to best handle the Covid pandemic. When the teams arrived in the bubble, momentum was gone and all other teams were able to regain their health, something the Bruins had been lucky to have throughout the season.

The Bruins would lose to the Tampa Bay Lightning, a very formidable foe, in the second round of the playoffs. This was a season fans can only help but look back on and wonder what if. With fan favorite and longtime defenseman Torey Krug being an upcoming free agent as well as longtime captain Zdeno Chara, this could have been their best and maybe last chance to win.

September 27, 2020

The Boston Celtics were not expected to reach the heights they did during the 2019-20 season. After a disappointing season the year before and the loss of team leader Al Horford and star point guard Kyrie Irving, there was not much hope going into the season. Even with the additions of Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter, many viewed the Celtic’s top spot in the Eastern Conference as fading quickly. This was not the case. Kemba fit into the roster perfectly, while Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown took their roles as the head of the team perfectly and Gordon Hayward returned to his Utah ways. No one expected a championship team but they looked to have a shot.

When the playoffs came around Gordon Hayward did what he does best in a Celtics uniform, he got hurt. Even without Hayward, the Celtics took on the 76ers and Raptors and made their way to the Eastern Conference Finals.

There was hope.

Against the fifth seed Miami Heat, the Celtics should be able to make the finals after missing out two of the last three years. That did not happen.

To start off the series Tatum would take a difficult three rather than drive to the hoop to head to overtime. The Celtics would then lose on a block by Bam Adebayo.

This shot by Tatum pretty much sums up the series. The Celtics did not look good and could have made many better decisions throughout the series. Kemba was being held to single-digit points and the rest of the team could just not stop Bam Adebayo or any of the Heat stars.

So much confidence diminished as the Celtics missed out on another Finals.

October 18, 2020

The Red Sox did not make it to the playoffs this season. They were one of the worst teams in baseball with an entire array of problem, but this date, this event, sums up all of the heartbreak that came from the MLB season.

On this date the Los Angeles Dodgers won a world series, and soon after, Betts came in second in NL MVP voting.

To watch Mookie Betts be so happy and joyful as he lifted the Commissioners trophy was difficult.

He was such a big part of the victory as well. It makes Red Sox fans wonder when the next time they will get to experience a World Series victory again.

Without Betts, the dream may be far away.

December 20, 2020

For the first time since 2008, the New England Patriots missed the playoffs.

After signing Cam Newton in the offseason, there was a small glimmer of hope that maybe the Patriots could succeed post-Brady. After a few wins and being one play away from beating the menacing Seattle Seahawks, people believed in the Patriots. That hope came tumbling down. Just before Week 5 of the NFL season, Cam Newton was diagnosed with Covid-19. After the diagnosis, he was never the same. His throws were off, he fumbled the ball, and every worry people had before the season came to light. And with former fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham sitting on the bench, everyone was left to wonder how bad he must be if he was not playing.

The post-Brady era is not off to a strong start. Some people have even began to wonder if it was the coach or the quarterback?

December 30, 2020

Zdeno Chara leaving is arguably the hardest moment of 2020 for Boston sports fans. Even if you were not a huge hockey fan, if you liked sports in Boston you loved this man. One day away from a new year and a reset, the long time captain for the Boston Bruins signed with the Washington Capitals. However, when Tom Brady decided to leave, it was not the biggest surprise to anybody. Zdeno Chara on the other hand was planning on playing another year and would have been happy to do it in Boston.

“The Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision. Unfortunately, my time as the proud Captain of the Bruins has come to an end.”

Zdeno Chara, Instagram

Having the season end the way it did, and then to see such a monumental figure in the organization leave, is a hard fact to deal with for Boston sports.

It Has Not Been All Bad for Boston Sports

There have been positives to look forward to for Boston. The Celtics duo of Brown and Tatum looks even better than before, providing hope for the future. Alex Verdugo has looked good for the Red Sox. While he is no Mookie Betts, he had a .308 batting average this season. Additionally, Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez will eventually return to the Red Sox pitching rotation. And last but not least it’s very likely that Patrice Bergeron will justifiably be the next captain for the Boston Bruins.

What Now?

It has been a tough year if you are a Boston sports fan, but, as we go into 2021 it is time for a fresh restart. The Red Sox have been bad plenty of times in the last few years and gone on to win in the following seasons. It would not be a surprise to see a Bill Belichick led team be able to do it too. Take a deep breath Boston sports fan, you have won more than any other city in the last two decades. Be appreciative of what has happened and look forward to what has yet to come.

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Seth Falber

About Seth Falber

As a Philadelphia Eagles fan growing up in Boston I was always forced to fight for my opinions. I grew to love all things sports, especially when it comes to debating.

View all posts by Seth Falber →

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