Sports Preview of 2020
By PJ Chandra
2019 in sports was one of the wildest, most exhilarating and brought us new stories, stars, notable deaths, sad stories, and new champions. From unifying stories like the USWNT winning the World Cups, divisive stories including Antonio Brown and Colin Kaepernick, emotional stories like Eliud Kipchoge breaking the two hour marathon mark, and more. It was a whirlwind. What will 2020 bring us? Here are the top 10 stories to look forward to in 2020.
10. Is this Serena Williams last full year at a chance to pass Margaret Court for most majors won and will Coco Gauff take over?
Serena Williams who is 38 years old could be on her last legs and needs to win two more grand slams to pass Court for the most grand slams ever won in the history of tennis. While she’s doing this, media darling and 15 year old Coco Gauff looks poised to be the next American superstar in tennis motivating young people especially girls to start and train young. It all kicks off with the Australian Open taking place right now down in ashy Melbourne.
9. How will the MLB deal with the fall out of the major cheating scandal involving the Houston Astros?
With proof that the Houston Astros during their 2017 World Series Championship were using technology to steal signs, the manager AJ Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow were promptly suspended and fired. The damage didn’t stop there as the Red Sox and Mets managers Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran respectively were also fired and questions remain about whether or not their title should be revoked.
8. Will there be any progress on the front to pay college athletes?
After there was controversy over LSU defeating Clemson football 42-25 and former LSU superstar Odell Beckham Jr. gave out money (even as a joke) to players, Twitter erupted and millions said enough was enough athletes of all sports, despite gender and ratings, should be paid for bringing revenue and attention to what they do and 2020 could be a year that a breakthrough could happen.
7. With declining ratings and league superstars teaming up, how will the NBA gain ratings?
Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures as the NFL remains king in this country (and rightfully so)! With a lot of stars in the Western Conference prompting later start times for marquee games, the ratings have especially dipped on the East Coast, but before the NBA starts to slide even more (especially in the regular season) monitoring what commissioner Adam Silver decides to do will be worth monitoring moving forward.
6 . Can Tiger Woods defend his title at the masters?
Similar to Serena Williams, Tiger Woods is also on his last healthy legs for golf and is three majors behind Jack Nicklaus for the most majors won (18-15) and while no one expects him to tie or beat his record, competing well at major tournaments would be amazing. There is not a better sight in sports than Tiger with the lead on Sunday with a red polo shirt as multiple golfers have said how intimidated they are by his aura and mystique. The highlight tournament (The Masters) take place April 9th-12th.
5. How will the favorites do at the European Football Championship?
England, Belgium, and France are the favorites to win the third biggest soccer tournament that takes place. While the competition is top heavy, there are some familiar faces and names that can make noise and cause some surprising results at the European Football Championship taking place on June 12th-July 12th. Some names to watch are Virgil Van Djik, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard, and Harry Kane.
4. Will this be the last dominant year as a ‘Big Three’ for Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic?
In the last 15 years, only seven other people have won Grand Slams, and only two of them have won multiple Slams while Fed, Joker, and Nadal have occupied 72 of the 118 spots available in the 59 Grand Slam finals (for a success rate of 61%). These are arguably the three greatest tennis players of all time all in the same era and while Federer is ahead right now for the most majors, it certainly looks like Nadal and Djokovic could pass him this year or next.
3. Will Tom Brady retire or leave the New England Patriots?
The greatest athlete in sports history is a free agent for the first time in his career. 42 year old Tom Brady who has quarterbacked the New England Patriots to six super bowl titles in nine appearances has been rumored to leave New England (potentially go to Los Angeles, Chicago, or Carolina) and prove he is more than just a ‘system QB.’ Will he do it? And if so, this officially marks the end of the greatest dynasty in the history of sports.
2. Will Simone Biles and Caleb Dressel continue their dominance at the Olympics in 2020 and lead the Americans to win gold?
Yes it’s an Olympics year! The Summer Olympics kick off in Tokyo, Japan on July 24th and with new sports including baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing will take place, but the American stars will be out headlined by gymnast Simone Biles, swimmer Caleb Dressel, and track/field athlete Noah Lyles.
1.Who will be the superstars this year in sports?
2019 brought us breakout years for Coco Gauff, Joe Burrow, Jordan Binnington, Luka Doncic, Rose Lavelle, Lamar Jackson, Zion Williamson, and more. Which sports, what stories, what culture changes, what issues will arise in 2020 in the sports world? Should be an exciting, emotional, exhilarating year ahead in sports!