The year of 2016 will be remembered for so many fallen idols and heroes passing on to the afterlife. From the greats like Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, George Michael, the purple one, Prince, and just as of recently with the fallen heroes heat check; the princess of Star Wars, Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds. These two fallen a day apart, savage 2016, savage. The year also included a crazy, hacking election that showed the true colors of America and foreign leaders.
The music was therapeutic from all sorts of artists vying for that best album of the year, but one of the most memorable feats that occurred in the year 2016 is the fact that we had blown 3-1 leads happen in two different sports, for a grand total of three in 2016; and for the city of Cleveland, the city that prevailed and overcome the odds to the city being victim of its own jokes.
Let's start off with the first blown lead of the season, note this isn't the first time this feat has occurred, it has happened a total of nine times in the NBA playoffs. List is as follows: Celtics vs. 76ers in 1968, Pacers vs. Kentucky Colonels in 1969, Lakers vs. Suns in 1970, Celtics vs. 76ers in 1981, Rockets vs. Suns in 1995, Heat vs. Knicks in 1997, Pistons vs. Magic in 2003, Suns vs. Lakers in 2006, and Rockets vs. Clippers in 2015.
On the verge of summer '16 we have the Warriors facing an infamous collapse for being the new record holders of a record many thought couldn't be beat of the Chicago Bulls 1995 Bulls winning 72 games and only losing 10. Golden state last year did it with a record of 73-9.
But in this playoff they were facing an Oklahoma Thunder basketball team that was hungry and knew this was it as a collective. Coach Billy Donovan was employing a great defensive attack at times using Durant at center and playing big against the warriors, at times using Steven Adams and Enes Kanter together. But it was the two all stars, point guard Russell Westbrook, and former MVP Kevin Durant, that led the charge till they fizzled out, and atlas Klay Thompson got NBA2k levels hot in the fourth quarter. After that, the Warriors took it to the Thunder, forced seven and made KD and Westbrook the first victims of the now infamous “3-1 lead memes”.
Now for the Larry O Brien trophy, it was a rematch of 2015 NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cavaliers. This would be the first time in NBA history that a blown 3-1 lead occurred in the finals.
The Warriors came out the gate ready by taking a quick 2-0 lead, dropped game three won, game four. LeBron James made some remarks about Draymond Green, result Green gets suspended. This suspension is easily the biggest question mark on if this Warriors team really could have been one of the best teams of all time. Bron wears an Undertaker shirt, Cavs win against a Green-less Warriors and continue to go on to win every game after. Big plays from Kevin Love, a monstrous block by Bron and an incredible jumper by Kyrie Irving, and the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the finals. Now the memes were epic level on two-time MVP Steph Curry with the shot boy and company breaking the most wins record without a ring to show for it. In the words of Young M.A “OOOUUU.”
Now could this blown 3-1 lead in the finals be a blessing in disguise since bouncing the Thunder in a 3-1 collapse during Durant’s final contract year before he jumps for the free agent pool? There were already rumors of Durant going to the Warriors they just needed to hang out and see how it will work out. In the Warriors case cue Chance the rapper’s song Blessings” blessing keep falling in my lap.” the Warriors inherit a former MVP ready to prove to the league that he is indeed the best in the world in a team that can showcase his all round basketball talent.
It’s December and you can already see the Warriors and Durant experiment is exceeding expectations offensively. Defensively and turnovers they need work but offensively and scoring the Warriors lead the league. Assist, points and field goals made. That's not even pointing out they haven’t ran the full offense to its capabilities. They haven't ran a Curry, Green pick and roll which frees up a Durant wide open in the corner as freely and often as they should but when this play becomes a staple watch out.
Steph-Draymond pick and roll = wide open Durant 3 pic.twitter.com/Jck2IK8gT8
— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) December">https://twitter.com/DrewShiller/status/81432991933... 29, 2016
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Now look at OKC, Russell Westbrook is playing at an elite angry level, leading the league in triple doubles with 15 of them. Westbrook is highly regarded as the leading candidate for the most valuable player if he keeps up the average of messing around and getting triple doubles. West brook letting the league know he has too much sauce.
Now let's turn the page to fall classic, October, for a very competitive and widely viewed baseball postseason that saw the Cleveland Indians going up against the Chicago Cubs.
The 108 year curse of the Chicago Cubs called “The curse of the Billy goat” was lifted when the Cubbies came back from being down 3-1, after splitting the first two games of the series. The Cubs, after waiting patiently like Frank Ocean fans, became the sixth team in MLB history to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series, a feat most recently accomplished by the 1985 Kansas City Royals. Cleveland didn't have the AL MVP or set any records for wins during the regular season. The Indians were a very good baseball team who managed to come up short in the World Series.
The full list is as follows:
1985 World Series, Royals defeat Cardinals, 1979 World Series, Pirates defeat Orioles, 1968 World Series, Tigers defeat Cardinals, 1958 World Series, Yankees defeat Braves, 1925 World Series, Pirates defeat Senators.
Although we must acknowledge the Boston Red Sox when they came back down 3-0 in the ALCS against the Yankees, that drama reigns supreme even though it wasn't in the World Series.
Chicago and Cleveland gave us an epic game seven, even if it included a rain delay in the ninth inning. After closer pitcher Aroldis Chapman of the Cubs was left in a little too long in game six, Joe Madon went to his closer early in game seven. Chapman finally cracked after a dominant October for the closer, throughout 13 games played he only allowed one homerun.
Theo Episton, is now considered the greatest baseball executive of all time. Being known as the guy in baseball that all he does is break curses.
The land goes from title town to meme town by having not as petty blown 3-1 leads memes compared to the Warriors and Durant, but best believe the memes and the pettiness did come Cleveland’s way.
Now the one 3-1 lead that didn't force a game seven, the presidential election and the Electoral College on that first Tuesday of November. Republican nominee, now President-elect Donald Trump never really surrendered his lead when he was up 3-0. But things looked as if they were about to crack when Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton won California. That win didn't start the comeback nor force a seven, as it was pretty much ended in game five.
Raindrop, drop top we go from having the first African American president to having someone elected who was endorsed by the Klan.
2016, you were the best of times, you were the worst of times but you really need to end and be gone with. You gave us three blown 3-1 leads, you exposed how flawed and manipulative the U.S. election is, you had Brexit, Harambe, member berries, so many fallen heroes, and to top it off Kanye West finally may have lost his mind.
As 2017 approaches we wave goodbye to the Obamas and welcome the Trump years, we don't know what's going to happen next but... 2017 can you deliver a Killers album?
May the force be with you and let's welcome 2017, who knows what is going to happen.