Monday night was considered as college football history for both Clemson and Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Clemson University and the University of Alabama played the college national championship on Monday, January 7 at San Jose's Levi's Stadium. Clemson won the fourth round of its rivalry against Alabama by knockout. The Clemson Tigers became as one of the most dominant performances as a viewer had ever seen against a Nick Saban-coached Alabama team by a glorious win on Monday's national championship with a final score of 44-16. With the victory, Clemson became the first major college football program to go 15-0 in record ever since Penn achieved that mark in 1897. Clemson was in a lead, but Alabama made a poor choice throughout their game that cost them the entire thing. Even though Alabama was down by 15 points after its two quarters, there was still a pathway back into the game through a quick strike with an offense and a defensive stop. Nick Saban's team drove down the field to start its second half, but then the Alabama coaching staff resulted in making the worst decision of the night. With Clemson still lined up in its defense, Alabama decided to pull off a fake field goal, which unfortunately ended in a two-yard loss by backup quarterback Mac Jones. By the time they were within the third play, this is when Freshman Quarterback Trevor Lawrence showcased his football talent when he hit Ross for a 74-yard touchdown pass that closed off Clemson's second title in three yards under Dabo Swinney (Clemson coach). Lawrence finished the game with a 347 passing yard and three touchdowns. Lawrence's impressive play during the game is already buzzing NFL recruitment. The Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence finished off his football season with one of the most memorable and impressive plays for his freshman season in recent history on Monday night. His remarkable performance against the University of Alabama in the college football national championships has to lead to the NFL to team plot on how they can get him, while he still has 2 more years to go until he can officially take part on playing for the pros. An ex-Clemson and current NFL star, Deshaun Watson, said after Monday nights game: "My man is a true freshman, he's got at least two more years [in college] to do work. He's gonna be a legend. He already is. People know that now." Lawrence's impressive skill and talent have people talking already. It wouldn't be a surprise if we see him in the big leagues anytime soon and at such a remarkable young age. Myself not being a major football fan was very intrigued in watching this football game. In fact, my parents and I gathered into our living room to watch the game which in fact was held 5 minutes away from our house. By the end of the night, we heard a vast crowd celebrating the Clemson's win. Lawrence from then has most likely made a positive influence on young boys around the country to strive their hardest in order to strive for their goals. Lawrence is a young 19 years old who helped carry his football team to their ultimate victory to the end of the season.
We used to call it "flipping the switch." You would go through eight hours of school (somehow) and then your mentality would automatically change. The worries and stress from the school day would dwindle as you put on your cleats and begin to warm up. Anything that was going on in your life didn't matter when you hit the dirt. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your bests.
You develop a routine and superstitions. Hitting your bat on the inside of your cleat before you hit, chewing a certain type of gum on the volleyball court, how many times you spin the ball before you shoot a free throw, whatever your quirk was, you 100% believed it would make you play better. You practice in your free time with your dad, devote three to five months of your school year to a team, and play all summer long with your travel team as you live off hotel breakfast. Then one day, it's all over.
It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you'll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you're no longer an athlete. I forgot what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. It has been two years since I've played my last softball game and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. I didn't play because I wanted to go pro or even to the collegiate level, but I played because it was an escape and helped me become who I am.
You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you as you stand alone on second base and see your family in the stands, to hear the metal spikes of your cleats on concrete when walking in the dugout. It's simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head. Batting practice was always mine. Focusing on nothing but the next pitch and how hard I could hit it.
When you have to watch the game from the other side of the fence, you realize how much pressure you put on yourself when you played. It's just a game. Make as many memories as you can and enjoy every inning because when you leave sports behind you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as I miss the sport, I am thankful for everything it brought me. It taught me how to be a good friend, respect others around me, and to push myself to discover what I was capable of.So, enjoy it while it lasts.
"MVP" is currently being chanted around the city of Milwaukee and the people of Milwaukee aren't just talking about one person. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks and Christian Yelich, an outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Giannis is on the path to winning this year's NBA MVP and Yelich, who happened to win the NL MVP last year, is showing no doubts on potentially becoming this year's MVP as well.
Both the Bucks and the Brewers have struggled in the past few years. The Bucks finished their 2013-2014 season with a record of 15-67. On top of that, they have been playing in the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the past couple of decades. The Bradley Center was intentionally built for hockey and not basketball so attending games for the Bucks sometimes had you in the nosebleeds barely seeing what was going on on the court. The Bucks struggled after their 2013-2014 season with records of 41-41 (2014-2015) and 33-49 (2015-2016). Now, the Bucks have recently finished their regular season and moved to the playoffs. From 15-67 just five years ago, to now 60-22 which gave them the best record in the NBA, the number one seed in the East and home-court advantage, Giannis has proved himself as potentially one of the greatest players the NBA and the Bucks franchise will ever see.
The Bucks now have a new arena that opened this season, Fiserv Forum, which is built specifically for the Bucks (and Marquette) instead of hockey. Looking back on the Bucks in their previous years compared to now, the Bucks have sold out every single game this season. Something Milwaukee never thought they would see from being a small market team. From my experience, while working for the Bucks, you can see the difference in the crowd and feel their enthusiasm and excitement radiating off of the fans. And this is all thanks to Mr. Antetokounmpo who is making his mark here in Milwaukee. Giannis has won Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November, December, February and March/April and even earned his spot as Eastern Conference captain for the All-Star game this year. Giannis may be considered in his prime right now, but he is only 24-years-old which means he has plenty of time to only make himself better.
The Brewers had won the NL Central Divison back in 2011 but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. After that, they struggled a bit and haven't won the title since until last year in 2018. He brought the Brewers to the NLCS last season, but unfortunately, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yelich had 36 home runs last season and already has eight (as of 4/16/19) this season. He happens to be a great right fielder as well. In last night's (4/15/19) game against the Cardinals, Yelich alone scored three home runs.
Miller Park has been filling up more and more each game of Brewers fans. Being a small market team like their cross-city friends, the Bucks, bringing home an MVP title as well as a division title, it makes everyone aware of their greatness and dedication. The season may have just started back up again, but there is no doubt, if Yelich and his teammates keep playing like they are right now, they will have another shot of making it to the World Series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Christian Yelich have brought and will continue to bring excitement and greatness to Milwaukee which is something the city hasn't seen in a while. This era of sports will surely be remembered for a long time by the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.