Top 20 Sports Moments of 2020: Nos. 11-15

This year began just like any other, with a college football national championship, NFL playoffs and with basketball in full throttle. Then, in mid-March, madness struck the world with the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were immediate postponements and shutdowns in the sports world, which went relatively dormant for three months.

However, sports in the world slowly came back. Though arenas aren't packed with fans, players have gone back to the fields and courts, and championships have been played.

Despite a year of setbacks, there have still been a lot of memorable moments. Newsweek has whittled it down to the top 20 moments in the sports world. The countdown continues today with No. 11-15 (in reverse order).

No. 15
Football returns, many with fans in stands
With COVID-19 shutting down sports around the country, many wondered if football would ever get on the field this fall. The NFL vowed to play, and college conferences were split on what to do. The Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences in August stated they would forego the 2020 fall season, but the ACC, Big 12 and SEC pressed on.

The NFL skipped its preseason and kicked off the regular season on time. Through 16 weeks, there have been no canceled games. Colleges started with staggered schedules, and the Big Ten and Pac-12 reversed their course and joined the 2020 season with fewer games played.

A little more than half of NFL stadiums had fans in the stands this season—with limited capacity and mask requirements. Colleges in the south and southwest had fans in their stands, but also with limited capacity. Now, the college bowl season is happening, but with some cancellations. The NFL playoffs are set to begin next weekend.

No. 14
Dodgers win 7th title, first since 1988
The Los Angeles Dodgers had not won a World Series since 1988, and they recaptured the crown in 2020 by knocking off the Tampa Bay Rays in 6 games.

It was the Dodgers' seventh World Series title in history, and first this century after falling to the Houston Astros (2017) and Boston Red Sox (2018) in the Fall Classic.

The 2020 baseball season was delayed until late summer, and then played at home stadiums—with no fans. The Dodgers won both the NLCS and World Series, all played at the neutral site of Globe LIfe Field in Arlington, Texas, which allowed minimal fans for both of those series.

No. 13
Patrick Mahomes $500 million contract
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback won the NFL MVP award for the 2018 season, and then the Super Bowl and its MVP award following the 2019 season. The Chiefs rewarded him by offering him the biggest contract in sports history.

Mahomes signed a deal worth a half billion dollars to keep the young quarterback in Kansas City for a long time. The investment is doing well, too, as the Chiefs are 14-1 this season and have wrapped up the AFC's top seed for the upcoming playoffs.

No. 12
Michael Jordan documentary "The Last Dance"
When there was a lull in most of the sports world, ESPN moved their showing of "The Last Dance" from late summer up to May. The documentary chronicled Michael Jordan's career in basketball, and mostly his last year with the Chicago Bulls, when they won the 1996 NBA title. It was the sixth NBA championship in Jordan's career.

The documentary created an even bigger wedge between Jordan and some of his former teammates, and it showcased his relationship with teammate Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson. The documentary was highly-popular, and the ratings were a bonanza for ESPN.

Tom Brady - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After spending 20 years with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2020 offseason. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

No. 11
Tom Brady leaves New England, signs with Tampa Bay
Tom Brady spent 20 years as the quarterback of the New England Patriots, guiding them to nine AFC championships and six Super Bowl titles. During the early days of COVID quarantine, Brady left the Patriots and entered the free agent market. He eventually signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Since then, he has guided the Bucs to their first playoff berth in 13 years, and the Patriots have a losing record and will miss the playoffs.

Here's a recap of the others so far:
No. 16 LeBron James makes 10th NBA Finals, wins fourth career title
No. 17 Dustin Johnson wins the November Masters Tournament
No. 18 NFL injuries
No. 19 NFL's Raiders move from Oakland to Las Vegas
No. 20 U.S. Women's Soccer demands equal pay, but judge dismisses the case

Honorable mentions:

  • NFL holds virtual draft
  • 2017 Astros coaches not around in 2020 for their cheating roles
  • Los Angeles wins two pro titles in same year (Lakers/Dodgers)
  • Dodgers' Justin Turner pulled from championship-deciding game for COVID, returns for celebration with no mask
  • LSU wins national championship
  • Notre Dame football joins the ACC for one season
  • XFL halts operation and The Rock buys the league.

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