If someone asked you in 2015 what the greatest year in sports history was, what would you say?
Most would automatically gravitate towards picking the year based on their natural bias towards their favorite team.
But if you were unbiased about it, you might gravitate towards the year the greatest athletes in their respective sports had their best seasons.
For instance, you might use Michael Jordan’s legendary years as a centerpiece, and then determine what else happened between 1992-1998.
But the April 2016 to April 2017 calendar year is actually the greatest time span in sports history.
And there is one championship-influenced moment that perfectly encapsulates the significance of the year.
“With over five million in attendance, the Chicago Cubs parade on Friday afternoon was the seventh largest gathering in human history.
The Chicago Cubs have been around for less than 150 years. The human race has been around for several thousand years. By all accounts, there have been quite a few gatherings of human beings since 3000 B.C. With an estimated five million in attendance, the World Series parade for the Cubs on Friday afternoon tops almost all of them.
According to historians, the Cubs parade ranks seventh in history. The crowd was also the largest ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. The parade is also the biggest non-religious gathering in human history, although some would be more than ready to make the argument that seeing the Cubs win was a religious experience.”
NOW: Officials estimate 5 million at #cubsparade. That puts it in the top 10 gatherings in, wait for it, human history. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/fL6pzS9hTM
— Brad Edwards (@tvbrad) November 4, 2016
The historically disenfranchised and superstitious Cubs franchise (and their fans) won the World Series for the first time in 108 years in an amazing game 7 that was dramatically and nearly biblically-like interrupted by baseball’s worst enemy – rain.
But let’s back up the truck to the beginning of that time span.
In what was wildly considered the most thrilling Men’s Basketball National Championship game ever, Villanova ripped UNC-Chapel Hill’s hearts out with a buzzer-beater 3-pointer.
The Golden State Warriors broke the “unbreakable” record 72-win season set by Michael Jordan’s 95-96 Bulls by one win during the last game of the regular season.
Ironically, on the same day that history was made with a largely insignificant game due to NBA playoff implications of the game – the aging Kobe Bryant ended his retirement tour by stealing the show in an emotional last performance – putting up a staggering 60 points to remind the world one last time of his legendary career.
Steph Curry demolished the regular season 3-point record – his own record from the previous season of 286 – by sinking an unprecedented 402 of them.
Curry was the first MVP in NBA history to receive the unanimous selection.
LeBron James led his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers to a historic 3-1 deficit comeback, which had never happened in NBA Finals history.
James, almost single-handedly, reeled his Cavs from a 3-1 deficit to overcome the record-setting 73-win Warriors to bring a championship title to “The Land.”
And LeBron James’ Finals MVP honor may have been the most deserved in NBA Finals history, considering he had the greatest 3-game stretch NBA history and also led both teams in every single stat category.
In the Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps proved he’s still the greatest swimmer in the world topping out at 23 gold medals for his career.
The fastest human ever, Usain Bolt, returned for his 3rd consecutive Summer Olympics to prove, once again, he’s still the fastest man in the world.
Katie Ledecky set two world records in the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle.
In ironic fashion, the Chicago Cubs also came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat LeBron’s hometown Cleveland Indians – in the same fashion that he upset the Warriors months earlier – to win their first World Series in 108 years.
In one of the most thrilling NCAA National Championship in college football, Clemson came back to score a touchdown with one second to go against heavily favored Alabama.
In a largely unexciting and controversial NFL season, largely due to Colin Kaepernick’s divisive protest of the American flag, the season was capped off by arguably the greatest Super Bowls in NFL history.
What seemed like a route and snooze fest for 3 quarters, the momentum began to shift when Tom Brady led his Patriots back from a 25-point deficit to tie and send the game into overtime.
And in the first overtime in Super Bowl history, Tom Brady cemented his legacy as the greatest QB ever by winning his 5th championship.
In the Women’s Basketball NCAA Final Four, the Mississippi State Gamecocks ended the dominant UConn Huskies’ all-time record 111-game win streak with a buzzer-beater shot for the ages.
After suffering from a devastating loss last year, the UNC Tar Heels redeemed themselves in the National Championship by ripping out Gonzaga’s heart in a sloppy win.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia ended nearly two decades of major heartbreak by capturing his first major championship at The U.S. Masters.
Then there’s OKC Thunder’s Russell Westbrook’s historic NBA season. He just broke a 55-year-old “unbreakable” triple double record held by Oscar Robertson.
Fox News reported on Westbrook’s record-breaking game:
“First, Russell Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s record for most triple-doubles in a season. Then, he broke the Denver Nuggets’ hearts.
Westbrook’s 36-foot dagger at the buzzer gave Oklahoma City a 106-105 victory, eliminating the Nuggets from playoff contention and capping an historic Sunday afternoon in which he scored 50 points to go with 16 rebounds and 10 assists.
Westbrook’s 42nd triple-double is one more than the “Big O” had for the Cincinnati Royals in 1961-62, a mark that many in the NBA had considered unbreakable until Westbrook’s incredible run.
The crowd gave Westbrook a standing ovation after he broke Robertson’s record with his 10th assist with 4:17 remaining.
Then, those same fans stood in stunned silence after watching Westbrook score his team’s final 15 points, including the game-winner after Steven Adams took the inbounds pass from Kyle Single with 2.9 seconds left and dished to Westbrook, whose long jumper ringed through the iron as the horn sounded.”
Westbrook might have just locked up the coveted MVP award with that game despite the many more wins his fellow MVP contenders have with their teams.
April 2016 – April 2017 is so special and mind-blowing that younger generations will brag to their grandkids about being a part of it.
Or, maybe not, because who knows what the future holds and if these new “unbreakable” records will stay, and for how long, because to quote the great Kevin Garnett, “Anything is possible!”