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by Cameron Moore (6th Grade)

Wow. What a time it has been in sports.

There have been some crazy things going on in the sports world recently. From the University of Michigan’s CFP triumph, to a crazy start to the NFL (and college) coaching carousel. From All-Star games galore, to some big NBA news. So much has happened that I have to use my ELA skills to summarize the past three weeks. So, enjoy!

First of all, we have to start with college football, where the season ended with Jim Harbaugh and the 1. Michigan Wolverines winning the national championship game against the 2. Washington Huskies in the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship by a score of 34-13. While it was won controversially (Harbaugh was suspended twice this season), it was the Wolverines’ first title since 1997, and their first in the Playoff Era, finishing with a perfect 15-0 record, while the second-place Huskies went 14-1 this season.

Speaking of Washington, they also lost their head coach on Friday, January 12th, when Kalen DeBoer agreed to replace a legend in the game of football at the University of Alabama.

Two days before the DeBoer deal, legendary Alabama head coach Nick Saban announced that he was retiring from football. Considered the greatest coach in the history of the college game, Saban was dominant, winning 11 SEC Championships, making 8 College Football Playoff appearances in 10 years, and winning seven titles throughout his career. He carried the number one for a ridiculous 15 consecutive seasons, and went 292-71-1 in his career, including a 201-29 record with the Crimson Tide. He also never had a losing season in his entire career. He produced coaching talent like Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Ole Miss’s Lane Kiffin, Texas’s Steve Sarkinson, and Oregon’s Dan Lanning. Four of his players won the Heisman and he produced 49 first round picks. Saban was a legend.

However, coaches seem to be on the forefront of all recent news. The coaching carousel is already moving in the NFL. Shortly after the end of the season, the Falcons’ Arthur Smith, the Commanders’ Ron Rivera, and the Titans’ Mike Vrabel were fired shortly after the end of the season, while the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll stepped down from his position.

However, the highlight of the “offseason” so far has been Bill Belicheck stepping down as Patriots head coach after 24 seasons, in which he has gone 296-133, winning a majority of division titles during his span as Pats head coach and won an NFL-record six Super Bowls.

Super Wild Card weekend, however, was chaotic. On Saturday, it started out with a battle of historically bad teams, but, both the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans faced off in what was expected to be a good game. The underdog Texans blew out Cleveland, 45-14. Then, mother nature froze Andy Reid’s mustache (and shattered Patrick Mahomes’s helmet) in a 26-7 win for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Miami Dolphins, with a kickoff temperature of -4 degrees. Then, on Sunday, the Green Bay Packers stunned the Dallas Cowboys 48-32 in Dallas, facing the San Francisco 49ers in the next round. Later that night, the Los Angeles Rams visited the Detroit Lions in a big storyline game. Rams QB Matthew Stafford returned to Detroit, while Lions QB Jared Goff faced his former team, the Rams. Detroit barely hung on, 24-23. On Monday, the Pittsburgh Steelers were defeated in snow-filled Buffalo, as the Bills defeated them 31-17. Finally, however, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in central Florida, 32-9.

We also have All-Star games coming up! As of the publication of this article, the NBA All-Star voting is still open, and is not available. However, the NHL All-Star Game selections so far have been chosen, 32 players, one from each team. The NHL is switching to a draft-style game, similar to the NBA, with captains selecting four teams. Many stars like Nathan McKinnon, Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews, and Connor McDavid participating. Also playing is #1 overall pick Connor Bedard making an appearance in his rookie season. Our Philadelphia Flyer chosen in the All-Star game is Travis Konecny. 

Also, the Pro Bowl Games are right around the corner. Three San Francisco 49ers, Brock Purdy (QB), Christian McCafferey (RB), and Kyle Juszczyk (YOUS-check, FB) are starting for the NFC. Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb, Eagles WR A.J. Brown, and 49ers TE George Kittle are starting as well, while an Eagle made the Pro Bowl in every single offensive line position, while players such as Nick Bosa, Aaron Donald, and Micah Parsons start on defense.

As for the AFC, the Miami Dolphins rule the offense with Tua Tagovailoa (TUH-go-VĪ-low-UH, QB), Raheem Mostert (RB), and Tyreek Hill (WR). And yes, Swifties, Travis Kelce is the starting Tight End. The defense includes Browns DE Myles Garrett, Chiefs DL Chris Jones, and Steelers OLB T.J. Watt, among many more. The AFC is absolutely stacked.

However, the sports world has also suffered losses in the past few weeks. The soccer/football world went into mourning when former German soccer star Franz Beckenbauer, passed away in early January. He was 78.

More recently, however, Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević was hospitalized and died at 46. According to a post on the social media platform X, he collapsed at a team dinner in Salt Lake City in the leadup to a matchup against the Utah Jazz, which has since been postponed twice.

However, more NBA news: Draymond Green was recently reinstated from what was originally a season-long suspension. He served 12 total games.

So, it is clear that it has been a chaotic January. But, the fun thing in sports is that news comes in every day, so who knows when this article will be outdated…probably already is. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Image Citation:

"National Champions." Phillip, David J. AP. 8 January 2024.