Decade in Review for Sports

The Sentinel Presents: The Best of the 2010s!

The Sentinel Presents: The Best of the 2010s!

Marc Goldstein, Sports Editor

The 2010s was a decade for the ages when it came to sports. Between amazing moments, players, teams, and everything else, there will never be another decade quite like the 2010s. We at The Sentinel thought that even though we have individual articles for the sports moments from the past 10 years, we should still make this just as an overview for what is to come. The articles will be linked when they are mentioned, so feel free to check them out as you go along. 

When people think of the 2010s and what happened, the first thought will go to who won championships. The NFL was relatively pedestrian, with the Patriots’ dynasty continuing, and them winning multiple championships. The NBA saw the Warriors win 3 titles, and the same matchup (Warriors vs. Cavaliers) 4 straight times. The San Francisco Giants won 3 championships in alternating years (2010,2012, 2014), but also saw a large amount of parody, with the teams making and winning the World Series remaining, for the most part, different. That doesn’t mean that the seasons weren’t interesting, though. Many teams won their first ever championship or ended a significant drought. The fanbases in those cities were brought jubilation and happiness. Teams also had downfalls, some becoming cellar dwellers, others just getting to that level of failure as an organization. That’s not to say the team didn’t have good moments as a whole throughout the decade, they were just much fewer and farther between. 

Another big change in sports and sports culture that began in the past 10 years has changed in a huge way. Before, athletes were discouraged to share their opinions on public or political issues. That was nicknamed “shut up and play”. Athletes began to use social media as a way to express themselves both indivdually, and personally on certain issues. At the beginning of this time, owners and teams did not appreciate the outwardness of their players because it was a bad look for them as a team. Now, it is encouraged that athletes shared their opinions, with circumstances such as Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the National Anthem, LeBron James calling President Trump a “bum” over Twitter, and many, many more instances. Campaigns such as James’ “More than an Athlete” is an example of athletes expressing themselves as any other American citizen would, even though their views are being broadcasted to the national public, as opposed to a select few people.

For all that is said about viewership being down, and things of that nature, leagues, eams, and players did very well financially in the past decade. Teams began shelling out money like never before. Giancarlo Stanton, formerly of the Miami Marlins, became the first player to get a $300 million contract. MLB free agents are currently getting paid like never before, with Mike Trout getting $430 million to play for the Los Angeles Angels. It’s not just baseball players that are cashing in. Basketball players are now able to make more money than ever due to the new rules put in place by the CBA. Football players have been repeatedly breaking the record for largest contract. Athletes are being paid at an all time high, and teams, leagues, and television companies are reaping the rewards. TV networks make billions of dollars every year from broadcasting games, and that number, while slightly lower than in past years, is bound to keep increasing as time goes on. It’s a simple business: the more everyone is paid, the higher volume the product will become. 

That leads perfectly into the next topic: the on-field (or court) product. It is at an all-time high. Players are faster, stronger, and more athletic than ever, making the games more exciting to watch. It’s almost like a little circle: players are better, players get paid more, games become more exciting, more money is made, and so on. While I don’t want to spoil the other articles written about both the moments and players that made this decade one to remember, I will say this: no decade has ever been like this one. Athletes like LeBron James and Tom Brady are defying the theory on players declining with age. Young superstars like Giannis Antetokounmpo are redefining the sport of basketball. 

The games evolved, the players got better, sports got better. This is why we cover sports: there is never a dull moment. Even when there seems to be a lapse in what can be covered, there is always something below the surface, always somewhere to look closer to find something new. Sports is enjoyed by the general public for a relatively simple reason: it’s unpredictable. Knowing an ending to a movie makes going to see it pointless, and a waste of time. The same could be said for sports. If it is premeditated over what happens, why would you watch it. In the age of up to the minute knowledge and data within our fingertips, sports has remained a constant. Why should we think that will change? Sports always finds ways to amaze us, to leave us breathless, and also to humble us. That is why covering sports is incredible. People want to know why covering sports is so great, it’s because of everything that goes unmentioned in the articles: the people you meet, the things you learn. That’s what makes it worth it. I hope that you enjoy our decade review of the sporting world, and of the past 10 years. While this is just about sports, and not about everything else we will rank, just know, the same principles apply to anything else we could rank. We will release one or two new rankings each day until the end of the year, each of them, hopefully, delivering a moment of nostalgia and excitement for the incredible decade we are embarking on. What will our legacy be? Maybe the Sports Editor of The Sentinel will be writing about one of you in December 2029. Only time will tell…

-Marc Goldstein, Sports Editor