Dear record-breaking readers,
As crazy as it may seem, we’ve reached the end of the whirlwind and roller coaster that was 2020.
Anyone reading this letter has experienced a truly groundbreaking moment in the world’s history, as countries around the globe deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our daily lives.
For nine months in the United States, and even more in some other countries, citizens have tried their best to become accustomed to a “new normal,” filled with masks, COVID-19 tests, and now, multiple kinds of vaccines.
On the flip side, sports fans have gotten used to their own version of a “new normal,” with limited to no fans at arenas and stadiums, piped-in crowd noise to make up for silence so quiet you could hear a pin drop, and all sorts of protocols and procedures put in place to (hopefully) keep every member of a sports team safe.
It wasn’t always that simple, though, if you can even consider all of that “simple.” There was a time, not even six months ago, that the future of sports was completely up in the air.
Seasons had been postponed across the NBA, NHL, MLB, WNBA and more, and question marks lingered around whether or not leagues would be able to get back up-and-running in 2020.
Fans were forced to watch reruns of old games on ESPN, FOX, the NFL Network and more, and UFC events and the 10 episodes of “The Last Dance” in April and May served as some of the only avenues for people to enjoy something that’s supposed to help them escape.
For decades, people have turned to sports to get them through tough times in their lives. Whether it was the mourning that accompanies the loss of a family member or friend, the heartbreak that comes from a break-up or loss of a job, or anything in between, sports were always available to serve as a distraction and help people get back on track.
Then, March of 2020 hit, and everything changed.
As everyone did their best to get their sports fix in their own ways, we did the same here at The Swing of Things.
Instead of watching sports, we committed to writing about them to keep the things we love fresh in our minds.
We wrote recaps and reviews of all 10 episodes of “The Last Dance,” complete with a full podcast for each week of the documentary’s tenure on ESPN.
We put together guides to help you with different, new hobbies, whether you were playing Madden NFL 21, trying to find the best NBA video game to dive in on, or attempting to learn about the rejuvenated sports card industry.
We looked back on the history of some of your favorite sports, reminding you about games or moments that took your breath away and either turned you into a fan, or solidified your love of a player, team or sport as a whole.
And, we talked to some pretty amazing people to showcase their life stories, like Patriots CB Jonathan Jones, FOX Sports’ Curt Menefee, UFC fighter Ben Askren, or a young social media phenomenon like Jared Gaon.
Through it all, you all decided that we were good enough people to keep around in your hectic, pandemic-filled lives.
You shattered site records across the board throughout the year, where it was setting daily viewership records, consistently breaking monthly viewership records, or absolutely obliterating our year-over-year numbers.
Your size as an audience increased by more than 500 percent from 2019 to 2020, and continues to grow as each and every day passes.
You had enough trust in us to keep coming back throughout the year, and were hopefully able to bring back some of that joy and love that comes with the territory when you’re a sports fan.
To turn the tables a bit, you all did something for us, too. You gave us a platform to write about something we love so much during such a difficult time, and made it all so worthwhile with your kind words and continued support.
As much as we hope we helped you during what will hopefully be the brunt of the damage during such a challenging period in our world’s history, we want to say two words for how much you helped us: Thank you.
After such a long-winded way of showing our appreciation for you as it related to 2020, you would think we would have a similarly lengthy message as we look ahead to the new year.
Fortunately, after more than 700 words already, that is not the case.
All we have to say as we look to improve on the successes that built up in 2020 is one thing, and it’s a nod to Bill Belichick, one of the all-time greats when it comes to winning and leadership in the sports world.
Just four words, which will set the tone for what we hope is another record-breaking year:
We’re on to 2021.
Founder and Editor of The Swing of Things