This is a quick look at some of the headlines in the year 2022 in sports, courtesy of our regular column The Sporting Life. They are listed here in no particular order, neither alphabetical nor chronological.
Titans. They began the year losing 19-16 to the eventual AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium in the first round of the playoffs. This season, the team has gone from a division-leading 7-3, before suffering five consecutive losses (at press time), to 7-8, and is in danger of not making the playoffs.
Regardless of the outcome of the game scheduled for Thursday, December 29 against the Dallas Cowboys at Nissan Stadium (results unavailable at press time), their game against the Jaguars on Sunday, January 8 will decide their fate. If they win, they win the AFC South and host a playoff game the following weekend; a loss would end their season.
TSU. Volleyball won their conference for the first time, and they played at and against Ohio State in the NCAA tournament. Football suffered a dismal 4-7 (2-3) season under 2 nd year coach Eddie George, now 9-13. Basketball – Men finished the 21-22 season 14-18 (8-10), and are currently 8-5 with a 7-1 record in the Gentry Center this season; Women finished the 21-22 season 12-19 (6-12), and are currently 5-6 with a 5-1 record in the Gentry Center this season.
Fisk. The new gymnastics team made national headlines. Theirs is the first HBCU Intercollegiate Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Team. Under head coach and athletic director Corrinne Tarver, they will compete in NCAA Division I. Their first actual competitions will come in January.
Predators. The NHL hockey team finished 45-30-7, and lost in the first round of playoffs to the reigning champion Colorado Avalanche. They are 14-13-5, 6 th in the Central division at press time.
High Schools. Nashville football team Lipscomb Academy won its state championship; Pearl-Cohn and East made it to the final round, along with MBA, Nashville Christian, Christ Presbyterian, and Beech. East Nashville won the state championship in their division.
World Cup. The big event was held in the wretched nation of Qatar, which had built several new facilities with slave labor, basically. Eight stadiums were used, seven of which were built new for the event at a cost of $6.5 billion. Argentina beat France in the final in a penalty shootout hailed as one of the most thrilling finals in tournament history, with Argentine legend Lionel Messi scoring twice.
Broncos. The NFL franchise has the most fascinating ownership team in sports, including Sir Lewis Hamilton, Condoleeza Rice, Melody Hobson (wife of George Lucas), and three members of Sam Walton’s family, who together paid $4.65 billion for the team in August. The team they bought included Russell Wilson, acquired in March in a massive trade; they signed him to a five-year, $245 million contract. At press time, the team is 4-11, dead last place in the AFC West.
Tennis. Serena Williams announced her “evolution away from tennis” / retirement after having established herself as the greatest of all time.
NBA. On June 16, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics to win the championship. At press time, the Celtics lead the Eastern division at 24-10, while the Warriors are 10 th of 15 teams at 16-18.
WNBA. The Las Vegas Aces defeated the Connecticut Sun to win their first championship. The season was played under the cloud of the February arrest and eventual imprisonment of Brittney Griner by Russian authorities. She was eventually freed on December 8 through trade.
CFB. The defending NCAA FBS champion and #1 Georgia Bulldogs will face the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Peach Bowl at 7 pm CST, after the #2 Michigan Wolverines face the #3 TCU Horned Frogs at 3 pm in the Fiesta Bowl this Saturday, December 31, 2022. The winners play on Monday, January 9, 2023 at 6:30 pm. Georgia defeated Alabama 33-18 to win their current title last January.
In the FCS, the North Dakota State Bison (12-2), winner of nine titles since 2011, face the 13-1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits. ABC airs the game at 1 pm CST Sunday, January 8 from Frisco, TX.
F1. Broncos owner Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, MBE struggled through the worst season of his F1 racing career. Previously, the only black driver ever in Formula One had won seven world driver championship titles and still holds numerous records, including most wins, most pole positions, and most podium finishes. He endowed his foundation, Mission 44, with a 20 million pound sterling (equivalent to just over $24 million in U.S. dollars) donation, to help people from under-represented groups gain opportunities in education and employment.
Soccer. Speaking of $24 million, U.S. Womens Soccer settled their equal pay lawsuit for that amount in February. The agreement will ensure equal pay for male and female players in U.S. soccer.
CBB. The Kansas Jayhawks won the NCAA Division I men’s championship, joined in a final four by Duke, North Carolina, and Villanova. Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe won the Naismith Player of the Year Award. The women’s final four consisted of Louisville, Stanford, Connecticut, and the Champion South Carlina Gamecocks.
Celebration Bowl. The North Carolina Central University Eagles of the MEAC defeated the Jackson State University Tigers of the SWAC, in the final game coached by Deion Sanders before he took over the reins at the University of Colorado.
The “Prime Effect.” During his tenure at Jackson State, their head coach Deion “Prime Time” Sanders elevated the HBCU and its football and academic schools’ visibility and desirability. His impact is immeasurable in making HBCUs much more significant to the mainstream culture, and for that, he will always be appreciated and celebrated.