The Butterfield Breakdown
A January retrospective
With January having come and gone, the sports world continues to develop in all fronts. Among these developments is the lack of baseball hall of fame inductees, the upcoming NFL Super Bowl, and Connor McGregor’s defeat in the UFC (as well as many others). So, with the return of the ‘Butterfield Breakdown’, let’s go through the individual leagues and get caught up on the sports world as it occurred in January.
There was, as mentioned above, a bit of a dramatic flare with this year’s MLB Hall of Fame inductees, as no qualifying players were accepted into the Hall of Fame. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that the MLB hasn’t accepted any inductees,with 2013 being the most recent year with no one finding their way into the Hall. Two notable names that, both in 2013 and 2021, were featured on the ballot were that of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Due to how voting works in the Hall of Fame, the characteristics of the ballot players are featured as promptly as the accomplishments of the players themselves. With that in mind, it is because of such characteristics that Clemens and Bonds (as well as others) don’t achieve Hall of Fame success.
Moving forward, Bonds, Clemens and others are approaching the end of their eligibility for the Hall of Fame and will not be considered by the Hall’s writers, but rather the MLB’s veteran’s committee.
The NHL season is off to a bittersweet start. On the positive side, the league has been able to put forward steady scheduling during the pandemic; however, the league also began to see COVID cases increase even before the start of the season.
COVID-19 issues aside, news occurring within the league is more player-directed. Such is the case with New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo. Being a controversial off-ice personality (a vocal supporter of former President Trump), DeAngelo was the cause of an incident with fellow Rangers goaltender Alexander Georgiv. DeAngelo had made a comment to Georgiv after a loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins that resulted in DeAngelo getting punched and placed on waivers.The waivers, as of Feb. 1, have been cleared.
As well, as of Feb. 1, 30 NHL teams have passed on DeAngelo.
In other news, in the newly established Canadian Division of the NHL (called the North Division), the Toronto Maple Leafs currently hold the top spot at the time of writing. At the same time, the Ottawa Senators are struggling to keep up with a (again, at the time of writing) 1-7-1 record (win, lose, and overtime respectively).
As you’ve probably seen recently, I’ve been writing a lot about the main event of the NFL season: the Super Bowl. This year’s Super Bowl, featuring Tampa Bay and Kansas City, will be a history maker regardless of the winner. When discussing Tampa Bay, the ageless wonder Tom Brady looks to become a seven-time Super Bowl winner, as well as becoming a first-time NFC Super Bowl winner.
The organization of Tampa Bay has already made history by being the first time to play the Super Bowl in their hometown, and now looks to become the first ever team to win the Super Bowl in their home city.
On the other side, Kansas City is on the path to a repeat Super Bowl win, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 2004. Also, quarterback Patrick Mahomes can become the youngest player to be a repeat Super Bowl champion at 25 years of age.
The UFC recently saw the return of Connor McGregor in a losing title fight effort against champion Dustin Poirier. Other notable names Poirier has won against in the ring include former champions Max Holloway and Eddie Alvarez.
Moving forward, UFC fans have their eyes set on the next event, UFC 258 on February 13. The card will feature names such as Uriah Hall and Chris Wediman in the co-main event. Plus, current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman will defend his title against Gilbert Burns in the main event.
With the NBA in full stride, the playing field is becoming more and more clear. Unfortunately for the Toronto Raptors, their place on the playing field is not exactly what fans expected. Currently sitting with an 8 (wins) and 12 (losses) record, the results of their season are a far cry from the way things went during 2020.
In the overall standings of the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers are certainly making a case for being the team to beat as they are currently heading into February with a 15 (wins) and 6 (losses) record.
On a more personal note, the New York Knicks aren’t last in the Eastern Conference, so I’m happy.
So, there you have it, the updates from around the league through the month of January (and what to expect for February). I don’t know if I’ll continue these updates like I did in the past, as it depends on how the various major leagues look down the line. That aside though (and ending on a more hopeful note), let’s remember to keep safe and healthy with everything that’s going on in the world today.