2016. Some sport happened.

It was a year when Footscray winning the AFL title wasn’t even close to being the biggest underdog drought-ending triumph. 2016 saw Leicester City win the Premiership. Hibs won the Scottish Cup. Cleveland finally got to celebrate a championship, in basketball, and came agonisingly close to another in baseball. But the title they missed went instead to the Chicago Cubs who ended a 71 year wait to even play in the World Series and a 108 year wait to win it all. And, bringing up the rear in this year of years, we have Hull FC ending their Wembley hoo-doo and taking the Challenge Cup at the national stadium whilst in Oz it was Cronulla who won the championship at the fiftieth time of asking having lost in finals three times before. And if you want more: Bangladesh beat England in a Test Match, Ireland made up for painful draws and last-minute defeats by besting the All Blacks, Villanova won on the buzzer, Great Britain put in the hard yards and took gold in the hockey. There’s probably more if you know where to look.

And, yes, sport is a trivial distraction. But when you live in interesting times, when life can sometimes feel so overwhelming, it is there and it is beautiful. You don’t always need underdog triumphs or the ending of droughts. Sometimes it’s enough to just go down to a game and take a few pictures, or switch on the TV and find there’s a live game from the CFL entering its tied, final stages. Yes, sometimes that’s all you need. But then, once in a while, you get to this …


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