Looking Back At South Florida’s 2016 Year In Sports

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Loss and tragedy crippled many in the sports world in 2016.

But as we’ve come to learn, the games themselves go on and can be one of the greatest sources for healing.

It’s a lesson South Florida learned in a calendar year that’s certainly one for the ages.

A singular loss defined Don Mattingly’s first season as Marlins manager.

Jose Fernandez and two others died when his boat hit the rocks at government cut. The image of a shredded hull is now etched into the minds of Marlins fans forever. But so is the response from his teammates.

One of the most important homeruns in team history felt like something out of a Hollywood movie.

Dee Gordon, small in stature but big on heart, made Miami smile again in the first at-bat following Jose’s death. And after a much needed win, one final farewell to number 16.

2016 was no doubt a year of major loss. A painful reminder that even our greatest heroes fall.

The world celebrated the life of Muhammad Ali after his passing, from his accomplishments in the ring to his fight for civil rights.

America also said goodbye to giants from Arnold Palmer to Pat Summit, and here locally the sudden passing of Kimbo Slice.

Loss came in many different forms. Dwyane Wade, the Heat lifer was swept away by the windy city.

He put 13 years and three titles with the heat in his rear view mirror, opting to join the Chicago Bulls.

And then the final pillar of the big three era fell. Another run with blood clots may have sidelined Chris Bosh for good.

So Pat Riley and Micky Arison made a commitment and a 98 million dollar investment in big man Hassan Whiteside.

Football-wise there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Adam Gase became the 12th head coach in Dolphins history and sure, his first draft may not have been an easy one, but his first season is going pretty well.

The Jay-Train rumbled onto the scene and the Fins rattled off a 6 game win streak.

It was all smooth sailings until Ryan Tannehill went down during Miami’s win over Arizona.

Tannehill’s season appears to be over but credit Gase and the team for rallying around back-up Matt Moore.

The Dolphins are in the playoffs but the same can’t be said for the Panthers.

A slow start on the heels of their best regular season ever left head coach Gerard Gallant waiting on the curb just 22 games into the season.

NOTES

South Florida native Lamar Jackson took home the Heisman.

Mark Richt and The U had a nice first season together, but there’s some company across town ready to make some noise.

Peyton Manning walked out on top.

Lebron brought Cleveland the championship they desperately needed and yes the Cubs finally, finally ended the curse of the billy goat.

There were many other moments that took the sports world by storm like Michael Phelps and his dominance in Rio. It was all part of a sports year for the record books.

More from Mike Cugno
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