If you feel that the title was somehow misleading, I apologize.  The objective of a headline is to generate interest, tease with curiosity, and lure with creative word choice.  As a reader, you probably expected a synopsis of the year’s most powerful stories, not actual headlines.

That reminds me of a story I wrote a few years ago ranking which NBA lineup had the best trio of players.  The article was titled, “Everybody Loves a Threesome”.

Call it a reflection of the work created over the past year, a chance to smile thinking about the absurdity that was 2020, or simply just a way to recycle past material in an effort to meet a writing deadline during the busy holiday season.

Here are the top sports headlines of 2020 – Literally.

6) “Covid Hits Fantasy Island” – The headline tells the story about the daily changes to my Fantasy Football lineup due to schedule changes, players with COVID-19, and players on the COVID-19 Reserve list. COVID-19 was a common theme in 2020 as other headlines included, “In Case You’re Employed – Here’s What You Missed” and “The Top Seven Sports of Quarantine” (which included Tik Tok, cleaning, and sprinting towards the toilet paper aisle.).

5) “The Indian Removal Act – Part II” – The headline refers to the corporate pressure that eventually forced Washington Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, to change the team name.  The original Indian Removal Act was put forth by Andrew Jackson in 1830, relocating tribes in order to benefit from their land.  To create a headline that references a cultural injustice in society, along with a historical event from the pages of history makes the writer seem smarter than they really are.  It’s like the time that I wrote an article called, “The Amazing Adventures of Spencer Dinwiddie”, then noted that the title read like a Jules Verne Novel.

4) “CU Football – Writing Their Own Ending” – The story of the Buffs 3-0 start to the long-delayed college football season.  In actuality, 2020 was a down year for Colorado Buffalo headlines and punchlines.  Previous years included, “Derrick White – He’s Cooking Now” (the current NBA player transferred to CU from a DIII Culinary school), and my favorite nickname of all-time, “If Lovin’ McKinley is Wrong – I Don’t Want to Be Wright.”

3) “Dave Saves College Football” – The headline is about the budget cuts across collegiate athletics due to COVID-19, but Dave specifically refers to the 1993 film starring Kevin Kline. I’ve said that Trae Young looks like the killer from the movie Ghost, compared 32-year-old Buffs kicker James Stefanou to Nigel Gruff in The Replacements, and once had a headline that read, “Emmanuel Muddiay – Bust a Move”, because he was a bust that was on the move to the Knicks.  The question remains whether referencing classic movies and Young MC lyrics makes you clever…or just old.

2) “The Denver Broncos (Re)Building Inspector” – It doesn’t give me any pleasure writing about the failures of John Elway or Denver’s inability to find a quarterback.  But it sure provides headlines. From the Osweiler day headlines of “Hitting (B)rock Bottom”, to the more recent headline of “Blow It For Burrow – Tank For Tua – Hurl For Herbert”, the organization’s recent struggles are best represented by an article written over two years ago, “Denver’s QB Blame Game – This One’s For John”.

1) “Lou Williams Orders the Club Sandwich” – There are times when a writer struggles to put together a good piece with a strong working title.  And then there are times when a professional basketball player gets permission to leave Disneyworld and the COVID-19 bubble in order to attend a family memorial, only to get caught frequenting a strip club in which he claimed to be just picking up food to-go. Not only is Lou Williams the first NBA player to cause a game to be interrupted by a Make-It-Rain delay, but he is also the muse for the 2020 Top Headline of the Year.

Please note that the headline, “Lou Williams Orders the Club Sandwich”, continues to climb the charts trailing only “Thou Shanault Doubt the Buffs” and “Bronco Draft Gives Them a Chubb” for third place on the All-Time list.


Images via clutchpoints.com, amazon.com, 247sports.com, Wikipedia.com, abcnews.com, denver7.com

Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship