In the undoubtedly uncertain times of the fall season of 2020, lots of things were happening at once; masked first-year students were rolling carts of belongings into their new home, professors made final touches to their hybrid lesson plans and the Fairfield University community finally began to see some familiar faces that they missed all too dearly since the middle of March 2020.

In this makeshift reopening of the community, other notable organizations began to open their doors as well; more specifically, professional sports began to take shape once again.

In an opinion article published by The Mirror last September, I predicted that we would see the current “Title Town” of Boston move down south, more specifically to the Tampa area of Florida. I wrote that I thought each of Tampa’s professional teams would take home their own championship this year. After a few months have passed, let’s take a look at how close my prediction was!

In the past, Boston sports teams have been notorious for racking up numerous professional sports championships. According to Sports Blog Nation, the New England Patriots have won three Super Bowl championships since 2015, being the most recent National Football League dynasty we have seen.

Aside from the dominant Patriots, the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League and the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association have both made their respective runs for the title in recent memory, with the Bruins hauling in the Stanley Cup in 2011.

The Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball have proved to be very productive lately, winning the World Series twice in the last decade, with the most recent being 2018, according to Sports Illustrated.

But, that all began to change with the commencement of the MLB competition, where the Tampa Bay Rays made it to the 2020 World Series finals. Unfortunately, the series ended up being taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers, even though the Rays possessed one of the best records in the league: 40 wins and 20 losses out of 60 total games, according to Baseball Reference.

The Rays proved that they can compete with the big dogs of the league, something they have failed to show their city in past years. In my opinion, the Rays are here to stay; we will undoubtedly be seeing success from this team in the near future.

Strangely enough, lightning seems to strike twice in Tampa. So began the abbreviated NHL season, where the Tampa Bay Lightning rid themselves of their usual lack of playoff luck and defeated the Dallas Stars in just six games to win the Stanley Cup Championship. 

This is the first championship the city of Tampa has seen in almost two decades; the first time a Tampa Bay sports team won a championship was the 2002 Buccaneers, according to Fox Sports. Besides 2020, though, the last championship occurred in 2004 with the Lightning winning their first franchise title.

Arguably the most impressive of feats, however, is the seemingly out-of-nowhere success of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With off-season acquisitions of superstar quarterback Tom Brady, elite running back Leonard Fournette and the breakout play of young weapons like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, the Bucs were poised for a Super Bowl season.

When I wrote about the Buccaneers last fall, I believed they had something special that they never had in decades. After this past weekend’s showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Brady bunch ended up proving the doubters wrong and proving my guess just about right.

To reiterate, I predicted that each of the three Tampa Bay sports teams would collect themselves a championship in what I called the “near future,” which I saw as three to five years. However, two out of the three teams were able to get it done this year, and the only one left behind (those poor Rays) will almost certainly find their groove within just a couple of seasons.

This is not the end of the road for the Lightning and Buccaneers, though; they will definitely go far into the playoffs next year and possibly repeat their success over again.

So, I was pretty close in my prediction. This winter, “Title Town” nestled into its new tropical getaway in Tampa, and it just might stay awhile.

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