This past year was a unique one in sports, both good and bad. A year ago on Jan. 4, Stuart Scott, one of the greatest sports journalists of all time, passed away after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer. American Pharoah became the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown and, no matter how much it pains me to write this, the Patriots won the Super Bowl.
Sure, there was a lot of stuff that followed like the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, the Kansas City Royals winning the World Series, everyone's fantasy football teams being plagued by injuries that struck their No. 1 draft picks and disappointing seasons happening to players expected to dominate, but one thing is for sure: 2015 will be remembered for a long time.
The legend of Steph Curry continued to amaze as the Golden State Warriors stole the spotlight and made it to 28 games without a loss from overlapping seasons, proving that perhaps it is time for reporters to give him his spot alongside Michael Jordan and other greats.
The Chicago Cubs nearly broke the infamous Billy Goat Curse after 107 years, but the New York Mets decided to stomp on that dream by sweeping the Cubs in the NLCS before collapsing in the World Series.
Sunday afternoon couch potatoes went into shock as the Packers became another NFL team that loses games and nearly missed playoffs because of nagging injuries to some of their best players, and the Carolina Panthers nearly went undefeated thanks to Cam Newton and his dabbing celebration move.
However, I still sit flabbergasted that UCF went 0-12 in football merely two seasons after our 2014 Fiesta Bowl win.
We have a giant among us: His name is Tacko Fall, and all 90 inches of him put on a historic show for us in the CFE Arena when he strode up and down the court, towering over opponents, making the tall guys seem like ants under his feet.
And as if the 0-12 jokes from our friends weren't enough, I had the great pleasure of witnessing my teams, the Mets, Jets, Rangers and Knicks, to all find ways to make me want to cry myself to sleep at night.
As Steven A. Smith said, I was hoodwinked and bamboozled and much more I won't go into by Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks. But I prefer to overlook the Knicks and skip right to the fact that this stuff never happens to anyone else in terms of the Jets and Mets.
I've accepted that it is the nature of their ways, to find a way to surpass all expectations and odds so that when push comes to shove and they are on the verge of history and greatness, they will find a way to take off their costume of success and show their true colors of good ole fashioned self-destruction.
The Jets, despite going 10-6 after beating the Patriots to keep playoff hopes alive in week 16, lost to none other than the Buffalo Bills and former Jets head coach Rex Ryan, which caused the Jets to be kicked out of playoffs and let all of the lucky Steelers fans out there get a free ticket into the playoffs.
The Mets and Daniel Murphy, who defied the laws of humanity for three weeks of October baseball, came up empty handed against the Kansas City Royals both at bat and in the field.
But hey, there's always this year. With that, I will explain what this story is and what it aspires to be. This weekly column will show up with one of four writers at its helm. My staff and I, made up of Matthew Saunders (Digital Producer), Christopher Davis (Digital Producer), Jimmy Calhoun (Senior Staff Writer), and myself, Evan Abramson (Sports Editor), will bring a little bit of humor to you, have a competitive mentality of arguing with each other's opinions, and provide a different perspective of the sports world from a whole new level.
With no restrictions on what we will or can say, you can expect us to tackle practically any topic from scouting reports in high school to the big dogs sitting in the NFL front office no matter how harsh or praising we may need to be. And what you will realize eventually about these columns is that they are … like Stuart Scott used to say, "as cool as the other side of the pillow."
Finally, we get to why we call this column The Penalty Box. As a sports reporter, I have learned that you have to be careful to separate your opinions from the hard facts.
And sometimes, what the facts say can differentiate from what really happened or what needs to be said happened. Sometimes, we need to take a step back from the hard news writing rules and head to the penalty box where we can stay for five minutes so that we can speak our mind and yell and scream at things that drive us crazy.
Evan Abramson is the sports editor for the Central Florida Future.