The best of 2021
What you liked and what I liked the most from this year. Also, my favourite sports Substacks.
Hi all! Hopefully you’re enjoying this fabulous holiday season, I certainly am, and as the harshness of Winter begins to stream in, you know that the year is coming close to an end.
I started this Substack in the early Summer of 2021 as Blue Jays-centric baseball newsletter. I realized quickly that more sports coverage would be needed. So I decided to make more articles about more sports, and here we are.
Before we get started, I’d like to thank everyone for subscribing this year. It has been wonderful to see this truly blossom and needless to say I’m excited for 2022. A goal that I have in mind is 100 subscribers by the end of 2022, so if you could just take a couple of seconds to share this post to someone who may enjoy it, that would be greatly appreciated:
Anyway, back to this. Using the tool on Substack to see what articles did the best in 2021, we’re going to run through two sections: the articles you enjoyed most and the ones I did. So let’s go, shall we?
1. In a bit of a surprise due to some likes down the stretch, my instant short feature reaction to Kevin Gausman signing with the Blue Jays went quite well. It went into his connection with the city and his passion for Drake music.
2. I loved this article as well, so I’m happy you did. My feature on Jack Campbell is a cornerstone of this newsletter. It came after a Saturday night showdown with the Boston Bruins in which the “soup” chant really came to life. I did a reaction column to that but I think you’ll enjoy this more.
3. It’s funny, I don’t like this post. Not much went into it, and I just did it as a fun idea. So when it became the top post for a long time, I was surprised that it went well. So stay tuned for a Blue Jays/Parks and Recreation follow up. Anyway, here’s 3 Leafs players as characters from the NBC hit show Superstore.
4. This one isn’t from the Jays-only days, but it still regards the club. On August 30th, when it was published, the Jays were coming off a day where they were officially vaulting themselves back into playoff contention. Vladdy, the shoulda-been-if-not-for-a-two-way-player MVP, hit two dingers and that was just the start of a remarkable month. Oh, and a guy named Robbie Ray pitched well. Anyone heard of him?
5. The last one in this section is also one of my favourites. It’s a remembrance day tribute to the person who built up the Toronto Maple Leafs after fighting for his country in the war. Conn Smythe was a remarkable man, and I recount stories that I’ve read about him. He was a man of his time and his word.
1. A deep dive that required tons of research on Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. When you find out new things about someone who you already knew about and wanted to know about, you can tell it’s going to be good. Masoli’s ups and downs throughout his football career have led to this. CFL free agency. I wonder where he’ll go.
2. A relatively big article on Damian Warner, who won the Lou Marsh Award as Canadian Athlete of the Year. At the Olympics in Tokyo, he set a new decathlon record and was unofficially named athlete of the year for doing so. His communtiy rallied around him to even get there.
3. I believe that letter writing will make a bounceback. After all, it is an art that so few can perfect. So in order to get my final thanks and thoughts out about the 3 Blue Jays who served up a fabulous year in Toronto, I ‘penned’ a letter to each of them. (Not literally, just through here.)
4. On December 20th, I had an idea. Well, an idea for a play. Like a soccer play. Despite being short, I really enjoyed writing this piece. It isn’t opinion, it isn’t analytics, it’s an idea, which makes it unique. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you enjoy the coming editions that mainly revolve around soccer strategy.
5. There are so many great articles as I look back, but since I have to keep it at 5, I’m going to go way back. This is more of a tribute to a piece I enjoyed writing each week. (It was, unfortunately, quite inconsistent.) But this is the best edition of what I called the Weekly Ramblings, which was when I would just go around baseball and pick three storylines from around the league. Enjoy this edition.
There were just so many other great articles I wrote throughout the year, so make sure to visit the archives.
And finally, I want to list my favourite newsletters on Substack. (That are sports related, and in no order.)