Welcome back to the 25 for 25 Series! G-Man is turning 25 on July 23rd and to celebrate, I am counting down each of the sporting years I have been alive for. Full rules on the 25 for 25 Main Page.
Stanley Cup Champion: New Jersey Devils (45-24-8-5, #4 Eastern Conference) — The Devils rallied from trailing the Flyers three games to one in the Eastern Conference Finals to defeat the Stars in six games the Stanley Cup Final. Marty Broduer led the league with 43 wins but fell short to St. Louis’ Roman Turek for the Vezina Trophy. New Jersey’s Scott Gomez was awarded the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year.
NBA Champion: Los Angeles Lakers (67-15, #1 Western Conference) — 2000 was the year of Shaq. The Big Aristotle led the league in scoring (29.7 points per game) winning the regular season MVP and then took home the Finals MVP as the Lakers won the first title in their three-peat. The Year of Shaq was solidified by his famous alley-oop for Kobe in the Lakers’ comeback over the Blazer in Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals.
World Series Champion: New York Yankees (87-74, #3 American League) — The Yankees took down the Mets in the only Subway Series in the modern-era of baseball. The Yankees capped off a three-peat and their fourth title in five years with the victory as Derek Jeter won the World Series MVP. 2000 was notable for the trade of Ken Griffey, Jr. to his hometown team, the Reds, as the Mariners received four players in return.
Super Bowl Champion: Baltimore Ravens (12-4, #4 AFC) — The Ravens won their first title since moving to Baltimore over the New York Giants. Ray Lewis won the Super Bowl MVP as the Baltimore Defense only allowed the Giants to gain 152 yards–third-fewest in the history of the Super Bowl.
NCAA Football National Champion: Oklahoma Sooners
NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champion: Michigan State Spartans
Masters Champion: Vijay Singh (2nd Major)
US Open Champion: Tiger Woods (3rd Major)
British Open Champion: Tiger Woods (4th Major)
PGA Champion: Tiger Woods (5th Major)
2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney
Tiger’s run in 2000 makes this year amazing–he would win the 2001 Masters to complete the “Tiger Slam” becoming the only man in the Masters-era to hold all four majors at once. Tiger made golf cool for mainstream sports fans and brought in a new generation of golf fans. I had already been watching golf thanks to my family but Tiger solidified that fandom for me. The Subway Series was interesting to watch because of the history behind the name “Subway Series.” At that point, I had seen the Yanks win three times but seeing something like a Subway Series brought a connection to a older era. The Devils comeback over the Flyers is still one of the bigger heartbreaks I’ve experienced but that Devils team was great.