By Hamil Harris

In 2022, it seemed like there was more news off the fields and courts of play than on them.  Top stories included WNBA star Britany Grinner, who was detained in Russia on drug charges for the majority of the year, and Brett Favre’s multi-million dollar welfare scheme, reported on in detail by NPR. Griner was finally released in a prisoner swap, complicated by the Ukraine-Russia war, and Favre has yet to face criminal charges for allegedly helping siphon welfare funds into a new volleyball court and wellness center at the University of Mississippi, where his daughter attended school and played volleyball.

The US Men’s Soccer team failed to get past the second round of the World Cup after losing to the Netherlands 3-1. Ultimately, Argentina emerged victorious over France in a 4-2 penalty shootout, after the final match inside Qatar’s Luseil Stadium led to a 3-3 tie.  

In College football, Jackson State head football coach and NFL veteran Deion Sanders decided to leave the HBCU to coach at the University of Colorado. Sanders, aka Coach Prime, is also taking with him his talented QB son and several other players and coaches.

The local sports news is that the Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson finally got a contract and is expected to make around 23 million this year. But now his future is unclear after he got hurt.

In terms of questions, after being under a cloud of investigations, Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Commanders, has decided to put the franchise up for sale. Among those bidding include entertainers Byron Allen, Jayzee and Amazon mega-billionaire Jeff  Bezos.

In terms of great sports “firsts,” University of Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams a native of Bowie, Md. won the Heisman Trophy this year. Williams, who played at Gonzaga High School in D.C., is the first person from the D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area to win the prestigious award. 

The University of Maryland Terrapins is going to a bowl game after finishing the season 7-5. This is a first for Terrapin Coach Mike Loxley, another local Marylander who made out good this year. 

In high school sports, Northpoint High School won the 3A Maryland State Football Championship, and Archbishop Carroll High School in D.C. won the Washington Catholic Area Conference championship. 

North Point High School

The year opened up with the Winter Olympics, taking place from Feb. 6 to Feb. 22. The United States took home eight gold, 10 silver and seven bronze medals.

On Feb. 13 the Los Angeles Rams took on the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowls 56th year.

On Feb. 17, WNBA star Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia on drug charges. For a majority of the year family, friends and supporters cried out for her release. President Biden agreed to swap Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for the WNBA player on Dec. 8.

In early April, the Ravens confirmed that they would pay roughly $23 million to keep Lamar Jackson for the fifth year of his rookie contract. 

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to pass during warm-ups ahead of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

In late April, Mississippi Today reporter Anna Wolfe’s investigation into mismanagement of welfare funds uncovered that instead of helping families in need, Gov. Phil Bryant had given millions to former NFL star Brett Favre to build a wellness complex at University of Southern Mississippi.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre looks to a pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

On June 16, the Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA championship since the year 2015.

On Sep. 2 Serena Williams, cultural icon and one of the greatest tennis players of all time, said goodbye to the world of professional sports in a U.S. Open match against Ajla Tomljanovic. 

On Nov. 2, rumors swirled as TMZ reported that NFL owner Daniel Snyder was contemplating putting the Washington Commanders up for sale.

From Oct. 18 to Nov. 5 the 2022 World Series took place in the world of Major League Baseball. The Houston Astros battled their way to the top with the help of pitcher, Framber Valdez, shown here. 

Caleb Williams won the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 10 of this year.

Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams poses for photos after winning the Heisman Trophy, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

In early December, Deion Sanders, affectionately known as “Coach Prime,” announced that he would be leaving Jackson State University, an HBCU, for the University of Colorado, a predominantly white institution (PWI). 

On Dec. 18, players from Argentina took the top prize at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The American team was eliminated in the second round.

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