To say February was an action-packed month on the annual sports calendar simply doesn’t do it justice. There were moments that captivated audiences around the world, providing a feast of sports highlights to be enjoyed by fans for years to come. From the Super Bowl to the NBA All-Star Game, let’s take a look back into what the month had to offer.
1. Chiefs Kingdom Rise Again
The NFL season came to a dramatic end this February as the Kansas City Chiefs faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles in the eagerly anticipated Super Bowl. With two MVP candidate QBs at the helm of each team, opinions were split as to who would hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the game’s end. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts came out firing, leading Philadelphia to a 24-14 lead at halftime. The Chiefs, as they do so often, managed to mount a comeback, thanks to superstar QB Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes was supported by a stellar cast, and while the game went down to the wire, tied 35-all with less than two minutes left, the Chiefs managed to pull through, securing their second Super Bowl victory in just four years. There were fairytale stories amongst the ranks of the Chiefs, as Isiah Pacheco, drafted from Rutgers in the 7th and final round of the draft, played a crucial role in the win, as did Kadarius Toney, as he ran for the longest punt return in Super Bowl history! Check out these magic moments, as well as the winning scenes!
2. United’s Drought Comes To An End
Manchester United put to bed a six year trophy drought this February, beating Newcastle United in England’s League Cup final. Newcastle have been a team trending upwards since their takeover by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, battling for a top four finish in the Premier League, and their presence in the final was a huge moment for their fans, as the team hadn’t won a major trophy since 1955! Unfortunately for them, their long wait continues. While their wait for a trophy was not as long, Manchester United fans were certainly relieved to win their first piece of silverware under Erik ten Hag. It was a decisive victory for the red half of Manchester, going up 2-0 inside the first half, with the lead seemingly secured from that point onwards. Check out some of the best bits, as well as the celebrations!
3. Real’s Resilience
Another great night from the world of soccer, this time from the Champions League. As the first of two meetings in the Round of 16 between Liverpool and Real Madrid kicked off at Anfield, the Scouse hosts were eager to avenge the defeat they suffered in last years’ Champions League final to Madrid. Things looked to be going well for Liverpool, as they opened the scoring from a delightful short range flick from Darwin Nunez, before Mohammed Salah pounced on an error from Madrid keeper Courtois, putting Liverpool up 2-0 in just 15 minutes. However, Madrid soon found their footing, clawing back to 2-2 at halftime before a dominant second half performance saw the game finish 5-2 to the Spaniards. A crushing blow for Liverpool, but a truly great game of soccer. Watch the highlights right here!
4. Paul vs. Fury
This fight was by no means typical in the boxing world, and captured the attention of sports fans worldwide. The long-awaited bout between YouTuber-turned-boxer, Jake Paul, and professional boxer, Tommy Fury, brother of heavyweight champion Tyson, was a contest that gathered a huge amount of attention. The antics of the fighters had been culminating for almost two years, with each of them calling each other out publicly on social media. Viewers were keen to see how Paul would handle his first fight against a professional in the sport, since his prior wins came against retired celebrities and MMA fighters.
Ultimately, the contest proved to be closer than many expected, going the full eight rounds, and highlighted by a knockdown secured by Paul along the way. However, Fury’s experience ultimately proved too much for Paul, as he won by split decision. Take a look back at the scenes of victory!
5. NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest
One of the most anticipated moments of NBA All-Star weekend, this year’s dunk contest brought a new name to the light: Mac McClung. McClung was thrust into the spotlight for the first time in his career, having only attained success in the NBA’s G-League prior to the event. Adding to the excitement was the fact that the Philadelphia 76ers had promoted the minor-leaguer to their roster just five days before the contest. McClung impressed all who watched, finishing with 199.8 points, .02 points away from a perfect score! Not only did McClung walk away with the trophy, but the $100,000 prize he was awarded matched all of the earnings he had made in his entire career up to that point! Watch every dunk from the spectacle back below.
6. T20 History Made
Records were broken in women’s cricket this February, as England defeated Pakistan in the T20 World Cup match up. England were able to notch the most runs ever scored in a T20 game, and secure the largest ever margin of victory for the format! A truly remarkable achievement, let’s take a look back at the record-breaking hit.
7. The XFL Returns
The latest edition of the XFL had football fans curious this past month. The league had attempted to revive itself in 2020 after experiencing a spike in popularity during the early 2000s. However, the league struggled with the COVID pandemic, finances, and popularity on its return, canceling the 2020 midway through. One man saw a great deal of potential in the league, deciding to invest $15M into purchasing it – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. After Johnson’s purchase, the league took a hiatus. This ended in February, as the XFL was back once more. While the league may still have to surpass some challenges to become viable in the long term, it is producing undeniably spectacular moments. With alternative rules such as being able to choose from a one, two, or three point attempt after a touchdown, as well as the option to go for a ‘4th and 15’ attempt instead of an onside kick, dramatic finishes have been seen. Take a look at the St. Louis Battlehawks’ comeback after being three points down with only a minute and a half to go!
8. The Pro Bowl’s New Look
Another moment from the NFL, but it may surprise you to learn, it’s not from the football field! The Pro Bowl, a match-up of the best players from the NFL’s AFC and NFC conferences, has seen dwindling popularity in recent years. This year, the league decided to scrap the traditional format, and instead put on an array of games and contests, like the best catch contest, dodgeball and flag football game. Throughout the events, there were some incredible highlights! Take a look back at some of the fun.
9. Six Nations Kicks Off
The Six Nations began at the start of the month, with some of rugby’s greatest nations battling it out to be crowned champions. There are many fierce rivalries within the tournament, including the historic bout between England and Wales, a game which pitted the Prince of Wales, William, patron of Wales rugby, and the Princess of Wales, Kate, patron of English rugby, against each other. Take a look back at the Royal rivalry!
10. Hearts Goal From Own Half
A moment that will be replayed in sports highlights reels for years to come, Hearts forward Stephen Humphrys scored a stunning goal that will certainly be a contender for Scottish Premier League goal of the season. On the counter attack, Humphrys struck the ball from within his own half, seeing it sail over the head of the opposing keeper and nestle in the back of the net. Not only was it an incredible strike, but it was with his weaker foot! Watch it back here.
11. LeBron James Breaks the Record
LeBron James has further cemented himself into basketball history. This past month, James broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time career scoring record of 38,387 points. The moment was so significant that the game between LeBron’s Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder was paused in order to properly celebrate the the huge achievement that all in the arena had witnessed. Take a look back at the moment that changed the record books.
Bonus – Hockey Fans Favorite
This cute moment from the fans of the NHL’s Redwings caught the eyes of fans all across social media!