August 21, 2019

2015: What a Year in Sports

American Pharoah, with Victor Espinoza up, wins the Breeders' Cup Classic horse race at Keeneland race track Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

What a year in sports. 2015 was as crazy as they come as the sports scene was dominated by American Pharoah, the New England Patriots (and Deflategate), the Kansas City Royals, Golden State Warriors, Jordan Spieth, Serena Williams and the sad passing of Yogi Berra, Frank Gifford, Moses Malone and Ernie Banks. Let’s take a last look at the past 12 months.

Top 10 National Stories

  1. New England wins Super Bowl XLIX over the Seattle Seahawks as the two teams battled to the game’s final seconds, handing QB Tom Brady his fourth Super Bowl win. The Patriots are dogged by “Deflategate” accusations and Brady is suspended by the NFL only to have the matter drag out in the courts.
  2. American Pharoah wins horse racing’s Triple Crown, the first to do so since Affirmed in 1978. Winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and the Belmont created excitement for the sport and jockey Victor Espinoza.
  3. Carli Lloyd’s hat trick in the women’s World Cup Championship gave the United States its first WC since 1999, 5-3, over Japan, in Vancouver, Canada.
  4. The Kansas City Royals (of the American League) defeat the New York Mets, 4 games to 1, to win the 2015 World Series. It’s the Royals first Series win since 1985, a span of 30 years.
  5. Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala lead the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA Championship in 40 seasons as they take down mighty LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 6 games.
  6. Serena Williams wins three of the four Grand Slam individual tennis championships to reign supreme in the sport – once again!
  7. Jordan Spieth dominates men’s golf as he wins The Masters and United States Open – the first two legs of golfdom’s men’s Grand Slam. He was named PGA TOUR Player of the Year.
  8. Captain Jonathan Toews leads the Chicago Blackhawks to their third Stanley Cup win since 2010 as they defeat GM Steve Yzerman and his Tampa Bay Lightning in 6 games.
  9. FIFA and its president Sepp Blatter are hit with controversy over a corruption scandal. This leads to many high-level officials being indicted and Blatter’s resignation.
  10. At the outset of 2015, Ohio State wins the first four-team NCAA football championship series by defeating Oregon, 42-20 in Arlington, Texas. Clemson finished 2015 as the number one team in the nation and headed a four-time national championship series with Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma.

Other Top Stories: Duke University and Coach Mike Krzyzewski win the 2015 men’s basketball March Madness in Indianapolis; 38-0 Kentucky Wildcats upset by Wisconsin Badgers in the same men’s basketball tournament; Novak Djokovic loses the French Open but otherwise dominates men’s tennis; Kyle Busch wins his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship; Scott Dixon wins the Verizon INDYCAR Series Championship while Juan Pablo Montoya wins the Indy 500; Katie Ledecky, an 18-year-old Stanford student, became the first swimmer to win the 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle events at swimming’s World Championships. In all, she pulled in five golds and set three world records.

Deaths: Al Arbour, Doug Atkins, Buddy Baker, Ernie Banks, Chuck Bednarik, Dave Bergman, Yogi Berra, Billy Casper, Dean Chance, Toller Cranston, Mel Daniels, Darryl Dawkins, Norm Drucker, Mel Farr, Bob Foster, Frank Gifford, Jack Haley, Milo Hamilton, Dave Henderson, Lauren Hill, Hot Rod Hundley, Alex Johnson, Skeeter Kell, Jerome Kersey, Elmer Lach, Eddie Lebaron, Meadowlark Lemmon, Guy Lewis, Earl Lloyd, Chico Maki, Moses Malone, Frank Malzone, Denise McCluggage, Minnie Monoso, Dickie Moore, Dave Myers, Calvin Peete, Phil Pepe, Billy Pierce, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Marcel Pronovost, Dusty Rhodes, Al Rosen, Claude Ruel, Charlie Sanders, Flip Saunders, Dolph Schayes, Allie Sherman, Charlie Sifford, Dean Smith, Stuart Scott, Glen Sonmor, Ken (The Snake) Stabler, Jerry Tarkanian, Roy Tarpley, Mal Whitfield, Hot Rod Williams, Justin Wilson and Garo Yepremian.

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Written by
George Eichorn

GEORGE EICHORN is the long-time executive director of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association and sports editor and columnist for a Detroit weekly newspaper. For more than three decades, he has covered the Olympics, Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Championships, and Stanley Cup finals. His articles have been published in the Detroit News, Basketball Times, Basketball Digest, Red Wings Magazine, Baseball Bulletin, Sports Fans Journal, Soccer World, and Bowler’s Digest. During the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York, he proudly covered the historic “Miracle on Ice” hockey game when the United States shocked the Soviet Union. Through the years, he has won numerous broadcasting and writing awards, and most recently received the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame’s Special Recognition Award. In 2003, he authored a book about the rich history of Michigan sports broadcasting, Detroit Sports Broadcasters: On the Air, for which the late Detroit Tigers broadcast legend, Ernie Harwell, wrote the forward. He is the married father of two daughters and a graduate of Wayne State University.

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Written by George Eichorn
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