May 24, 2019

2018: What a Year in Sports

What a year in sports!  2018 was a watershed year across America in sports – some of it good and some of it bad.

TOP TEN NATIONAL STORIES
  1. Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor, the disgraced Larry Nassar, is found guilty of sexual abuse of more than 100 female athletes as well as on child pornography charges and is sentenced to life in prison. The sport is rocked by neglect and cover-up allegations.
  2. Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl in a stunning 41-33 victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
  3. Boston Red Sox withstand an 18-inning Game 3 loss in the World Series to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sox win their fourth world’s championship since 2004.
  4. Villanova defeats Michigan to take the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Earlier, 16th seed Maryland-Baltimore County upset No. 1 seed Virginia, a first in NCAA history.
  5. Las Vegas Knights, an expansion team, makes it to the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to the Washington Capitals. It’s the first Cup title for the Caps.
  6. Supreme Court strikes down a law prohibiting sports betting outside Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia, clearing the path for other states to allow legal bets on sports.
  7. Nick Saban and Alabama win a fifth national football championship in recent years after freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa comes off the bench to led ‘Bama over Georgia 26-23.
  8. Simon Biles dominants the gymnastics world and is named the Most Dominant Athlete of 2018 by ESPN.
  9. Tiger Woods make a comeback in golf by winning The Tour Championship and coming close to wins at The British Open and PGA Championship.
  10. (tie) (a.) Justify became the thirteenth thoroughbred to capture racing’s Triple Crown under trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith. He was undefeated at retirement. (b.) Golden State Warriors spoil LeBron James’ eighth consecutive NBA Finals appearance as they defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in four straight. Later in the summer, James leaves Cleveland for the Los Angeles Lakers.
OTHERS TO MENTION

Joey Lagano of Team Penske captures the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title; Mikaela Shiffrin rules alpine skiing with World Cup domination; Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing takes the IndyCar points crown while Will Powers wins Indianapolis 500; LeBron James wins the Male Athlete of the Year Award; Brooks Koepka rules men’s golf in 2018 with Player of the Year as he wins the U.S. Open and PGA Championships; Novak Djokovic rules men’s tennis with Grand Slam wins at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and Serena Williams loses in the Wimbledon and U.S. Open Finals.

DEATHS

Paul Allen, Dave Anderson, Roger Bannister, Bob Beattie, Earle Bruce, George H.W. Bush, Jose Castillo, Daedra Charles-Furlow, Ed Charles, Don Carter, Dwight Clark, Richard DeVos, Anne Donovan, Dan Ewald, Red Fisher, Tito Francona, Oscar Gamble, Joe Gilmartin, Hubert Green, Hal Greer, Dan Gurney, Doug Harvey, Bruce Hood, Wayne Huizenga, Mari Hulman George, Humboldt Hockey Team, Edwin Jackson, Keith Jackson, Johnny Kline, Chuck Knox, Bruce Lietzke, Carol Mann, Willie McCovey, Mick McGeough, Johnny McKenzie, Stan Mikita, Dave Newell, David Pearson, Burt Reynolds, Darryl Rogers, Red Schoendienst, Jordan Scott, Jerry Sneva, Alex Spanos, Rusty Staub, Jim Taylor, Bill Torrey, Kevin Towers, George Tuma, Jo Jo White, Tex Winter, John Ziegler, and Paul Zimmerman.

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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