A Sports Year in Review: 2018
2018 was a crazy year within the sports world and there is even more to come within 2019. Here’s a look back on the 2018 sports campaign in America.
The Alabama Crimson Tide rolled over Georgia in the National Championship on January 8th. The Tide made an epic comeback after trailing 13-0 at halftime. The story of the game was quarterback Jalen Hurts of Alabama being benched in favor of true freshman Tua Tagovailoa, who led the team to a 26-23 victory and secured offensive player of the game.
The Philadelphia Eagles soared to a Super LII win over “Timeless Tom” and the New England Patriots. After Carson Wentz went down with a gruesome leg injury late in the regular reason, quarterback Nick Foles stepped into a spot where he once shone just years before. The unlikely hero story for Foles came after he was traded from the Eagles in 2015 to the Rams. That following offseason the Rams drafted quarterback Jared Goff and released Foles. Foles would serve as a backup in Kansas City for a year before returning as a backup in Philadelphia. Foles completed 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards, 3 passing touchdowns and 1 interception, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the game. He also caught a touchdown pass from tight end Trey Burton in the victory over the Patriots.
In April the annual NFL draft took place, and it was one for the ages. Big name players like Baker Mayfield, Saquon Barkley, Sam Darnold, Quenton Nelson, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and other players were all heavily recruited. Giants fan, Chris Sheehan, was hyped for the Giants first-round pick saying, “I think Saquon is going to win MVP within the next 5 years.”
Lebron James had taken the Cleveland Cavaliers to the finals for a 4th straight year against the Golden State Warriors for their 4th straight as well in June. Unlike 2016’s heroic effort from Lebron, he couldn’t even muster up a single win in the series. Part in fact to the infamous JR Smith play, in which Smith grabbed a rebound with seconds left under the basket while the game was tied and milked the clock out instead of putting up a shot. The Cavs would lose that game in overtime. Kevin Durant was named Finals MVP for the second straight year and the Warriors secured their 3rd championship in 4 years.
Jumping ahead to September, long-time Mets third-baseman David Wright announced he would play in his final game on September 29th, 2018. David Wright spent his final game in the spotlight that Saturday night. Wright received a game long standing ovation, a video tribute to his career, and the honor of receiving the first pitch of the game from his daughter. Wright went hitless in his final salute with a walk however. Mets fan, Kieran Tully, said, “It was one of the greatest moments in New York sports history.” It was a great gesture for a class act player, who became the hero of many New Yorkers and even anyone who was a baseball fan. Other notable retirements included that of future HOF Adrian Beltre, longtime Phillie Chase Utley, and longtime Twin Joe Mauer.
Capping off the baseball season was the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers were in their second straight World Series, however they only managed one victory in a 5 game domination by the Red Sox. Steve Pearce had a clutch series and took home some hardware as the World Series MVP. Pearce slugged 3 homeruns, including two in one game, and drove in 8 runs during a five game stint of only 16 plate appearances.
Finally, in the month of December Urban Meyer would announce his retirement from coaching college football. Meyer went 83-9 in his seven seasons at OSU, securing his 83rd win in a Rose Bowl victory over Washington. Meyer said, "I believe I will not coach again," although he announced his retirement from Florida similarly around 10 years ago for the same reason of a brain related cyst. Ohio State fan, sophomore Dennis Smith, is excited for Meyer’s replacement, “I think Ryan Day will be just as good as Meyer or even better.” Regardless, Meyer will go down as one of the greatest college football coaches in NFL history.
2018 was a great year in the sports world, hopefully 2019 will bring us another great year of epic comebacks, underdog stories, and maybe a champion other than the Warriors.