Well, it was another banner year in the sports world in 2018. A number of things happened that most people never thought would happen. Let’s take a few minutes to reflect on stories that shaped the sports world in 2018.
- Nick Foles Super Bowl MVP
Against all logic, Nick Foles was the most impactful player during the NFL playoffs in 2018. Foles stepped in for the injured Carson Wentz and ended up winning Super Bowl MVP honors while leading the Eagles past Tom Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
- Golden Knights Reach Stanley Cup Finals
In their first season as a franchise, the Las Vegas Golden Knights captured the attention of the sports world by reaching the Stanley Cup finals. Ultimately, the Knights lost to the Washington Capitals, who won Lord Stanley’s Cup for the first time. But it was an amazing Cinderella run by the expansion Golden Knights.
- UMBC Upsets Virginia
Some thought it might never happen, but in 2018, we finally saw a no.1 seed lose to a no. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Virginia Cavaliers, who have become a force in the regular season but a perpetual disappointment in March, lost to the UMBC Retrievers. Not only did Virginia lose, but they lost 74-54, getting completely out-classed by a tiny school few had ever heard of previously.
- JR Smith in the NBA Finals
Smith has been a solid player in the NBA for many years, but he’s never going to live down what he did in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. After getting a clutch offensive rebound, Smith tried to run out the clock, not realizing the game was tied and a simply put back would have given Cleveland a huge win in Game 1. The one gaffe took the wind out of the Cavaliers, who proceeded to get swept.
- Shohei Ohtani Two-Way Player
Japanese Shohei Ohtani took the baseball world by storm in 2018 as a true two-way player. While elbow trouble limited him as a pitcher, he posted a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts while also hitting 22 home runs and 21 doubles as a DH, posting a .925 OPS. There may be some copycats in the future, but in 2018, Ohtani was one of a kind.
- Red Sox Go Wire to Wire
From start to finish, the Boston Red Sox were the class of Major League Baseball in 2018. They got off to a hot start in April and went through the entire season without any kind of extended slump, ultimately winning 108 games. The Red Sox were then dominant in October on their way to winning the World Series.