Best of the best of the sports year 2018 | Bonehead Picks

Best of the best of the sports year 2018

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2018 was a historic year in sports for several reasons. The sports landscape forever changed when the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting earlier this year. Sports has become even bigger business because of sports betting. There were historic games played in 2018, historic fights featuring stars like GGG, Canelo, Deontay Wilder, and a basketball team placing themselves in NBA history after winning its third championship in four years. Here is a recap of the best in sports in 2018:

-Best “non-sports” sports moment: Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo’s speech after Parkland mass shooting

-Runner-up: Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid drops some historical knowledge about America’s past

There is no such thing as “Stick to Sports”. Sports are played by real human beings who are affected by real life issues and situations that people face in all walks of life. Professional athletes like the NBA’s DeMar DeRozan and the NFL’s Everson Griffen publicly dealt with mental health situations and the discussion involving mental health continues to be more public. There was a powerful moment during ESPN’s 2018 ESPY Awards also included one of the more emotional moments of the show’s history when several survivors of imprisoned sexual assaulter Larry Nassar joined the stage after receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. However, arguably the number one “non-sports” sports moment occurred following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas alum and current Chicago Cubs star Anthony Rizzo gave an emotionally moving speech at the vigil which served as a reminder of how many are impacted by gun violence and the loss of life. The eye-opening speech about racism by current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid upon his return to the NFL came in second.

Happiest athlete of 2018: Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin

Runner-up: Golden State Warriors guard Nick Young

The thrill of victory should be celebrated more than the agony of defeat. Often in sports, there are discussions and articles about what teams and players are not and skew more negatively. There were plenty of happiness in 2018 including after Super Bowl LII when the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the favorite New England Patriots behind a strong performance of backup quarterback Nick Foles. Athletes and coaches are often at their absolute happiest after signing a massive new contract or winning a championship. The happiest athlete of 2018 had to be Washington Capitals All-Star Alex Ovechkin, who waited a long and Hall of Fame worthy career to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL Playoffs and eventually win the Stanley Cup. Ovechkin had a crazy summer with the Stanley Cup including taking it back home to his native Russia. There was definitely a joyful, carefree experience for the Golden State Warriors after yet another NBA championship but it was the first for the mercurial Nick Young, who did not make a J.R. Smith type of play in the NBA Finals, but did mimic Smith’s penchant for having not having on a shirt.

Top Rookie of the Year: Las Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson

Runner-up: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani

It’s tough being a rookie. Ask Saquon Barkley. It’s tough adjusting to a new level with the best athletes that you have ever competed against. However, it is the WNBA that is home to the top rookie of 2018 as Las Vegas center A’ja Wilson displayed why she was the top pick of the 2018 WNBA Draft by averaging over 20 points and 8 rebounds a game. A true force, she helped turn the Aces from a doormat into a tough out in the WNBA. Outs are something that Shohei Ohtani did a good job of getting as a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim but he also added 22 home runs as a designated hitter and drew some comparisons to Babe Ruth of all people to due his dual threat ability. He had quite a rookie year.

Best team: Boston Red Sox

Runner-up: Notre Dame women’s basketball team

The Alabama Crimson Tide seem to be in annual contention for the best team in sports and the Golden State Warriors survived a challenge in the Western Conference from the Houston Rockets prior to winning the NBA title against Cleveland. But the best team in sports in 2018 was the Boston Red Sox led by new manager Alex Cora. They accumulated a franchise record 108 wins during the regular season, had the American League MVP Mookie Betts, and lost only three postseason games from an impressive group of opponents in the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers. Notre Dame guard Arike Ogunbowale could make a good case for being the happiest athlete of 2018 after two game winning shots in the women’s NCAA basketball tournament to defeat UConn and Mississippi State on-route to the NCAA title for Notre Dame.

Best athlete: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout

Runner-up: PGA Tour golfer Brooks Koepka

There were two big time performances in indivdual sports in 2018. Tennis star Novak Djokovic continued building his Hall of Fame resume by winning two men’s Grand Slam tournaments as two other all-time greats, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, won the other two men’s Grand Slam tournaments. Brooks Koepka has made a name for himself on the PGA Tour by winning two men’s golf majors in 2018 including defeating Tiger Woods in the PGA Championship. Koepka will finish second in 2018 athlete of the year to Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout, who put together another outstanding year and another on that ended as a finalist to the American League Most Valuable Player award. Although he didn’t win the MVP award (again), few athletes affect their sport like Trout does or did in 2018.

 

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