Here are (what I consider) the top sports moments of 2015.
9. Malcolm Butler Steals a Super Bowl
With only 20 seconds left, and Seattle on the goal line, the Seahawks elect to pass instead of handing it off to running back Marshawn Lynch, leading to an interception for Malcolm Butler, giving Tom Brady and the New England Patriots their 4th Super Bowl.
8. Bautista Bat Flip – Royals Take the Crown
It was the bat flip heard around the world, as Jose Bautista launched a moon-shot and a bat flip that was talked about for days, leading the Blue Jays to the ALCS. But the Kansas City Royals stood in their way, as the Royals went to their second straight World Series, defeated the Mets, and broke their 30-year drought.
7. Ronda Rousey
Some may say she doesn’t belong on this list, but in a year in which sports was dominated by women she was one of the highest profile ones.
From dominating throughout the year, to her monumental fall against Holly Holm she is the face of women’s UFC. It wasn’t just that the Top Seed fell, it was the level to which she fell, getting thrashed throughout, that made it remarkable.
But Rousey will be back again, whether in the ring or in theaters (See: Expendables 3 (2014)).
6. Serena Misses Out
After winning four straight Championships, Serena Williams looked to complete the calendar Grand Slam at the US Open. But Italian Roberta Vinci had her say in the semi-finals, keeping Serena from playing for it all.
But don’t be mistaken, Serena’s grasp on #1 is secure as she’s now won 4 of the last 5 and is ready to try again in 2016, after winning her second ‘Serena Slam’.
5. One Legged Busch Takes The Cup
Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Championship after an improbable season. Breaking his leg the day before the season was to begin, he came in late, winning three races in a row and qualifying for the playoffs with only one race left. NASCARs former bad-boy is now a Champion as Joey Logano slides into that new bad-boy role.
Golden State Warriors are pushing it from both sides.
After falling behind in the Championships 2-1, the Warriors won three straight over Lebron’s Cavaliers to take the Championship.
But their fine play didn’t end there, as the Steph Curry led team started the 2015 campaign with the most wins ever by a team before losing a game (which as of posting hasn’t happened yet! 22-0).
In a sport desperate for a new leader as the fall of Tiger Woods continues, Rory McIlroy stepped into his place…until 2015 that is.
22-year-old Jordan Spieth took the world by storm, winnings the Masters and the US Open before falling to 4th at the Open Championship, and wrapping the year up with a 2nd place finish at the PGA Championship.
He didn’t just win the Masters, he destroyed it, shooting a 270 (-18) tying Tigers record from 1997. He was the second youngest winner of the Masters (Woods) and youngest to win the US Open since 1923 (Bobby Jones).
Captain Carli Lloyd led a dominant women’s team, scoring three goals in a 5-2 romping over Japan in the 2015 World Cup, during a rematch of the 2011 World Cup that Japan won in kicks.
1. American Pharoah’s Triple Crown
It had been 37 years between Triple Crown’s in horse racing, and the sport was starting to get desperate. The largest controversy: Fresh horses joining only for the third leg at Belmont.
But American Pharoah didn’t care about any of that, racing out to the lead early in most races, and keeping giant leads all the way through.
As large as it’s win was, it still came nowhere near Secretariat’s record speeds, but was impressive nonetheless.