Next year today: The sports highlights of 2018

Time certainly flies, unless you’re in the middle seat of a plane headed to Minsk.

Just as we began to round up the events of 2017, here came 2018, buzzing past us like a shoplifting cop in Shanghai.

In case you’re fuzzy on the highlights, here’s what happened next year:


Alabama loses to Clemson for the second consecutive year, and Nick Saban is fired before a crowd of 85,000 in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Clemson sacks Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield eight times and removes both middle fingers from his Heisman Trophy in a 38-10 College Football Playoff championship victory.

UCLA makes recruiting inroads when Coach Chip Kelly bluntly tells recruits, “We have something in common. You won’t make it in the NFL either.”


An American TV crew spends the entire Winter Olympics detailed in the demilitarized zone, unable to explain to authorities that it works for TMZ.

At the NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center, Lonzo Ball goes 1 for 30 to win the 3-Point Tanking Contest.

Promising “higher viewership,” the Pac-12 Network announces it can now be seen in 90 percent of Humboldt County.


Yu Darvish explains that he knew he was tipping pitches in Game 7 last year, but thought he was doing it in Japanese.

To speed up games, MLB permits the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson to strike out without coming to the plate.

USC athletic director Lynn Swann reclassifies as a sophomore, wins wide receiver job in spring practice.


Dustin Johnson builds an elevator in the house he rents at Augusta, goes on to win the Masters by 12 strokes.

NCAA allows Connecticut’s opponents to use two basketballs, but Geno Auriemma’s team wins its 12th national championship anyway.

Ex-Kings coach Darryl Sutter replaces embattled Sarah Huckabee Sanders as White House press secretary.


The Dodgers’ Rich Hill becomes the first pitcher to be relieved in the middle of a pitch.

Little Rocket Man, ridden by Kim Jong Un, stuns the field at the Kentucky Derby.,

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fight to another 12-round draw in Las Vegas, but Golovkin wins the shootout with a nice backhand to the glove side.


In their inaugural season, the Vegas Golden Knights win the newly renamed Terrible Herbst Stanley Cup.

Skip Bayless criticizes LeBron James for picking up three fouls in James’ 52-point, 16-rebound Game 7 performance that gives Cleveland the NBA championship over Golden State.

Shohei Ohtani strikes himself out in the bottom of the ninth to extend the Angels’ winning streak to nine.


San Diego announces plans to build a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in hopes of bringing back the Chargers.

Honorary captain Derek Jeter sells the American League All-Star team to the National League, setting up a historic Midsummer Classic win by NCAA champion Cal State Fullerton.

Free agent LeBron James fulfills a lifetime dream by signing with his boyhood heroes, the New Orleans Pelicans.


Jim Harbaugh takes Michigan’s preseason camp to Australia, where he is officially 4-0 against Ohio State.

Rickie Fowler wins the PGA Championship and Tiger Woods withdraws with a hand injury. Doctors say it was caused by “hitting too many shots during a round of golf.”

The Red Sox take down the Green Monster “for routine maintenance” as Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and the Yankees come to town.


NASCAR announces plans to inject more personality into its sport by using driverless cars.

Roger Federer defeats Roger Federer Jr. in straight sets to win his fifth U.S. Open championship.

An exhausted Yasmani Grandal gets a standing ovation at Dodger Stadium for his 23rd trip to the mound in a nine-inning game, breaking the alltime record for a catcher.


Chip Kelly claims UCLA administrators reneged on a promise to schedule Nicholls State twice a season.

Cy Young Award favorite Brandon McCarthy shuts out the Dodgers in Game 5 of the Division Series and sends Atlanta to the NL Championship Series.

CIF officials approve the Trinity League’s proposal to add the Cleveland Browns.


Joe Maddon and his 16-man Cubs’ pitching staff bring the World Series title to Chicago for the second time in three years.

A 3-day marine layer forces postponement of Inglewood Stadium’s opening until 2021.

Ex-UCLA coach Jim Mora makes his movie debut alongside Vin Diesel in “The Furious And The Furious.”


The USGA and the Royal & Ancient decide against restraining the golf ball’s distance, but will study a proposal to shrink the cup.

The U.S. men’s soccer team asks FIFA if it can play either Trinidad or Tobago next time.

In a change to College Football Playoff rules,  the four participants will be allowed to use the Pac-12 champs as sparring partners.

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