This is my Year in Review for 2008. This was a year that included many epic battles, such as Super Bowl XLII, Nadal-Federer, and Woods-Mediate, and saw the passing of many greats, such as Gene Upshaw and Slingin' Sammy Baugh. It saw Michael Phelps pass Mark Spitz for sports immortality, and also saw title-starved Philadelphia claim 2 titles and Boston win another title (this time in the NBA).
LSU defeats Ohio State, 38-24, in the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans.
Sir Edmund Hillary, 88, the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest, died on January 11th of heart failure
The New York Giants upset the heavily-favored New England Patriots, 17-14, in one of the greatest football games I have watched. Eli Manning and David Tyree combine to create a play for the ages late in the game to keep the Giants alive.
Bob Knight, the all-time winningest coach with 902 wins, retires. The controversial Hall of Fame coach played at Ohio State and coached at Army, Indiana, and Texas Tech, winning 3 national titles.
Stephen Curry leads the Davidson Wildcats on an improbable run through the NCAA Tournament, defeating Gonzaga, Georgetown, and Wisconsin, before losing by 2 to the eventual champion Kansas Jayhawks.
The Kansas Jayhawks defeat the Memphis Tigers, 75-68, in overtime to win their 3rd national championship. Mario Chalmers hit a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Trevor Immelman wins his first Green Jacket, defeating Tiger Woods by 3 strokes. Immelman shot his first 3 rounds under 70.
Danica Patrick becomes the first woman to win an IndyCar race, winning the Indy Japan 300 by 5 seconds over Helio Castroneves.
Big Brown captures the Kentucky Derby by 4 3/4 lengths over Eight Belles. Big Brown's victory is overshadowed by the injury to runner-up Eight Belles, who broke both front ankles after the race and had to be euthanized on the track.
Manchester United wins the UEFA Champions League title, defeating Chelsea in a penalty shootout, 6-5, after a regulation 1-1 tie.
The Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup over the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4 games to 2.
Jim McKay, 86, an American sportscaster who hosted ABC's Wide World of Sports and covered the 1972 Munich Olympics tragedy, died on June 7 of natural causes.
Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer in the French Open final 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, setting the stage for the Wimbledon final.
Tiger Woods defeats Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole playoff for the US Open Championship, in one of the greatest matches in some time. In the 18-hole playoff, both finished even to force it to sudden death. On the first hole of sudden death, Mediate bogeyed the hole, while Woods shot even par to give him the win.
The Boston Celtics win their 17th NBA Championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-2, in an old-school finals. Paul Pierce is named the Finals MVP.
Scott Kalitta, 46, a drag racer who won two championships, died in a fiery crash at Old Bridge Raceway Park in New Jersey on June 21 when the engine exploded while Kalitta was going about 300 mph.
The Fresno State Bulldogs shock the NCAA baseball scene, beating the Georgia Bulldogs 2 games to 1 in the College World Series. Fresno State becomes the biggest underdog to win an NCAA Championship in any sport.
Spain defeats Germany, 1-0, to claim the Euro 2008 football championship and their 2nd Euro title overall.
Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7, to win an epic Wimbledon final. It was the longest match in Wimbledon Championship history at 4 hours and 48 minutes
Josh Hamilton hits 28 home runs in the first round for a new single round record, but Justin Morneau outlasts him in the final, winning the final round 5-3.
The Philadelphia Soul wins ArenaBowl XXII over the San Jose Sabercats, 59-56, to clinch its first Arena Football title.
Skip Caray, 68, a play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Braves and son of famed Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray, died on August 3.
Michael Phelps becomes the first person ever to win 8 gold medals in a single Olympics, winning all 8 events he entered. This included an epic 4x100 freestyle relay in which Jason Lezak came from behind to clinch the title, and a breathtaking 100m butterfly in which Phelps outtouched Serbia's Milorad Cavic by .01, the smallest possible margin of victory.
Gene Upshaw, 63, former NFL guard, 6 time Pro Bowler, and president of the NFL Players Association, died on August 20 of pancreatic cancer.
Don Haskins, 78, hall of fame college basketball coach at Texas Western/UTEP who helped break racial barriers by winning the 1966 NCAA Championship with an all black team against an all white Kentucky team, died on September 7 of natural causes.
The US team, captained by Paul Azinger, defeated the European squad, 16.5-11.5, to win their first Ryder Cup since 1999.
Paul Newman, 83, who was an award-winning actor, director, and auto racer, died September 26 of complications from lung cancer.
The Philadelphia Phillies win their 2nd World Series title, 4 games to 1, over the surprising Tampa Bay Rays. Cole Hamels is voted MVP
Cedric Jackson of Cleveland State beats Syracuse on a 60-foot buzzer beater.
Sammy Baugh, 94, who was a member of the charter class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a 9x all-Pro, and was consistently named to all-time teams in both college and pro football, died on December 17 of numerous health issues.