BC-Sports Year-End Package,Advisory
To help you with planning, below are the AP year-end sports stories and release dates. Thank you to all who voted for our story and athletes of the year.
FRIDAY, Dec. 21
YE--PLAYS OF THE YEAR
Andrew Benintendi’s diving catch to put Boston in command of the AL Championship Series. LeBron James victimizing Jimmy Butler to win a game for Cleveland. Tua Tagovailoa’s perfect spiral in overtime to give Alabama the national championship. Arike Ogunbowale coming up big in the Final Four — twice! — to lead Notre Dame to the NCAA women’s basketball title. All those spectacular moments, and many more, are candidates for the AP’s plays of the year 2018. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
SUNDAY, Dec. 23
The powerful victim’s impact statements delivered by dozens of women sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University team doctor Larry Nassar did more than provide a much-needed release: it signaled a sea change in the (hash)MeToo movement in sports, one that could have a ripple effect for years to come. By Will Graves. SENT: 950 words, photos.
MONDAY, Dec. 24
YE--STORY OF THE YEAR
Crimes of sexual abuse committed by doctor Larry Nassar and the chaos they provoked were named the Story of the Year in balloting by AP members and editors. The second- and third-place finishers were the Eagles’ first Super Bowl title and the Supreme Court decision to allow sports gambling to expand. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 900 words, photos. With list.
TUESDAY, Dec. 25
YE--FEEL-GOOD MOMENTS OF THE YEAR
Sports inspired the usual agita this year, but more than its share of wry smiles. A 98-year-old nun commanded the Final Four. A homecoming queen kicked the game-winner for her high school football team. And random acts of kindness stretched from hockey rinks in Calgary to a soccer stand in the Netherlands. By Jim Litke. SENT: 1,500 words, photos.
YE--SURPRISES OF THE YEAR
Maryland-Baltimore County made history at this year’s NCAA Tournament, becoming the first No. 16 to beat a No. 1 when it took down Virginia. The Retrievers’ run became one of the biggest sports surprises of 2018. By John Marshall. SENT: 700 words, photos.
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26
YE--FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
AP members and customers vote on the female athlete of the year. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by noon Wednesday.
THURSDAY, Dec. 27
YE--MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
AP members and customers vote on the male athlete of the year. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by noon Thursday.
FRIDAY, Dec. 28
YE--GAMES OF THE YEAR
From the college football championship to the women’s Olympic gold medal game to an 18-inning marathon at the World Series, this was a year when some of the most memorable contests required working overtime. By National Writer Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by Dec. 28.
Sports deaths in 2018 were marked by the losses of three touchstones from the 1960s: Stan Mikita, the embodiment of powerful Chicago Blackhawks teams; Jim Taylor, the punishing Green Bay Packers fullback; and big-hitting Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants. By Fred Lief. 1,700 words, photos by Dec. 28. With abridged version, list.
SATURDAY, Dec. 29
YE--ODE TO SPORTS
The AP sends off the sports year in a volley of rhyme, a year in which the Crimson Tide gets 2018 going (“Bama turns from Hurts to Tua/Saban’s tribe sings hallelujah”); LeBron James “leaves the home he loves the most/for purple and gold on the coast”; and closes with “a heavyweight feast, fierce and raw” in which “Wilder, Fury fight to a draw.” By Fred Lief. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by Dec. 29.
SUNDAY, Dec. 30
Sports traveled to unconventional places in 2018: Golfer Vijay Singh settled his lawsuit with the PGA Tour over his use of deer antler spray; the head of cybersecurity for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics does not know how to use a computer; and the NHL admonished a player for licking opponents. By Fred Lief. 1,000 words, photos by Dec. 30.
Some of the names you may not know now but might by the end of 2019: third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the son of a Hall of Famer who most likely makes his big-league debut for Toronto next season; Toby Miller, a teenage snowboarder tutored by Shaun White; and Stanford defender Tierna Davidson, who might make the U.S. women’s national team for the 2019 World Cup. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photo by Dec. 30.
MONDAY, Dec. 31.
YE--THINGS TO WATCH FOR IN 2019
By now, nothing that happens in sports should shock anyone. The antics of both athletes and fans in 2018 showed that, and now we brace ourselves for what 2019 will bring. Here’s a look at some of the fun that may be ahead. By Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by Dec. 31.
For any questions, contact deputy sports editor Oskar Garcia at ogarcia(at)ap.org or 215-446-6632.