2018 was another big year for New England sports. From championship runs to historic firsts, there was plenty to keep fans busy.
While WGBH News' #SportsDesk is still getting its feet underneath it, reporters from our newsroom were at the games, in the locker rooms, and talking to the players and coaches for some of the biggest sports moments of 2018. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. The Red Sox Win The World Series (Again)
After losing in the American League Divisional Series in 2017 to the Houston Astros, the Red Sox entered 2018 with a vengeance, racking up the best regular-season record in franchisehistory. After going 11-3 in the playoffs and taking down the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games, the Sox broke the five-year drought of desperate Boston fans and claimed their place in the conversation for the best team ever.
From the media day, to the games in Boston, to the championship parade through downtown, it was an exciting couple of weeks in the city. There are still a few long, dark, cold months until Opening Day, but memories of this season will keep Sox fans warm until then.
2. The Celtics and Patriots Fall Just Short
While the Red Sox brought home another title to Boston, the Celtics and Pats also made championship runs, but couldn't secure hardware like their baseball contemporaries.
The Celtics, who lost stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving before the playoffs, weren't expected to do much, but they bested the Bucks and Sixers in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The C's then pushed LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals but couldn't outlast an all-time performance from James to advance to the NBA Finals.
After arguably the greatest comeback (or choke, depending on who you ask) in Super LI, the Patriots made another Super Bowl trip in 2018. There would be another storybook ending, only this time the Pats weren't the heroes. This time, it was a scrappy team from Philadelphia that won, with a mix of toughness and a play that will haunt New England fans for years to come.
Both teams are back in the mix of teams that could win championships this year. But whether they can work some more post-season magic in 2019 remains to be seen.
"Now that their season is over, all the Celtics can do is look back and learn from the strange and unexpected journey this year's playoffs has been."
3. UMass Climbs To The Top Of The National Polls In Hockey
It's no secret that the University of Massachusetts has lagged behind its in-state private school counterparts when it comes to success in hockey. Bur earlier this year, for the first time ever, the Minutemen climbed to the number one spot in the national polls.
In a state that's hockey-obsessed, the state flagship reaching its potential on the ice feels like it's been long overdue. Now, with the second half of the college hockey season set to start in January, the Minutemen have a chance to prove their early success wasn't a fluke.
4. Changes Come To Fenway
Boston is a city defined in many ways by its history, and its sports teams are no exception. So when the city announced that Yawkey Way, the famous street right outside Fenway Park named after longtime owner Tom Yawkey, would undergo a name change due to Yawkey's history as an opponent of integration in baseball and other allegations of racism, the reactions were strong. Now called Jersey Street, the change sparked heated debate from both proponents and opponents of the switch. It also led to at least one new Red Sox fan from across the pond.
5. Dartmouth Football Makes History
Football is going through more changes than maybe any other sport in the country. When Dartmouth football announced earlier this year the Big Green would hire Callie Brownson as the first woman to be a full-time Division I football coach, it was another big move for the game. Brownson follows in the footsteps of women who have coached in the NFL and NBA.