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Clubhouse Meeting: The Turf Team’s Farewell to 2018

Let’s Talk 2018.

Man on the Mound by Matt McGee is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Clubhouse Meeting: The Turf Team’s Farewell to 2018


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Estimated Reading Time: 8 Minutes

In the spirit of reflection and celebration, we here at The Turf decided to take a step back and review the events of 2018.

Here’s what we came up with in our final Clubhouse Meeting of the Year!

What is your favorite sports moment from 2018?

Andrew Mark Wilhelm: Kylian Mbappe’s World Cup Magic.

Dave Bolton: England winning a penalty shoot-out at the World Cup (and the World Cup in general), although Europe getting the Ryder Cup back was a close second.

Kevin Michael Morin: The Red Sox winning the World Series. Baseball has always been a sport I love, but lately, the game seems to be falling off the map. This Red Sox team had heart and grit and were so much fun to watch. Seeing that moment during which these young stars mobbed each other on the mound after Chris Sale’s final pitch is burned into my memory.

Ned Donovan: Mookie Betts’ insane throw to first during the Yankees series.

Meg Schneider: Drew Brees sending personalized footballs to the 174 people that helped him become the all-time career passing leader. A personal favorite was second lining out to Second Avenue from Bar None in NYC after the Saints beat the Vikings!

Justin Colombo: Jacob deGrom winning the NL Cy Young, and Blake Snell proving me wrong.

Ryan Kelly: Chris Sale striking out Manny Machado to clinch the World Series.

Katie Pierce: Gritty‘s introduction to the world.

Tyler Williams: Tom Brady losing the super bowl to backup QB Nick Foles.

Sarah Jane Schostack: Any deflected goal of Sidney Crosby’s! He’s an animal.

Justin White: Nick Foles leading the Eagles past the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Matteo Mills: The Indiana Pacers taking the Cleveland Cavaliers to a hard-fought seven games in the playoffs.

Joe Dalfonso: Obviously the Red Sox winning the World Series is up there. But this year, my favorite memory is watching the Winter Olympics nightly with my roommate and drinking Sam Adams.

Chris Plonka: Red Sox World Series Champions.

What is a specific moment you thought encapsulated 2018’s sporting world?

Andrew Mark Wilhelm: Serena’s US Open Final and the ensuing aftermath. Not only a microcosm of the sports world but the United States as a whole.

Dave Bolton: Football again, the integration of VAR at the World Cup proved that the technology exists to both change games and reduce human error. The caveat is that sport is often tied to controversial decisions so removing the talking points is not necessarily a good thing. Fair to say that I am still on the fence when it comes to slowing down a game to review decisions …

Kevin Michael Morin: Alex Ovechkin hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. This guy is pure class and deserves to be top of the sport. He’s an unreal talent. Watching him party for an entire month was a fun encore as well.

Ned Donovan: The response to kneeling by the NFL. It showed us who they aligned with.

Meg Schneider: When I think back on the year, the Kaepernick Nike campaign really sticks out as the most talked about/covered sports story. It was fascinating to see the responses and the magnified area where sports and politics intersect.

Justin Colombo: This one is kinda recent, but Jose Canseco recently tweeted that joining the 40-40 club (40 steals and 40 Home Runs in a season) was more difficult than becoming President of the United States, and I don’t think he’s wrong, but I also do not think he’s right.

Ryan Kelly: This is a group of moments technically, but to me, it’s teams with minimal expectations making big noise. The Vegas Golden Knights making it to the Stanley Cup Finals as an expansion team. Loyola-Chicago making the Final Four as an 11 seed. Croatia making it to the World Cup finals as the 20th ranked nation in the world. 2018 was chock full of underdog stories.

Katie Pierce: Don’t hate me for saying this but the Eagles’ Superbowl win. It set a year of big “firsts” into motion.

Tyler Williams: Myles Jack Wasn’t Down.

Sarah Jane Schostack: The various gambling deals of 2018 with major league sports… It’s gonna change 2019.

Justin White: UCF being held out of the CFB Playoffs again after going 12-0 AGAIN. Shows we haven’t changed at all in College Football and need a new system. WE DON’T LIKE CHANGE.

Matteo Mills: For me, it is the ever-shifting landscape of the NBA salary rules, maximum’s, etc. that continue to shift power around the league, both in good and bad ways.

Joe Dalfonso: We saw at least two different organizations deal with scandals due to technology. The former 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo was found to have burner accounts on Twitter, which he used to criticize his own players. The other that comes to mind was the Ottawa Senator players caught on tape in an Uber bashing their coach and organization. With the world being able to connect to each other in a second, huge lessons were learned throughout the sporting world. The biggest is there is no such thing as privacy.

Chris Plonka: LeBron James going to the Lakers. Because sports drama has become predictable.

Is there something you think will be different in 2019?

Andrew Mark Wilhelm: It very much feels like we’re heading towards a breaking point in the NFL. At least I hope we are because shit has to change in a big way.

Dave Bolton: Racism is no longer the boogeyman that it once was, but sadly it seems that prejudice remains an integral part of sport in general. There have been numerous (and widely reported) incidents that have shown that racism and sexism are still something to worry about, albeit that the relevant sports authorities have (for the most part) tried to reassure the general public that they have a handle on it. I would like to think that the next 12 months will see a reduction in the number of racially-motivated incidents, but I am not holding my breath.

Kevin Michael Morin: I don’t know if it will be different, but I’m hoping there’s more spotlight on the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Those ladies work their tails off and deserve to be given the world’s attention in France this summer. Because of their talents, not because they can twerk or not.

Ned Donovan: I think that you’ll see a wider gap begin to grow between NBA fans and NFL fans as progressives embrace the NBA for its messaging and reject the NFL.

Meg Schneider: I WISH there would be a better college football playoff system, but I don’t think it’ll happen.

Justin Colombo: As a Mets fan, 2019 has gotta be different at Citi Field. HOLY MOSES IT’S GOTTA BE DIFFERENT. Please. PLEASE.

Ryan Kelly: The Buffalo Sabres may be a top-3 team in the Eastern Conference and as a Bruins fan this is just not ok.

Katie Pierce: I’d like to hope that refs won’t continue to insert themselves into being a controversial part of games/matches (I.e. US Open finals) but let’s be honest. That’s never going to happen. Also I’m looking forward to a hopeful championship for the University of Michigan. In any sport.

Tyler Williams: Jags will have less injuries and be more competitive, Dodgers win the world series, Florida Gators make the college football playoffs. 8 team playoffs will be finalized for college football for future years.

Sarah Jane Schostack: Sports gambling is going to have a big year.

Justin White: I think the College Football Playoff Committee will make changes to add playoff teams.

Matteo Mills: Not a chance.

Joe Dalfonso: I would love for the NBA and NCAA to work out a deal to end this one and done nonsense. It will create a better product on the court for both of them.

Chris Plonka: The Patriots will continue to weaken, but will still be top of AFC East.

What is your 2019 Sports Resolution?

Andrew Mark Wilhelm: To take the Toronto Raptors seriously and to not drink the Lions Kool-Aid next season. Like most resolutions, neither of these will happen.

Dave Bolton: To not get annoyed when A) my beloved Tottenham Hotspur get written off by the media and B) to keep a reasoned focus on the bigger picture if our manager gets poached by Manchester United or Real Madrid.

Kevin Michael Morin: Get to more games in person. I’m ashamed to say that I only saw two or three baseball games and a small handful of soccer games. All at Yankee Stadium. This is the first year I didn’t make it to Fenway in probably 10 years. I need to get out to see some more basketball at the Barclays Center, and hope to get to London to check out Tottenham’s new stadium.

Ned Donovan: Well my 2018 Sports Resolution was to watch more Baseball. Check. My 2019 Resolution is to figure out what sports look like in my life.

Meg Schneider: I want my dynasty fantasy football team to have a winning record. 3rd year’s the charm, right?

Justin Colombo: Being in a Broadway show really cramps your ability to watch games live. Once Kinky Boots closes, I’m spending my nights with Gary, Keith, and Ron. I cannot wait. I also want to understand what a basketball foul is.

Ryan Kelly: I have never seen the Patriots play in person, and I want to get to Gillette for a game before the GOAT retires.

Katie Pierce: To try and understand why people watch golf in bars/to try to learn to like golf.

Tyler Williams: Write more, watch more, attend more games, win more (Jags), take my own pics of players/events so that I can use them and not the internet in my pieces.

Sarah Jane Schostack: Remember how it’s about fun, sportsmanship, and athletics first, even if certain players (#LeVeonBell) think otherwise.

Justin White: Educate myself on the recruiting process in College Football.

Matteo Mills: Take it upon myself to lead both the Colts and Pacers to 2019 championships. Easy peasy.

Joe Dalfonso: I’m hoping to go to Europe and see a bunch of sporting events. Both popular and not. Also, I want to learn the rules of netball.

Chris Plonka: Be more optimistic.

From all of us at The Turf,

HAPPY NEW YEAR! SEE YOU IN 2019!

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