Dolphins go 17-0; Walton goes 21 for 22 as UCLA wins seventh consecutive NCAA hoops title; Secretariat by 31 lengths in the Belmont; George Foreman, in previous life, TKO's Smokin' Joe in second round for title; O.J. Simpson, in previous life, runs for 2,003 yards, averaging 6.0 per carry; on behalf of womankind, Billie Jean beats the pig, Bobby Riggs.
Ten years down, only two to go. Is it possible that 1998 was better than every other sporting year in the 20th century? Are we really living in a golden age? Or are we just another also-ran? All right, year fans, turn the page to discover the truth.
Cheers, standing ovation.
Please hold your applause and show some respect for 1919, the year that has held the Best Year in Sports title for 79 years: Dempsey wins heavyweight crown; Black Sox throw Series ("Say it ain't so, Joe"); Suzanne Lenglen, world's first post-Amazonian woman sports superstar, wins her first Wimbledon; Ruth's trade to Yankees is arranged; the Gipper leads Notre Dame to 9-0 season; Cobb wins 12th and final batting title; 2-year-old Man o' War upset by Upset (below), his only defeat, thereby creating one of sports' most common terms; Sir Barton is first horse to take Triple Crown; dog track mechanical rabbit first used; modern sports begin.
And now, the winner and new champion, our very own....
(Cries of "We're Number 1" rend the heavens....)
McGwire slugs 70, Sosa sesentay seis; Jordan clinches series—greatest basketball game ever?—to give Bulls sixth title in the '90s; Yankees—greatest baseball team ever?—win 125 games, sweep Series; Earnhardt finally bags his Moby Dick, winning Daytona; and talk about finally: AFC, Denver, Elway trifecta; third consecutive, sixth title overall for Summitt and Tennessee, as women's basketball moves up to business class; Sampras—record sixth straight year as No. 1; o'couple for O'Meara—Masters-British double; Witt poses for Playboy (upon further review...); eighth Stanley Cup for Bowman; soccer arriviste France whips stylish Brazil for World Cup...in Paree; and on the 2,633rd day, Ripken rested.