Let’s look back, now that we’re over halfway through the year, at the best in sports for 2015 so far.
Purely by the numbers, sports this year have already been record-breaking. Super Bowl 49 was the most-watch and highest-rated TV program in 30 years, and the NFL had 9 of the 10 most-watched sporting events of 2015. The College Football Playoff had college football’s top audience in 9 years. The NCAA Tournament was the most-watched since 1993 and highest-rated since 1998. Most recently, the Women’s World Cup had the largest soccer audience in U.S. history.
For events themselves, here’s our short list of the highlights of 2015 (so far, of course):
- The long-awaited bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather was a predictable non-event with Mayweather having an almost easy win and continuing his undefeated 48-0 record.
- 21-year-old Jordan Speith’s Masters victory recalled Tiger Woods’s 1997 win, making Speith the second-youngest Masters winner ever. He finished 18-under, keeping him 4 shots ahead of his competition, and actually tying with Woods for best score ever at the Masters.
- Patriots winning the Super Bowl. An incredibly exciting game, combined with scandal (who hasn’t heard of Deflategate by now?) brought this year’s Super Bowl to new heights. Expect a made-for-TV movie any day now.
- Serena Williams continued to dominate women’s tennis, winning her 21st major championship at Wimbledon. She now holds all four major championships (The Serena Slam), with the other three being the US Open, Australian Open and French Open.
- The U.S women’s soccer team winning the World Cup in a sensational tournament, culminating in a 5-2 victory against Japan.
- Two dynasties are in the making, with the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Blackhawks respectively owning MLB and the NHL. The Blackhawks took home the Stanley Cup three times in the last six years, and the Giants have won their third World Series in five seasons.
- America’s foreign policy took a new direction with the global front page news of the arrests and investigation into corruption at FIFA. For years, soccer has been a minor sport but this surely underlines the changing status of the sport. Oh, and the rest of the world thanks us. Again.
- Finally, American Pharoah taking the Triple Crown. This is the first time since 1978 that a horse has won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. We all bow down to the mighty horse that could.