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By Mark Hollis

mark hollisAs I reflect back on the sports year 2015, there were many stories that easily transcended to the forefront of front page news. Some were traditional stories that covered winning seasons, individual accomplishments and others that challenged the social morals of society. There were scandals and incidents of abuse along with uplifting stories that made us smile. Here are a few of my best and worst of the year 2015:

The Best

Ohio State wins the First NCAA Football Championship: The fourth rated Buckeyes surprised the college football pundits by knocking off top-rated Alabama in the semifinals of the championship playoff round to take on second seeded Oregon in the final. Lead by quarterback Cardale Jones, Ohio State dominated the game by beating the Ducks 42 to 20.

Serena Williams completes the Serena Slam: As the most dominant women’s player in tennis, Serena finished the year ranked Number One for the fifth straight year and she was able to win all four major tournaments back to back. Starting with winning the US Open in 2014, as well as securing the Australian, French, and Wimbledon this year, she completed the “Serena Slam”.

The Kansas City Royals win the World Series: The Royals secured the fifth game of the World Series to become MLB Champions for 2015. The highlight was the twelve, inning fifth game that saw a New York Mets team remains steadfast through the first eleven exchanges. Lorenzo Cain of the Royals hit a single with the bases loaded and sealed the game for Kansas City.

Golden State Warriors set NBA record: They become the first team to start a season 16-0.

The Worst

Deflate Gate: It was the incident that dominated the media for the first half of the year centered on the New England Patriots deflating their footballs during the Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. Unfortunately, the allegation of the violation was not made until after the game was won by the Patriots which were then investigated. Indianapolis was allowed to play in the Super Bowl, which they won, and the Colts were forced to sit on the sidelines.

Domestic Abuse: There were far too many incidents involving abuse in the NFL. Players Adrian Petersen, Ray Rice, and Greg Hardy’s cases of domestic abuse created a media frenzy that shed a dark cloud on the NFL and in particular, Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Mayweather versus Pacquiao: The much ballyhooed fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fell flat on its face. The Championship bout created the largest pay gate in the history of boxing. The fight was flat and uninspiring for a match of this caliber. Floyd failed to engage his opponent by ducking and dodging, while Manny couldn’t land a punch. Both boxers secured mega million dollar paydays while the viewers, who paid large sums of money, watched disappointed.

There were many other stories that made us cheer and others that made us shake our heads in disdain. And while we close out 2015, let’s anticipate a great 2016 full of excitement and feel-good moments.