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IN THE SPORTS WORLD: Brewers were Wisconsin’s top sports story in 2018 | Paywall

The Milwaukee Brewers started making sports headlines in January and basically never stopped all year in a season that ended one game short of the World Series. It was the kind of year that kept the Brewers front and center, even as the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers began their football seasons.

On Jan. 25 the Brewers announced the signing of Lorenzo Cain and the trade that brought Christian Yelich to Milwaukee. Those two would turn out to be the catalyst for a great season. The highlight undoubtedly was beating the arch rival Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in a one-game playoff to win the National League Central division. The Brewers then went on to capture a series win over Colorado before falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in the National League Championship series.

Along the way six Brewers were named all-stars and Yelich won the league MVP award by a wide margin. It was the most fun season for Brewers fans since 1982 and nearly 3 million customers made their way into Miller Park during the year to cheer the “Crew” on.

Other top stories included the firing of Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy on Dec. 2 and the removal of Ted Thompson as Packers’ general manager in early January. That’s about the only positive news the Packers made all season. The hiring of Mike Budenholzer as the new Milwaukee Bucks coach took place on May 17 and the Bucks opened the new Fiserv Forum with a win on Oct. 19.

Aaron Rodgers led a comeback win over the Chicago Bears to start the NFL season but things went downhill from there, and the Wisconsin Badger football team went from playoff contender to an also-ran. The Milwaukee Bucks are currently on a roll and the Brewers should be tough again and another fun sports year awaits Wisconsin fans.

Chin music . . .

As 2018 came to a close the Milwaukee Bucks had the best winning percentage in the entire NBA.

Even though many NFL fans would like to see the Super Bowl moved to a Saturday night, the game will stay on a Sunday for the foreseeable future. The main reason: television ratings. The league is not going to tamper with what’s been working.

In the Pinstripe Bowl win over Miami the Wisconsin Badgers offensive line finally played a dominating game. Where was that all season? The defense was aggressive and the Badgers played with emotion for one of the few times all season. With many key players returning and a top 30 recruiting class “Bucky’s” future looks bright.

Canadian researchers are doing tests on chickens to determine what makes them happy. The obvious question here is, why? Evidently someone must have found that cure for cancer.

Like them or not, and most people don’t, the New England Patriots have become the first NFL team to make the playoffs in 10 consecutive seasons.

As the college basketball season starts to heat up, the Big Ten Conference looks strong. Last year only four Big Ten teams made the NCAA tournament; this year that number could double and there’s an outside chance 10 conference teams could make the big dance.

It will happen soon — Manny Machado to the New York Yankees as the rich get richer.

George Lucas is listed as the wealthiest celebrity with a fortune of $5.4 billion. And remember he also owns “The Force.”

The Milwaukee Brewers have been pretty quiet this off-season although they have been rumored to be in pursuit of pitcher Sonny Gray of the Yankees in a trade. If the price isn’t too high, Brewers’ general manager David Stearns could be interested. Gray is slated to receive about $9 million this year, which the Brewers could afford, but he’s a free agent after 2019 and Stearns favors players who have some years of club control remaining.

As long as we’ve opened the rumor mill, the Packers are said to at least have some interest in Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern as new head coach. He’s probably the only college coach the Packers would consider.

The Cleveland Browns have had a much improved season but still missed the playoffs for the 16th straight year. And Packer faithful are having a fit because the green and gold are on the outside looking in for a second consecutive season.

And finally, five-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin is retiring at the age of 23. Yes, she’s hanging up whatever it is that swimmers hang up when they retire.

And there you have it!


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