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BC-Sports Year-End Package,ADVISORY

December 17, 2018

Editors:

To help you with planning, below is a list of AP year-end sports stories and their release dates. But first, we’d like your help! Your votes will help us determine top sports stories of the year, as well as the top male and female athletes.

VOTING

We are using a new ballot this year that should allow for quick, easy voting. Just go to this link to vote in the main categories: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4740435/Sports

This poll is for AP members and customers only, and the links are NOT TO BE REDISTRIBUTED ONLINE OR IN PRINT. We encourage journalists at all Associated Press member newsrooms to participate. There is no limit per news outlet for entries.

Voting for all polls ends on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Thank you for your participation.

If you have questions about the ballot, contact Josh Hoffner at 602-417-2400 or JHoffner@ap.org.

This advisory may be updated, and more precise timing for each story will be determined closer to the release dates:

FRIDAY, Dec. 21

YE--PLAYS OF THE YEAR

Andrew Benintendi’s diving catch to put Boston in command of the AL Championship Series. LeBron James victimizing Jimmy Butler to win a game for Cleveland. Tua Tagovailoa’s perfect spiral in overtime to give Alabama the national championship. Arike Ogunbowale coming up big in the Final Four — twice! — to lead Notre Dame to the NCAA women’s basketball title. All those spectacular moments, and many more, are candidates for the AP’s plays of the year 2018. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos on Dec. 21.

SUNDAY, Dec. 23

YE-ME TOO-SPORTS

The powerful victim’s impact statements delivered by dozens of women sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University team doctor Larry Nassar did more than provide a much-needed release: it signaled a sea change in the #MeToo movement in sports, one that could have a ripple effect for years to come. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by Dec. 23.

MONDAY, Dec. 24

YE-STORY OF THE YEAR. Eddie Pells.

The biggest sports story of 2018, as voted on by an Associated Press panel. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by Dec. 24.

— With YE-STORY OF THE YEAR-LIST

TUESDAY, Dec. 25

YE--FEEL-GOOD MOMENTS OF THE YEAR

Sports inspired the usual agita this year — taunts, scrapes and scuffles, even the occasional riot — but more than its share of wry smiles, too. A 98-year-old nun stole the show at the Final Four. A homecoming queen kicked the game-winner for her high school football team. And in random acts of kindness stretching from hockey rinks in Calgary to a soccer stand in the Netherlands, teddy-bear throwing fans made sure the pint-sized fans sitting below didn’t go home empty-handed. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by Dec. 25.

YE--SURPRISES OF THE YEAR

UMBC made history at this year’s NCAA Tournament, becoming the first No. 16 to beat a No. 1 when it took down Virginia. The Retrievers’ run became one of the biggest sports surprises of 2018. By John Marshall. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by Dec. 25.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26

YE-FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

AP members and customers vote on the female athlete of the year. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by Dec. 26.

THURSDAY, Dec. 27

YE-MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

AP members and customers vote on the male athlete of the year. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by Dec. 27.

FRIDAY, Dec. 28

YE-GAMES OF THE YEAR

From the college football championship to the women’s Olympic gold medal game to an 18-inning marathon at the World Series, this was a year when some of the most memorable contests required working overtime. By National Writer Paul Newberry. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by Dec. 28.

YE-SPORTS DEATHS

They were contemporaries and champions, and sports lost three of the best who left their mark across the 1960s: big-hitting Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants; Jim Taylor, the punishing Green Bay Packers fullback; and Stan Mikita, the embodiment of great Chicago Blackhawks teams. Also gone in 2018 was Anne Donovan, a galvanizing force in women’s basketball, and broadcaster Keith Jackson, always good company when a game was on TV. By Fred Lief. 1,200 words, photos by Dec. 28.

SATURDAY, Dec. 29

YE-ODE TO SPORTS

The AP sends off the sports year in a volley of rhyme, a year in which the Crimson Tide gets 2018 going (“Bama turns from Hurts to Tua/Saban’s tribe sings hallelujah”); LeBron James “leaves the home he loves the most/for purple and gold on the coast”; and closes with “a heavyweight feast, fierce and raw” in which “Wilder, Fury fight to a draw.” By Fred Lief. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by Dec. 29.

SUNDAY, Dec. 30

YE-SPORTS QUIRKS

Sports traveled to unconventional places in 2018: Golfer Vijay Singh finally settled his lawsuit with the PGA Tour over his use of deer antler spray; New York Mets fans, coping with another grim year, were offered free therapy; the head of cybersecurity for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it was disclosed, does not know how to use a computer; and the NHL admonished a Boston Bruins player for licking opponents. By Fred Lief. 1,000 words, photos by Dec. 30.

YE-EMERGING STARS

There’s Vlad and Toby and Tierna — just some of the names you may not know much about now but might by the end of 2019. Up-and-comers like highly touted minor-league third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who hopes to embark on a Hall of Fame career like his father as he most likely makes his big-league debut for Toronto next season. Or Toby Miller, a teenage snowboarder tutored by none other than Shaun White. Or Stanford defender Tierna Davidson, who just might make the U.S. women’s national squad for the 2019 World Cup. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photo by Dec. 30.

MONDAY, Dec. 31.

YE-THINGS TO WATCH FOR IN 2019

By now, nothing that happens in sports should shock anyone. The antics of both athletes and fans in 2018 showed that, and now we brace ourselves for what 2019 will bring. Here’s a look at some of the fun that may be ahead. By Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by Dec. 31.

___

Please reach out to deputy sports editor Oskar Garcia at ogarcia@ap.org or 215-446-6632 if you have any questions about these coverage plans.

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