It was a redeeming end to a tough month for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). Having lost the former Super Bowl champion coach's son J.D. Gibbs to a neurological disorder just over a month prior to the season opening race, JGR managed a nearly unprecedented sweep the podium at the Daytona 500, led by prior champion Denny Hamlin. With three major crashes in the final 20 laps, Hamlin skillfully stayed out front and let the chasers knock each other out, while holding off JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Erik Jones along with defending Cup Series Champion Joey Logano over the final Green-White-Checkered overtime finish. Masterful use of pit stops along with execution throughout the afternoon, Hamlin's car was clean and fast. But it was the 21-car-pileup with 10 laps to go that broke the field wide open and left a handful of other decorated veterans like Busch, Kevin Harvick and Logano as major threats to Hamlin's victory. But Hamlin held them off and took home the trophy for his team. And most importantly, JGR and J.D. Gibbs. Hamlin is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week.
The greatest female alpine skier in American history retired on top. Well, maybe not on top. But still impressive. Lindsey Vonn (USA) won a bronze in the World Championship Downhill in her final competitive race. At 34 years old, she is the oldest lady to win at the Worlds. She beat fellow American, Lindsey Vonn who won two years ago at age 32. She won the bronze in the downhill following a crash in the Super G less than a week ago. She becomes the first female skier to win at six Worlds. She won 82 World Cup races. But her body is done. The surgically repaired knees, worn out neck, sore back, hours in the training room. She won again. Maybe not gold, but bronze. Which is enough to be the Longhorndave Sportsmwoman of the Week!
The Super Bowl is America's biggest sports stage and the world watches its players. All season, fans and pundits discounted the New England Patriots as not being what they once were. But in the Super Bowl, they were who they thought we were. For the sixth time, Tom Brady led his team to a Super Bowl championship (defeats of the St. Louis Rams, Panthers, Eagles, Seahawks, Falcons, and now the Los Angeles Rams). This time the final was 13-3. But it was a receiver who was the most unstoppable force. In a defensive struggle, where very third down counted, Julian Edelman was the key to moving the chains, keeping time of possession, and willing the Patriots to victory. at 5'10" and 198 pounds, he looks a lot more like a normal guy in your gym than the best player in the Super Bowl. But in Super Bowl LIII, he garnered 10 catches (on 12 targets) for 141 yards. Both were season highs. He had a carry for 8 yards as well. Brady will always be remembered for the glory and rightfully so. But it was Edelman who stole the Super Bowl LIII show.