Columbus Crew SC, March Madness and more

Prep Athlete

After overcoming an ACL injury in 2016, Dublin Coffman's Abby Steiner went on to win the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes in the 2017 state finals, netting a track scholarship from the University of Kentucky in addition to her soccer scholarship. At the 2018 state finals, the senior broke her own state records in both sprints—twice each—earning her third career gold in the 100, her fourth in the 200 and her ninth overall state title.

Grassroots Fandom

Regardless of whether Anthony Precourt moves Columbus Crew SC to Austin, the response from the Save The Crew movement has been, well, massive. Organizers wrote a letter to MLS officials signed by thousands of supporters, banded together with local businesses, attracted worldwide attention, filmed an ad aimed at Austin and began Project 2019 Pledges, which encourages fans to vow to buy season tickets if the team is sold to a new local owner.

Game-Day Participation

Last fall, Apple released a new version of its iOS software with a bizarre glitch: Anytime someone typed an “I,” iPhones autocorrected it to “A[?]”—not a thing anyone, anywhere, ever meant to type. Ohio State fans were quick to notice. At a November football game against Michigan State, students held up white cards to recreate the A[?] symbol as they chanted the “I” in O-H-I-O.

Football Factory

The odds of any given high school football player eventually signing with an NFL team are roughly nil—about 0.0003 percent. So it's remarkable when two high schools in one suburb produce six active pros, as is the case for Pickerington North and Pickerington Central. Brian Peters (Houston Texans), Roger Lewis Jr. (New York Giants), Pat Elflein (Minnesota Vikings), Taco Charlton (Dallas Cowboys), Jake Butt (Denver Broncos) and Godwin Igwebuike (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) have all made the leap to the league.

Impression of Atlas

If you're known as both “Thor” and “The Mountain,” there's a good chance you're a large, muscular man. At the 2018 Arnold Sports Festival, Hafþór Björnsson, an Icelandic strongman competitor who plays “The Mountain” character on Game of Thrones, set the world record by deadlifting 1,041 pounds. Then, while holding the weight of a loaded Harley in his bare hands, he began nodding confidently to the crowd, as if to say, “I'm not actually human.”

Acquisition

In one of the savviest moves in team history, the Blue Jackets traded Brandon Saad back to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Artemi Panarin. Saad struggled in Chicago, totaling only 35 points, a 17-point drop from his previous season with the Jackets. Panarin flourished—he logged a career-high 82 points in the regular season and was the offensive star for the Jackets in their first-round playoff loss to the Washington Capitals, logging seven more points in six games.

Final Four

March Madness inspires mania across the country, but this year's men's Final Four was a bit of a letdown, as Villanova cake-walked to a ho-hum title. Meanwhile, the women and the city of Columbus delivered in a big way—ESPN called it the best Final Four ever. It featured three fantastic basketball games, complete with consecutive buzzer beaters from Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale to win the crown. To top it all off, the defunct Columbus Quest women's basketball team received championship rings on the court during Saturday night's games for the anniversary of the team's American Basketball League title. The league had folded before the rings could be given 20 years earlier.