Top sports stories for rest of 2024: Chiefs' three-peat quest, Yankees look to end drought, Paris Olympics



The first half of 2024 has provided sports fans with some unforgettable moments, whether it was the Kansas City Chiefs winning their second straight Super Bowl, the skyrocketing popularity in women’s basketball or the Boston Celtics cruising to their 18th NBA title. A high bar has been set for the rest of the year.

Fortunately, the second half of 2024 has no shortage of highly intriguing storylines. Take the Chiefs, for instance. They have the opportunity to become the first NFL team to win three straight Super Bowls, and while that game won’t be played until 2025, how Patrick Mahomes & Co. do during the remainder of this calendar year may answer a lot of questions there.

Elsewhere in sports, the New York Yankees will try to end their 15-year World Series drought with Aaron Judge and Juan Soto leading the way. Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese are vying for WNBA Rookie of the Year honors. And we’ll get on-campus playoff games for the first time ever as the College Football Playoff expands to 12 teams.

Before all that, the best athletes in the world will come together to compete in the Paris Olympics. Can the United States clean up and run away with the medal count this year? We’re about to find out.

Here are the top 10 sports stories to watch in the second half of 2024:

Will the Chiefs set themselves up for a three-peat?

Is it crazy to say that the back-to-back Super Bowl champions got better? Well, on the offensive side of the ball Kansas City certainly set itself up this offseason for a possible three-peat. After the wide receiver room was plagued by drops, the Chiefs double-dipped at the position this offseason bringing aboard Marquise Brown in free agency and using their first-round pick on Xavier Worthy. Not only does that raise the ceiling of the wideout room, but both pass catchers are flat-out burners. That re-injects an element to the K.C. offense that hasn’t been felt since the days of Tyreek Hill. Pair that upgrade with the fact that the Chiefs retained defensive tackle Chris Jones and you’re looking at this team continuing to be in the thick of the Super Bowl conversation. — Tyler Sullivan

Will Aaron Rodgers stay healthy long enough to live up to the hype with the Jets?

If everything goes right, the Jets have the structure of a team that can go on a deep playoff run. However, the elephant in the room is that they have a 40-year-old quarterback coming off of a season-ending Achilles injury. How Rodgers bounces back (or doesn’t) could end up being a defining note of the 2024 season. New York did a splendid job this offseason solidifying arguably its biggest weakness along the offensive line, adding three starting-caliber tackles. If they create a wall in front of Rodgers, the four-time MVP has weapons in place to pick apart defenses. And even if Rodgers is only 80% of his former self, that’s better than any quarterback the Jets have had in decades. If he can’t recreate the magic, it’s the latest chapter in what has been a sad state of affairs for the franchise at the position. — Tyler Sullivan

College Football’s New Look: Who stands tall in all of the realigned conferences?

An expanded field and the conference realignment waves finally settling (for now) create what should be a heated race for the College Football Playoff. 

Traditional powers like Georgia and Ohio State stand tall amongst the competitors, but there are teams playing in new leagues worth watching. Texas has the talent to push for a national title as it moves to the SEC. The Longhorns would love to build off of 2023’s CFP appearance. Utah should be in the running for the Big 12 title as it transitions from the now-defunct Pac-12, a conference it won twice in the last three seasons. Speaking of Pac-12 expats, Oregon can push Ohio State for Big Ten supremacy. Even if they can’t make a run at the conference title in their first year, the Ducks should be in good shape for an at-large bid.

The ACC, despite welcoming three new teams, should see its traditional powers battle it out at the top. Clemson and Florida State appear to be the early favorites, though dark horses like Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech shouldn’t be discounted. — Will Backus

Will the Yankees finally make it back to the World Series after a hot start? And will Juan Soto get his extension?

We’ll start with the second question first, and that’s almost definitely a hard no. No matter how great this Yankees run is and how well he may love the clubhouse, there’s no reason for Soto and agent Scott Boras not to go to market and explore free agency with all 30 teams. Does he go back to the Yankees anyway? Sure, maybe. But he’s going to take his good sweet time, and he’s earned it. Check back in December. As for the Yankees’ World Series odds, the playoffs are anyone’s game, as we all know. But the Yankees have set themselves up really well to make a run as either the AL East winner or a strong wild-card contender. Gerrit Cole is back, Aaron Judge is on track for yet another record home run season and the aforementioned Soto is playing like an MVP. Anything short of the postseason would be a disappointment and a surprise. — Kate Feldman

Dodgers had a $1 billion offseason and Ohtani is chasing the NL triple crown, but is it enough for a title?

Once again, the postseason is a total crapshoot, but it’s hard to have done any more to get there than what Andrew Friedman and crew did this offseason, and it’s harder to imagine they won’t fill in the holes at the trade deadline (we can’t be the only ones picturing Luis Robert Jr. in Dodger blue). Injuries have hurt the starting rotation too, meaning they could and should be on the hunt for some pitching. And yet here we stand, with the Dodgers up 7 1/2 games in the NL West as of this writing. They were the World Series favorites going into the season and not enough has changed for that to be any different today. — Kate Feldman

Will Scottie Scheffler beat Tiger Woods’ record for most PGA tour wins in a single season?

Scottie Scheffler has put together the first six-win season on the PGA Tour since Tiger Woods in 2009, and now he’s aiming for the most since 1983, which is co-held by Vijay Singh (2004) and Tiger Woods (2000), both with nine. The problem for Scheffler? He’s running out of tournaments. With his next start expected at the Open Championship and then three FedEx Cup Playoff events after that, he would likely have to win out to get to 10 and reset the modern record. That’s not impossible, especially since he’ll start the Tour Championship with a lead on the field, but it is improbable given his mild record at The Open and how tough it will be to win the first two playoff events at the FedEx St. Jude Championship and the BMW Championship. I think Scottie can get to seven or maybe even eight, but nine or 10 are likely beyond his reach. — Kyle Porter

LeBron James now has Bronny James as a teammate and JJ Redick as the Lakers’ head coach — but will it actually work?

LeBron James has always been at the mercy of his front offices far more than his coaching staffs. His first tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers ended without a ring because they couldn’t put the right team around him. The Lakers have similarly bungled the roster since winning their 2020 championship. That has put both James and new coach JJ Redick in an awkward position. This is the highest-profile team in the NBA… but perhaps not even in the top half of Western Conference rosters. Bronny James won’t mean much on that front. He’s a fun story and a developmental project, but No. 55 overall picks don’t immediately contribute to winning. The James-Redick duo’s success or failure will come down to the talent that Rob Pelinka surrounds them with. Lately, he hasn’t given James enough. This summer, James has reportedly offered a pay cut to the team in order to make it easier. He’s done his part. It’s up to Pelinka to do his. — Sam Quinn

The 2024 Paris Summer Olympics

The United States is projected to top the medal count for the eight conservative time, but on the way to the podium there are multiple unique storylines to follow.

The women’s gymnastics team is on a “redemption tour” led by Simone Biles. The four-time gold medalist left the 2020 Tokyo  games early due to the “twisties,”  but she is back to compete in her third Olympic games. She won’t be the only familiar face in Paris as the swimming team is headlined by Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel, who already have seven Olympic gold medals each. 

In track and field, three-time world champion Noah Lyles will be chasing a sprint double after winning both the 100m and 200m events at the US Olympic trials. Meanwhile, Sha’Carri Richardson failed to qualify for the women’s 200m event, but she will be the favorite to win the 100m race during her Olympic debut. Jamaican star Elaine Thompson-Herah will not be there to complete a three-peat in the 100m and 200m events because of a small tear to her Achilles tendon. The 400m relay pool will include 16-year-old Quincy WIlson, who will become the youngest American man to compete at the Olympics in track and field.  And speaking of making history, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone already set the 400m hurdles world record for the fifth time in her career and will be looking to defend her gold medal in Paris.

In basketball, the women’s team is vying for its eighth consecutive gold medal with a star-studded roster that includes Diana Taurasi, Breanna Stewart and A’ja WIlson. The men’s team will be looking for their fifth straight gold medal with the veteran leadership of Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards will also be considered one of the top players to watch after his impressive performance in the playoffs. — Isabel Gonzalez

Caitlin Clark vs. Angel Reese — who wins Rookie of the Year?

As the 2024 WNBA season approaches the mid-way point, the Rookie of the Year race is heating up. Indiana Fever point guard Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 overall pick, and Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese have separated themselves from the pack with historic performances. Over the next few months, the two former collegiate rivals will battle for rookie supremacy.

Clark, as expected, has been an offensive dynamo. Already one of the best playmakers in the league, she is leading all rookies in scoring, assists and 3-pointers, She remains the betting favorite, but is no longer the overwhelming one. That’s because Reese has come on extremely strong in recent weeks with dominant performances on the glass. She recently set the longest double-double streak in league history and leads the league in rebounding. Regardless of which rookie sensation ends up earning the award, it’s going to be thrilling to watch them over the second half of the season. — Jack Maloney

Mike Tyson vs. Logan Paul

No sport is capable of producing the bizarre like boxing, and Mike Tyson has so often been involved in those moments. That continues on Nov. 15 when 58-year-old Tyson clashes with 27-year-old Jake Paul. Tyson has not fought as a professional since 2005, when he retired after the sixth round of his fight with Kevin McBride. After an exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr. in 2020, Tyson now returns to the ring as a professional — albeit under special rules including shorter rounds and bigger gloves — against a social media influencer-turned-boxer. Paul’s boxing career has mostly been built around the spectacle of fighting crossover athletes from the NBA and UFC. Tyson is clearly the most accomplished boxer Paul has ever faced, but at 31 years Tyson’s junior, there’s a clear reason Paul is taking this “risk.” — Brent Brookhouse

Honorable Mentions

  • The next UEFA Euro champion will be crowned
  • Joey Chestnut vs. Takeru Kobayashi in a live hot dog eating contest
  • Utah Hockey Club brings NHL hockey to Salt Lake City
  • Celtics will begin their title defense with most of their core returning
  • Ferrari, McLaren could push Red Bull atop the F1 standings





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