If we learned anything in 2015, it's that we should never give up. That was never more apparent than over a two-week span in the fall that featured two of the most remarkable finishes college football has ever seen. On October 17, Michigan State beat Michigan by returning a fumbled punt snap for a touchdown on the game's final play. Then on Halloween, Miami beat Duke as time expired on a wild kick return that featured eight laterals and took 46 seconds from start to finish.
The next night, the Kansas City Royals won their first championship in 30 years by beating the Mets in Game 5 of the World Series. Just as they had in Game 1, the Royals overcame a ninth-inning deficit to tie the contest and then won in extra innings. All told, Kansas City overcame a multiple-run deficit to win six times in the playoffs.
But the importance of fighting until the end wasn't all we learned during this bizarre year. We also picked up these lessons:
THERE'S A TIME AND A PLACE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
Pablo Sandoval found that out in June. The Boston Red Sox third baseman was suspended for one game by the team when it was discovered that he was liking photographs on Instagram during a game — from the clubhouse bathroom.
DON'T USE WIKIPEDIA FOR YOUR HOMEWORK
You should know this already, but the message was reinforced in October. Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy hit a series of huge playoff home runs, leading someone to change his entry to state that he had been named a Supreme Court Justice.
PAY ATTENTION DURING SPELLING LESSONS
Otherwise you could find yourself having to apologize like Tottenham Hotspur. The English Premier League team welcomed hockey legend Wayne Gretzky to a game and presented him with a jersey. Problem is, they spelled his name "Gretsky."
PAY ATTENTION DURING HOME ECONOMICS
Then you could learn how to make a cool life-size cake resembling your favorite athlete. A baker in the Philippines, Zach Yonzon, did just that. His delicious chocolate creation honored boxer Manny Pacquiao. "It will be interesting to get people's reactions cutting and eating Manny Pacquiao," he said with a laugh.
Zach Yonzon's tribute to his fellow Filipino Manny Pacquiao was really sweet.
The New York Jets taught us this when they traveled to London, England, for a game against the Miami Dolphins, and took 350 rolls of toilet paper. "We're basically trying to replicate everything that we're doing over here over there," a team official explained.
EMBRACE OTHER CULTURES
On the same trip, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill discovered that not all British media members know a lot about football. So some of the questions he faced in a press conference were a little off the wall — such as a request for him to squeal like an actual dolphin. (Tannehill obliged. Score one for diplomacy!)
GO EASY ON TEXTING
Just ask Matt Bonner. The San Antonio Spurs forward had a rough season shooting the ball. He blamed it on a sore elbow caused by typing on his new phone. "When the new iPhone came out, it was way bigger than the last one," he said. "It was a strain to use it. You have to stretch further to hit the buttons, and I honestly think that's how I ended up developing [the soreness]."
Photos: Tim Clayton for Sports Illustrated (Royals), Bullie Marquez/AP (cake)