Ok, we all know what Stuart Scott will be saying on December 31st of this year on Sports Center : “2014 was an unforgettable year in sports.”
We know that because he says it every year. Most years, it’s a good year for sports. Some years, not so much. But very few are unforgettable.
But Mr. Scott will be right on target this time, because 2014 was truly unforgettable.
It feels like every sport had something happen that will make this year a topic of conversation for sports fans for years to come. Let’s take a look, sport by sport.
The Giants won their third World Series in the five seasons. And pitcher Madison Bumgardner established himself as a World Series monster.
The Florida Marlins were hiding money. A team that can barely keep the stadium lights running somehow found $325 million dollars to spend on an outfielder that hasn’t won any awards, hasn’t hit .300, or had 100 RBI’s. Largest contract ever, and he hasn’t done a whole lot.
Derek Jeter led a long line of outstanding and respected (or RE2PECTED) players to retire. Including Paul Konerko, Carlos Zambrano, Jim Thome, Josh Beckett, Bobby Abreu, and Adam Dunn.
Personal conduct was at all-time low. Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, and Greg Hardy all had domestic or abuse issues. Fines were being thrown left and right for something as stupid as not talking to the media after a game ($100,000) or illegal hits ($6,000).
The fallout of the scrabbling quarterback. Three years ago Colin Kapernick, Cam Newton, and RG III were the future of the league. Now Kap looks average at best, Newton has been a turnover machine, and RG III is riding the pine with an inept coach.
Peyton Manning is the best of the best. Manning broke Favre’s record of all-time touchdowns when he threw his 509th. Remember, Favre’s last touchdown thrown was at 41, and he was well past his prime. Manning is three years younger and on pace for another MVP season.
Michael Sam breaks down the wall. After winning the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award, Sam came out publicly that is gay. In hopes of being the first openly gay player in the NFL, he was drafted by the Rams in the seventh round. Sam was cut during pre-season and after being picked up by the Cowboys practice squad, he is a free agent again and looking for his shot.
The BCS finally has a playoff. After years or begging and praying, the powers that be have given us a real playoff tournament in college football. A four team tourney should be enough right? I mean, there is never a chance that more than four teams are worthy of going to the National Title game. Until, of course, this year. Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State will be in the first ever BCS playoff, while TCU and Baylor are the odd teams out.
Jameis Winston…. Stop it!
UCONN was told that a seventh seed was just for experience. Experience in victory that is! (Wow. Lame.) The Huskies dominated the March Madness tournament despite having an undersized scoring guard, and a second year coach.
Donald Sterling vs. The World. Sterling, the [former] owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was caught on tape making racists remarks to his mistress. The tapes were later sold to TMZ. Sterling saw a mutiny from his team and the rest of the league, and was forced to sell.
The Return of the King. So after four years in south beach, LeBron James proved that burned bridges can be rebuilt. He signed a two year deal to return to Cleveland after winning it all with the Big Three in Miami. He hopes to do it all over again in Ohio.
#sochiproblems. The winter Olympics were held in Sochi, Russia and everyone lost. So many things went wrong in the village, and we all heard the horror stories. From packs of wild dogs, to Bob Costas getting pink eye, to exposed wires in the shower. I doubt Russia will be hosting anything for years to come.
[Editor’s Note: Actually, the next World Cup is going to be hosted in Russia. #WorldCupProblems.]
The World Cup and we cared about it. Who would have thought that Team USA would have actually had a shot in the World Cup this year? More importantly, who would have anticipated such a strong showing of support from one of the less popular sports in America? We finished a few shy of the Cup, but in four years I believe that we will win!!!