The Best Years in Sports in History

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The Best Years in Sports in History
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Will Tom Brady's triumph in 2004 make the list, or could his first Super Bowl loss help swing the pendulum for 2008?

Following the year of sports in 1998, Sports Illustrated put out an issue that ranked the top 10 years in sports history. The ranking was measured by how exciting, eventful and memorable each of the years were in terms of all sports. 1998, the year which was just about to end, took first prize, supplanting 1919. 

The concept is an interesting one, but, even at the time this writer read it, some of the years seemed off or ranked incorrectly. For this reason, a new list will be made, including some of the 21st century in this edition.

Knowing what fans now know about 1998 (Michael Jordan would come back, ruining the impact of his final shot in the NBA Finals, and Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were both on steroids when they crushed Roger Maris' hallowed home run record), SI's No. 1 entry doesn't even crack this list's top 10.

Any year that is largely identified by something that later turned out to be negative (like 1988, and Ben Johnson's 9.79 time in the 100-meter dash, which turned out to be steroid-aided) also won't crack the top 10.

Many years have been memorable for a variety of different reasons. But overall, with each sport considered, which has been the best of them all? We'll start with No. 10... 

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