As 2013 comes to a close, well, it certainly was an odd year.
Every year has a tone. It seems like the most memorable stories of 2013 happened off the field, in board rooms and, sadly, court rooms. Even the biggest stories to take place during actual games had as much to do with players getting hurt, choking, being accused of cheating, biting or walking out as successes we've grown accustomed to remembering.
Just by the nature of the way our industry is constructed—where in most competitions there is a winner and a loser, and at the end of every campaign, someone is crowned a champion—there are positive moments, but were there that many among the most memorable of the year? A few.
With 2013 shoehorned between a year that boasted the Summer Olympics and Euro 2012 and one that will feature the Winter Olympics and World Cup 2014, the opportunity for positive stories worth remembering seems far slimmer by comparison. This year in sports had an empire-striking-back vibe. And no...I’m not suggesting that Alex Rodriguez is a modern-day Skywalker.
Not only that, but some of the biggest, darkest stories of 2013 were continuations of stories that began a year—hell, a decade—earlier. January of this year, in particular, featured a whirlwind of scandalous memories that were also some of the biggest moments of 2012, or another year previous.
Even some of the biggest moments of 2013 don’t really belong to 2013.
This is one of those assignments where I wish we could look at 50 moments, so we could talk about the great years for people like Ronda Rousey, Peyton Manning, Yasiel Puig, Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera, Brittney Griner, the continuing fight for world domination between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the Celtics exodus and Adam Scott, that handsome Australian with the long putter, slipping on a green jacket in a memorable Masters finish for the ages.
None of those names made the list, worthy candidates as they are. Here is a list of 25 moments that did, arranged in an order that looks more at the impact of the stories than the actual details of what happened.
Note: There is no way to rank or compare a murder to a drug suspension to a kickoff return, so please take the rankings within that context of spirited, but civil, discourse.