50 Best Sports Pics of 2013

Amber LeeSports Lists Lead WriterDecember 25, 2013

50 Best Sports Pics of 2013

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Even if you spend the entire week anchoring SportsCenter, you won’t catch all of the year’s most memorable sports moments as they happen.

    And there’s no guarantee that every gutty athlete performance, every last-second victory or the fallout of a heartbreaking loss will find its way onto the highlight reel.

    Unless you’re walking a fine line between sanity and bonkers and using a combination of tube-feeding, catheters and speed to ensure that no televised sporting event or sports news show goes unwatched, your intake of awesome sports moments from 2013 is operating at a deficit.

    Fortunately, an army of photographers have captured the most striking sports images of the year in our absence—and they’re here for you to view, at your leisure, without the need for bed pans and eye drops.

50. Alshon Jeffery

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Date: December 9, 2013

    Event: Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears 

    Just another day at the office for Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who made stunning catches like this all season long.

49. NL Wild Card Game

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Date: October 1, 2013

    Event: Wild Card Game, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

    The fact that this Reds player looks like he's sliding into a substantial puddle of ketchup makes this otherwise routine catch far more interesting.

48. Jimmie Johnson Wins Sprint Cup

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Date: November 17, 2013

    Event: Ford EcoBoost 400 

    Jimmie Johnson celebrates winning the Sprint Cup title with a very smokey victory lap after the Ford EcoBoost 400 in November.

47. Chris Davis' Miracle Touchdown

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Date: November 30, 2013

    Event: Iron Bowl, Alabama vs. Auburn 

    A picture could never capture the excitement of Auburn's Chris Davis' jaw-dropping return for a touchdown as time expired against rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl, but it's certainly a welcome reminder of one of the greatest moments in college football history.

46. Winter X Games Snowboarding

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    Richard Bord/Getty Images

    Date: March 19, 2013

    Event: Winter X Games Europe Day 2

    A snowboarder competes at the Winter X Games Europe, with one of the most beautiful views in sports serving as the backdrop.

45. Adam Wainwright Celebrates

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Date: October 9, 2013

    Event: NLDS Game 5

    Though his team wouldn't have much to celebrate in the World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals' Adam Wainwright was overcome with joy after ousting the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 5 of the NLDS.

44. England vs. Poland World Cup Qualifying

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Date: October 15, 2013

    Event: FIFA World Cup Qualifier, England vs. Poland 

    Living in the U.S., sometimes it's easy to forget what a big freaking deal soccer is to the rest of the world. It's seriously serious—like arson serious.

43. Brent Celek's Snowy Catch

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Date: December 8, 2013

    Event: Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles 

    Eagles tight end Brent Celek makes a routine catch against the Lions, which looks anything but ordinary at the snow-covered Lincoln Financial Field. 

42. Jacoby Jones Chows Down

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Date: November 28, 2013

    Event: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens 

    Most people will remember the Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Steelers and Ravens as the Mike Tomlin "trip game." Though there's a distinct minority that will remember it as the "Jacoby Jones Eats a Turkey Leg" game.

41. NCAA Basketball Championship

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Date: April 8, 2013

    Event: NCAA Championship, Michigan vs. Louisville 

    A Louisville player comes down with the ball despite significant resistance from Michigan defenders.

40. Andrew McCutchen Takes Flight

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Date: September 20, 2013

    Event: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds 

    Pirates star Andrew McCutchen, who was also named the NL MVP in November, attempts to reach base and avoid being tagged out during a game against the Reds.

39. Steven Gerrard Focuses

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Date: October 15, 2013

    Event: FIFA World Cup Qualifier, England vs. Poland 

    England's Steven Gerrard really follows through on a shot during a World Cup qualifier against Poland in October.

38. Green Bay Packers Fan Dons a Bikini

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Date: December 22, 2013

    Event: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers 

    You may think the best part about this photo is the pretty girl in the bikini, but it's not. It's actually the goofball just over her right shoulder making an O-face.

37. Ravens Celebrate Super Bowl Win

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Date: February 3, 2013

    Event: Super Bowl XLVII

    A member of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates by doing snow angels in the confetti (confetti angels?) after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

36. John Tavares Takes a Dive

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    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Date: May 7, 2013

    Event: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders, Game 4

    Islanders forward John Tavares is caught mid-dive during a playoff game against the Penguins.

35. Kobe Bryant Heeds off Minnesota Timberwolves Defender

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Date: February 28, 2013

    Event: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers 

    Let this be a lesson to every would-be defender in the NBA. Get between Kobe Bryant and the basket at your own peril.

34. Yasiel Puig

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Date: June 28, 2013

    Event: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

    The Dodgers' Yasiel Puig's star shone bright in his rookie season with the team—almost as bright as that wall, which is a surprisingly fitting backdrop for him.

33. Sun Shines on AT&T Stadium

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Date: November 28, 2013

    Event: Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys 

    Even though it's Dallas and everybody except Cowboys fans hates the Cowboys, in the right lighting, that billion-dollar stadium looks like a thin slice of football heaven.

32. Switzerland and Slovenia Battle for Possession

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    Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

    Date: October 15, 2013

    Event: FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Switzerland vs. Slovenia 

    Three players make more than just a little incidental contact during the World Cup qualifier between Switzerland and Slovenia.

31. Winston Guy Loses Battle Against C.J. Spiller

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Date: December 15, 2013

    Event: Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 

    This photo is actually the last in a series of a very solid effort from Jaguars defender Winston Guy to bring down Bills running back C.J. Spiller. Obviously he didn't make the tackle, but he never gave up.

30. Red Sox World Series Celebration

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Date: October 30, 2013

    Event: World Series Game 6, Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals

    Seconds before being joined by the rest of their team, Red Sox catcher David Ross hoists reliever Koji Uehara after defeating the Cardinals in the World Series.

29. Memphis Band Member Hypnotizes St. Mary's Basketball Team

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Date: March 21, 2013

    Event: NCAA Tournament, St. Mary's vs. Memphis 

    Look into his eyes! You are getting sleepy…very sleeeeeeepy. Perhaps the distracting glasses of this Memphis trumpet player is what helped lift it over St. Mary's by just two points last March.

28. South Carolina Celebration After Comeback over Missouri

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    Peter Aiken/Getty Images

    Date: October 26, 2013

    Event: South Carolina vs. Missouri

    South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw was carried off the field by teammates after leading the Gamecocks to an unlikely comeback win against Mizzou. 

    It was every kid's sports fantasy come true.

27. X Games Skateboarder Trick

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Date: August 1, 2013

    Event: X Games Los Angeles Day 1

    A skateboarder is captured from below during a trick on the first day of the X Games in Los Angeles. It's hard to even comprehend how he could've possibly come down with that board underneath him.

26. Jimmy Smith Makes One-Handed Grab

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Date: December 8, 2013

    Event: Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens 

    Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith got his hands on the ball during a close game against the Vikings in the snow.

25. Roy Williams Feels the Pain of Defeat

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Date: March 17, 2013

    Event: ACC Tournament, North Carolina vs. Miami 

    North Carolina coach Roy Williams takes a moment to let the fact that his Tar Heels were beat by the Miami Hurricanes in the ACC Tournament sink in.

24. Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Rocks Out

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Date: September 15, 2013

    Event: San Diego Chargers vs. Philadelphia Eagles 

    Eagles veteran cheerleader Casey is captured at just the right moment mid-hair flip. Those lovely ladies sure know how to put on a great show—even when the team doesn't.

23. Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Date: December 15, 2013

    Event: Washington Redskins vs. Atlanta Falcons 

    In early December, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan made the surprising decision to shut down a healthy Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season, opting to start backup Kirk Cousins instead. 

    Wondering if it was as awkward as it sounded? This photo pretty much tells the tale.

22. Carmelo Anthony Expresses Frustration vs. Pacers

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Date: May 16, 2013

    Event: Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks, Game 5

    It's almost as if the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony could look into the future and see what was in store for the 2013-14 season. Because if he could, that's exactly the face he'd be making. 

    Of course, it also makes sense in the context of the fight—or lack thereof—he and his team put up against the Pacers in the playoffs last year.

21. Danica Patrick Under the Lights

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    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Date: February 17, 2013

    Event: 55th Daytona 500 Qualifying

    NASCAR driver Danica Patrick is in a dual spotlight, with the sun beating down on her from above while a bevy of photographers surround her, capturing her every move.

20. Giovani Bernard Touchdown vs. Packers

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Date: September 22, 2013

    Event: Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals 

    Bengals running back Giovani Bernard demonstrates serious athleticism, as well as some acrobatics, while flying into the end zone during a game against the Packers.

19. Red Sox Fan of the Future

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Date: April 8, 2013

    Event: Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox, Opening Day at Fenway 

    The most adorable father-son duo at baseball's Opening Day last April had to have been these Red Sox fans. That little boy only has another year or two left before he becomes insufferable. 

    Sorry, Boston fans! But you know you're obnoxious.

18. Texans Fan Surrenders

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    Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

    Date: September 29, 2013

    Event: Seattle Seahawks vs. Houston Texans 

    If this Texans fan doesn't sum up the team's entire 2013 season, then I don't know what does.

    Poor guy…this was back in September! He doesn't even know what's coming.

17. Alabama Cheerleaders Celebrate National Championship

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Date: January 7, 2013

    Event: BCS Championship, Notre Dame vs. Alabama 

    The Alabama cheerleaders celebrate with their mascot in the confetti after winning the BCS Championship for the third time in four years.

16. David Wilson Performs Back Flip in Touchdown Celebration

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Date: September 22, 2013

    Event: New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers 

    The Giants didn't have a lot to celebrate this season, but running back David Wilson saw an opportunity during a game against the Panthers…and he took it. 

    Wilson did a double back flip after his first touchdown of the season.

15. Oregon Basketball Player Means Business

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Date: March 29, 2013

    Event: NCAA Tournament, Oregon vs. Louisville 

    This Oregon defender was not messing around against Louisville in the tournament last season. The photo is so perfectly timed that it almost looks like a statue.

14. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Kick Line

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Date: December 15, 2013

    Event: Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys 

    We may never know what we're going to get from the Cowboys on the field every week, but their cheerleaders can be counted on to deliver perfection every time they step out in their trademark boots. 

    Seriously, though—how do they do that!?

13. Kobe Bryant Comforts Pau Gasol

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Date: April 28, 2013

    Event: San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers, Game 4

    Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard may not have developed any chemistry together last season, but it's clear Kobe's got it to spare with longtime teammate Pau Gasol. 

    How cute are these two?!?

12. Mariano Rivera Overcome with Emotion

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    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Date: September 26, 2013

    Event: Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees

    Mariano Rivera became choked up at the outpouring of cheers from Yankees fans when he was honored during his last game in uniform before retiring.

11. Farewell to Toomer's Corner

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Date: April 20, 2013

    Event: Auburn Oaks at Toomer's Corner Celebration 

    After a terrible person poisoned them—and later bragged about it on the radio—the glorious oak trees at Toomer's Corner in Auburn finally had to be cut down in 2013. 

    Students gathered to say one last goodbye.

10. Vikings and Ravens Have a Snowy Showdown

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    Larry French/Getty Images

    Date: December 8, 2013

    Event: Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens 

    There's something unforgettable about a football game in a snowstorm. It's one of the greatest things in sports.

9. Blackhawks Celebrate Playoff Win Against Kings

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Date: June 2, 2013

    Event: Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Game 2

    The Blackhawks celebrate a playoff win over the Kings and are joined by the first few rows of fans at the United Center in Chicago.

8. San Diego Chargers Cheerleaders Show off Hair Color Palette

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    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Date: December 22, 2013

    Event: Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers 

    Red head, brunette or blonde? It doesn't matter; the Chargers cheerleaders have got you covered.

7. LeBron James Uses Kings Player to Support Dunk

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    Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

    Date: December 20, 2013

    Event: Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat

    Getting dunked on by LeBron James is one thing. Having him use your face as a stepping stool is an entirely different thing altogether.

6. New York Jets Tackle Carolina Panthers Runner

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Date: December 15, 2013

    Event: New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers 

    Um. So exactly how many Jets does it take to bring down a Panther? Apparently...all of them.

5. Jiho Park Trains at FINA Championships

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Date: July 17, 2013

    Event: 15th FINA World Championships

    Jiho Park dives off what looks to be the top of a skyscraper at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Spain. 

    Oh, and what's with that interesting metal building off in the distance?

4. Louisville Players Celebrate NCAA Championship Win

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Date: April 8, 2013

    Event: NCAA Championship, Michigan vs. Louisville 

    Two Louisville players celebrate amid the streamers after defeating Michigan in the NCAA Championship Game.

3. Torii Hunter Disappears After David Ortiz Home Run

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Date: October 13, 2013

    Event: ALCS Game 2, Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers

    Just when the Tigers looked ready to suck the life out of the Red Sox, David Ortiz hit a grand slam home run that changed the momentum of the game—and the series. 

    Poor Torii Hunter was just collateral damage along the way.

2. Super Bowl Blackout

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Date: February 3, 2013

    Event: Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers

    The blackout at Super Bowl XLVII was one of the most memorable events in the history of the game. And it made for some pretty spectacular picture-perfect moments as well.

1. Usain Bolt Runs with Lightning

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    Getty Images

    Date: August 11, 2013

    Event: IAAF World Championships 

    Only Usain Bolt, the fastest man Earth, could create that kind of electricity on a track.

Holiday Bonus!

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Date: December 7, 2013

    Event: SEC Championship, Missouri vs. Auburn 

    I'm not sure being adorable and blonde counts as a "great photo," but it just didn't seem right to leave out this beautiful Missouri cheerleader. 

    Happy Holidays!