Best of the Bests From This Year in Sports

Sam WestmorelandFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2010

Best of the Bests From This Year in Sports

0 of 50

    As 2010 slowly draws to a close, it's time to stop and take a look at some of the more memorable moments from a year in sports. 

    It has certainly been a fantastic year, with first titles, dynasties continuing, players emerging as the best. 

    This slideshow will take a look at some of the best players, games, plays, WAGs, stories and teams of 2010. Because it's so hard to pick one best, we're showing you some of the events and people who just missed the cut on each list. 

    We've got 12 months of sports to cover, so let's get started, shall we?

Best Penalty Explanation: Carl Cheffers, Cowboys Vs. Texans

1 of 50

    This was one of the greatest penalty explanations of all time. It's right up there with "He was giving him the business". 

    Poor Cheffers got a nasty case of stage fright, and forgot what he was going to say. 

    Still, the unintentional comedy on this one make it the best penalty explanation of 2010. 

    Honorable Mention: None. 

The Best Offense In Football: Oregon Ducks

2 of 50

    CORVALLIS, OR - DECEMBER 4: Quarterback Darron Thomas #1 of the Oregon Ducks passes the ball in the second quarter of the game against the the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium on December 4, 2010 in Corvallis, Oregon. The Ducks beat the Beavers 37-20
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Has there ever been an offense as lightning quick as the Ducks' 2010 blur? It's like a no-huddle offense, but they never stop. They've been balanced, potent, and more or less unstoppable this season. 

    Honorable Mention: The "Cam Newton" offense at Auburn, the New England Patriots.

Best Fantasy Football Stud: Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

3 of 50

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 02:  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Foster exploded on to the fantasy football scene in 2010. He was a late third round pick in many leagues, and most felt he could have a fairly strong season. 

    But no one saw this kind of performance coming. Foster has been the most productive back in all of football in 2010, and has scored the second-most points of any player, including quarterbacks in the NFL. He's scored 20 or more points 9 times, 30 or more points twice, and racked up 41 points in Week 1. There is no doubt that Foster has been the biggest stud in fantasy football all season long. 

    Honorable Mentions: Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles, Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots, Brandon Lloyd, WR, Denver Broncos, Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers.

Best Rookie Debut Performance: Joe Webb Vs. Eagles, Week 16

4 of 50

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 26:  Joe Webb #14 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after play against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 26, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Webb came into the 2010-11 NFL season third on the Vikings depth chart. The rookie quarterback was a converted wideout, and while he was seen as having plenty of potential down the road, he wasn't supposed to see the field this year.

    But when both Brett Favre and Tavaris Jackson went down with injuries, Webb was forced into a start against an excellent Eagles squad in Week 16. 

    So Webb went out and delivered the best rookie performance of any player in sports in 2010, using his arm and legs to pick apart the Eagles defense.

    The rookie totalled 226 total yards and rushed for a score, while guiding the Vikes to a 24-14 win. 

    Honorable Mentions: Daniel Nava, Boston Red Sox (grand slam on the first pitch of his first at-bat), Stephen Stasburg (7 IP, 2 ER, 14 K in debut vs. Pittsburgh Pirates), Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers (20 points, 14 rebounds), Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos ( 138 passing yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 78 rushing yards, 1 TD).

Best Sports Commercial: Derek Jeter's Razor

5 of 50

    A spectacular commercial here. When you combine the best mascot in sports (the Phillie Phanatic), the SportsCenter crew, and Derek Jeter, you're going to strike commercial gold. 

    Honorable mention: Fear the Deer; LeBron James' "What should I do?"

Best Epic Fail: Robert Green Can't Catch

6 of 50

    Robert Green's howler gave us the greatest epic fail of 2010, thanks to the magnitude of the goal, and the ramifications of the draw. 

    The ball did take a funny bounce, but Green tries to catch it by putting his flat hands in front of him and pushing the ball away from him. 

    Honorable Mentions: Sven Kramer blows a gold medal, Brett Favre's NFC championship game interception, Kendry Morales' grand slam celebration. 

Best NFL Trade: Cleveland Browns Trade Brady Quinn For Peyton Hillis

7 of 50

    CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 26:  Tailback Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns runs the ball by linebacker Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Why was this trade so good for the Browns? They gave up a quarterback who has yet to start to the Denver Broncos, along with a draft pick Denver wasted on a cornerback that has since been cut, and got a player in Hillis who has been one of the NFL's best rushers. Does that sound like a great trade to you?

    Honorable Mention: The Patriots dump Randy Moss just as he turns irrelevant. 

Best MLB Trade: Boston Red Sox Acquire Adrian Gonzalez

8 of 50

    BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 06:  Adrian Gonzalez stands after a press conference to announce his signing with the Boston Red Sox on December 6,  2010 at the Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    In one fell swoop, the Boston Red Sox made themselves the best team in the American League, trading three prospects to the San Diego Padres for slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzo is a perfect fit for Fenway Park, and he gives the Sox one of the best defensive first baseman in baseball. 

    Honorable Mentions: Brewers acquire Zack Greinke, Phillies trade for Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt, Rangers trade for Cliff Lee.

Breakout WAG: Irina Shayk

9 of 50

    Shayk is the latest girlfriend of Real Madrid superstar (and serial supermodel dater) Cristiano Ronaldo. She broke onto the WAG scene in 2010, and has been skyrocketing up the charts. If this smoldering brunette bombshell keeps it up, she'll enter some rarified air. 

    Honorable Mentions: Sara Carbonero (Iker Casillas).

Biggest Disappointment: Seattle Mariners

10 of 50

    SEATTLE - AUGUST 05:  Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners pauses just before being removed from the game as first baseman Casey Kotchman #13 and catcher Adam Moore #10 look on in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Saf
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Was there a team who failed to live up to expectations more than the 2010 Seattle Mariners? Many pegged the M's as potential division champs in the AL West, thanks to a dominant rotation and enough supposed offensive improvement to pull them out of the cellar. 

    Fast forward to October, and the Mariners were 61-101, the offense was one of the worst in the history of baseball, and the pitching staff was essentially Felix Hernandez. 

    Honorable Mentions: San Francisco 49ers, NFL; Baltimore Orioles, MLB; Minnesota Vikings, NFL; Dallas Cowboys, NFL.

Best Comeback Win: Auburn Defeats Alabama

11 of 50

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers looks to pass against C.J. Mosley #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Things certainly looked bleak for the Auburn Tigers in their clash with the Alabama Crimson Tide on November 26. 

    The Tide were rolling over the undefeated Tigers, jumping out to a 24-7 halftime lead, and victory looked assured. 

    But a funny thing happened on the way to upsetville: Cam Newton took over the game. The junior quarterback threw a 70-yard touchdown strike, and ran for a score in the third quarter to cut the deficit to just 24-21. 

    Bama would extend the lead to 27-21 in the fourth quarter, before Newton would get the ball back and lead the Tigers on what would be the game winning drive. 

    Comebacks of that magnitude are rare. Comebacks of that magnitude against a team of the Crimson Tide's caliber never happen. Comebacks of that magnitude against a team like Alabama on the road? We're into historic territory. 

    Honorable Mentions: Eagles rally from 31-10 deficit in 8 minutes to beat the Giants.

Best NFL Rookie: Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams

12 of 50

    ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 19: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams passes against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome on December 19, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Chiefs beat the Rams 27-13.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Bradford was supposed to struggle mightily in 2010, as the rookie signal caller was learning the ropes. And while Sam has struggled on occasion, he's one of the biggest reasons why the Rams are poised to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004. 

    Bradford has thrown for 3,357 yards and 18 touchdowns, while being one of the Rams on-field leaders. There hasn't been a better rookie in 2010.

    Honorable Mentions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions, Colt McCoy, QB, Cleveland Browns. 

Best MLB Rookie: Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants

13 of 50

    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Buster Posey #28 of  the San Francisco Giants bats against the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The Giants won 3-1.  (Photo by R
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Was there a better success story than Giants catcher Buster Posey in 2010? Posey was called up in late May, and hit .357, with 18 home runs and 68 RBI. He was a key cog in a San Fran offense that lacked punch for most of the 2010 season. 

    Defensively, the catcher was superb, backstopping one of the best rotations in all of baseball. It's no coincidence that the Giants' run to the World Series started when Buster showed up. 

    Honorable Mentions: Mike Leake, P, Cincinnati Reds; Austin Jackson, CF, Detroit Lions; Mike Stanton, OF, Florida Marlins, Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves. 

Best NBA Rookie: Blake Griffin, F, Los Angeles Clippers

14 of 50

    Has there been a more dominant rookie during the 2010 season than Blake Griffin? The former first overall pick has more than lived up to the hype this season after missing his real rookie season due to injury. 

    Griffin is averaging 21.2 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists this season, and he has been the best rookie in the NBA by a mile and a half. 

    Honorable Mentions: None. 

Best Under-The-Radar Signing: Patriots Claim RB Danny Woodhead Off Waivers

15 of 50

    ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 26:  Danny Woodhead #39 of the New England Patriots runs against the Buffalo Bills  at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. New England won 34-3.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    It seemed like a harmless enough move when the New England Patriots claimed running back Danny Woodhead off of waivers from the NEw York Jets. 

    After all, waiver claims were frequently made on players like Woodhead, and nothing came of them. He would probably be just another practice squad player, and the decision was quickly passed over and shrugged off by the media. 

    Fast forward three months, though, and no one's ignoring the Chadron State standout anymore. Despite standing just 5'7", Woodhead has turned into one of the most dynamic, important players on the Pats offense. 

    He's totalled 907 total yards of offense and six total touchdowns in 2010, and has proven a more than adequate change of pace back from the more power-oriented style of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. 

    Honorable Mentions: None. 

Best World Cup No Show: France

16 of 50

    POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 17:  Patrice Evra of France runs with the ball during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between France and Mexico at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on June 17, 2010 in Polokwane, South Africa.  (Photo by Christof
    Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

    It all started with a handball. Talismanic French striker Thierry Henry knocked the ball to William Gallas to put them into the World Cup Final. 

    Given the way they played, the French probably should have stayed home. 

    Les Bleus failed to notch a win, and scored a single point, thanks to a draw with Uruguay in their opening match. They revolted against their head coach, Raymond Domenech, and were one of the most dysfunctional teams in the history of the sport.

    Honorable Mention: Italy. 

Best Throwback Video: Andy Reid

17 of 50

    The behemoth of a 13-year-old in this video is Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid. 

    Not only can he bomb the ball, but Reid is so much taller than everyone else in the contest, you could stack two of them on top of each other and he'd still have four inches on them. 

Most Spectacular Second Half Collapse: Houston Texans

18 of 50

    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texans appeals to the officials after a being called for a penalty against the Tennessee Titans  at LP Field on December 19, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Texa
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Through the first six games of 2010, the Houston Texans were 4-2, and sitting pretty in the AFC South. But from Week 8 through Week 16, the Texans have lost eight of nine, to crash out of the playoff race. 

    The culprit? A defense completely incapable of stopping the passing game, and an offense that sputtered just enough to cost them in a big way. 

    Honorable Mentions: San Diego Padres, Michigan Wolverines football. 

Best Rookie Dunker: Blake Griffin, F, Los Angeles Clippers

19 of 50

    I think this video more or less says everything you need to know about Griffin's claim to this title. 

Best Playoff Gimmick: Brian Wilson and The Machine

20 of 50

    Brian Wilson is kind of a walking gimmick in and of himself. From the ridiculous mohawk/hobo beard combo to his ridiculous quotes, Wilson is an obvious media favorite. 

    But the best gimmick he has is without a doubt, The Machine. Dressed in a gimp outfit, The Machine is a killer from the Nicholas Cage movie 8 Millimeter. 

    Want more on him? Just watch the clip and see. 

Best College Football Highlight: ECU Hails Mary

21 of 50

    This could have been the Michigan State fake field goal, but they'll be around later. In this one, East Carolina trails Tulsa 49-45 with five seconds left in the game. The Pirates throw a bomb into the end zone, and their hefty tight end comes down with the catch of the season. 

    Honorable Mention:  Cam Newton impresses Verne Lundquist;The Michigan State field goal.

Best NFL Highlight: Pierre Garcon

22 of 50

    Pierre Garcon, a wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts, is best known as one of Indy's best deep threats. 

    His hands aren't the best, though you can't tell from this ridiculous catch. 

    Honorable Mentions: Jacksonville Hail Mary. 

Best College Basketball Highlight: Northern Iowa Stuns Kansas

23 of 50

    Let's not talk about this. It still kills me. All Bill Self had to do was pound the ball in the post to win, and he couldn't figure it out. Then Ali Farokhmanesh hit that three, and the Jayhawks fate was sealed. 

    Honorable Mentions:  Korie Lucious beats Maryland.

Best NBA Highlight: Paul Pierce Sinks The Knicks

24 of 50

    The New York Knicks had been playing the Boston Celtics tight all game long on December 15. Paul Pierce drains a jumper to put the Celts up 118-116 with four-tenths of a second remaining. 

    Then, as if that weren't thrilling enough, Amare Stoudemire hits what Knicks fans believed to be a game winning three-pointer as time expired. The basket was ultimately waved off, but it didn't keep the sequence from being the best NBA highlight of 2010. 

    Honorable Mention: None.

Unlikeliest Hero: Ron Artest, F, Los Angeles Lakers

25 of 50

    Never mind the comeback in this one; the fact is, the Lakers were up 76-73 with 1:00 to play. Kobe Bryant drives the lane and dishes to Ron Artest on the perimeter.

    Artest loves to shoot threes, but he can't make them all that well. So you can imagine the crowd's horror when Artest fired one up at this crucial juncture. 

    But, to everyone's amazement, the shot dropped, and it would prove to be a crucial basket down the stretch. The Lakers ultimately won by four, but Artest's three was the last field goal the Lakers made in the game. 

    If you had to pick one hero from the 2009-2010 Los Angeles Lakers, Ron Artest would be waaaay down the list. 

    Honorable Mention: Gio Van Bronkhorst scores the go-ahead goal against Uruguay in the World Cup Semifinals. 

Best Trick Play: Michigan State Stuns Notre Dame

26 of 50

    This one speaks for itself. Michigan State lined up for a game-tying field goal in the first overtime period against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. 

    But, then, suddenly, they weren't kicking. And punter Aaron Bates was firing a pass to Charlie Gantt in the end zone. And, just like that, the Irish lost in the most stunning way imaginable. 

    How great was this trick play? Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio had to be hospitalized after the game. Need I say more? 

    Honorable Mentions: LSU Fakes Florida; Middle School Trickeration

Most Important Goal: Andres Iniesta Beats The Netherlands

27 of 50

    When you score the World Cup-winning goal, it has to be the most important goal of the year. So, Andres Iniesta, congratulations on your World Cup. 

    Honorable Mention: None.

Best Example Of Girl Power: The UConn Women's Basketball Team

28 of 50

    HARTFORD, CT - DECEMBER 21:  Coach Geno Auriemma of Connecticut and his team pose for a picture after defeating Florida State on December 21, 2010 in Hartford, Connecticut. Connecticut set a record with 89 straight wins without a defeat. Connecticut set a
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    I don't care what gender you are; if you win 90 straight games, you are, by default an example of power and dominance. 

    And so, the Lady Huskies are on the list here, thanks to what is one of the most impressive stretches of success in college basketball history. 

    Honorable Mention: None. 

Best Coaching Decision: Sean Payton's Super Onside Kick

29 of 50

    Talk about a gutsy call here. The onside kick idea was so brilliant, the Colts, one of the smartest teams in football, missed the New Orleans Saints call there. 

    Had it not worked, we'd be talking about why the Saints lost. But they recovered the kick, so Payton is a genius. 

    Honorable Mentions: Les Miles' fake field goal, Michigan State's fake field goal. 

Best NFL Coaching Job: Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs

30 of 50

    SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 28:  Head coach Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on November 28, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Chiefs defeated the Seahawks 42-24. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Gett
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    In 2008 and 2009, the Kansas City Chiefs were one of football's worst teams. Last season, new head coach Todd Haley seemed to struggle with getting his players to buy into his system, and the offense sputtered something fierce. 

    However, the Chiefs have shot back into the ranks of playoff contenders, sealing the AFC West crown in Week 16. They're now 10-5, and Haley is one of the big reasons why. In just one season in charge, he has turned Kansas City around, and has them poised to be one of the best young teams in 2011. 

    Honorable Mentions: Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams; Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints. 

Best MLB Coaching Job: Bud Black, San Diego Padres

31 of 50

    PHOENIX - AUGUST 30:  Manager Bud Black of the San Diego Padres reacts to first base umpire Tim McClelland after a disputed call during the fifth inning of the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 30, 2010 i
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    2010 was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the San Diego Padres. Their offense and pitching staff were loaded with young talent, but almost every pundit predicted that not only were the Padres a year or more away, they would finish dead last in the NL West. 

    However, thanks to the brilliant managing of Bud Black, the Padres lead the division for much of the 2010 season, before fading down the stretch. 

    The feat is all the more impressive when you consider the Padres' lack of consistent hitters, as their only real star was first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. 

    Honorable Mention: Ron Washington, Texas Rangers; Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants. 

Biggest NFL Surprise: Peyton Hillis, Cleveland Browns

32 of 50

    CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 26:  Tailback Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns runs the ball by linebacker Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Peyton Hillis is a third-year running back out of Arkansas. He wasn't seen as anything more than a blocking fullback, and was essentially a throwaway piece in the trade that sent Brady Quinn to Denver. 

    In Cleveland, Hillis was buried third or fourth on the depth chart in the preseason. But after both of Cleveland's top rushers went down with injuries, Hillis got his chance and made the most of it. 

    Hillis has totalled 1,164 rushing yards, 474 receiving yards, 11 rushing touchdowns and two receiving scores. He has been a key cog in the Browns' offense, and should be a valuable asset for years to come. His powerful, explosive running has been extremely effective all year long. 

    Honorable Mentions: Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans, Brandon Lloyd, WR, Denver Broncos; Troy Smith, QB San Francisco; John Skelton, QB, Arizona Cardinals. 

Best Knockout Of 2010: Sergio Martinez KOs Paul Williams

33 of 50

    Did any other knockout come close to this one-punch KO? I don't think so. Not even the best MMA KO's of the year could match that kind of a blow. Sergio Williams was slightly winning in what was a wild back and forth affair until the punch. 

    Honorable Mention: None. 

Best Brain Fart: Sal Alosi, New York Jets

34 of 50

    This one happened a couple of weeks ago, when Sal Alosi, the New York Jets strength and conditioning coach, stuck his knee out to trip Nolan Carroll.  

    What was he thinking? We're still not entirely sure, although we're sure Rex Ryan was somehow involved. 

    Honorable Mention: Sven Kramer blows a gold medal, Marvin Austin tweets his NCAA rule violations, A ref lets Thierry Henry's handball stand. 

Best Soccer Pundit: Paul The Octopus

35 of 50

    For all the bluster, bombacity and "expertise" sporting pundits claim to have, the fact is, they're wrong a lot more often than they're right (in the case of American soccer analyst Alexi Lalas, he's wrong every time he opens his mouth). 

    But, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we were introduced to Paul the Octopus. Paul's predictions were eerily accurate, and he correctly predicted all seven of Germany's match results, as well as the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. 

    Sadly, the gift is forever lost, as Paul passed on earlier this year. 

    Honorable Mention: NOT Alexi Lalas.

Best Goal Of The World Cup: Gio Van Bronckhorst Vs. Uruguay

36 of 50

    In the 2010 FIFA World Cup semifinal match between the Netherlands and Uruguay, the Dutch got some production from an incredibly unlikely source. 

    Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who had totalled just five goals in his previous 104 matches, took a pass from Mark van Bommel just beyond midfield. The Dutch captain fired a perfect laser into the far corner of the net, to give the Orajne the margin of victory. 

    No other goal in the World Cup comes close to matching van Bronckhorst's beautiful strike, as the Dutch defender was a breath of fresh air in a tournament bereft of superb goals. 

    Honorable Mention: Andres Iniesta's Cup winning goal. 

The Best Villain In Sports: LeBron James

37 of 50

    PHOENIX - DECEMBER 23:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat stands attended for the National Anthem before the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 23, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    In one hour-long special, NBA superstar LeBron James went from being a megastar who could do no wrong to the villain who could do no right. 

    As soon as he uttered the words "Taking my talents to South Beach", he managed to go from loved to the player fans loved to hate in an instant. 

    Now, James has reached a point where he can't say anything without causing a stir. He is without a doubt the biggest villain in sports right now. 

    Honorable Mentions: Tiger Woods, Brett Favre.

Best Press Conference: Derek Anderson, Arizona Cardinals

38 of 50

    "I put my heart and soul into this every single week! I'm just telling you what I do every single week!" 

    Is he talking about his ability to complete fewer than 50 percent of his passes and throw picks like Jake Delhomme?

    Honorable Mention:  Eli's one-man press conference.

Best Hail Mary: David Garrard Kills The Texans

39 of 50

    The best part of this hail mary pass? The announcers. Thank the football gods that Gus Johnson was announcing this game! 

    Honorable Mention: East Carolina Hails Past Tulsa.

Best Individual World Cup Performance: Diego Forlan, Uruguay

40 of 50

    PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 10:  Diego Forlan of Uruguay in action during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Third Place Play-off match between Uruguay and Germany at The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on July 10, 2010 in Port Elizabeth, South Afric
    Lars Baron/Getty Images

    There wasn't a single player who had a bigger coming out party at the 2010 FIFA World Cup than Diego Forlan. 

    The Uruguayan striker extraordinaire was downright unstoppable in the Cup, scoring five goals, tied for the most in the tournament. He earned himself the Golden Ball, as the best player in the FIFA World Cup, and vaulted into international superstardom. 

    Honorable Mention: Wesley Sneijder, Netherlands; Tomas Mueller, Germany, David Villa, Spain. 

Best Single Game Performance Of 2010: Michael Vick Vs. Washington Redskins

41 of 50

    LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the Washington Redskins on November 15, 2010 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    There wasn't a better individual, single game performance in any sport than Michael Vick's clash with the Washington Redskins on November 15. 

    Vick demolished the 'Skins, throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns, and rushing for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Never before has a player single-handedly demolished an opponent the way Vick did to Washington's defense. 

    Sure, players have had better days throwing the football, or rushing the football, but no one has ever had so complete of a performance, and it was certainly the best game any player had in sports this season. 

    Honorable Mentions: Dallas Braden, Roy Halladay and Armando Galarraga threw perfect games.

Best Surprise Team: San Diego Padres

42 of 50

    SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 13:  Scott Hairston #12 of the San Diego Padres hits a sac-fly that scored Chase Headley to tie the game 2-2 in the second inning of their game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 13, 2010 in San Francisco, Calif
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Padres were universally picked to finish dead last in the NL West in 2010. They lacked offense, their pitching was inexperienced, and they were at least a year away from being a contender. 

    But San Diego proved everyone dead wrong, using a dominant pitching staff to lead the NL West for much of the 2010 season. 

    They ultimately faded in September, and would lose the division. But their 90-72 record was much better than anyone anticipated, and was good enough to earn them the best surprise team in sports. 

    Honorable Mentions: Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Knicks.

Hottest WAG: Gisele Bundchen-Brady

43 of 50

    This leggy blonde bombshell got even sexier in 2010. How? Tom Brady's wife had a kid, but still managed to be sexy enough to walk the runway in lingerie. 

    If that doesn't merit the hottest WAG tag, I don't know what does. 

    Honorable Mention: Zaira Nara (Diego Forlan), Kim Kardashian (Kris Humphries), Yolanthe Cabau Sneijder (Wesley Sneijder). 

Best Cinderella Story: Butler Bulldogs

44 of 50

    INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 05:  Gordon Hayward #20 of the Butler Bulldogs drives against Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils during the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 5, 2010 in Indianapolis,
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    By now, we all know about the Butler Bulldogs Cinderella story. I won't tell you how many people saw them losing in the first round of the tournament, and getting no further than the Sweet 16 (I, for one, had them in the Final Four). 

    I won't tell you how the tiny school from Indianapolis pulled a page out of "Hoosiers" and made a run to the national title game, where they were a bounce off the rim away from upsetting the Duke Blue Devils and winning the NCAA crown. 

    Because, like we said, you already know all about it. 

    Honorable Mentions: San Francisco Giants win the World Series. 

Best Story In Sports: Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

45 of 50

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 28: Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on December 28, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Whether you like him or hate him, Michael Vick has been one of the best stories in sports in 2010. For those who don't remember, Vick served an 18-month prison sentence for dogfighting and racketeering, and was banned from the NFL for a full year. 

    While no one is excusing Vick for what he's done, he's in the midst of something unprecedented. He signed with the Eagles in 2009, but seldom played. Even this year, Vick was slated as the backup quarterback on Philly's depth chart. 

    But after Kevin Kolb went down with a concussion in Week 1, Vick took the field, and it was like he'd never left. He quickly reasserted himself as the most exciting player in football, despite missing 18 months of his prime, and not starting an NFL game in two years. 

    For that, Vick's story is the best of 2010. 

    Honorable Mention: Butler's cinderella run; Africa hosted it's first-ever World Cup final. 

Best College Football Player: Cam Newton, Auburn

46 of 50

    ATLANTA - DECEMBER 04:  Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers looks to pass the ball during the 2010 SEC Championship against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Georgia Dome on December 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Ima
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Regardless of what you think of his moral fiber, there is no denying that Heisman Trophy Winner Cam Newton of Auburn was the best player in college football. 

    Newton's dynamic talent helped him to guide the Tigers to a 13-0 regular season record. He's run and passed for 3,998 yards and 48 total touchdowns. He is the heart and soul of the Tigers offense, and has been positively unstoppable all season long. 

    Honorable Mention: Andrew Luck, Stanford; LaMichael James, Oregon. 

Best Player In Major League Baseball: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

47 of 50

    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds bats in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on October 6, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Votto was the most dominant hitter in all of baseball in 2010. He took home a well-deserved MVP award in 2010, and ranked second in the National League in batting average (.324), third in home runs (37), third in RBI (113), and led the league in both on base and slugging percentages.

    He was the best player on one of baseball's best teams; what more proof do you need?

    Honorable Mentions: Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies; Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers; Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies; Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals.  

Best Player In The NHL: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

48 of 50

    PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 22:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins shoots and scores against the Florida Panthers at Consol Energy Center on December 22, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Crosby has been one of the NHL's best since he entered the league, but the talented center has raised his game in 2010. From scoring the gold medal-winning goal in the Winter Olympics to his recent streak of points in 25 straight games, the best such streak in almost 20 years, Crosby has reached his potential.

    Sure, his rep is hurt by that ridiculously wispy mustache, but he's more than good enough to make up for that nose fur. 

    Honorable Mention: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals.

Best Player In The NBA: LeBron James, Miami Heat

49 of 50

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 17: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat dunks against Wilson Chandler #21 of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 17, 2010 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadin
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Love him or hate him, you have to admit that over the last 12 months, there hasn't been a better all-around player in the NBA than LeBron. 

    James is currently averaging 24.5 points, 7.2 assists, and 6.7 rebounds this season, and was even better than that statistically in the second half of the 2009-2010 season. 

    He is the most talented player in the NBA right now, and he's playing like it. 

    Honorable Mention: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder.

Best Player In The NFL: Tom Brady, New England Patriots

50 of 50

    ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 26:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills  at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York.  New England won 34-3.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Brady had a somewhat tough January, since he wasn't playing for long in the 2009-2010 postseason, but he's more than made up for that with his stellar play this season. 

    The New England Patriots' signal caller has actually looked sharper since the Pats traded Randy Moss, hitting receivers, spreading the ball around, and most importantly, not turning the ball over. 

    He has totalled 3,701 yards and 34 touchdowns in 15 games this season, and has thrown just four interceptions. He hasn't thrown a pick since Week 6, a span of 317 pass attempts. That's the longest streak of completions without a pick in NFL history. 

    Brady's also married to world class WAG Gisele Bundchen, and is a lock for the NFL MVP in 2010. He's definitely deserving of "best player" status. 

    Honorable Mention: Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles; Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers; Arian Foster Houston Texans; Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers.