People in Sports Who Had the Best and Worst Year Ever

In life, and in sports, nearly everyone experiences prolonged periods of both success and failure. Of course, the 2014 sports year was far from different, as fans were treated to some truly memorable performances, of both the good and bad sort.

Madison Bumgarner, for example, had a downright iconic year, establishing himself as one of baseball’s all-time greats with the type of postseason pitching we’d never seen before.

In a similar vein, Russell Wilson led his Seahawks to the mountaintop and, in so doing, catapulted himself into the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks.

In contrast, however, Tiger Woods battled injury all year long and lost his spot atop golf’s world rankings, while Robert Griffin did the same and lost his stranglehold on the starting quarterback spot in Washington.

So, with these guys and others in mind, we’ve done our best to highlight 10 People/Teams in Sports who had the best/worst year ever.

We should note, we’ve dodged the heavier side of sports in 2014, excluding from our list major violators like Donald Sterling, Jameis Winston, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Roger Goodell.

Instead, then, we’ve explored those who struggled for non-legal reasons, and exalted the athletes who had a dream 2014.

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2014’s Best Sports Commercials

When executed properly, the best sports commercials have the ability to both amuse and inspire.

In 2014, viewers were treated to memorable spots that ran the gamut, getting a taste of all forms of clever and witty.

The year’s biggest sporting event—World Cup—inspired a collection of cinematic shorts, with companies like McDonald’s and Nike taking full advantage.

The year also saw the great Derek Jeter hang up his cleats, and certain tribute commercials left a lasting impression as they paid The Captain the type of profound respect he deserves.

Finally, stealing a page out of Peyton Manning’s book, James Harden teamed up with Foot Locker this year and made us laugh hysterically, while Manning himself worked with Gatorade on yet another chapter.

With these commercials in mind, then, we’ve worked to highlight 2014’s 11 best sports commercials.

While some are funny and others more serious, each commercial skillfully achieved what it set out to accomplish, taking viewers on an emotional and entertaining ride, in one direction or another.

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Stars Fans Love to Hate

While we mostly seek to highlight the positive side of sports—whether its great plays or heroic achievements—we can’t help but acknowledge that some athletes inspire tremendous anger and outrage.

These athletes—you know, the ones who really piss fans off—are often as fun to “hate” as others are to love.

For example, there are as many fans rooting against Jameis Winston on most Saturdays as there are rooting for Peyton Manning on any given Sunday.

And Houston’s Dwight Howard is mocked and criticized every bit as often as Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant is praised.

Likewise, look to NASCAR and you’ll find that the most dominant driver of the last decade—Jimmie Johnson—is arguably the sport’s least popular figure, too.

With these athletes in mind, then, we’ve added to the list, highlighting the top 10 stars fans love to hate.

Those chosen have committed a wide range of sometimes differing transgressions, but they all have one certain thing in common: For who they are and what they’ve done, sports fans everywhere love to hate them.

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Dubious Sports Records Held by Superstars

Though we often romanticize and idolize our legends of sport, they—perhaps better than anyone—teach us that with true greatness comes frequent failure.

Simply put, in the wide world of sports, some of the most iconic names sit beside the least flattering of records.

For example, in his quest to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Kobe Bryant has simultaneously become its all-time errant shooter.

In the same vein, Nolan Ryan threw everything he had at opposing hitters, and as a result, he struck out and walked more batters than any other pitcher.

And in hockey, Martin Brodeur holds the record for regular-season shutouts, but in 21 seasons of action, he has also given up more goals than any goalie ever (2,757).

In honor, then, of these guys and others, we’ve compiled a list of 10 dubious sports records that are surprisingly held by superstars.

And although some of the record holders are a bit more unexpected than others, they all echo a similar sentiment: It takes a little risk, and a few stubbed toes, to be the very best.

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Legendary Athletes We Don’t Hear Enough About

For varying reasons, some sports legends just aren't discussed enough.

Athletes like Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Clemente and Sam Jones were some of the best to ever play their sports, yet they regularly take backseats to more popular legends.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of sports legends we simply don’t hear enough about. The following 10 superstars deserve more attention than they currently get, and we’ve featured them here as a result.

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