With 2014 coming to a close (YBM Tape dropping New Year's Eve), we decided to look back on the year and go through some of the most memorable sports moments from this past year. Of course all the major sports media outlets will be doing this but you know we have to do our own thing. We'll also be conducting a year review on Sports Rap Radio show, which could be heard on WBP Newtworks every Tuesday from 7-9pm, so be sure to tune in.
The NFL Season is in it's final week but we are going to go back to earlier this year to when the Seattle Seahawks became the hottest professional team in the country with their play but also player personalities.
The interview heard around the world that put Richard Sherman into the superstar stratosphere. The play Sherman made to end the game was also superstar like but the raw and uncut passion from Sherman after the game turned him into a household name.
The Seahawks then went on to roll over Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the Super Bowl, 43-9, taking home the franchises first Super Bowl title. Coming into the Super Bowl, the Seahawks were underdogs but by time the game was over, the Legion of Boom proved to be one of the best defensive units in NFL history. They held the Broncos offense, that broke every record in the book, to only 306 yards (averaged 457/game). This was also the first Super Bowl played in a open stadium located in a cold weather city, even though the game temperature never dropped below 45 degrees.
Out of respect for Ray Rice and his family, I will not use the video of him and his wife. Ray Rice and his then fiance, Janay, got into a domestic dispute in February, both being charged with assault. Neither had to do jail time but Ray Rice apologized for his bad decisions and was appointed counseling. A couple months later, before the season started, the NFL decided to only suspend him for 2 games, which caused major public outcry. Then the Monday after the 1st game of the season, one that the Ravens lost 13-26 to the Bengals, TMZ released the full footage of him striking Janay in an elevator, which left her unconscious. Ray Rice was then suspended indefinitely and later cut by the Ravens.
The way the media treated Ray Rice really bothered me. What he did was wrong and inexcusable but he was painted to be a horrible person, which I think is furthest from the truth. Also he was a victim of double jeopardy. The Ravens organization turned their back on him, except for the players, coaches, and GM Ozzie Newsome, while the league lied on him, which I will get into. Since then Ray Rice has been reinstated but still is a free agent. Ray Rice maybe the biggest story of 2014, not only in sports, but in all media because it involved domestic violence, an ongoing problem in the NFL and society.
By far one of the worst commissioners in sports history. Financially, he has contributed tremendously to the rise of the NFL, turning it into a $9 billion enterprise. From a fan's point of view though, one that loves the sport of football, Goodell has ruined the game. This year his credibility took a major hit once Ray Rice was reinstated. Goodell said that he, nor anyone else in the NFL office, saw that tape and Rice was "ambiguous" in there meeting back in March. A judge later determined that wasn't the truth, reason why Rice was granted reinstatement. I'm not really sure how Goodell still has his job, but then again, he is the owners puppet who makes them billions of dollars. I'm not one of to judge a man's character but Goodell has proved this year that he can not be trusted and could care less about the players.
Play of the Year: Odell Beckham's one hand snag
When it first happened I wasn't to excited about it since it was on my team, but now that we have made the playoffs I can appreciate this amazing catch. Beckham will more than likely win Offensive Rookie of the Year award and rightfully so. All I have to say is, DO IT AGAIN.
Kevin Durant had one of the best seasons in recent memory. We all knew how great of a scorer he was but he took it to new heights in 2013-14. He had a scoring streak of 41 games with at least 25 points, 12 games with at 30, and 14 games with 40+ (Two 50 point games). While Russell was sidelined with a knee injury, KD kept the Thunder as one of the top teams in the west. The only negative about 2014 for KD is he didn't take home the Larry O'Brien trophy, losing to the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. So far in the 2014-15 season, KD has gotten off to a slow start, only playing in 9 games because of injuries. At any given time though he can heat up, he proved that against the Warriors when he scored 30 points in 19 minutes, 10/12 from the field.
Summer of 2010, LeBron made one of the worst decisions of his career, not because he went to Miami, but because he announced it on National Television on the last day of free agency. Cavs' owner, Dan Gilbert, wrote a nasty letter expressing his ill feelings towards Bronny and his decision, claiming the Cavs will win a championship before Bronny and the Heat (Yeah about that). Fans in Cleveland burned his jersey and vowed to never allow him back into their hearts (Yeah about that).
Fast forward 4 years and 2 championships later, Bronny has returned back to the city of Cleveland. Instead of a hour long show, he wrote a sentimental letter letting fans know he will take his talents back to Cleveland and why he felt like it was time to go back home. I think the curb stomping the Spurs gave him and the Heat influenced his decision to leave Miami. I actually thought he was going to stay in Miami but then I realized that they're contracts allowed them to opt out two years before the contracts expired, which gave Bronny a chance to jet, so I wasn't surprised.
What bothered me about this is with all the homecoming hoopla, he only signed a 2-year deal, that he can opt out of in a year. I understand it's a business but don't sell these people a dream once again. I hope he won't leave Cleveland but I don't think we can trust Bronny at this point when it comes to free agency because he has shown us that whatever we think he might do, he will do the opposite. I am happy for the city of Cleveland, they will be able to bring some money back into the city plus they have a championship caliber team with Bronny, Kyrie, and K-Love. So far it hasn't been a great homecoming, Cavs currently 5th in the East. For now Cleveland, just enjoy having Bronny back in town
2014 hasn't been a great year for the Lakers and Kobe. They missed the postseason last season, plus he was out with a knee injury, and this season, Kobe has had individual success but the team isn't doing well. The Lakers struggles has given "haters" fuel to slander Kobe's name at any given moment. I was never a Kobe Fan but I have the highest amount of respect for this man for accomplishing what he has. Kobe has reached the plateau that many hasn't and won't, how can we slander this man? At this point just enjoy watching greatness.
Dont Jump Victim of the Year:
This happened in the beginning of the year and it has been the cover photo for the "Don't Jump" page. Faried is known to be one of the fiercest defenders in the paint and Terrance Ross made the Manimal look like a child. A great poster.
I am not the biggest soccer expert but I became a very big soccer fan this past summer thanks to the World Cup. This is only the second World Cup I can recall actually watching, and I can say, Brazil bought much more excitement than South Africa. Each game Had a high dose of passion and excitement. I got the chance to see my country come together and chanted "I Believe That We Will Win!! It was a great time for the world. It seem like for that one month the world stopped beefing and came together as one.
The World Cup swept the country by storm. Anytime the USMNT was playing, every bar in the country had it on every screen. Matches against Belgium and Portugal broke ESPN records. Read about how the sport of Futbol will become the hot new thing in states in Soccer Craze
Baseball made its way back into the city of Baltimore. In 2012 we saw the O's make it to playoffs for the first time, even having a couple home games in playoffs against the Yankees, one of which I attended. In 2014 though the O's became one of the hottest teams in the MLB, taking home the division for the first time in 17 years. From April to October, this city was the color of orange, every where you looked, someone was sporting Baltimore Oriole gear. I enjoyed watching my city become baseball fans again, also being apart of what I thought was a great run.
Orioles were the best hitting team in the MLB, leading the league with 211 Home Runs, with the Rockies being a far second with 186. Nelson Cruz led the league with 40 home runs and found himself in the AL MVP voting. Buck Showalter was named Manager of the year for the first time in his career and the O's were one of the best defensive teams in the league. All of this positivity had the city thinking that they were on the verge of bringing home the Commissioner's Trophy but the other hot squad put my beloved Orioles out of the playoffs.
Can't even be mad at the Royals, they did something that no one has ever done before, win their first 8 games in the postseason. They made a great comeback against the A's in the Wild Card Game, coming back from a 7-3 deficit in the 6th inning. They then went onto to defeat the Angels in 3 games, MVP Mike Trout going 1-12 in the series. Outscored the Orioles 18-12 in a four game sweep, hitting more home runs than them also. THey met their match against the Giants but the Royals definitely made themselves known by the end of the postseason. Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Alex Gordon became household name during this postseason with their exciting play and personalities. Even though they didn't win the tittle, they still should get some considerations for team of the year.
Jeter's final season was a fun one. He seemed to enjoy calling it a career, receiving farewell gifts from different teams and just the amount of love shown towards him from fans all over. As an Oriole fan, I know much about how great Jeter, he has had the best success against the Orioles in his career and it didn't change in the final year. In his final at bat against the Orioles, Final at bat in New York, Jeter hit the game winning RBI to beat the O's 6-5. I don't think someone could have scripted that ending. The Yankee played 3 more games after that but to me that was the final game for Derek Jeter. Salute to the captain.