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Most memorable sports moments of 2014: Highs & lows, from 114 to 1

Presenting our completely subjective, entirely debatable ranking of the 114 most mystifying, monumental, mesmerizing and magical sports memories of 2014:

114. 50 cents first pitch

Thank you, Mr. Cent, for this gem at Citi Field in May. It actually might not have been the worst first pitch of the year - one could make an argument that the dubious honor goes to this Astros fan - but it was definitely the funniest.

113. Tiny fan fist-bumps entire Bruins roster

Liam Fitzgerald was born with Down syndrome and diagnosed with leukemia when he was four years old, but he was declared cancer free in 2013. In this video, the tiny fan looks like the happiest kid in the world as he collects fist bumps from his favorite hockey players.

112. Brewers score three on wild pitch

With the bases loaded in the top of the third, Rockies starter Christian Friedrich threw a wild pitch that snowballed into a comedy of errors.

111. $ 1 billion NCAA Tournament bracket challenge

If you'd never submitted an NCAA tournament bracket before this year, there's a good chance that you started one after billionaire investor Warren Buffett announced the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge. It took only two days before everyone's dreams of winning the $ 1 billion grand prize were crushed after Memphis defeated George Washington. Even so, the 20 most accurate brackets still took home $ 100,000 apiece.

110. Heart of a champion

Erik Compton, a 35-year-old two-time heart transplant survivor, was the feel-good golf story of the year after finishing the U.S. Open tied for second and earning a spot at the 2015 Masters.

109. NHL players and the mumps

The vaccine-preventable disease has been spreading through the NHL since the first case was reported Oct. 17, with 16 players - including Sidney Crosby and Corey Perry - confirmed as having the mumps. It's gotten so bad that one enterprising Reddit user put together an all-mumps roster to form the “Las Vegas Mumps” (their AHL farm team is named the Reno Quarantines, naturally).

108. Snow wreaks havoc on Buffalo

The epic November snowstorm dumped seven feet of snow on the Buffalo area and threw a wrench into the sports schedules. The Bills-Jets game had to move to Detroit; the team later offered fans $ 10 an hour to help shovel the stadium. The Sabers actually played their game against the San Jose Sharks as scheduled, but forward Patrick Kaleta couldn't make it - he was snowed in. Worst of all, the Niagara women's basketball team was stranded on a bus back from Pittsburgh for 26 - - that's TWENTY-SIX - hours.


Rajon Rondo has seemingly been on the trade block for years now, and the Boston Celtics decided to trade their longtime point guard to the Dallas Mavericks. However, instead of in an office somewhere at team headquarters, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban finalized the deal while in the green room of The Colbert Report finale.

106. Lucy Li's debut

The 11-year-old sixth-grader became the youngest U.S. Women's Open qualifier after finishing first in a qualifying tournament in California. Though she missed the cut after shooting a respectable 78 two days in a row, Li stole the show with her performance and the ice cream she enjoyed mid-interview.

105. Nascar brawl

Things got heated after the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway as Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and members of their pit crews got into a huge post-race brawl on pit road, which was ignited when Kevin Harvick pushed Keslowski into the back.

104. Todd Gurley suspension

Georgia running back Todd Gurley, one of the top running back prospects for the 2015 draft, was suspended four games for violating NCAA rules after he accepted $ 3,000 to autograph memorabilia. While autograph scandals are nothing new in college football, it renewed the debate after the NCAA lost a case in federal court over the use of athletes' names, images and likes.

103. Michael Jeter?

Derek Jeter put on a show in his final MLB All-Star game, but it was late actor Michael Jeter who got all the glory in this embarrassing CBS mixup.

102. Utah's Kaelin Clay drops the ball

Prematurely celebrating what would have been a 78-yard TD reception - and a 14-0 Utah lead - Clay dropped the ball just before crossing the goal line. Oregon returned the fumble 100 yards for a game-tying touchdown. The Ducks went on to win 51-27. Ouch.

101. J.R. Smith untying shoelaces

Knicks guard J.R. Smith's penchant for untying the shoelaces of opposing players was put to a stop by the league, and he was fined $ 50,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct.


100. Bode Miller pushed to tears

After tying for bronze in the men's super-G at the Sochi Olympics and becoming the oldest Alpine medalist in Olympics history at age 36, Bode Miller was pushed to tears after NBC reporter Christin Cooper hounded him with questions about the death of his brother.

99. Shawn Thornton’s water prank

This was the NHL's 'water-gate'. In the waning seconds of Boston's Game 5 victory over Montreal in the NHL playoffs, Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton sprayed P.K. Subban's visor with a water bottle as the Canadiens defenseman skated by the Boston bench. Thornton was later fined the maximum amount, $ 2,820.52, for unsportsmanlike conduct. Montreal got its revenge, rallying to oust Boston in seven.

98. Thanks for asking

After missing the first quarter of a Dec. 19 game in Arizona with a "bad tummy," Marshawn Lynch went into Beast Mode again. His monstrous 79-yard touchdown run - already being dubbed Desert Storm - brought back memories of his 'Beast Quake' touchdown run against the Saints in the 2011 playoffs. Lynch was just as elusive in postgame interviews, bizarrely answering every question with the response, "Thanks for asking."

97. Adam Silver's first year

The NBA commissioner began his tenure by deftly navigating the Sterling crisis, but that wasn't all he did in his first season; he also negotiated a nine-year, $ 24 billion TV contract and opened a centralized replay center. As SI’s Lee Jenkins wrote, "Silver earned the title every commish would want in 2014: the anti-Roger Goodell."

96. Josh Shaw caught in a lie

The USC cornerback was lauded for his heroism after explaining that his pair of ankle injuries was from jumping out of a window to save his 7-year-old cousin from drowning in a nearby pool. One problem: It wasn't true. Turns out Shaw had gotten into an argument with his girlfriend and jumped out of a window when he saw police outside, thinking she'd called them. Not quite as heroic.

95. #SoftAsCharmin

Maybe all those rumors about players not wanting to play with Kobe Bryant were true after his #SoftAsCharmin tirade during a Lakers practice session went viral.

94. Manziel flips off Washington

The attention-attracting Browns quarterback burned off some frustration after some chirping from fans and opponents during a 24-23 loss to Washington in the preseason. After the game, Manziel explained it as "a lapse in judgment."

93. Real Madrid gets No. 10

Real Madrid solidified its spot as the most successful club in the history of the UEFA Champions League after winning its 10th title this year.

92. Kei Nishikori pulls off upset at U.S. Open

Japan’s Nishikori made history at the U.S. Open, stunning world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinal and becoming the first Asian man to make it to a Grand Slam final. He was quickly dispatched by Marin Cilic in the final, but 24-year-old Nishikori proved himself a force to be reckoned with.

91. Undertaker Loose WrestleMania

The Undertaker's streak of 21 consecutive wins at WrestleMania was finally snapped by Brock Lesnar.

90. Inspiring speech

Rhode Island Little League coach Dave Belisle delivered a moving speech after his team's one-run loss in the Little League World Series. "There's no disappointment in your effort," he told the team. Uh, is it dusty in here?