2014 was a memorable year in the world of sports. Below, In Poor Taste presents its top five sports stories from the previous 12 months.
1. LeBron James returns home to Cleveland — Citing the fact that he can get more house for his money in Cleveland than in his adopted homeland of South Beach, four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James announces in July he is returning to northeast Ohio to play for his hometown Cavaliers after playing just four seasons for the Miami Heat. Less than two months into the season, the 30-year-old James appears to be on the decline and many speculate that the two-time NBA champion is unlikely to ever regain his status as the league’s greatest player, making the icon from Akron a fitting metaphor for the Rust Belt.
2. The Seattle Seahawks win their first Super Bowl — Just four months before the 40th anniversary of their birth as an expansion franchise, the Seattle Seahawks in February win their first Super Bowl, dominating veteran pitchman, neck surgery enthusiast and sometime quarterback Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos in front of thousands of regretful fans at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Super Bowl win also marks the first professional football championship for fourth-year Seahawks head coach and team vice president Pete Carroll, whose heretofore unknown off-the-field transgressions will ultimately force the National Football League to strip the Seahawks of their Super Bowl trophy and demand that any team that wishes to hire the compulsively unethical executive show cause before being allowed to do so.
3. Derek Jeter retires — Legendary ladies man and once-competent Major League Baseball player Derek Jeter plays his final professional baseball game in September, officially retiring and paving the way for the gigantic, publicity-fueled albatross that hovered above Yankee Stadium to finally fly away after years of holding New York Yankees front office executives within its formidable clutch. Jeter retires as the Yankees’ all-time leader in hits, games played, stolen bases, gift baskets administered, and Valtrex prescriptions refilled.
4. Brazil cripples itself financially to host a soccer tournament Americans briefly pretend to care about — In June, the impoverished nation of Brazil utilizes a global soccer tournament to teach other nations how to ignore their citizens’ needs and mortgage their futures under the guise of nationalism. A total of 31 nations compete in front of packed, state-of-the-art and government-funded stadiums that have already begun to fall into the same type of disrepair that plagues Brazil’s long-since deteriorated national infrastructure. American interest is piqued but immediately evaporates when the United States men’s national team loses in the round of 16 to an opponent no American can recall in a game few even remember watching.
5. Brewers reliever finishes fourth in holds — Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Will Smith finished the 2014 Major League Baseball season with the fourth-most holds of any pitcher in the National League. Smith’s cementing of his status as his league’s fourth most reliable holder of leads is part of a magical 2014 campaign in which the former Kansas City Royal compiled a 1-3 won-loss record while pitching to a 3.70 earned run average and walking just 31 batters in 65.2 innings pitched.