Top 10 Greatest Sports Moments of 2014

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2014 was another year full of transcendent moments in sports. From the NFL’s multiple failures, to a 16 second knockout, there were countless moments we’ve never seen before.

Below are the top 10 things I will always want to remember from the year in sports. All of these moments should change the way we think about the sports world forever. 

numbers_set_10Arizona State’s Last Second Hail Mary TD At USC

Not they way you want to lose if you’re USC, especially at home. Of course we see something like this every couple of years (the most epic being Doug Flutie in ’84), but what made this Mike Bercovici 46-yard heave so special, was that the implications would resonate throughout the Pac-12 for the rest of the season.

Upon the Jaelen Strong catch, this 38-34 win would help ASU to a 9-3 record and No. 15 overall rank going into the Sun Bowl following an epic battle with rival Arizona for the division crown. 

But you also have to love this moment for capturing the USC fans’ faces — those looks are beyond priceless. 

numbers_set_09Odell Beckham Jr.’s Three Fingered TD Grab

Many are calling this rookie’s catch from November not only the best of the year, but possibly the best ever. Extra points for doing it against the Cowboys. 

numbers_set_08Royals’ Wild Card Comeback Win With Sal Perez Walk-off

The Royals had made the postseason for the first time in 29 years, however they were down 7-3 in this one-game playoff with just three innings left to play. After successfully stealing seven out of seven bases and forcing the game into extra innings, it was this Sal Perez walk off hit that won the game 9-8 (12 innings) and advanced the Royals to their first playoff win in nearly three decades.

What made this better? Other than the fact this was redemption for Perez (the catcher had a chance to win the game earlier and struck out), the Royals went onto the World Series where they faced off against the Giants. 

numbers_set_07Michael Sam Gets Drafted

The first openly gay active football player, Sam came out just weeks before the NFL Draft. Questions swirled around whether or not a team would have the guts to draft an openly gay player — one whom even won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award. 

With just a few picks left in the entire draft, the St. Louis Rams made Sam’s dream come true. 

numbers_set_06John Brooks’ 87th Minute Goal To Beat Ghana

America lost its mind after the 21-year-old sealed the deal in extra time to give the U.S. a stunning upset in the group stage of the World Cup. The goal would essentially help send the U.S. into the elimination round, something many had doubted considering the USMNT started in what was dubbed the “group of death.”

Brooks was the first sub in USMNT history to score a game winning goal. 

numbers_set_05Mo’ne Davis Dominates The Little League World Series

A girl throwing 70 MPH while striking out more teenage boys than a Taylor Swift song resulted in national fame for this 13-year-old. She single-handedly took her Philadelphia squad further than they could have ever dreamed.

Related: Top 10 Greatest Sports Moments of 2013

numbers_set_04Derek Jeter Leaves Yankee Stadium With Walk-off

20 years. Five World Series championships. Just one more at-bat inside Yankee Stadium. Jeets made it count. In the bottom of the 9th, score tied 5-5, the all-time Yankees great slapped a pitch into right field for a game-winning RBI single. The Stadium exploded during a moment that was unlike anything Hollywood could have ever written. 

 

numbers_set_03Travis Ishikawa Wins Pennant With Walk-off HR

Who is this Ishikawa guy? Well, in short, a guy Giants fans will now never forget.

He’s a former Giants first base prospect who was released earlier in the year, then after being released by the Pirates, was picked up again by the Giants to play the outfield and was lucky to make the playoff roster. Following team injuries, he would play a key role in the Giants lineup against the Cardinals in the ALCS, but no one expected this…

A walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the pennant? Not bad for a guy who drove in just 18 runs all season. In fact, Ishikawa became just the fourth leftie in MLB history to hit a penant-clinching home run. 

numbers_set_02Emotional Kevin Durant Accepts NBA MVP Award

By far the best speech we’ve heard from an active player in recent memory, Durant goes into not only great thanks, but into great detail into how far he and his family have come since his childhood in which simply having an unfurnished apartment meant “making it.” 

I dare you to listen to Kevin’s speech and not tear up after he explains who the “real MVP” is.

numbers_set_01Lauren Hill Scores In Her First Collegiate Basketball Game

A 19-year-old from Cincinnati has become a hero for thousands. Not because of her play on the court, but because of her brave demeanor off it.

Lauren Hill is slowly dying due to a rare inoperable brain tumor that’s crippling her body. That didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream and her commitment to play for the Division III Mount. St. Joseph’s women’s basketball team.

This November story below not only shows what Hill calls “the best day of her life,” but a scene in which 10,000-plus fans come out in full support and an opposing team find themselves with tears of joy for a girl they shouldn’t be having dinner with.

This is the can’t miss story of the year.

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.