Top 10 Most Amazing Sports Plays of 2015

2015 was another year full of unforgettable sports moments. The Cubs nearly made it to the World Series. American Pharaoh won the first triple crown in decades. Hell, we couldn’t stop talking about Tom Brady’s deflated balls.

But this article’s purpose is to look back at the moments that made our eyes pop out of our skulls, wet our pants and run down the street screaming ‘Who’s your daddy?!’

Honorable mention

Jon Lester’s ‘smartest play ever’

This kind of play was a metaphor for the Cubs’ 2015 season.

The behind-the-back home run

Renaud Lefort is the dude with the acrobatic tater. He plays for a Canadian softball team who are like the Harlem Globetrotters of the sport.

DeAndre Jordan throws down another dunk alien to humans

The Clippers star’s most recent Monstars impression. POSTER!

Michigan State’s miracle fumble return for TD

Why is this not higher? Because this was more of a blunder for the ages. 

The top 10 of 2015

numbers 10 Shirtless LeBron drills full court shot 

Just another pre-game ritual at the TD Garden for the best player alive. What makes this even more amazing is LeBron’s palming of the basketball, lobbing it 100 feet like it’s made of Nerf. 

numbers 9 Ronda Rousey takes out Cat Zingano in 14 seconds

But, but, what about Holly Holms’ take down of Rousey last month?! Sure, that was impressive, but should one loss by the sports’ greatest fighter force us to forget how insane Rousey has been in the ring over the past two years?

Here’s a quick recap:

UFC 175. July 2014 vs. Alexis Davis. Result? A 16-second knockout.

UFC 184 . March 2015 vs. Cat Zingano. Result? 14-second defeat with angled armbar.

vs. Bethe Correia at UFC 190? KO in a whopping 34 seconds.

Holms taking about Rousey is impressive and more memorable, but if we’re talking about one, single, unforgettable play? It’s Rousey beating Zingano in less time than it takes to tie your shoes.

numbers 8  Malcolm Butler’s interception to win the Super Bowl

The only thing remarkable about this play is the manner in which it happened — one in the waning seconds to win the Super Bowl against the defending champs and one of the game’s best quarterbacks. It can’t get any better than that.

Sure, Butler was in the right place at the right time, but few players would have had the timing and instincts to pull off what he did without an interference call, let alone holding on to the football.

numbers 7  Trevor Booker’s all-time circus shot

It’s crazy to have a granny-shot in our top ten. But holy hell! Have you ever seen anything like it?!

Technically a player can’t get a shot off with less than .3 seconds … I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, and I’ve been watching basketball since Michael Jordan had hair.

numbers 6 Jed Mildon’s first ever quad backflip

Can anything take more guts? Four backflips on a bike … if anything ever looked liked a video game this year, this ridiculous trick was it.

Note: Moto X star Josh Sheehan also landed the sports’ first triple backflip

numbers 5 Steph Curry’s shake n’ bake, step-back 3-pointer

We should just put up an entire montage of Curry highlights, as the Warriors guard has arguably been not just the flashiest point since Pete Maravich, but the greatest shooter in NBA history.

50 footers at the buzzer. One-handed between the legs dribble while driving to the basket. A pass between opponents’ legs for the assist. All of them are the norm for who could be the best player in basketball right now. But the play that we’ve never seen before that we can’t forget?

This one.

numbers 4 Rodger’s Hail Mary to beat the Lions 

Rodgers to Rodgers only happened because of a penalty at the buzzer, meaning the ‘Miracle in Motown’ started with 0:00 on the clock.

numbers 3 Carli Lloyd’s mid-field goal in World Cup final

A play like this in the World Cup final? AND one which gave the scorer a hat trick? We’ll never see it again.

numbers 2 Miami’s lateral kick-return TD miracle to defeat Duke

The only reason this wasn’t number one is because it shouldn’t have counted. Referees were suspended following all the blown calls in this game, which included a downed knee during this play. 

Still, at the end of the day, and eight, EIGHT, laterals later, it did count. And the ‘Canes won.

numbers 1 Francis Owusu’s behind-the-back TD catch vs. UCLA

The last time we saw a play like this was more than ten years ago when Alabama’s Tyrone Prothro hauled in a similar TD catch that won him an ESPY for the year’s best play.

Amazing Owusu held on to the ball for the Stanford TD, let alone was able to catch it from behind his defender’s back. Without question, this was the most athletic, amazing, uncanny, just-bonkers, play of the year.


Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.

Photo Credit: Getty