25 Pictures That Epitomize 2013 in Sports

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Looking Back on the 2013 Year in Sports

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

2013 has been another fantastic year in sports. From the mountain peaks of highs to the bottomless pits of lows, we watched our favorite athletes and teams cry both tears of joy and sorrow in a year of crazy plot twists and epic face offs.

As sports fans, we really have been blessed by an extremely intriguing 2013 season. We have been privileged to witness some fascinating seven-game playoffs series, surprising international performances, sad news stories and all sorts of other captivating moments. There has been no shortage of instances in which we were glued to the television set just waiting to find out what would happen.

To say that the year in sports has been a failure or a letdown would be completely ridiculous and a shame. In order to pay homage to the year that was 2013, we here at Rant Sports wanted to put together a slideshow of 25 pictures that truly define and embody how the year in sports went. As such, I have compiled a large group of some of the best photos which accurately sum up the last 12 months. I will feature some of the motivational moments, saddest stories and biggest performances from the last year as we look back.

I hope you enjoy the nostalgia of the past year! To start the slideshow, click the “Next” button and be sure to leave a comment below if you remember the moments listed, how you felt about them, or if you felt there were some other stories that should have made the list.

Isaac Comelli is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @IsaacComelli, “Like” him on Facebook or follow him on Google.


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Lance Armstrong's Confession

Via Lance Armstrong Official Facebook Page

This photo of Lance Armstrong tugs at the heartstrings of sports fans who supported the former American hero through his many successful years as a competitive racer and stood behind the cyclist when he was accused of cheating. After Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey this year that he cheated, the façade fell apart and Armstrong’s persona became an instant villain. This was one of the saddest stories in sports this year, but is a real life example of things turning out for the worst; it just happens sometimes.

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2013 NBA Finals

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat are one of the most hated teams in the NBA, but their run to the 2013 NBA Finals and a second consecutive championship easily epitomizes the year in sports. Many fans were rooting for their opponents, the San Antonio Spurs, just ought of hope that the Heat would lose, but the so called “bad guys” of the NBA ended up winning in brilliant fashion. Despite the Heat winning, NBA fans really could not have asked for much more out of the series as the Finals went the distance and included dramatic finishes along the way to Game 7.

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Giants Make Batkid's Day

Via Make-A-Wish Bay Area Twitter Account

Sports is not always about the big stage with the big lights and the teams winning trophies. Sometimes it’s about the players and teams giving back to their community and fans. The San Francisco Giants did just that, helping a Make-A-Wish Foundation cancer patient get his perfect day. Miles Scott is a young boy fighting cancer and was given the opportunity to run around the city of San Francisco, saving “damsels in distress” and fighting evil while dressed up in an awesome Batman costume. Bravo to the Giants for helping make this happen as it was one of the most heartwarming moments of the year.

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The (Failed) Return of Derrick Rose

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

“The Return” of Derrick Rose was one of the most anticipated moments in recent NBA history. One of the sport’s biggest stars had been out from May of 2012 until October of 2013 and fans mostly just wanted to see him play again. With a good guy reputation, many people were rooting for the return to go well, but November would bring a horrible surprise as Rose went down again during a game, this time blowing out the other knee in another season ending injury. That is just how sports go sometimes.

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Eagles and Lions Playing Through Extreme Weather

Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

What do sports fans love more than watching their favorite teams play in almost a foot of snow? Not much. The best part of this game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Detroit Lions is that, despite the inclement weather, the game turned into an exciting, come from behind win. Sure, it may have been -80 degrees and the play was sloppy, but it was fun to watch and that is what sports is all about.

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Manti Te’o Got Catfished

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The ridiculous hoax of the supposedly made up girlfriend of Manti Te’o was a crazy news buzz in January of this year. Although it seems like a long time ago, the reason people do not talk about it all that much anymore is because Te’o moved on, like a professional. The linebacker showed up to the NFL combine even though he knew no one would want to talk about his bench press performance or his 4-40 time, but about him getting catfished. He pushed through the awkward questions and got himself drafted and is now working on being a productive contributor to his NFL team. This picture reminds us that athletes often find themselves in crazy and strange situations, but how that person responds to the circumstances dictates what will become of them in the future.

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Serena Williams Continues to Dominate

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing in the “some things never change” category is this image of Serena Williams, celebrating another Major win. She too reclaimed the world number one rank in Women’s Tennis this year, and is well on her way to establishing herself as the best female tennis play in history. It is not every day or every year that we are privileged as sports fans to be witness to “one of the greatest in the sport, ever” but Williams has continued to show us in 2013 that we are blessed to watch a historically great athlete.

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Super Bowl Power Outage

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

On Football’s biggest stage, one of the oddest things that could happen ended up happening. Fans sat through more than 30 minutes of a power outage in order to see the Super Bowl get back underway. If there is one thing we know about sports, it is that we have to remain on our toes for the unpredictable and this power outage was certainly one of those bizarre instances.

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Tiger Woods Reclaims Number One Rank

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

After well documented struggles with his personal life, Tiger Woods regained the number one rank in golf in 2013. The biggest moral of this story is that some things never change.

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Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

What you see in the photo above is surviving victems of the Boston Marathon bombing being recognized at a Boston Red Sox game. This is just another classic example of a sports team rallying behind its community to support and uplift in a time of need.

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Alabama Gets Dethroned in Iron Bowl

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

This moment very well may go down as the most exciting in sports in 2013. With Alabama seemingly on pace for its third consecutive trip to the BCS Championship Game and a shot at finishing off a three-peat, all that stood between them and that chance was the Iron Bowl. Auburn had other plans in mind as the game finished in one of the most dramatic ways I have ever seen. With the game tied and just seconds to go, Alabama tried to kick a long, game winning field goal but it fell short and Auburn’s Chris Davis caught it and returned it over 100 yards to avoid overtime and win the game. With the win, Auburn boosted itself into the BCS Championship and knocked Alabama out. It does not get much better in sports than that.

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Lindsey Vonn’s Miraculous Comeback

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

After pretty much destroying the inside of her knee, Lindsey Vonn’s hopes at competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi this February seemed crushed. As if to just say “in your face” to every doctor out there who would expect an ACL and MCL tear and a fractured tibia to take at least 12 months to heal, the picture above is of Vonn competing just a few days ago. She looks to be back on track to compete in Sochi and this photo just shouts perseverance.

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Aaron Hernandez Indictment

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Another sad example of an athlete who got mixed up in the wrong situation is the tragic case of Aaron Hernandez who was indicted for murder this summer. It is disheartening to hear of such a gifted athlete throwing away his life in situations like this, but that is just what happens sometimes, not only in sports but in our mixed up, twisted world.

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Boston Red Sox World Series Win

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

There are few teams who have struggled to win championships over the years more than the Boston Red Sox. Watching them get their second World Series win in 2013, even as a fan of another team, was a fun moment. It is nice to see the guys who have failed for so long to finally get back to winning ways.

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Kobe Bryant’s Determination

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Despite tear his Achilles tendon during a game, Kobe Bryant’s will and determination drove him to finish his night and season by taking the two free throws he earned while going down on a foul. Having watched the game live, I still remember the hairs standing up on my arm as I watched Bryant hobble to the free throw line to take his final shots of the year. The grit and willpower it took to fight through that pain and sink those free throws is remarkable and a truly powerful moment in sports.

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Diana Nyad’s Epic Swim

Via Diana Nyad Official Facebook Page

To try to call Diana Nyad’s successful attempt to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Miami without a protective shark cage anything less than epic would be silly. At 64 years of age, Nyad completed the multi-day, 110 mile trek and splashed her way onto the Floridian shore, desperately tired, but a hero in the hearts of people everywhere.

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Kevin Ware’s Nasty Broken Leg

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

You may remember hearing about or seeing the disgusting leg break that Kevin Ware experienced during the NCAA Basketball Tournament last April. The devastating injury knocked Ware out of the rest of the tournament as he had to watch his team go on to win without him. But you can now watch that courageous young man playing college basketball again. This picture of him in excruciating pain on the ground is only one half of the sad stories that are injuries. The happy part of this story is his return to the game he loves.

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Adrian Peterson’s Comeback

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

When Adrian Peterson blew out his knee with an ACL and MCL tear in 2011, most people expected his comeback to be slow and timid. Peterson put all of those thoughts to rest by rushing for 84 yards and scoring two touchdowns in Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season and never looking back. He finished the season with 2,097 yards, a mere eight yards shy of the single season record. Take that, nay sayers!

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Yasiel Puig Walk-Off Home Run

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Yasiel Puig’s burst on to the baseball scene with a series of bangs, one of which is depicted above. Puig’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning is just one example of the breakout rookie’s exciting performance which set the sports world buzzing about this new star. We love to see guys rise out of obscurity and wow us and Puig was one of those fascinating stories we were privileged to follow in 2013.

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2013 WNBA Draft

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

With the addition of very talented female basketball players to the WNBA, headlined by the amazing specimen that is Brittney Griner, women’s sports continue to evolve and expand. It is interesting to watch these ladies lead the female athletes into a new age in which men’s and women’s sports are starting to compete for attention.

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John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

As much as we hate to watch cheaters and here their lies, we love to boo and jeer at them and Alex Rodriguez got a whole lot of that in 2013. After the news dropped about his steroid allegations, Rodriguez became an even larger villain than he had already been, if possible. The steroid era of baseball has marked the game with a big, dirty asterisk so fans decided to bring the asterisks to the source.

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Flordia Gulf Coast Upsets Georgetown

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

As the number fifteen seed in their region of the NCAA Tournament, just about no one expected Florida Gulf Coast University to come out and compete against Georgetown. Were they ever wrong! This celebratory picture shows the moment the Eagles defeated the Hoyas and reminds us sports fans how much we love the underdog story.

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Reverse Kaepernicking

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

NFL fans loved watching Colin Kaepernick start a new fad dubbed “Kaepernicking” as he kissed his bicep after every amazing play in 2012. Now that he is in 2013 and struggling to keep his rookie season’s success going, it is fun to watch his opponents getting some justice. Pictures like this will serve to remind Kaerpernick that sports can easily humble a man.

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Jack Hoffman and Nebraska Football

Via Nebraska Huskers Official Twitter Account

5-year old Jack Hoffman was a pediatric brain cancer patient who’s day was made by the Nebraska football team. The team brought Jack on to the field during a scrimmage and ran a play with him at tailback, guiding him safely into the end zone and making him a viral star. Another perfect example of sports contributing to the greater good of our society.

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Ray Lewis’s Swan Song

Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

Ray Lewis is not loved by every NFL fan, but most can attest that watching his swan song game end in a Super Bowl win was a very special and cool moment. His celebration was not just for his team’s championship but also for a long and storied career as one of the best linebackers in NFL history. Congrats, Ray! We loved watching you and your crazy antics.

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