Our year-end extravaganza comes to a conclusion on this New Year’s Eve with a bang – our favorite clips and moments of the year. While we’ve broken down the best and worst of media and shared our favorite feuds and bloopers of the year, these are the clips that made us smile, laugh… or some weird emotion in between.
So let’s take one last walk down memory lane before we bring the curtain down on the year that was. Enjoy our Top 14 Favorite Moments of 2014 as we wish you a very happy 2015!
14) Vin Scully calls his 19th no-hitter
Every game Vin Scully calls should be cherished. This year he got to call an incredible 19th no-hitter in his historic career thrown by ace Clayton Kershaw.
13) Jay & Dan’s Sochi Tourism Video
In spite of having no Olympic rights, Fox Sports 1 sent Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole to Sochi for the Winter Games. In turn, they produced some of the funniest things to come out of a sports network this year including this Sochi Tourism Video. It’s kinda like that Cleveland Tourism Video that’s so famous on the internet, but a lot more depressing when you think about it.
12) Tom Hamilton calls a grand slam walk-off
One of the fundamental tenants at Awful Announcing is that whenever Cleveland Indians radio announcer Tom Hamilton calls a walk-off home run, we’re contractually obligated to share it with you. There’s no one better in the business at calling a walk-off then Hammy and this Nick Swisher grand slam was his best.
11) SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway went completely over-the-top with this old-school YouTube ad for the Brickyard 400. And in the process, they created one of the most amazing videos we’ve ever seen. If “Mensanity” and chinchillas doesn’t lead NASCAR back to prominence in America, what will?
10) Rebecca Lowe: Valley Girl
NBC’s EPL host Rebecca Lowe is maybe the most well-liked person in sports media. She put a stranglehold on that title with this attempt at a valley girl American accent on the Dan Patrick Show.
9) The Best Al Michaels Gambling Reference It’s past time to put the Pro Bowl out to pasture, but while we all have to suffer through its worthless existence… we might as well put some money on it. Noted Vegas odds watcher Al Michaels didn’t even bother with a veiled gambling reference on the game’s wacky final play. He just came out and said it. After all, that’s the only way I can imagine anyone getting through a broadcast of the Pro Bowl.
8) Sage Steele rolls her eyes at Bill Simmons
The most memorable moment in the history of ESPN’s NBA studio show.
7) The magesterial Ray Hudson
Thank the soccer gods above for the gift of Ray Hudson. And then thank them again that he was on the call for Carlos Tevez’s Goal of the Year candidate for Juventus.
— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) November 9, 2014
6) Crazy Eyes Gruden Is Born
This Jon Gruden Hooters video is the most fascinating three minutes of the sports year. And we can’t be thankful enough for the image of Crazy Eyes Gruden in his Hooters paraphernalia that will go down as one of our favorite all-time screen grabs. Now that he’s doing stuff like this for a living, it’s no wonder Gruden doesn’t want to bother going back into coaching.
*** BONUS CLIP: The Gruden Shake ***
The year in Crazy Gruden continued on Monday Night Football when he made his own distinctive smoothie. I pray to God nobody actually drank it. This must be what Chucky dreams of when he wakes up at 3:18 in the morning. This is the most amazing smirk in the history of broadcasting.
I'm uncomfortable. https://t.co/vpOkJ9h9Q4
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) November 11, 2014
5) Mike Francesa’s Jets rant
There’s few things in sports better than a Mike Francesa rant. And it only gets better when the target of said rant is the New York Jets. It was a tough choice between this clip and Francesa’s insane 30 minute monologue about golf for our year-end clipdown… but we ended up choosing this classic pope moment.
4) Don’t even think about moving Ted Leitner’s briefcase
Allow me to introduce this clip with our post from March, because this treasured clip deserves its full context…
It’s the last minute of the Mountain West Championship Game between San Diego State and New Mexico. There’s a little over a minute left in an exciting game and you happen to have the privilege of calling the game on radio. Just then, in that inopportune moment, a security guard comes over and asks you to move your suitcase.
What do you do? Do you politely ignore him knowing you have a job to do? Do you give him the “wait just a second please” finger motion? Or do you mercilessly rip him on the air for having the gall to interrupt you and go about your duties?
If you’re Ted Leitner, veteran San Diego Padres and SDSU announcer, you choose Option C. And do it with great gusto. After being interrputed during the final seconds of a championship game, Leitner somehow seamlessly alternates between ripping said security guard on the air and calling the action taking place in front of him. The following text may be the most amazing audio in sports radio history…
“Had a guy reach over my shoulder, tapping me on my shoulder asking me a question during the drive there by Cameron Bairstow because my suitcase is behind the chair and he thinks it’s too much in the way. These MORONS that think the terrorists are honing in here on the Mountain West tournament in Las Vegas.”
3) Gregg Popovich’s heartfelt tribute to Craig Sager
Craig Sager Jr. stepped in for his father after the elder Sager had to leave the TNT sidelines to battle leukemia. It was appropriate that the younger Sager interviewed his dad’s old nemesis – San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. It was then that the usually tight-lipped Pop did the unexpected. He delivered an impromptu get well message for Sager that came from the heart.
2) It’s John Brooks! It’s John Brooks!
Solely in terms of great announcing moments, there was none better than Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman’s call of John Brooks’ dramatic game winner for the USMNT against Ghana in the World Cup. It’s no surprise that the excellence of Darke perfectly captured the surprise and jubilation of the moment.
1) Daniel Tosh Destroys ESPN
Our favorite clip of the year doesn’t come from a sports network, but rather, Comedy Central. Daniel Tosh caught ESPN trying to blatantly rip off his “Web Redemption” series and unleashed hellfire and brimstone upon Bristol, Connecticut like we’ve never seen before.
Get More: Comedy Central
What were your favorite moments of 2014?