Another year of championships, heartbreaks, and record setting performances has come and gone. Derek Jeter is retired. LeBron came home. Peyton was Peyton, and Brady was Brady. Rory McIlroy and Serena Williams returned to true form, while the NFL made headlines for all the wrong reasons. From the San Francisco Giants' third championship in five years to the Seattle Seahawks' first championship ever, there certainly was a lot to keep track of.
Remember the backlash from Big Papi's selfie with President Obama? How about when Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers dropkicked Cleveland's punter in the face? We can't forget when the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants played the longest game in MLB postseason history... that is, unless you fell asleep before it finished.
There were, of course, the unfortunate lowlights of the year; Ray Rice became the face of football's struggle with domestic violence after the now-infamous elevator assault. In college football, Jameis Winston just couldn't stay out of the spotlight. And tragedy struck the racing world when driver Kevin Ward, Jr. was killed.
Thankfully, 2014 also had its fair share of heartwarming stories, like Lauren Hill's first NCAA basketball game, and the outpouring of support for Cincinnati Bengal Devon Still and his sick daughter, Leah. Michael Sam was selected by the St. Louis Rams, making him the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL. And on the first anniversary of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, the race went off without a hitch and Meb Keflezighi became the first American man to win since 1983.
Click through the slideshow above to see photos from all of these memorable moments and more. This year was one for the books, and with hockey and basketball seasons in full swing and the NFL playoffs only days away, we hope 2015 turns out to be just as exciting.
Check out some of the best sports photography from 2014:
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