2013 has been an excellent year in the world of sports. From thrilling touchdowns in the final seconds of play to clutch shots to keep a team’s hopes alive, we saw it all. However, only a few plays can truly be called the best of the best and crack the Top 25. What were the 25 best plays in the sports world this year? For Part One we’ll be counting down numbers 25-11, with the Top 10 being revealed tomorrow, on New Year’s Eve. Let’s count them down!
- 25. Puig nabs Byrd at third. Yasiel Puig was baseball’s young sensation this year, and plays like this showed he had the arm in addition to his bat. The pursuit of the ball, then the throw, make this one of baseball’s best plays.
- 24. Johnny Football’s magic escape. It looked like Johnny Manziel was going to be sacked against Alabama, until he pulled off a Houdini-like play.
- 23. Peter Bourjos robs J.J. Hardy. Out of all the web gems in the game of baseball this year, this was definitely one of the most impressive.
- 22. Stafford dives in to beat Dallas. Matthew Stafford capped off an incredible game-winning drive against the Cowboys with this great touchdown when everyone thought he was going to spike the ball.
- 21. Bergeron completes the comeback. The craziest comeback in hockey this year was completed when Patrice Bergeron scored in overtime to eliminate the Maple Leafs, who were seemingly dead in the water in Game 7 of the Eastern quarterfinals.
- 20. Carlos Gomez saves the game. Carlos Gomez ended the game against the Reds with a sensational wall grab with the go-ahead run at the plate.
- 19. Oh Me Oh My #1. Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin used a little teamwork to put the icing on the cake in Lob City.
- 18. Devin Funchess hurdles Ohio State defender. The Buckeyes may have won this year’s edition of the annual rivalry game, but it was Michigan’s star tight end who provided the play of the game.
- 17. Jacoby Jones’s Super Bowl kick return. After a long halftime show, it’s always interesting to see how teams respond coming out of the locker room. Jacoby Jones and the Ravens passed the test.
- 16. Matt Prater’s record-breaking field goal. The record of 63 yards had stood the test of time until this NFL season, when Matt Prater made history by booting a 64-yarder in Denver.
- 15. Tony Parker wins Game 1. The Spurs started the NBA Finals with a win, sealed by this shot by their superstar point guard. The fact that he got the shot off at all was miraculous, and the fact that it went in was even crazier.
- 14. Tony Parker’s circus shot vs Warriors. Before he won Game 1 of the Finals, Tony Parker somehow pulled off this shot against Golden State in the West semis. It was truly a good year for Tony Parker.
- 13. Jose Iglesias catch vs Red Sox. The 2013 ALCS was full of big plays. Jose Iglesias’s glove work was the best fielding play of the series.
- 12. Ben Revere’s catch of the year. Early in the MLB season, Ben Revere made (arguably) the catch of the year against the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds were real victims of the web gem in 2013.
- 11. Lionel Messi’s magisterial goal. Need any commentary on this brilliant goal by Lionel Messi? Ray Hudson’s got you covered.
Come back tomorrow for numbers 10-1. What was the play of the year?