What a year it was.
2014 brought us the Winter Olympics, the World Cup, a Boston Marathon like we've never seen before and the Red Sox looking to repeat as World Series champions. But the year's most anticipated moment was Jenny Dell's first one-on-one NESN interview with Will Middlebrooks in Fort Myers.
There was a lot that was supposed to happen in 2014 - but the year had lots of surprises, too.
Please enjoy our recap of the Boston sports year that was 2014, which includes lots of stuff that probably didn't happen:
[Note: This is fake, just to be clear.]
- NFL playoffs begin. Peyton Manning has no trouble until the temperature in Denver falls below 38 degrees. He then becomes incapable of throwing a complete pass and Broncos are eliminated by the Patriots in the AFC title game. Fittingly in the legalized-pot haze of Denver, LeGarrette Blount accounts for all of New England's 476 total yards of offense.
- Shawn Thornton returns to the Bruins lineup after his 15 game suspension on Jan. 11 at San Jose. He pummels Joe Thornton, forever settling the age-old argument of "Who is the better Thornton?" Billy Bob has to settle for third.
- Rajon Rondo returns to the Celtics just in time to destroy whatever success Brad Stevens has had with this patchwork lineup.
- Notable athlete Tweets profanity.
- The Super Bowl is held in New Jersey on Feb 2. The Patriots upset the 49ers 24-21. The Patriots contain Colin Kaepernick and Anquan Boldin after wiretapping their hotel rooms and hacking their iPhones. When Tom Brady and Bill Belichick hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy aloft, lightning bolts emanate form the trophy and simultaneously destroy Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, Madison Square Garden and Barclays Centre. Met-Life Stadium slides into a giant abyss once everyone leaves and all of New York's pro sports teams either fold or move to Connecticut.
- The Winter Olympics begin in Sochi on Feb. 6. Following in the Olympic spirit of Berlin in 1936 and Beijing in 2008, Russia spends the entire time trying to convince the world that it is the exact opposite of what it really is.
- Lindsey Vonn does not break the top 10 in any of her events but gets her own channel on NBC's Olympic coverage.
- Truck Day [Feb. 8] is declared a fully-paid holiday for employees of the Boston Globe.
- The Red Sox arrive at Fort Myers clean-shaven. Beards are soooo 2013.
- Notable athlete Tweets something meant as a private message.
- Your NCAA Tournament is busted before the Sweet 16.
- The Red Sox play to full houses across Florida. The first post-game Red Sox NESN interview featuring Dell and her live-in boyfriend Middlebrooks gets heated because he keeps forgetting to put down the toilet seat. The crisis is solved with the installation of one of those new enviro-friendly Fenway Park Family Restrooms in their home, along with an old-school Fenway trough for when Will's teammates visit.
- The Bruins and Celtics trudge through the month of meaningless but enjoyable regular-season games. The Celtics, in particular, continue to flounder as Rondo "struggles to learn" the system and hit free throws.
- Notable athlete Tweets something historically inaccurate.
- The 2014 Boston Marathon is the biggest and best ever. Rolling Stone magazine calls it "an affront to those who love accused terrorists and their selfies."
- UConn wins the NCAA Tournament as March Madness again ends in April.
- The Yankees allow their players to grow facial hair in an effort to duplicate the Red Sox success from 2013. Unfortunately, the beards only make them look older and the practice is discontinued.
- The Celtics make the playoffs and Stevens is fined $50,000 by Danny Ainge for "screwing up everything."
- The Bruins begin their playoff run with early-round victories over Montreal and Toronto. Both series end in overtime victories. Jack Edwards decides bring a real dagger for Game 7 against Toronto, forcing Andy Brickley to wear a suit of armor, just in case.
- Notable athlete Tweets something stupid.
- John Lackey pitches a no-hitter against the Reds on May 7 but is fined $10,000 for giving the Fenway crowd both middle fingers after the final out.
- The Bruins and Penguins reach the conference finals. Shawn Thornton and Matt Cooke [back with Pittsburgh for the postseason] enter the octagon with sticks to decide Game 7. Thornton emerges 28 minutes later with Cooke's jersey and the Bruins move onto the Stanley Cup Finals.
- Notable athlete Tweets something racist.
- Lindsey Vonn's boyfriend wins the U.S. Open. NBC announces new reality show featuring the couple called "Going Downhill."
- The Bruins take Chicago to seven games in the Stanley Cup Finals. Boston falls short after giving up two goals in 18 seconds in the final two minutes of Game 7. "Eighteen seconds. We're making progress," Claude Julien says.
- LeBron Jamesand Heat three-peat. [Yawn.] But no one outside the 305 notices.
- Notable athlete Tweets something homophobic.
- The Red Sox reach the All-Star break in first place, three games ahead of the Yankees. David Ortiz, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts are named to the A.L. squad. No one actually plays in the game due to concern of injury and fatigue, so the contest is settled via PlayStation. The A.L. wins 6-1.
- The Patriots open training camp. Julian Edelman is lost to free-agency after seeking a market-value contract from Bob Kraft. "We only pay tight ends," Kraft says. The Patriots have 11 rookies from Rutgers, all of whom were taken, after a series of trades, in the last round of the draft or signed as free agents.
- Notable athlete Tweets something offensive about someone's religion.
- Free agent Paul Pierce signs with the Celtics. Kevin Garnett agrees to sing back-up for Beyonce on her next tour. In return, Jay Z and the Nets trade him to Celtics while splitting his salary cap hit.
- Bogaerts enters the month hitting over .500 with 90 RBI and 30 HR. Meanwhile, both Boston sports talk radio stations hold a "Jose Iglesias Trade" memorial telethon.
- Notable athlete Tweets a photo of his junk.
- Patriots begin season with Amendola and four guys from the Arena League as wide receivers. Rob Gronkowski returns after 10 months of rehab and a stint on "Pole Dancing with the Stars." Brady, at 37, looks better than ever. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning's hair is so bad, not even Wes Welker's buddy can save it.
- Red Sox repeat as A.L. East champions after sweeping the Rays in a three-game series at the Original Fenway South in St. Petersburg. The number of Red Sox fans at the Trop becomes so overwhelming that MLB makes Boston the official home team for the series finale. Jonny Gomes wins it with a walk-off homer for the Red Sox in the bottom of the ninth.
- Bogaerts wins the Triple Crown, finishing the year with a .467 average, 49 home runs and 153 RBI. Even Iglesias wants his autograph.
- Notable athlete Tweets his own phone number.
- Bill Belichick says: "I'm not really worried about the other 31 teams. We just focus on the next opponent. We prepare for everyone like they are going to be 100 percent. We have 45 men suited up. They're all supposed to be ready to play. It all comes down to execution."
- Celtics open training camp with Garnett older than his coach. "Makes me feel young again," he says. Meanwhile, Rondo continues to act like he's seven.
- Red Sox defeat the Dodgers in seven games to win the World Series. Lester gets the win in Game 1, 4 and 7, throwing three complete-game shutouts. Clay Buchholz gets the loss in Game 6. It follows his return to the lineup after a four-month absence caused by his leg falling asleep on the couch.
- Notable athlete Tweets something to really tick off the next team he's playing.
- Lester and Lackey are both re-signed by the Red Sox. Lester gets a five-year, $110 million deal. Lackey gets two years, $15 million and the Popeye's in Kenmore Square. "They've both earned it," says John W. Henry.
- Mike Napoli spends two weeks tending bar at every watering hole from Kenmore Square to Faneuil Hall after the latest Red Sox Duck Boat parade. His shirt is never seen again.
- After going 1-for-23 in the World Series for the Dodgers, Carl Crawford attempts to marry Evelyn Lozada. He drops the wedding ring at the altar. It's scooped up by Antoine Walker and Walker re-marries his former girlfriend.
- The Patriots celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Butt-Fumble Game with a Thanksgiving Night win over the Jets and Johnny Manziel.
- Notable athlete Tweets something political that angers half his followers.
- Brady is named "SI Sportsman of the Year" in spite of the fact he actually won a championship in the same year.
- Red Sox fans enter the virtual waiting room for 2015 tickets in early December and don't emerge until January.
- Everyone gives Ben Cherington lots of credit for Christmas.
- Notable athlete Tweets apology for all those earlier Tweets.
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