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Barstool Best of 2015 - Athlete

It’s officially 2016, and another year has come and went. By any standard, it was a weird, weird year in sports and pop culture. So we at Barstool decided to document the best moments of it for you, broken down into seven blogs by seven categories. Best can mean a lot of things: Our favorite, most memorable, most significant, and most important. This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive or exhaustive, just some of what we’ll think of when we look back on the year 2015.

Athlete

Clem (@TheClemReport) – Barstool New York

Steph Curry was my favorite player to watch in 2015 for about a billion reasons. I could go into how Twitter explodes every time he does something crazy.  Or that he seems to be playing on Rookie difficulty while everyone else is on All-Star.  Or that he has the hottest mom in the game.

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But I figured I would let the Steph Curry Vines of the last year make my argument, since those Vines and gifs have been the best thing to watch as a sports fan during 2015.

And that’s all I got to say about that.

 

Jordie (@BarstoolJordie) – Barstool Philly

 

Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks

 

Patrick Kane isn’t my “Person of the Year.” I’m not saying Patrick Kane is a great guy or a role model. I don’t know what happened in Buffalo this summer, and in my opinion it’s inappropriate and disrespectful to all involved to speculate. But just as an observing fan, I’d say that very few athletes in general have had a more intriguing 2015 than Patrick Kane. First, he and the Blackhawks won themselves another Cup. Their 3rd since 2010 which solidified them as one of the greatest dynasties the game has ever seen. Between Kane, Toews, Keith, Hossa and maybe even Crawford, that team has an outrageous amount of future Hall of Famers. Then over the summer and spilling into the beginning of this season, you had the rape allegations and investigations which immediately brought the Blackhawks down from the high they were experiencing as Stanley Cup champions. And after the case was thrown out, Patrick Kane went on a 26-game point scoring streak which was the longest scoring streak in the NHL since 1992 (keep in mind that the scoring streak has nothing to do with the allegations and anyone who tries to tie the two of them together is a complete idiot). Over the past 365 days, he’s experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It’s been a roller-coaster year for Patrick Kane to say the least.

 

So now what does Patrick Kane have ahead of him in 2016? Well as the Blackhawks have won 3 Cups since 2010, I guess you can never really count them out of winning another one (DJ Khaled voice). Then you’ve got the World Cup of Hockey coming up and as potentially the greatest American born player of all time, I’m sure you can expect him to do big things in that tournament. And as the current point leader in the NHL this season, I’m sure he also has his sights set on winning his first Art Ross Trophy of his career. Just to add that next to the three Stanley Cups and that Conn Smythe trophy on the mantle.

 

Charlie (@CharlieWisco) – Barstool New York

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There are few creatures on Earth more insufferably self-important than the sportswriter. Every sport has their own, uniquely terrible brand of writer that can make you want to throw your laptop against a wall: the Football Meathead who longs for the days of when players ran headfirst into concrete walls to toughen up in the offseason and put nails in their cleats to increase arch support, the Hockey Twitter Egg who wishes the game was played on rollerblades because skate blades could be potentially dangerous, and the basketblogger who has a 4000-word piece on why Andre Drummonds season is a metaphor for the 2nd term Obama administration.

 

None of them even approach the Sanctimonious Baseball Writer in terms of awfulness or how widespread they are. The infection of the Sanctimonious Baseball Writer is so common he’s become accepted and actually affects how the game itself is played, from Hall of Fame entry, to suspensions, to home run celebrations. Which is why Alex Rodriguez’s season, love him, hate him, or don’t care about him, was so awesome. Because it was a huge middle finger to all the old bores who have lorded over baseball media in the world’s most pathetic boys club who didn’t want to see THE INTEGRITY OF THE GAME compromised while they were all there in the 90’s lining their pockets from baseball’s steroid resurgence, remaining willfully ignorant. Every Arod clutch hit, home run, or critical walk, I could just picture Mike Lupica clutching his glass of gluten-free beer in his hand until it breaks. And then I would laugh and smile. For that reason alone, Arod was my favorite athlete to watch in 2015.

 

Sobol (@BarstoolSobol) – Barstool Chicago

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Attempting to summarize the Year in Tom Brady here on Barstool might not be the wisest decision. As a Falcons fan, I’ve got no reason to hate or love Brady. So there won’t be any fan bias here. I won’t be able to suck his dick like the fellas in Boston. Boston fans will probably see me as an over the pants handjob in comparison to the Heather Brooke-like performances they get on a daily basis from Pres and Feits. But I’ll try nonetheless.

 

There’s an innate positive reaction to seeing improvement with age. It’s tough to find so we appreciate it when we see it. A fine wine, a nice bottle of scotch… J-Lo. Our gut reaction is that things get old and they start to fall apart. Fruit goes bad, tits sag, and 38 year old men can’t run around on a field with 21 year olds. Yet here we are. Watching a season where Tom Brady has actually gotten better when everything you think you know says he should be getting worse. He’s on pace for 5,000 yards and 40 TDs. Meanwhile, a 3 years younger Tony Romo has barely sniffed the field this season, snapped his collarbone twice, and he’s somehow thrown more interceptions than Brady has. It’s so impressive that it almost makes me want to buy whatever coconut concussion water his fraud trainer sells even though I know it’s total horseshit. That’s like a magic trick in and of itself. But that’s what you get with Brady. His play and persona elicit maniacal, fevered passion from fans and irreverent disdain from the teams that go toe-to-toe with him more often than not. I don’t care if you’re a hater, a TB12 church disciple, or just a regular old football fan with no inclinations one way or the other. Brady’s play this year has been great. Especially in light of age and *ahem* off-field issues.

 

It really doesn’t matter if you subscribe to the theory of a fabricated, conspiracy-like investigation or that there was an honest and legitimate instance of cheating. It’s undeniable that Brady dominated the sports news cycle in the NFL offseason. Deflategate was seemingly covered every day from January to September. That’s unheard of. And after 9 monthsm, a multi-million dollar investigation, a report hundreds of pages long, phone records, text records, and an appeal that required hundreds of more man hours and tax money, the NFL got a fat lot of nothing. Hell, if you give two people nine months and a Netflix subscription, they’ll produce a whole other human being. What did everybody else get? Pres has his t-shirt money. Hank’s got a nice little arrest record. Sports fans in general got a thousand blogs and radio pundit opinions on a topic that I think most of us consider pretty mundane. And I’d say that Brady arguably got the worst of the deal even considering it all eventually got overturned. Sure he didn’t face a suspension, but he did face public scrutiny on a pretty personal level for the duration of the investigation. For all of that personal e-mail information to be made public is nightmare-fuel. There isn’t any scenario where you or I should know about the argument Tom Brady is having with his pool guy. As entertaining as that sort of stuff is to Joe-schmo it’s gotta be frustrating as hell if you’re the one being scrutinized. So if you can’t at least sympathize a little with a guy who’s private communication has been made public, then I don’t know what to tell you. When you go through something like and subsequently come out unfazed it’s impressive. When you deal with that scenario and come out angry, focused, and precise, it’s astonishing. You can’t help but tip your cap to a guy that stands in a spotlight that’s that bright and just becomes a magnifying glass. That’s one hell of a year for Brady no matter how it finishes.

 

Upcoming:

January 1 Afternoon: Music

January 2nd Morning: Best Game

January 2nd Afternoon: Comedy

January 3rd Morning: Sports Moment

January 3rd Afternoon: Movie

January 4th Morning: TV Show