2014 was a bountiful year of sports-related memes. In addition to the already chock-full slate of sporting events to choose from, this year’s World Cup and Sochi Olympics provided additional opportunities for famous, good-looking athletes and celebrities to act completely insane (and for the Internet to preserve for posterity).
Things Tim Howard Could Save, World Cup
Tim Howard became a household name after his impressive 16 saves against Belgium in this summer’s World Cup, and his image was all over the Internet. Howard was superimposed into heroic scenes, saving dinosaurs from extinction and even helping to block Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini from Luis Suarez’s infamous bite.
Ashley Wagner Face, Sochi Olympics
McKayla Maroney may have been first, but Ashley Wagner proudly carried on the American Olympic tradition of unhappy facial expressions in Sochi. Her score of 63.10 in the short program was enough to advance the US to the team finals but left Wagner with a face that launched a thousand photoshops.
Lance Stephenson Blowing, NBA Playoffs
In this year’s Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat, Pacers’ Lance Stephenson tried his best to throw LeBron James off his game by straight-up blowing in his face. Alas, his weird efforts were in vain as Indiana lost the series in six, and all he has to show for it is this ridiculous meme.
One perk of being an NFL punter is you rarely face imminent physical danger. Unless, that is, you are the Browns’ Spencer Lanning and Antonio Brown turns into a real-life member of the Cobra Kai, effectively ruining your life. Lanning got the last (albeit kind of sad) laugh, tweeting out a hi-res photo of his demise with the caption “wait, wait, wait…when did this happen?!?”
Johnny Manziel, often
Getting mildly inappropriate with a $35 inflatable swan and a $300 bottle of champagne in an Austin nightclub is not the first or last time Johnny Manziel has been meme-worthy, but it might just be the best. Soon after this photo was released, there was a nationwide inflatable swan shortage crisis. No, really.
Drake, NBA regular season
Few things scream “Canadian Rapper” more than lint rolling your pants in the front row of a basketball game. The Raptors’ “global ambassador” and number one fan Drake caused a bit of a conversation on the Internet after doing some courtside grooming in April. Later, he and the organization teamed up to give away 1,200 Drake-themed lint rollers to fans (one of which allegedly went for 55k on eBay).