Though I’ve been writing this column for 21 months now, 2019 was my first full year on Hot Clicks. It’s been an honor to be so warmly received by readers who have been on board since Jimmy Traina started Clicks when I was in middle school (seriously) and to hear from new readers who’ve made Clicks part of their routine since I took over.
To mark the end of 2019, my colleague Jamie Lisanti came to me with the idea of doing a “Hot Clicks 100”: my 100 favorite items that appeared in this space over the past 12 months. I didn’t know when she suggested it just how much work that would be (that’s well over 200 columns to go back through!) but it was well worth it. Revisiting every single Hot Clicks over the past couple of weeks has been a great reminder of how much fun it is to compile the column every day, even if it’s a ton of work. (It’s also a great reminder of how many stupid typos I made. I can’t believe readers keep coming back when I make so many mistakes.)
Whittling a list of about 250 candidates down to a final top 100 was a colossal undertaking but I’m happy with the final list. Here it is, in no particular order but numbered to prove there are actually 100.
100. Cody Parkey’s Double Doink was even more dramatic called by Eagles Spanish-language announcer Rickie Ricardo.
99. The Grand Canyon was blanketed by rare snowfall.
98. Ryan Saunders called his dad Flip’s favorite play to open his first game as an NBA head coach.
97. An Oklahoma woman got busted for illegal hunting practices after bragging about it on a dating app to the local game warden.
96. Whoever made this joke at the El Chapo trial is my hero.
95. Enes Kanter missed practice because he got sick from eating too many burgers.
94. A Chiefs player got stuck in the snow on the way to a playoff game and was rescued by a homeless man.
93. UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi’s floor routine was one of the most viral videos of the year, sports or not.
92. The Blue Jackets’ anthem singer literally forgot his mic so the crowd bailed him out.
91. Did we ever find out what the hell was going on with Adam Gase’s eyes?
90. A Make-A-Wish kid got in a fight with a Stars defenseman.
89. Ottawa’s man in the hole was my favorite moment of the January polar vortex.
88. Reggie Jackson picked the worst time to troll Blake Griffin.
87. The owner of an English soccer team sold the club after he accidentally posted a photo of his penis on Twitter.
86. I think this photo of DK Metcalf actually impacted his draft stock.
85. This Polish 11-year-old scored one of the craziest goals of the year.
84. A photographer in Colorado captured this amazing scene.
83. John Tortorella shot down trade rumors by telling everyone his start player had shit his pants.
82. A South African rugby player was suspended 13 weeks for blowing snot on an opponent.
81. Zion Williamson blowing out his shoe was one of the most impactful sports moments of the year.
80. Mike Trout drove 90 miles just to see some snow.
79. The Irish rugby team got the absolute worst police escort in Italy.
78. A genius dad mic’d up his 4-year-old for a hockey game.
77. Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo got sick from eating undercooked chicken he made.
76. A Harvard runner lost his shoe during a race and ran until his foot was chewed up like hamburger meat.
75. A Denver brewery started making beer with bull testicles as a joke but people actually liked it.
74. A UFC fighter dislocated his shoulder while celebrating.
73. A French soccer player missed time due to a failed beard implant.
72. This surfing photo looks like a video game.
71. A rat somehow managed to get into a MetroCard machine.
70. An Ohio teen celebrated the Odell Beckham trade so enthusiastically that his neighbor called the cops.
69. This Special Olympics athlete hit an absurd buzzer-beater.
68. The Russian slap championships were the strangest sporting event of the year.
67. Somebody (later identified as Greg Nigl of Ohio) became the first person of the internet era to pick a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket through two rounds.
66. A soccer fan in Argentina celebrated his team’s championship with his grandfather’s skull.
65. Two idiots in the span of a week managed to ruin baseball fields by dumping gasoline on them to remove rainwater.
64. An Italian soccer player staged a fake abduction in his final game.
63. A hockey player in Quebec unknowingly started punching a ref who broke up a fight.
62. A college lacrosse game ended in a 52–0 blowout.
61. Joe Pavelski scored a goal with his face and then gave an amazing interview.
60. A kangaroo terrorized a bunch of bikini models at a photoshoot at Australia’s “Candy Shop Mansion.”
59. A Florida teen was arrested twice for performing WWE wrestler Randy Orton’s “RKO” finishing move—once on his principal and once on a prop alligator.
58. Brewers outfielder Ben Gamel uses his spikes to shotgun a Red Bull before games.
57. Women who went to Nashville for their bachelorette parties were irate to learn that the NFL draft was happening there at the same time.
56. NASCAR fans left the most bizarre trash behind on the infield at Talladega.
55. Shaq came real close to finally snapping on Charles Barkley.
54. The 2019 WHL draft featured kids named Dallyn and Kylynn.
53. Some moron decided water isn’t hardcore enough.
52. Kawhi Leonard’s game-winner against the Sixers produced some incredible photography.
51. A judo competitor was disqualified because his phone fell out of his pocket during a match.
50. This tweet made me glad I don’t work at Best Buy.
49. This German tourist is my favorite baseball fan.
48. A D-III softball team won a tournament game with a hidden ball trick.
47. Todd Frazier and Adam Eaton had the stupidest beef.
46. A guy who hadn’t played football above the juco level managed to get signed by the Browns after sleeping in a gym and telling a few white lies.
45. I can’t believe he survived this.
44. Kawhi’s “board man gets paid” became an instant catchphrase.
43. Max Muncy told Madison Bumgarner to “get it out of the ocean.”
42. Ryan O’Reilly is very sorry for swearing on TV.
41. This Japanese guy really wanted all of it.
40. Plant Guy was the star of Toronto’s Raptors celebrations.
39. This video showing how to reset your smart lightbulb proves electricity was a mistake.
38. A rugby player dislocated his kneecap and smacked it back into place.
37. A bike race down the face of a glacier ended as you’d expect.
36. Career minor-leaguer Cody Decker hit a walk-off homer in his final at-bat.
35. The Devils’ mascot shattered a window at a kid’s birthday party.
34. A microphone picked up an all-time great rant from Aaron Boone.
33. Orioles outfielder Stevie Wilkerson worked a 1-2-3 inning on the mound without throwing a pitch above 56 mph.
32. A CFL cornerback played a game in full Heath Ledger “Joker” makeup.
31. A soccer player had a ridiculous excuse for why he posted a video of himself having sex on Snapchat.
30. A fan signed a contract with the A’s after hitting 96 on the radar gun on the Coors Field concourse.
29. Odell Beckham got out of his car to sign a fan’s OBJ-themed license plate.
28. A Marlins player making his MLB debut hit a home run while his dad was being interviewed.
27. A Padres game was delayed because Bill Walton talks too much.
26. A West Virginia man felt bad that his neighbor’s car was crushed, but it was “kinda cool.”
25. Bryce Harper hit a walk-off homer and sprinted around the bases like a madman.
24. Soccer legend Eric Cantona gave a truly bonkers speech.
23. A-Rod made us all dumber with this theory about baseball.
22. Notre Dame QB Ian Book broke a cheerleader’s nose with an errant pass.
21. D-II Minot State had the best kick return of the college football season.
20. A guy on a rollercoaster in Spain caught a falling phone.
19. Montana Tech coach Bob Green should have been a star.
18. These news anchors couldn’t hold it together during a story about a “bomb threat.”
17. A South Carolina man demanded to know why a Jimmy John’s employee wrote “bitch” on his wife’s sandwich, not realizing it was “BLT with cheese.”
16. A hero who helped save children from a burning building used the opportunity to shade Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor.
15. Deshaun Watson gave an awesome breakdown of the opposing defense.
14. Wayne Rooney’s wife concocted a master plan to catch another player’s wife leaking personal info to the English tabloids.
13. Two English soccer fans traveled to Gent instead of Genk and missed their game.
12. A Canadian weatherman dressed up as a unicorn and his cohosts lost it.
11. The Nationals drank so, so much beer celebrating their World Series win at a Capitals game.
10. The Monday Night Football cat was even better with Kevin Harlan on the call.
9. Eric Bledsoe forgot how to play basketball.
8. This Leafs fan became an instant viral sensation.
7. An MMA fighter won a bout with a crazy “rolling thunder” kick.
6. An English rugby player turned a normal interview into an extended metaphor about a horse.
5. Tesla’s new bulletproof truck is... not.
4. This guy nailed the small-town football experience.
3. A surfer was narrowly rescued from being crushed by a 50-foot wave.
2. A Bengals fan finally came inside, 57 days after vowing to live on his roof until they won another game.
1. The Yankees presented Gerrit Cole with a mysterious “30-pound-ish contraption” during their free agent pitch.