Hot Clicks 100: The Best Stories, Tweets and Videos of 2020

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Of all the jobs to have in 2020, sportswriter was a relatively easy one. It’s far from what anyone could reasonably consider essential, and it comes with the luxury of being able to choose a desk, a couch or a bed as the day’s office. Inexplicably, even during the dark days of the spring and early summer when there were no major sports happening in North America, writing a daily sports column managed to not be impossible. 

I spent the last few weeks of the year going back through every Hot Clicks of 2020 to pick out my 100 favorite items. (Boy, was it weird to relive the pandemic that way.) Though this was undoubtedly the worst year to be online, I still had no trouble finding a long list of things to feature here. Whittling it down to 100 proved difficult. 

This will always be remembered as the year a pandemic threw the world off its axis, but there were so many other things that made it memorable. It was the year LeBron won his first title in Los Angeles (well, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.). It was when an ESPN documentary became the biggest television event of the year. It was also when a cricket batsman hit himself in the nuts. Below are the 100 things that I most enjoyed sharing with our readers. (They’re not listed in any particular order, but they are numbered to prove there are actually 100.)

100. Robbie Anderson was very confused about his new team’s mascot

99. The Mavs turned their balconies into a club during their initial quarantine period in the NBA bubble

98. The Bucks’ G League coach went on an epic rant after his team blew a 28-point lead in the final quarter

97. A Canadian Family Feud contestant answered a question very confidently but very wrongly

96. A guy announcing a Minnesota high school basketball game made a joke about his broadcast partner’s dead dog

95. Joey Votto explained why the shirt gifted to him by the Reds’ clubhouse attendants is one of his most prized possessions

94. Dr. Dre helped produce an amazing video tribute to Kobe Bryant before the All-Star Game

93. Daniel Jones broke a huge run but tripped over his own feet

92. Alex Trebek announced the Senators’ first-round draft pick

91. A Dutch train that derailed was saved from plummeting 30 feet by a statue of a whale’s tail

90. A Hungarian hockey player leapt into the glass to celebrate a goal and crashed through it

(A photographer was fortunately stationed in the right place and got some amazing photos.)

89. Clemson’s Andrew Booth Jr. made an absurd one-handed interception

88. Wildfires in California made for a spooky backdrop to baseball games in the Bay Area

87. Joe Kelly broke a window during a backyard bullpen session

86. A news reporter got a little too up close and personal with a bison

85. Bobby Ryan scored a hat trick in his first game back after seeking help for substance use

84. A bunch of New Yorkers came together to lift up a car that ran over a woman

83. After Kobe Bryant died, this video recirculated of Kobe's reuniting with his high school point guard

82. The day after the NBA season suspension, the Big East tournament got canceled in the middle of a game

Mike Watts, the PA announcer who notified the crowd of the decision (and whom I spent many a long van ride with on trips to Patriot League football games), was back at MSG nine months later as the Big East resumed play. 

81. Michael Jordan looking at an iPad became one of the year’s most popular memes

80. Reddit users shared photos of the strangest baseball fields in the world

79. This guy wouldn’t let a pandemic get in the way of his casino trip or a mask get in the way of his cigarette

78. Two men hired to break into a house with machetes and fulfill a man’s sexual fantasy of being tied up in his underwear and “stroked with a broom” broke into the wrong house

77. This guy in Michigan did a ridiculous number of flips all in a row

76. Hulking soccer player Adebayo Akinfenwa gave a delightful interview after winning the biggest game of his life

75. Somebody called hotel security in the NBA bubble to complain that Jimmy Butler was dribbling a ball in his room

74. Hartford Athletic scored one of the strangest goals you’ll ever see

73. Katie Ledecky swam a lap without spilling any milk from a glass on her head

72. A man in Malaysia lost his phone and discovered a bunch of selfies of a monkey when he found it again

71. Derrick Henry destroyed Josh Norman with a viscous stiff arm

70. A Scottish soccer team’s broadcast technology was outsmarted by a bald guy’s head

69. A Rice field goal attempt doinked off both uprights and the crossbar, twice

68. Todd Gurley lost a game for the Falcons by scoring when he shouldn’t have

67. A federal government document listed Ronda Rousey’s WWE arrest as real

66. A California woman survived a close encounter with a whale

65. Maya Moore married the man she left the WNBA to help free from prison

64. Tacko Fall started taking swimming lessons

63. Two guys in Vegas did a “jersey swap” after a night of clubbing

62. Tom Brady inadvertently broke into a guy’s house thinking it was his new offensive coordinator’s

61. A Phillies rookie who grew up a Yankees fan was overjoyed to be playing in the Bronx

60. Boban Marjanović was so cute in this interview on Inside the NBA

59. Then Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen got caught on a video that leaked under hilarious circumstances ripping Rob Manfred.

58. Sue Bird added to her enormous trophy collection

57. Khalil Mack made a lineman 60 pounds heavier than him look like a child

56. Paul Rudd gave cookies to voters in Brooklyn

55. ESPN’s Joe Tessitore got to call a trick play executed by his son

54. A government official in Milwaukee apologized after using the Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion song “WAP” to promote an energy efficiency effort called the Weatherization Assistance Program

53. Jerry Jeudy fooled a DB with a simple hand gesture

52. A helicopter delivering a heart to be transplanted crashed on the hospital’s helipad, but the surgery was still successful

51. Jon Rahm won a tournament in a playoff with a 66-foot putt and later made a hole-in-one by skipping the ball across a pond in Masters practice

50. A high school football coach in Maryland had a heart attack at halftime but coached the rest of the game, a 53–0 loss

49. CeeDee Lamb made a ridiculous touchdown catch

48. This carpet bowling shot might have been the sports highlight of the year

47. Knicks fans finally got fed up enough to chant “Sell the team” en masse

46. The pandemic forced priests to get creative with the holy water

45. A six-year-old boy in South Carolina found a stolen safe in a lake with a magnet.

44. A hockey player went to extreme lengths to fake his stats

43. Protests against racial injustice brought the sports world to a halt.

42. Cody Bellinger dislocated his shoulder celebrating a home run

41. Mark Melancon caught home run balls off the bat of Ozzie Albies on back-to-back nights

40. The streaming service Quibi, which featured offerings such as a truly deranged show about a woman with a golden arm, crashed and burned spectacularly

39. Tom Brady miscounted the downs and gave us a hilarious meme

38. A high school football team in Alabama scored 10 points in 18 seconds to win a state title.

37. This fighter got dropped in the blink of an eye

36. A Danish soccer player scored one of the most impressive goals you’ll ever see

35. A high school football game in Iowa ended with a final score of 108–94.

34. D.K. Metcalf showed he’s as fast as is he strong

33. Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Nolan had to stop his press conference after getting hot sauce in his eye

32. The world was introduced to the horror of the “Wigan kebab”

31. A naked man in Berlin was photographed chasing a wild boar that stole his laptop

30. Alex Killorn marked the resumption of the NHL season by making a Mighty Ducks parody video

29. Ashley Sanchez of the Washington Spirit had a ridiculous assist on a corner kick

28. A soccer player declared dead after a 2016 car crash was reportedly found alive and well in Germany

27. Johnny Boychuk took a skate blade to the face and got 90 stitches

26. This tweet from Demi Adejuyigbe had me cracking up

25. A British man ran an entire marathon in his tiny backyard and livestreamed the whole thing on YouTube

24. An Olympic skier built an impressive obstacle course in his house

23. A high school football game in Alabama ended with a ridiculous number of laterals

22. Nobody wants to buy Michael Jordan’s house

21. NFL draft prospect Ben Bartch revealed the nasty protein shake he would choke down to pack on weight

20. Team manager Thomas “Snacks” Lee provided the highlight of Jackson State’s basketball season

19. Deontay Wilder lost the first fight of his career and blamed it on the elaborate costume he wore for his entrance

18. 42-year-old Zamboni driver David Ayres was called upon in emergency backup duty for the Hurricanes and beat the Maple Leafs

17. Getty Images photographer Andrew D. Bernstein captured perhaps the most iconic image of LeBron’s career

16. Serge Ibaka hilariously explained his fashion choices: “I don’t dress, I do art”

15. A Venezuelan baseball player attacked the opposing catcher with his bat

14. Jimmy Butler hit T.J. Warren with some really vicious trash talk

13. Marshawn Lynch had some great advice for young players after his final game

12. An F1 driver walked away from a terrifying crash

11. A young Canadian had a very slick assist

10. Tiger Woods completely imploded on a par-3 at the Masters

9. Oregon State and Washington had this total mess of a play

8. Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins combined for an incredible Hail Mary

7. The Lightning’s Brayden Point ended a five-OT game, and the broadcast calls were amazing

6. A Swiss hockey player showed some ridiculous skill with this shootout goal

5. Bam Adebayo won a playoff game with a sick block

4. A guy celebrating Joe Biden’s election win crashed a French news broadcast

3. A Utah man came forward to claim he was the guy who made and delivered the pizza Michael Jordan ate before the famous “flu game”

2. Mike Trout obliterated a golf ball

1. A cricket player took multiple nut shots, and the announcers couldn’t control themselves