It’s been a wild decade in sports.
Many of the best moments are often overlooked when something better comes along.
But here are the top five most shocking sports stories of the past decade.
The 2016-17 Comebacks
In less than a calendar year, three of the greatest comebacks in sports history occurred.
The Golden State Warriors broke the “unbreakable” regular season record set by the 72-10 Chicago Bulls in 1996, but they faced off against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals in 2016. The Warriors went up 3-1 in the series, but the Cavs stormed back to take the series, which had never been done before.
Ironically, a few months later the Cleveland Indians were up 3-1 in the World Series against the historically bad luck Chicago Cubs. And the Cubs also stormed back to win it all. It was the first time they had won the World Series in 108 years, lifting the curse.
In February 2017, the Atlanta Falcons were slaughtering the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, but the Patriots rallied from a 28-3 deficit to push it into overtime (the first ever Super Bowl overtime) to win the game.
Jerry Sandusky Sexual Abuse Trial
Penn State University will be forever stained because of Jerry Sandusky. The longtime assistant coach to legendary head coach Joe Paterno was involved with child sexual abuse over the course of his decades-long career.
In 2011, Sandusky was arrested and charged with seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, eight counts of corruption of minors and many other offenses. There were a total of 52 charges of sexual crimes against children by the time he went to trial.
On the evening of June 22, 2012, the jury found Sandusky guilty on 45 charges against him. Facing a maximum of 442 years in prison, he was sentenced to 60 years and isn’t eligible for parole until 2042.
Andrew Luck Retirement
Andrew Luck was hailed as the next Peyton Manning. For the first few years, Luck lived up to expectations but after being riddled with injury over the last four years, he made the decision to retire. His body just couldn’t keep up with the grind anymore. The 29-year-old also admitted his heart just wasn’t in the game anymore.
It’s a shame. He was in his prime years by NFL quarterback standards. Even more of a shame, the Colts were considered to be Super Bowl contenders by many.
Tiger Woods wins The Masters
Everyone thought an aging Tiger Woods’ career would never recover after the onslaught of countless injuries and the personal issues like drug abuse, driving under the influence and the controversy surrounding issues with his ex-wife.
Nobody thought he would ever win another Majors Championship again, let alone The Masters. But he proved all of his critics wrong in April 2019 when he snagged his fifth green jacket. It’s probably the most improbable individual sporting achievement of the last decade.
Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez Murder Trial and Suicide
This was like something out of a Hollywood movie. Aaron Hernandez was considered by his teammates to be a mild mannered and overall kind person, and even his University of Florida teammate, Tim Tebow, confirmed that. In 2010, Hernandez announced his decision to forgo his remaining eligibility at Florida to enter the draft where the New England Patriots selected him in the fourth round.
But off the field, Hernandez was somewhat of a gangster and has been accused of multiple murders.
On June 26th 2013, Hernandez was taken into custody and charged with the first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd. After a near two-year process, Hernandez was found guilty of murder in the first degree of Lloyd and was sentenced life in prison without the possibility of parole.
And then on April 19, 2017, at 3:05 a.m., five days after Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 Boston double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, correction officers found Hernandez hanging by his bed sheets.
There are so many different sports stories to consider when making a list like this but none of them were as shocking or groundbreaking as these five.