Sports

Top 5 Feel-Good Sports Stories Of The Last Year

In Some Cases Justice Was Served, While In Others Triumph Trumped Tragedy
Martin St. Louis (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Martin St. Louis (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By Daniel Friedman
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Whether we admit it or not, we love sports because we can relate to them and because we’ve created an emotional bond with them. We look to sports for inspiration and for the opportunity to feel good about ourselves.

Despite the greed and ego that is often associated with sports, we know there are plenty of moments that demonstrate great courage and pride. Here are the Top 5 stories that made us feel good this year (so far):

5. LeBron returns to Cleveland

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks across the court during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics on May 13, 2010 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks across the court during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics on May 13, 2010 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Other than Buffalo, is there another sports city that deserves a shot at a championship more than Cleveland? That town was devastated when LeBron left and he’s pumped life back into it by coming back. You don’t go to Cleveland for the money and attention — that’s what New York, Los Angeles and Miami are for. You go to Cleveland because you feel a sense of attachment and you want to win.

4. Jason Collins and Michael Sam

Michael Sam of the Missouri Tigers recovers a fumble for a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 12, 2013. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Michael Sam of the Missouri Tigers recovers a fumble for a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on Oct. 12, 2013. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

We are constantly progressing as a society in terms of gay rights and there’s nothing that represents this more than what Collins and Sam have done. You should also take a look at what Patrick Burke and the You Can Play project are working on. It’s something to be proud of.

3. Dominic Moore overcomes tragedy

Dominic Moore of the New York Rangers speaks after winning the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy during the 2014 NHL Awards at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on June 24, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Dominic Moore of the New York Rangers speaks after winning the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy during the 2014 NHL Awards at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on June 24, 2014 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Moore took the year off after his wife died of cancer, but then came back to New York, where he started his career. He had a fine season and helped the Rangers get to the Stanley Cup Final. He showed us that we can always rebound in the face of tragedy.

2. Martin St. Louis honors his late mother

Martin St. Louis celebrates the New York Rangers' 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden on May 11, 2014. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Martin St. Louis celebrates the New York Rangers’ 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden on May 11, 2014. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

St. Louis lost his mother during the second round of the playoffs, but felt that she would want him to play and decided to honor her by doing so. A few days later, on Mother’s Day, he scored a big goal in Game 6. Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better. No matter which team you root for — if you’re not happy for him, you’re probably a robot.

1. Adam Silver bans Donald Sterling

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images), Donald Sterling (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images), Donald Sterling (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Silver might have handed out the most decisive, most justified punishment in the history of professional sports. It was the right thing to do, but far from an easy thing to do. It’s hard to say how many people would’ve actually done what he did if they were in his shoes. Years from now, we’ll talk about Silver’s decision the way we talk about the civil rights movement, because it’s a game-changer on so many levels.

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