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Our favorite stories of 2023

It was quite a year in sports.
2023 began with Travis Kelce beefing with the mayor of Cincinnati, and it ended with him dating Taylor Swift.
But there was obviously more to the year that was in sports than Kelce and Swift. Over the past 12 months, here at SB Nation we did our best to cover it all, from what was happening on the field, to what was happening off it, and everything in between. Out of the thousands upon thousands of stories we published a year ago, here are our personal favorites.
Popeyes meme kid grew up and got an NIL deal
Feel old right now? We bet you do.
Ja Morant found an NBA rules loophole to burn 20 seconds of clock
Some big-brained thinking helped the Grizzlies against the Hornets.
Kirk Cousins: Costco hotdog?
The New York Giants upset the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the NFL playoffs, and James Dator had some thoughts about what this meant for the Vikings, and quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Travis Kelce beefed with the Cincinnati mayor
Before he was known for his relationship with Taylor Swift, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was in the news for calling Cincinnati’s mayor a “jabroni.”
Will McDonald talked about anime, football and more
At the Senior Bowl in January, we talked with Iowa State’s Will McDonald IV about anime, while also adding observations from the day of practices in Mobile.
Chris Boucher dunked from the free throw line
Chris Boucher dunked from the free throw line in the middle of a game against the Pelicans. As you might expect, the internet lost its collective minds, and Ricky O’Donnell did the math: It might have been the longest in-game dunk in NBA history.
Aaron Rodgers went into the darkness
Aaron Rodgers was … a lot in 2023. It started when he went into a darkness retreat.
Super Bowl LVII came down to a critical penalty and a slippery field
The Super Bowl between the Chiefs and the Eagles was an instant classic. However, it was not without its flaws.
The Chiefs gaslit everyone
After winning the Super Bowl, the Chiefs tried to tell anyone who would listen that they had been written off by the sports world.
Despite being preseason Super Bowl favorites.
Gwenyth Paltrow was sued for a skiing collision, and it was incredible
Everything is sports, including a lawsuit against a celebrity for a collision on the slopes.
An incredible alley-oop from Markquis Nowell helped Kansas State beat Michigan State
In the Men’s NCAA tournament, Kansas State put together an incredible run. This alley-oop from diminutive guard Markquis Nowell — where he pretended to argue with coach Jerome Tang — was a highlight of their Sweet 16 win over the Spartans
Fred VanVleet ranted about a ref, who was then demoted
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet ripped referee Ben Taylor after a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He was fined, but the ref was demoted.
Ranking the ‘Ted Lasso’ characters
We asked all of SBNation to rank the characters in Ted Lasso. There was actually some controversy.
Anthony Richardson broke the draft
JP Acosta put together this deep dive into the fascinating Florida quarterback, who enjoyed a pre-draft rise to the top of the first round.
Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark, and John Cena
The highly-anticipated showdown between Iowa and LSU in the Women’s NCAA Tournament ended with the Tigers winning, and Angel Reese hitting Caitlin Clark with the John Cena gesture that Clark had used earlier in the tournament. Everyone got mad, and then Clark ended the debate.
Ted Lasso, Sunflowers, and you
Ted Lasso aired the episode ‘Sunflowers,’ and it was perhaps the most perfect the show had ever been.
Lando Norris explains the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
The F1 season was just getting underway, and McLaren was struggling. Driver Lando Norris sat down for an exclusive interview with our Mark Schofield, and tried to explain why.
Harrison Barnes missed a potential game-winner, like the Warriors knew he would
In Game 4 of the Warriors-Kings series, Harrison Barnes had a chance to crush the dynasty that spurned him with a potential game-winning shot. But he missed, as the Warriors expected he would.
Panthers rookie Bryce Young had a pass batted down in OTA, and it began
When Carolina drafted Bryce Young first overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, there were questions about the wisdom behind drafting a small QB that high. When Young had a pass batted down early in OTAs, the concerns grew.
The Eagles had a good draft
Did Howie Roseman win the 2023 NFL Draft? Because it kinda felt like Howie Roseman won the 2023 NFL Draft.
‘Ted Lasso’ had a perfect ending
Ted Lasso ended. Perfectly.
Shohei Ohtani did Shohei Ohtani things
When you are doing something the MLB has not seen in nearly a century, you are truly one of one.
We worried about the dietary habits of Blue Jays fans
Turns out, Toronto fans are some serious glizzy gobblers.
Wemby is massive
The San Antonio Spurs drafted Victor Wembanyama, as expected. However, the official measurement they released was anything but.
Josh Hart has breastmilk takes
Look, usually we’re willing to let people’s culinary habits be their own. You like dipping Doritos in salsa? Cool. Ketchup on mac and cheese? Fine. But this take from Josh Hart of the Knicks needed to be addressed.
Nikola Jokic won Finals MVP but looked miserable
After dispatching the Miami Heat, Nikola Jokic looked like a man who just wanted to go home.
Tom Brady had a great weekend
The recently-retired quarterback made his way through Europe, taking in some cool sports along the way.
Just … read it.
Zion Williamson was trending for all the wrong reasons
Just … maybe click on this one from your home computer or a non-work device.
Messi in the MLS
Lionel Messi came to America, and instantly took over MLS.
Brazil blew our minds at the Women’s World Cup
This goal from Brazil in the Women’s World Cup still blows our minds.
Katie McCabe’s corner-kick goal looked like witchcraft
Another goal that took our breath away at the Women’s World Cup? This Olimpico from Katie McCabe of Ireland. It was the team’s first-ever goal scored in a Women’s World Cup match.
Chris Paul goes to the Warriors and has the saddest introduction possible
The Warriors added Chris Paul and introduced him next to a trash can.
The 103 official, unwritten rules of sports and games
Everything from video games to playing at the beach. Here is what you need to know to not make a fool out of yourself.
Elly Mania
Elly De La Cruz continued to do things on the diamond we had not seen before. But this inside-the-park HR was his most incredible moment yet.
Pete Carroll needs to stop cooking his secondary
The Seahawks released a video of head coach Pete Carroll absolutely cooking his secondary while playing QB during training camp. So Snoop Dogg, Roger Goodell, and Will Ferrell begged him to stop.
Lamar Odom needs some interior design help
Can we get him a bigger TV or something? Man looks like Michael Scott with his new flatscreen TV.
Tim Anderson got rocked
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson started a fight. Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez ended it by knocking the Sonic rings out of him.
He then tweeted through it
Sometimes you have to just take the L. We’re looking at you, Tim Anderson.
Taylor Swift paid tribute to Kobe Bryant’s daughter
Taylor Swift’s The Eras tour was a big deal this year. During a stop in Los Angeles, she paid tribute to Kobe Bryant’s daughter.
AI robots showed up at Dolphins-Chargers and everyone freaked out
I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.
Taylor and Travis
Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce became a thing. So in typical Vox fashion we wrote an explainer.
Chris Stapleton and Snoop Dogg have a new ‘Monday Night Football’ theme
We explained that too.
Andrew Luck showed up as Captain Andrew Luck to 49ers-Giants
We respect someone who leans into a bit.
The first week of the NFL season kinda sucked
Was it a one-week thing, or was it foreshadowing of what awaited us this year?
Lewis Hamilton is up all night to get lucky
The seven-time World Champion unveiled an epic helmet for the Japanese Grand Prix. Daft Punk fans rejoiced.
Jordan Poole keeps chucking up bricks
The NBA preseason began, and Jordan Poole was getting off to a rocky start with the Wizards.
Nikola Jokic hated his summer
That’s right, despite winning a title Jokic hated his summer because he had to play an extra three month.
We lived and died with the Chargers fan
A Chargers fan was shown on TV and became an instant meme.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown on their stunning turnaround
The F1 team enjoyed a stunning turnaround this season. In an SB Nation exclusive, McLaren CEO Zak Brown talked that and more with Mark Schofield.
Mario Cristobal continues to struggle with clock management
Miami lost a game they should have won, and we had questions for head coach Mario Cristobal.
Man in penis costume kicked out of Sam Houston State football game
Yes. A man in a penis costume was tossed out of a college football game. Excuse us, we thought this was America.
The Charlotte Hornets killed James Dator’s fandom
The Hornets stuck with Miles Bridges. Our dear friend James Dator viewed this as the final straw.
Jordan Poole was lost in a huddle …
The Wizards player completely ignored a huddle during a timeout, and looked lost when play resumed.
… and then got a shot blocked into the shadow realm
Then against the Pistons, Poole stopped to admire his own move, before getting his layup yeeted into the cheap seats.
Jalen Carter nearly intercepted Patrick Mahomes thanks to YouTube
Yes, you read that right.
Weather loomed at the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix
Deserts get cold at night? Who knew?
Valtteri Bottas talks perfection
The F1 driver sat down with Mark Schofield to talk the Las Vegas Grand Prix, his season, and how Alfa Romeo could achieve their goal of seventh in the Constructors’ Championship.
The Raiders thrived after Josh McDaniels was shown the door
This looks like a team that was finally happy.
We met Tommy Cutlets and his family.
The Broncos beat the Bills … and it was hilarious
This NFL season has been a lot. This game might standout above the rest.
Oscar Piastri breaks down his incredible rookie season
McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri sat down with Mark Schofield ahead of the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix and talked his incredible rookie season, when he knew he belonged in F1, and tattoos.
A fart interrupted a post-game NHL interview
Absolutely no one could ignore this trumpet blast.
Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma are quite the tandem
The Wizards duo might be the worst tandem in the NBA. Seriously, there are numbers to back this up.
Michigan does not seem to be happy they’re playing Alabama
Michigan found out they were playing Alabama instead of Florida State, and their reaction spoke volumes.
Pat McAfee trolled Georgia fans on ‘College GameDay’
Bulldogs fans walked right into this one ahead of the SEC Championship Game.
Bill Belichick wears a 1962 Navy football helmet
While everything was going wrong for the Patriots, everything was going right for their head coach when he joined College GameDay ahead of Army-Navy.
Florida State got screwed
After Florida State was left out of the College Football Playoff, our JP Acosta unloaded on the selection committee.



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