Drawing to a close is the year 2013, which brought us a number of massive stories that dominated headlines and discussions. Some were triumphant and inspirational such as Kevin Ware's seemingly impossible comeback from a broken leg. Some, like Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend, were just bizzare. And others, sadly, were downright tragic. With the calendar about to turn, it's time for you to rank the biggest stories of the past 12 months.
Sports stories of 2013
In one of the most shocking sports stories in recent memory, former New England Patriots Pro Bowl tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged in June with first-degree murder for the killing of Odin Lloyd. He is still awaiting trial.
Great Britain had waited 77 years for one of its own men to win the nation's biggest tennis event, and Scotsman Andy Murray broke the streak in July by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
Going from 0-8 to an SEC title would be a big deal no matter how it happened. But Auburn got there by two of the most improbable plays you'll see: a 73-yard Hail Mary against Georgia and, one game later, that ridiculous 109-yard field goal return TD in the Iron Bowl.
The whole world was shaken when two men, later identified as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, set off makeshift bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others. Boston pulled together, but the tragedy is unforgettable.
Mike Rice's firing from Rutgers was just a prelude; Richie Incognito was suspended indefinitely in November after fellow Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin left the team, due to what many have labeled bullying in the Miami locker room.
After 16 years of the BCS system determining which two college football teams would play for the national championship, it was announced an agreement had been reached to institute a four-team playoff starting in the 2014-15 season. So instead of arguing about Nos. 2 and 3 we can now argue about Nos. 4 and 5.
Who in his prime leaves the Los Angeles Lakers? Dwight Howard did, bolting Southern California -- and the memories of his one tumultuous season there -- for the Houston Rockets and what now seems like a strong shot at contention.
A name few outside Florida knew even in the middle of 2013, Jameis Winston's became one of the most spoken as he led Florida State to the national title game and earned the Heisman Trophy. His year was not without incident, though, as sexual assault allegations surrounded him until a state attorney decided not to charge him in the incident.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner made news before his follow-up season even began, as questions surrounded his off-field behavior -- from his leaving the Peyton Manning Passing Academy early, to his party-boy perception, to a link with an autograph scandal that caused him to be suspended for the first half of Texas A&M's first game.
First, Louisville guard Kevin Ware caught the nation's attention with an Elite Eight injury so gruesome one could hardly look -- or look away. Then the Cardinals rallied around their fallen friend, eventually beating Michigan for the NCAA tournament title.
He once seemed unbreakable, or at least really hard to break. Then Kobe Bryant ruptured his left Achilles late in the 2012-13 regular season. And although he fought back to return to the court in December, it was only a few games before he sustained a break in his left leg. The prognosis: six more weeks on the sidelines.
We all knew it -- or did we? Lance Armstrong cleared up any doubt that might have been lingering when in January he told Oprah Winfrey he indeed used banned substances to help him win his seven Tour de France titles.
Manti Te'o hoax
Manti Te'o hoax
The story of Lennay Kekua, then-Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o's supposed long-distance girlfriend who died of leukemia, seemed too good to be true. And it wasn't true. A January report discovered Kekua's existence to be a hoax, one perpetrated against Te'o himself.
Months before Aaron Hernandez's arrest shocked the American sports landscape, Oscar Pistorius' arrest -- he was charged with murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp -- jolted the entire athletics world. The Paralympic track star is said to have shot Steenkamp, and is awaiting trial in South Africa.
PEDs in MLB
PEDs in MLB
Alex Rodriguez already was an admitted steroid user, but MLB's Biogenesis investigation discovered A-Rod's violations to be far greater. That's why Rodriguez was suspended an unprecedented 211 games (he's appealing) while Ryan Braun earned a 65-game ban (he accepted).
With one game remaining in 2013, the ageless Peyton Manning broke Tom Brady's single-season passing TDs record (51). Manning also is 265 yards short of Drew Brees' yardage mark (5,476), and the Broncos are within 17 points of the Patriots' scoring record (589).
Move over, Red Sox. Pirates fans waited more than two decades, then saw their team reverse the curse -- if there was one -- with ease. After 21 years of not making the playoffs, Pittsburgh eased into the postseason (with a 94-68 record), beat the Reds in the wild-card game, and took eventual league champ St. Louis to five in the NLDS.
RG III drama
RG III drama
Easily the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Robert Griffin III followed up with a 2013 to forget. With a knee injury sustained late in 2012 ailing him, Griffin had no preseason. And it showed, with his game clearly limited as Washington struggled to a 3-10 record -- before he was unceremoniously shut down for the year.
Streaks & rings
Streaks & rings
Their championship-winning comebacks? They were remarkable: the Heat rallying past the Spurs in the NBA Finals, and the Blackhawks mounting two of them -- one against the Red Wings in the second round and another against the Bruins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. The streaks that preceded them? Just as impressive; the Heat won 27 in a row during the season, while the Hawks started the year on a 24-game points streak.
With the Ravens leading Super Bowl XLVII 28-6 -- already a big story itself -- the lights went out in the Superdome for 34 minutes. After visibility was restored, the 49ers charged back -- only to fall short, 34-31.