In 2009, we spent so much time putting together our retrospective of the last decade (click here for our "Best of the 2000s" series) that we almost forgot about all the memorable things that happened this year. Well, 2010 ain't here yet, so we're spending the last week looking back at all our favorite stuff, including albums, movies, video games, girls, sports moments, books, style trends, and websites. If you're a regular Complex reader, you already know our appreciation of sports goes beyond the glorious victories—we love it all, including the epic fails, fights, and hilarious high jinks. Look back on our favorites with the Top 25 Most Memorable Sports Moments of 2009 countdown...
#25: NATE ROBINSON SHOOTS ON THE WRONG BASKET
Athlete(s) Involved: Nate Robinson, New York Nets and Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks Head Coach
• "Play through the whistle" is an old sports saying that coaches use to keep players from anticipating calls. Not a basketball game is played in which a player doesn't take a wild, joke shot after the whistle—it's just that they usually do it on their own basket. If Mike D'Antoni didn't really have an idea of just what kind of craziness he was getting into in New York when he took the Knicks job last year, he certainly does now. To be fair though, the Knicks were playing the Nets, so they weren't really in any danger of picking up an L anyway.
#24: BRANDON MARSHALL'S TRAINING CAMP SHENANIGANS
Athlete(s) Involved: Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos
• We all know that wide receivers are naturally the asshole position of football but there are a few like Marshall who just take it to a whole new level. Not happy with making $2.2 million a year in the NFL, why not take it out on equipment manager who's family isn't likely to see that kind of money for the next five? Sadly this isn't the worst of Marshall's fuckery.
#23: DEVIN HESTER GETS PANTSED
Athlete(s) Involved: Devin Hester, Chicago Bears and Dimitri Patterson, Philadelphia Eagles
• Horse-collar tackles were prohibited a few years back, we're assuming jock strap tackles are next.
#22: HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS SOCCER BRAWL
Athlete(s) Involved: Woonsocket and Tolman High School girls soccer teams
• D-d-d-d-damn, what's up with girls soccer these days? The Division IV Rhode Island state championship high school match broke into a hair-pulling free-for-all back in November after Woonsocket took a 5-0 lead on Tolman. We're going to have to also issue an Eyewitness News producer fail 'cause there's a haymaker at the beginning of the clip that's totally obscured by the anchorman. We'd like to see that in super slo-mo, please.
#21: LEBRON GETS DUNKED ON BY A COLLEGE PLAYER
Athlete(s) Involved: Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers and Jordan Crawford, Xavier
• King James got a lesson learned by Barbra Streisand long ago: if there's evidence of something that's embarrassing to you, don't make a big deal out of it. If LBJ's folks hadn't tried to embargo the video of him getting dunked on in a summer camp, the only folks that would've seen it would probably be said youngster's friends. Instead, it became an Internet sensation, and LeBron suffered yet another L over the summer.
HIT NEXT TO SEE THE REST OF THE COUNTDOWN! (MOMENTS #20 - #16)
#20: NYREL SEVILLA (6-YEAR-OLD TACKLING PHENOM)
Athlete(s) Involved: Nyrel Sevilla, Huntington Bulldogs
• Nyrel Sevilla is a (much bigger, faster, and stronger) boy among boys. Seriously, Malcolm Gladwell, get off your lazy, selective reporting ass and start your research now, 'cause there's 'bout to be a whole slew of 11-year-old with post-concussion symptoms in about five years.
#19: LINEMAN DOESN'T MOVE IN FLORIDA-FLORIDA ST GAME
Athlete(s) Involved: Zebrie Sanders, Florida State Seminoles
• We've all heard of the term
being a lazy s.o.b"taking a play off," but Zebrie (or "Zebra" as Keyshawn Johnson calls him) takes it to a whole new level in this video. Homie doesn't even move. That's the kinda play that leaves your quarterback on this list and your ass out of the NFL.
• You could tell that Casey Babcock could already sense the sweet taste of victory, until he did his best Leon Lett impression and brought on the bitter taste of defeat. Kids, it ain't over till the fat lady sings, or till that guy with an equal I.Q. and yards per game average turns the ball over.
#17: BRANDON STOKELY GAME-WINNING TD ON TIPPED BALL
Athlete(s) Involved: Brandon Stokely, Denver Broncos, Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos and Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos
• "You see, what I'm gonna do here is just let you guys sorta take each other out over there, then I'm gonna scoop this up—thank you very much!—and run it in for the winning score. Yup, just how we drew it up in the huddle."
#16: ALEXANDER SEMIN V. MARC STAAL "BONGO" FIGHT
Athlete(s) Involved: Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals and Marc Staal, New York Rangers
• Hockey is one pretty badass sport. Unlike basketball and baseball, the refs in the NHL actually let the players throw down when they have beef. Only downside to this is sometimes you see how bitch-made your favorite player really can be. As was the case for Alexander Semin, who had nothing but bongo slaps to offer the overpowering Marc Staal. C'mon Alex you're in a fight not filling-in for the drummer at that Little Havana spot you love so much.
HIT NEXT TO SEE THE REST OF THE COUNTDOWN! (MOMENTS #15 - #11)
#15: GINA CARANO WEIGH-IN
Athlete(s) Involved: MMA fighters Gina Carano and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos
• Weigh-in's are usually about as far from hot as it gets. Most of the time it's two dudes in their underwear jawing (pause) back and forth about who's going to bash the other's face in more. But Carano changed the game completely with her
strip teaseweigh-in. In fact, they should change the rules completely: only female fighters have the public weigh-ins from now on.
#14: JAMES HARRISON INTERCEPTION RETURN IN SUPER BOWL
Athlete(s) Involved: James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers and Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals
• Linebackers carrying 242 lb. aren't supposed to be able to run the length of the field without being tackled or collapsing, whichever comes first. But not all linebackers are beasts like James Harrison. This interception just before halftime completely swung the momentum in the Steelers favor, turning what would've been at least a Cardinal field goal into a Steeler touchdown. With the help of Harrison's key play and a game-winning drive down the field from Big Ben, the Steelers captured their fifth title. Too bad talent doesn't always doesn't equal class.
#13: SIDNEY CROSBY V. BRETT MCLEAN
Athlete(s) Involved: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins and Britt McLean, Florida Panthers
• It's pretty tough to look gully in baby blue, but Sid the Vicious lived up to his name on this one by ravaging Brett McLean's face with a flurry of haymakers. Who cares who won possession when you come out looking something like this?
#12: LAGARRETTE BLOUNT PUNCHES BRYAN HOUT
Athlete(s) Involved: Lagarrette Blount, University of Oregon and Byran Hout, Boise State
• Blood and choking on your own teeth sure can ruin the sweet taste of victory. Bryan Hout found this out right after Boise State beat the Oregon Ducks 19-8. Bryan decided to do a little trash-talking after the game, and LaGarrette Blount introduced own twist on a sports cliche: If you can't beat 'em, knock 'em the eff out.
#11: LAS VEGAS COBRAS PLAYER TACKLES TEAMMATE
• It's one thing to kinda-sorta space the eff out and forget that you're on the punt return team, not the punt coverage team, but to misremember what color jersey you have on? Yikes. The Las Vegas Cobras are a semi-pro football team, and we're assuming the emphasis is in on the "semi." At least dude pretty immediately realized his fail (although he did have the spectator/coach yelling "What are you doing?" to point him in the right direction).
HIT NEXT TO SEE THE REST OF THE COUNTDOWN! (MOMENTS #10 - #6)
#10: LUIS CASTILLO DROPS BALL VS. YANKEES
Athlete(s) Involved: Luis Castillo, New York Mets
• The entire 2009 season could be looked at as a fail for the Mets, given that by (early) July they were already out of playoff contention. It wasn't just the losing that made the soul of Mets' fans burn slow, it was how they lost. The first unassisted triple play in National league history to end a game, having this guy as a GM, and this play. With two outs in the ninth against their cross-town rivals, the easiest play you could ask for is an infield pop-up but Castillo summed up the season by dropping it like it was hot. Literally.
#9: THIERRY HENRY HANDBALL
Athlete(s) Involved: Theirry Henry, France and William Gallas, France
• You see? This is why people don't like the French. They've got dope women, good food, and a couple millenia of fly culture, and if that wasn't enough, they blatantly cheat in a World Cup qualifier, knocking a game Ireland side clear out of the tournament. Then they have the (de) gall to suggest a solution they know governing bodies would never accept. That's it, from now handball penalties are called Freedom Fries.
#8: LEBRON GAME-WINNER VS. MAGIC
Athlete(s) Involved: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers and Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando Magic
• LeBron had a few more Queen James moments than in '09 than usual. There was the over-hyped posterization he received after he tried to confiscate the video, and his best Cam at the Rucker impression after losing the Eastern Conference final. But props are given where they're due, and unless your name is Bolt .1 second isn't a lot of time to do anything, much less win Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. Unfortunately, he may be out of Cleveland just as fast once summer hits.
#7: ALEXANDER OVECHKIN'S GOAL ON RANGERS
Athlete(s) Involved: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers
• Leave it on the court, give 110%, always play your best, blahblahblah. There are times in men's lives (mostly Rangers though) where it's just best to accept defeat and avoid yourself even more embarrassment. In this clip, the Rangers probably should've just gone ahead and given up about the time that Ovie first touched the puck. Of course they didn't, and now half their team's been posterized.
#6: SERENA WILLIAMS CURSES LINE JUDGE
Athlete(s) Involved: Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, US Open Line Judge
• In BDSM it's good etiquette to politely ask your partner if you can shove a tennis ball down her throat. Of course our pal Serena Williams is a good girl and she doesn't know anything about BDSM etiquette, which explains her rather brusque offer to embed a tennis ball in a line judge's trachea during a semifinal match in this year's U.S. Open. Yes, Serena lost the match as a direct result of her outburst, and ended up paying an $82,500 fine, but you'll remember her tirade forever and you've already forgotten who she played. Who? Exactly.
HIT NEXT TO SEE THE REST OF THE COUNTDOWN! (MOMENTS #5 - #1)
#5: MANNY PACQUIAO KOs RICKY HATTON
Athlete(s) Involved: Manny Pacquiao, light welterweight and Ricky Hatton, light welterweight
• When you start your career at 106 pounds people don't expect you to KO 140-plus pound welterweights years later. But we've all come to expect the unexpected from Pacman—dude's a straight beast. With one left hand in the second round Pacquiao left all of us believing the hype and Hatton with a few hundred less brain cells.
#4: BALLARD TAKES OUT VOKOUN
Athlete(s) Involved: Keith Ballard and Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers
• It sucks when you injure yourself celebrating (we see you Bill Gramatica), but it's even worse when you take out a teammate while you're tossing a hissy fit 'cause you effed up. Congratulations Keith Ballard! Now the back-up goalie is going to have to face the slapshots from the opponent that just shredded your lousy defense.
#3: USAIN BOLT SETS RECORD
Athlete(s) Involved: Usain Bolt, Jamaica track team
• Bolt! Never has a sprinter had a more apt name (until I.M. Fast comes along). At last year's Olympics, Bolt was criticized for missing a chance at a world record by hot dogging to the finish line in the 100 meters, but at this year's World Championships he was all business, setting new low times in both the 100 and 200 meters. Usain in the membrane!
#2: DWAYNE WADE DUNKS ON ANDERSON VAREJAO
Athlete(s) Involved: Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat and Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers
• Why? Why is the sky blue, why is water wet? Why does Dwyane Wade put the "y" in his name where he does? And why on earth did Anderson Verajao think it would be a good idea to challenge D-Wade on a breakaway? The NBA season's only a month old, but we're thinking this is already the best dunk of the year.
#1: BYU V. NEW MEXICO GIRL FIGHT
Athlete(s) Involved: Elizabeth Lambert, New Mexico and Carlee Payne and Kassidy Shumway, Brigham Young University
• Women have been fighting for equality in sports for decades now, from Billie Jean King being a Title IX advocate back in the '70s to the inaugural WNBA season in 1997. And it's good to see they haven't lost their fighting spirit! Seriously though, what's more hard body: Ms. Lambert yanking homegirl's wig, or her opponent who took that first punch square in the back without complaining? Gangsta, gangsta.
• Complex's Best of 2009: The Top 25 Albums
• Complex's Best of 2009: The Top 25 Movies
• Complex's Best of 2009: The Top 25 Video Games
• Complex's Best of 2009: The Top 25 Hottest Girls
• Complex's Top 100 Sports Moments of the Decade!