I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but 2016 has gained something of a reputation as a grim year. First of all, everyone died. In the sports world that meant losing such figures of grace and magnificence as Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, and Bobby Orr. These are irreplaceable men. Elsewhere, the scandal and acrimony of the past 12 months impacted sports in various places — be it the genuine anxiety of the run-up to the Rio Olympics or the Kafkan inanity of Deflategate — but mostly, mercifully, our games were a haven. From Cleveland's redemption to the end of the Cubs' curse to the incandescent excellence of the UConn women's basketball team, there was no shortage of events to thrill and inspire. Of course, there was also the customary ocean of bullshit refereeing, unacceptable coaching, demented league rulings, and all of the other things we look forward to tearing our heads off over each and every year. We can't cover it all in one piece, but here's a snapshot of the best and the worst of the past twelve months, complete with guest stars.
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