With 2015 lying ahead, the year of 2014 becomes history. However, before separating too far from the most recent history, take a look at what history books will say about 2014.
“Top 10 sports events”
Sports are an ever-present part of American culture. 2014, however, was truly one of the most exhilarating, paradigm-changing, and incredible years in sports.
#10 LeBron returns to Cleveland
In 2010, after seven years of playing basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers, then 2-time NBA MVP LeBron James held a 75-minute TV special entitled The Decision, in which he announced his signing of a new contract with the Miami Heat. After four years and 2 NBA Championships, James decided to return to his home state of Ohio to play for the Cavaliers again, hoping to team with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to bring success to the Cavaliers.
#9 “The Captain” retires
Derek Jeter, an integral part of the New York Yankees’ success the last 20 years, retired with his last game in September at Fenway Park against the rival Boston Red Sox. Jeter was a 14-time MLB All Star, 5-time World Series Champion, and is widely regarded as one of the best shortstops of all time.
“As a die hard Red Sox fan, there is nothing I hate more than the New York Yankees,” sophomore John Swift said. “I found it impossible to hate him; he didn’t have an attitude, he never had run-ins with the law, and he played clean. And then he was just a flat out good ball player.”
#8 Seven seed UCONN wins March Madness
After defeating the 2-seeded Villanova, 3-seeded Iowa State, and 4-seeded Michigan State from their own bracket, the 7-seeded Connecticut Huskies defeated the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, the Florida Gators, and then finally the storied Kentucky Wildcats to be the first 7 seed to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
#7 Florida State ends SEC reign
Led by Heisman winner Jameis Winston, the Florida State Seminoles defeated the Auburn Tigers with a 66-second drive near the end of the game to win the BCS Championship Game 34-31. A Southeastern Conference team had been the NCAA Football Champions every year since 2005.
#6 Indianapolis Colts mount second-largest NFL comeback in playoff game
After years of losing records, the Kansas City Chiefs started the 2013 season with a 9 game winning streak, eventually dropping off to have a season record of 11-5. In the AFC Wild Card Game against the Indianapolis Colts, the Chiefs were determined to maintain their strong season, taking a 38-10 lead early in the third quarter, despite losing star running back Jamaal Charles to a concussion. Quarterback Andrew Luck led the Colts to the second largest comeback in NFL playoff history with four touchdowns in the second half to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44.[pullquote align=”right”]”I think it’s really cool that the Royals were in the world series. I’ve never really been a Royals fan, but it’s always cool to have a successful team in your state. They haven’t had success in a really long time and [they] deserved it,” junior Tess Loving said.[/pullquote]
#5 Tim Howard sets World Cup saves record
The United States men’s national soccer team advanced from the “Group of Death” at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with a win over Ghana and a draw with Portugal. Tim Howard, the goalkeeper for the team, set a World Cup record in the first bracket game against Belgium, saving 16 shots from scoring, although the U.S. eventually lost in extra time 2-1.
#4 Seahawks win Super Bowl in 43-8 shutout
Super Bowl XLVIII was supposed to be an exciting matchup. The Denver Broncos had the highest scoring and producing offense in the NFL, led by Peyton Manning who had set NFL season records for passing yards and touchdowns. Meanwhile the Seattle Seahawks had the best defensive statistics for a team since the 1985 Chicago Bears, creating a high talent matchup on the field. Manning failed to live up to expectations and the Seahawks led the most lopsided Super Bowl score since 1993.
#3 Kansas City Royals World Series run
The 2014 MLB Kansas City Royals were the first American League wild card team with a record of 89-73, giving them a wild card game into the playoffs against the Oakland Athletics. Down 7-2 in the game, the Royals came back and won the game in extra innings. The Royals then swept the Los Angeles Angels and the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Division Series and American League Championship Series, respectively. The Royals hard fought run was squandered in game seven of the World Series in which they lost to the San Francisco Giants.
#2 T.J. Oshie shootout win over Russia
With the 2014 Winter Olympics being hosted in Sochi, Russia, the Russian hockey team was expected to use the home ice advantage to beat the U.S. team. After a 2-2 game and a scoreless overtime, the two teams went to a shootout. In the eighth round American T.J. Oshie scored his fourth shootout goal on six attempts past Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to shockingly deliver the win for the U.S.
#1 Madison Bumgarner’s World Series performance
Madison Bumgarner’s October explosion of pitching excellence propelled the San Francisco Giants to their third World Series Championship in five years. After winning Game 1 and throwing a complete shutout in Game 5, Bumgarner extended his contribution further as a relief pitcher in Game 7, throwing five shutout innings to clinch the Giants’ championship. Bumgarner not only was the World Series MVP and Babe Ruth Award winner, but was the Sports Illustrated 2014 Sportsman of the Year.
By Luke Chval
“Top 10 news events”
Foreign and national affairs alike have sparked interest in 2014, with a special focus on rather dismal, and often saddening, events taking center stage in the theater of news.
#10 Racial tension and police violence
The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police officers sparked a series of protests around the country. Protesters called for an end to police brutality, but some protest devolved into riots. This month, however, a man in New York City shot and killed two police officers allegedly in response to Brown and Garner’s deaths.
#9 Ebola Epidemic
Over the last year, Ebola exploded in coastal Western Africa, and eventually spread to the United States. Over 7,900 people have died from the disease, according to the CDC.[pullquote]”I think I would say the Crimean Crisis [was one of the biggest news events of 2014.] We weren’t close to World War Three, but it is one of the first times in a while that a major nation has expanded like [Russia]. It created a lot of tension between Russia and NATO countries,” junior Abe Drury said.[/pullquote]
#8 Crimean Crisis
Political turmoil in the Ukraine after the Ukrainian revolution led to unrest across the region, in particular Crimea. Russian-backed forces and protesters took control of much of the province, and the people voted heavily in favor of joining Russia. Despite the United Nations’ condemnation of the vote, Ukraine declared that Crimea was officially occupied by Russia.
#7 Rise of ISIS
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, commonly known as ISIS, came to prominence in the Middle East this year. After initially working with al-Qaeda, even that terrorist organization denounced them. Throughout the year, they’ve systematically taken over a large portion of Iraq and Syria and declared a “World Caliphate.”
#6 Asian air disasters
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March, leading to months of fruitless searching and intense media coverage. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by pro-Russian forces over Crimea in July. Finally, in December, Indonesia AirAsia flight 8501 crashed in the Java Sea.
#5 Republican takeover
The GOP gained nine seats in the U.S. Senate on Election Day this year, giving them control over all of Congress for the first time since 2007.
#4 The Interview
North Korean hackers leaked emails from Hollywood execs and threatened theaters that would show this comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. After The Interview was initially pulled from theaters it was released online and in other independent theaters.
#3 Polar vortex
The Polar Vortex shifted southwards last winter and even until April, causing frigid temperatures and blizzards across the U.S. and Canada.
#2 Gas prices plummet
Oil prices dropped more than 46% in 2014, the steepest decline in years. This led to lower gas prices, including some gas stations offering prices as low as $1.79 per gallon in Columbia, Missouri.
#1 CIA torture report
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence investigated the interrogation tactics used by the C.I.A. and released a torture report that shocked the nation with surprising information that revealed mismanagement and concealed brutal interrogations methods used within the C.I.A..
By Brett Stover
“Top 10 entertainment achievements”
Pop culture is an integral part of American life, with news of a pop star gone crazy and controversial movies becoming topics for dinner time conversations in homes across the nation. Certain stars and movies a like have distinguished themselves as some of the most successful in the business in 2014.
#10 Biggest movie
Guardians of the Galaxy is a popular Marvel comic made movie that received great success, mimicking previous Marvel movies. Starring the beloved Parks and Rec actor Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy brought in over $330 million, and counting.
#9 Most popular television show
The Walking Dead, which debuted in 2010, has increased its popularity in 2014. A post-apocalyptic world that is centered around a group of survivors and their struggles creates the premises of the show. The Walking Dead has gained quite a fan base, known as “Walkers,” who have endured emotional heartbreak after the loss of many beloved characters.
#8 Top grossing album
Frozen, a Disney movie that came out late in 2013, is still vibrant in pop culture today. The movie’s soundtrack was the top grossing album of 2014, with the album featuring the beloved song Let It Go.
#7 Biggest song
The catchy tune Happy took the crown for biggest song of the year. Written for the movie Despicable Me 2, the song became an instant success, granting artist Pharrell Williams national acclaim along with landing him a spot as a coach on singing television show, The Voice.
#6 Biggest artist
Sam Smith, known for his melancholy song Stay With Me featured on his popular album In the Lonely Hour, has swept the nation. The England native quickly rose to fame in America after the debut of his album, and has won the hearts of pop listeners with other melodies such as I’m Not the Only One.
#5 Best YA book
Young adult novel We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is about a tragic accident that takes away a young woman’s memory and leaves her wanting answers.
#4 Sexiest man alive
Chris Hemsworth, an Australian actor has recently entered the Hollywood scene. He has played Thor in three different movies, with a fourth movie approaching. He has been nominated for 17 awards and won seven. He is married to actress Elsa Pataky and they have three children together, a daughter and twin sons. He is also older brother to fellow actor Liam Hemsworth.
#3 Best music video
Katy Perry known for pop songs such as “I Kissed a Girl,” “Firework,” and “California Girls.” She’s won 15 awards and been nominated for 27, and this year she will be able to add number one music video of the year to her list.
#2 Sexiest woman alive
Penelope Cruz is a Spanish actress with over 50 awards under her belt. Cruz, known for her role in Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides and Vanilla Sky, was named Esquire’s 2014 Sexiest Woman Alive.
#1 Best up and coming artist [pullquote align=”right”]”Some of the most memorable pop-culture moments in 2014 would be all the great new music and artist that came out this year like Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX, and Sam Smith,” junior Levi Smith said.[/pullquote]
Charli XCX made waves with her recent album “Suckers” featuring popular songs like “Boom Clap” and “Break the Rules.” Besides writing her own songs, Charli XCX wrote other famous pop songs like Iconapop’s “I Love It” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.”
By Ashley Tanner
“10 Famous deaths”
#10 Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
Baer was a German born engineer, who moved to the United States due to the persecution of his Jewish family, and later became an American citizen. He is known as the “Father of Video Games” due to his game Table Tennis, which inspired Pong, and the memory game Simon.
#9 Edward Herrmann (1943-2014)
Hermann was an actor who was well known for his television portrayal of Franklin Roosevelt, was a co-star in the series Gilmore Girls and won a Tony Award for his acting in the Broadway play Mrs. Warren’s Profession.
#8 Eli Wallach (1915-2014)
Wallach, an actor during the era of westerns in Hollywood, was most famous for his filthy and despicable characters in the lauded The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and The Magnificent Seven. In 2010, Wallach received an Honorary Academy Award for “a lifetime’s worth of indelible characters”.
#7 Harold Ramis (1944-2014)
Ramis was very influential in comedic films in the 20th century, gaining fame at first as being one of the writers for National Lampoon’s Animal House. Later he directed Caddyshack, and was a writer and actor in the films Stripes, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day.
#6 Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014)
Gordimer, a South African writer, was known not only for her literary works but her political views that she expressed through them. Her two best known novels, Burger’s Daughter and July’s People, were anti-apartheid works that were banned in the country due to its stance. Gordimer won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991.
#5 Lauren Bacall (1924-2014)
Bacall was an actress during the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 50’s and 60’s, usually playing the femme fatale in several works alongside Humphrey Bogart, who she married. She accepted an Honorary Academy Award and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
#4 Shirley Temple (1928-2014)
Temple was an actress originally as a child during the Great Depression, starring in films such as Heidi, Curly Top, and Bright Eyes. Temple later became a United States Ambassador to Ghana and then Czechoslovakia.
#3 Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
Angelou, an American author and poet of the Harlem Renaissance, was famous for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. As an African-American woman during the time of the civil rights’ movements of the 20th century, Angelou’s works and life went to advocating for equality. [pullquote]”Everyone I know was affected [by Robin William’s death.] He was one of the best actors/comics of all time and he was a huge part of everyone’s life. My mom and I sobbed in an Old Navy parking lot when we found out, I think it was just a really big thing that affected a lot of people,” junior Addison Horsey said. [/pullquote]
#2 Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014)
Garcia Marquez was a Colombian writer who was originally a journalist, but later became famous for his works One Hundred Years of Solitude, which won him a Nobel Prize in Literature, and Love in the Time of Cholera. After his death, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos stated that he was “the greatest Colombian who ever lived”.
#1 Robin Williams (1951-2014)
Williams was a comedic actor with a very large following and success due to a multitude of films. He had critical successes in the films Aladdin, Dead Poet’s Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Good Morning, Vietnam. Williams was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times and has won 6 Golden Globe Awards and 4 Emmys, solidifying himself as one of the best film comedians in history.
By Luke Chval
“Top 10 technological innovations”
By definition innovations in the world of technology are always occurring as new ideas turn into new products. See what new technology took the world by storm in 2014.[pullquote align=”right”]”iPhones 5/6 [is the best innovation of 2014] purely because of the whole thumbprint recognition thing since growing up the movies I watched had like secret services and things that used thumb or handprint recognition and I never thought that that kind of technology would be released to the general public this early in my life,” junior Kelli Johnson said.[/pullquote]
#10 Polaroid socialmatic camera
The classic polaroid camera of our youth has now been updated by modern standards, allowing owners to not only print out a copy instantly, but also allowing the owner to post the picture to FaceBook and other social media sites. It’s a modern revamp on an old classic.
#9 Apple pay and iPhone 6/6+
Apple, the company that has taken the world by a storm was at it again this year. The iPhone 6 and 6+ were released this year along with the Apple Watch announcement and new Apple Pay.
#8 Goji smart lock
The Goji Smart Lock takes technology in the everyday use to a whole new level. Goji allows owners to unlock their house using their image. Along with the unlocking feature, you can also see the face of someone who stopped by your home while you were gone. It is not only makes opening the front door easier, but it is a security measure too.
#7 June bracelet
The June Bracelet is a girls best friends when it comes to tanning. By using an app available on iPhones and Android phones the bracelet will tell you how much sun exposure you are in, when you should apply sunscreen and a multitude of other sun related things.
#6 Panomo panoramic camera
The Panomo Panoramic camera takes taking a panoramic photo to a whole new level. The Panomo is a sphere with a multitude of cameras meant to be tossed in the to take a 360 degree photo. It is a revolutionary step in the photography world.
#5 Kolibree toothbrush
The Kolibree toothbrush records brushing patterns to allow users to know where their brushing skills need improvement when accompanied by the app.
#4 Flir One personal thermal imager case
With the Flir One thermal imager case it’s possible to take thermal imaging pictures with a smart phone. It simply attaches to phones and allows thermal images to be taken just as any other photograph would be taken.
#3 LG’s home chat
LG’s innovative technology now allows various products to be controlled by texting. Wanting to know how many cans I soda are in the fridge? Simple. Want to have the living room vaccines using the LG vacuum? Done. It takes technology straight into the basic functions of a home.
#2 HABU app
The HABU app allows the user to play music that goes along with the feeling of the listener. It makes searching for a playlist easier.
#1 LaCie sphere hard drive
The LaCie Sphere is the hard drive that is meant to be out in the open and on display for all to see. The LaCie has 1 terabyte of storage and is very appealing to the eye.
By Ashley Tanner