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slides: The 14 Biggest Sports Stories of 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014


For sports in the state of Oregon, 2014 was one of the most eventful years in history. 

The Oregon Ducks made a historic run to college football's inaugeral playoff. Along the way, quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Memorial Trophy, the award for college football's most outstanding player. Oregon State, on the other hand, suffered an embarassingly bad season that resulted in the loss of their head coach.

From professional soccer to basketball, Portland made a lot of noise in the past year; and GoLocalPDX reporters, columnists were there to document the best of it. 

There may have been more monumental sports stories in 2014. In GoLocalPDX's four-month history, however, these were the most well-read stories by our readers. 


Related Slideshow: The 14 Biggest Sports Stories of 2014

Check out GoLocalPDX's biggest sports stories of 2014:

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# 14

Ducks' Playoff Season Begins With Big Victory 

The Ducks defeated the Michigan State Spartans 46-27 in early September. At the time, the Spartans were ranked seventh nationally behind a stout defense and a quality QB in Connor Cook.

The victory showed how the Ducks could respond to adversity.

Read Jeffrey Martin’s Column about the game, and what it meant, here.

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# 13

Pac-12 Basketball Fans Should Attend a Pilots or Vikings Game

Both the Oregon and Oregon State basketball teams failed to make the AP’s preseason top 25 this season.

That led GoLocalPDX contributor Hank Stern to suggest the state’s college basketball fans take the opportunity to attend a Portland Pilots or Portland State Vikings game.

But when you attend a Vikings or Pilots game, what can you expect?

Read Stern’s column here.

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# 12

Who’s the Third Leader in Line on the Timbers Roster?

The Portland Timbers had to play without Will Johnson (broken leg) and Diego Valeri (one-game suspension) for an early-October matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes.

That spurred the question - who’s the third leader in line on the Timbers roster?

GoLocalPDX contributor David Cath analyzed who would be the best pick to wear the captain’s armband with those two players out.

Read his analysis here.

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# 11

Mike Riley’s Future With Oregon State

While Beaver’s 2-7 season was still in progress, Sports fans in the state were watching Riley squirm.

Such a poor season wasn’t typical for Riley, who had experienced moderate successes in Corvallis.

Abe Asher, writer for partner site Oregon Sports News, took stock of Riley's disappointing season. 

Read Abe Asher’s commentary on the situation here.

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# 10

Why The Civil War Will Always Be the Most Important Game of the Year

There’s an ongoing debate among Duck fans over which team is their biggest rival in football: Oregon State or Washington.

In the civil war, however, the stakes are higher - the hatred is much stronger - and the battlefields are much closer.

Patrick McEachern, a writer from partner site Oregon Sports News, made his case for why the civil war is the one must-win game of the season.

Read his column here.

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# 9

Why Supporting the Seahawks Out of Solidarity is Wrong

At the beginning of the NFL season, Hank Stern broke down the rules of fandom, and drew a defining line in the sand: supporting the Seattle Seahawks out of solidarity for the Northwest is wrong.

Not a necessity. Not okay in some cases.

It’s just wrong.

Find out why here.

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# 8

Should The Trail Blazers Retire Brandon Roy's Number?

Roy, a Washington-native, UW alum and all-around great guy, played for the Portland Trail Blazers from 2006 to 2011. He retired due to a degenerative knee condition.

GoLocalPDX contributor Hank Stern believes the Blazers should retire Roy’s number.

Read his column and find out why, here.

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# 7

Should We Worry About LaMarcus Aldridge Leaving

LaMarcus Aldridge opted to play out the last year of his contract with the Portland Trailblazers instead of signing an extension, becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

There are a lot of attractive teams that would likely sign Aldridge. What will the Blazers’ most tenured player choose to do when the season ends?

Jared Wright, a writer with partner site Oregon Sports News, asked that question in his column.

Read it here.

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# 6

Jack Jewsbury: Major League Soccer is Here to Stay

Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury got into back-and-forth with GoLocalPDX columnist Hank Stern over whether professional soccer is here to stay in the U.S.

In a spirited response defending his sport, Jewsbury stated that soccer has never been more popular - especially in Portland.

Read his column here.

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# 5

What Can Portland do to Bring A Second Big-League Franchise to Town?

Sports fans in Portland have been wanting another professional team for some time. While the Timbers are incredibly popular, Major League Soccer (the league the team plays in) is not.

So when it comes to attracting a Major League Baseball, National Football League or National Hockey League team to Portland, what can be done?

GoLocalPDX contributor Hank Stern examined the issue in his Sept. 18 column.

Read it here.

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# 4

Riley Leaves for Nebraska

The Oregon State Beavers football team finished last in the Pac-12 North this season, with a 2-7 record in conference and a 5-7 overall. They lost their last game to rival Oregon in the Civil War, 27-19.

Columnists were waiting for Oregon State’s athletic department to fire Riley. Instead, he was hired on as a the head coach at storied Nebraska, effectively quitting his job in Corvallis.

Read the story here. 

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# 3

Despite Devastating Loss, Mariota Shows His Worth

Going into October, the Ducks were the favorite team outside of the Southeastern Conference to make a run at the national championship. Led by the Heisman front-runner, undefeated (4-0) before the Arizona Wildcats came into Autzen stadium and smacked the Ducks in the mouth 31-24.

For Oregon fans, the upset loss was a nightmare - a complete disaster.

Marcus Mariota, however, was still able to shine in the defeat

Still, GoLocalPDX contributor Jeffrey Martin came out of the loss in a reflective mood. Read his column here.

Photo Credit: Steve Dykes/Getty Images North America

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# 2

LeBron James is No hero. He's a Hypocrite

It’s hard to believe that we’re more than 10 years removed from Lebron James’ rookie season.

GoLocalPDX contributor Andrew Tonry made his case that Lebron wasn’t a hero at all, but a hypocrite.

Looking at other “heroic” athletes who stood up for what was right, like Muhammad Ali, who was stripped of his world title, Tonry stated that it was impossible to imagine LeBron doing anything that could affect his endorsements.

Read his column here.

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# 1

Mariota's Heisman Triumph Brings Sadness to Some Viewers

The most-read sports story of 2014 was Robin DesCamp's commentary on the Heisman Trophy presentation.

Oregon Duck Quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Memorial Trophy, the award for the most outstanding player in college football. Mariota was the first native-Hawaiian, and the first Oregon Duck, to win the award.

DesCamp, who admitted she hadn’t watched the presentation in years past, was very put-off by something she saw during the broadcast.

“‘Painful’” doesn't go quite far enough,” DesCamp wrote. “It was sad. It was extremely awkward.”

Although many commenters disagreed with DesCamp, others felt the same. What do you think?

Read her full column here and find out.


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