8 Best Longform Stories About Shocking Sports Moments Of 2013

Murders, improprieties and a fake girlfriend. It was never a dull day in the sporting world this year. And writers crafted great longform stories about those moments.

1. Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend Is A Hoax — Deadspin

Seems like forever ago, huh? The amazing story about the Notre Dame linebacker’s impressive season had been inspired by the fake death of a fake woman. It rocked the football player as well as sports journalists. t served as a valuable lesson out there to sports reporters to vet anecdotes before publishing features stories meant to tug at emotions.

2. The Coach Who Exploded — The New York Times

Via Christaan Felber for The New York Times

Former Rutgers Head Coach Mike Rice was fired in April after videos surfaced of him bullying his players during practice by throwing balls at their heads, shoving them, shouting homophobic slurs, among other actions. Come November, he’s teaching after-school clinics for third-to-sixth graders.

3. Inside the Double Life of Aaron Hernandez — The Boston Globe

Via George Rizer for The Boston Globe

The former Patriots tight end was indicted for the murder of Odin Lloyd, and before that, he was allegedly linked to people in a world that surrounded themselves with guns, drugs and violence.

4. A Yellow Card, Then Unfathomable Violence, in Brazil — The New York Times

Via Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

It was one of the most gruesome crimes committed amid a sporting activity people heard about all year, and it began over a call during a game of pick-up soccer. A man was beheaded and quartered after, and another man was killed. The World Cup was set to take place in Brazil, and people expressed concern. Was the legal fight over soccer culture, or it was it something else?

5. The Shooting Star and The Model — Vanity Fair

Via Rex Features for the Associated Press

Oscar Pistorius, the South African sprint runner who overcame a double amputation to compete in the Olympics last year, captivated viewers because he overcame adversity. And then news broke that he was being charged for murdering his model girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. The person viewed as a hero was also described as a murderer, and it affected the country.

6. Will Brain Injury Lawsuits Doom or Save the NFL? — Bloomberg Businessweek

Via Paul Sancya for the Associated Press

Football coming under scrutiny for its brutality is nothing new, but this year some action heightened. Last year, Gene Locks and a group of allied plaintiffs’ lawyers sued the NFL on behalf of more than 4,000 former players and their wives who accused the business of covering up life-altering brain injuries. A settlement was reached this year for $756 million, but is that the end?

7. A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports’ Biggest Names — Miami News Times

Via Jonathan Daniel for Getty images

The Miami News Times gives the full story on Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez being suspended for 211 games because of the Biogenesis scandal investigation, which would keep him off the field through the end of the 2014 MLB season. It’s the BALCO scandal of the east coast.

8. Oklahoma State Football — Sports Illustrated

Via Stacey West for Getty Images

Sports Illustrated published a controversial five-part series on Oklahoma State’s football program and how it broke numerous NCAA rules, including pay-for-play schemes, drug use, academic fraud and sketchy recruiting. The school said it would investigate, but the series drew heavy criticism for reliable reporting methods, sourcing and the objectivity of the reporter. Criticisms aside, the story also goes to show that it’s not totally about OSU, but about a need for reform in college athletics.

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