They cheated. They doped. They committed crimes. They suffered life-altering injuries. And we kept right on watching. Grantland’s Brian Phillips on sports and the year of un-innocence: “It was not possible to pretend, even if you wanted to, that things were mostly fine.”

+ Let’s not end the sports year on a negative note. Meet Joique Bell. He used to be a security guard for the Detroit Lions. Now he’s their running back.