The Best Animated Sports GIFs Of 2010: A Year Of Faceplants, Miracles, And Absolute Silliness

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We all love the humble animated GIF, the modern man's answer to the flip-book. Here, we count down the 40 best sports GIFs of the year, featuring Sad Nolan Ryan, Disappointed NFL Grandpa, and whatever the hell Glen Davis was doing.

In the year 2010, we at SB Nation, our regional sites, and our blogs spent millions of words in an effort to tell you who was throwing or catching, or hitting a ball, why he or she was doing so, and why this was interesting or funny. A lot happened, and there was evidently a lot to say about it.

And if you missed the sporting events themselves, you were almost certain to find them on YouTube. In a sense, then, it seems as though we would have little use for the humble animated GIF. There's no sound, the quality of the image isn't always very good, and it's only capable of showing a few seconds' worth of action.

All right, listen. I'm not going to dissect the animated GIF and allow my words to spoil what is perhaps the most concise and pithy form of media at our disposal. Just watch this animation of a rollerblading dinosaur mascot falling on his face.

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This GIF is not from 2010, but as far as I'm concerned, it was the grand champion of sports GIFs entering last year. Can its title be challenged by any 2010 animations? My hope is that we'll find out. What follows here is a list of 49 GIFs that I found suitable for inclusion. A few important things I'd like to address before proceeding:

  • The problem with animated GIFs is that if you view too many at once, they can make your browser cranky. As such, I've divided this list into a series of pages, with no more than five GIFs per page. In addition, we have it set up so that larger GIFs will only play when you click them.
  • While putting this list together, I solicited submissions from people across each sport. Some leagues, for one reason or another, simply produce more GIFs than others, but I still tried to represent each major sport as fairly as I could.
  • I am absolutely positive that the above title, "The Best Animated GIFs Of 2010," is a lie. I am comfortable with the fact that I have missed out on plenty of amazing GIFs. If you'd like to share one in the comments, please do, but I'd ask that you simply provide a link to the image rather than embedding it. Otherwise, everyone's browser will explode.
  • This list is restricted to original animations only. In other words, no manipulated images. If I included these, 95% of the items on the list would be from LSUFreek, which, while awesome, would also be sort of unfair.
  • A lot of GIFs are made anonymously, spawning from message boards and the like from all corners of the Internet. As a consequence, I wasn't able to assign credit for all of these, but I did so whenever possible.
  • Many of these entries are from 30fps. If you like these (you'll like these), you'll want to check that out, and you'll also want to follow @bubbaprog on Twitter. Trust me.

That should cover it. Commence the on-field greatness, off-field silliness, and guys getting hit in the ding-dong:

Introduction | 40-36 | 35-31 | Intermission 1 | 30-2625-21 | 20-16 | Intermission 2 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-2 | 1

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