I asked Brent Brookhouse, our MMA editor, for help with this list, and this is the GIF he was adamant about. In WEC 53, Anthony Pettis took out Ben Henderson with an absolutely terrifying head kick.
Look at that. Pettis, borrowing from Bo Jackson's book of tricks, runs up the wall to build up speed and get an angle before whipping his leg out. It's the second-most impressive wall-run take-down I've ever seen.
Sorry, Mr. Pettis. Jack Bauer always wins.
4. GOOD MORNING, USER! I AM MCNABB! THE TIME IS 08:54 AM!
Running . . .
beeeeeEEOOOOOP HAAAAAAAAAAY MY NAME IS DONOVAN MCNABB! I'VE BEEN A VERY GOOD QUARTERBACK FOR A WHILE BUT AMERICA TENDS TO GET BUTT-HURT OVER BLACK QUARTERBACKS SO I'VE BEEN THE SUBJECT OF NO SMALL AMOUNT OF RACE-RELATED UGLINESS. I LED THE EAGLES TO THE SUPER BOWL ONE TIME ONLY FOR MY WIDE RECEIVER TO TELL EVERYONE I THREW UP IN THE HUDDLE SO EVERYONE THOUGHT I WAS A COWARD. I DID MY BEST IN PHILADELPHIA AND DID MY BEST EVEN WHEN I WAS HURT, WHICH WAS OFTEN, AND NOW I'VE BEEN TRADED TO THE REDSKINS. I'M A LITTLE OLDER AND PERHAPS A LITTLE SLOWER THAN I USED TO BE BUT I WILL DO MY BEST FOR MY TEAM EVEN THOUGH EVERYONE ALSO HATES ME HERE. WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?
3. Hockey, directed by Quentin Tarantino
The trip and subsequent slide into the goal might have been enough to get this on the list, but then there's the over-dramatic face-smack at the end. What's going on here? Is this the House of Blue Leaves? Are these guys the Crazy 88? Did The Bride just slash this guy in the back? Oh God, we're in for a Jaroslav Havak lecture on Superman, aren't we?
2. Be quiet.
(Click image to view. Via 30fps)
This is another one that I almost listed as No. 1. It tells a surprisingly complex story through only four seconds of animation. Chris Rock is a big deal, right? He's one of those celebrities who will remain relevant for life. And David Spade, well, I mean, we know who he is, even if we're not sure why he's sitting courtside.
Sometimes the difference between "celebrity" and "athlete" is very stark. Chris Rock worked hard for many years to perfect his craft and his image, yes. But even if you are born Kobe Bryant, as Kobe Bryant happened to be, you don't get to be Kobe Bryant without the discipline of a monk, the drive of a mad scientist, and the resilience of a plow horse.
Some celebrities are so for no reason. Most celebrities are famous because they worked hard for it. And, of course, there are some top-flight athletes who don't seem to be working very hard. But this is Kobe Bryant. The antics of the comedians are drowned out by the low, loud hum of the machine.
In other words, Kobe is the opposite of No. 1 on this list.