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Sunday, December 23, 2007
Updated: December 28, 2:30 PM ET
Top ESPN searches of 2005

By Maalek Marshall and Michael R. Hall

Overall Top Searches

Photo Photo
1. Terrell Owens 2. Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders 3. Notre Dame

Top Searches by Category

NFL: Dallas Cowboys, Terrell Owens Coll BB: Duke, Bob Huggins
MLB: New York Yankees, Barry Bonds NASCAR: Tony Stewart
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Jordan Soccer: World Cup, David Beckham
NHL: Detroit Red Wings, Steve Yzerman Women in Sports: Sheryl Swoopes
Coll FB: Notre Dame, Reggie Bush Other: Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders

NFL Top Searches

Overall: Terrell Owens
Photo 2005's top search term. The wide receiver everyone loves to hate received a lot of love in search. Terrell Owens and the circus atmosphere that followed him from the Super Bowl to the suspended list captivated ESPN.com users and, whether they'd like to admit it or not, most piqued their curiosity in 2005.

Top NFL Teams

  1. Dallas Cowboys - America's Team is ESPN's most searched pro team.
  2. Philadelphia Eagles - From Super Bowl to super controversy.
  3. New England Patriots - The world champs at #3? Still no respect.
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers - Big Ben, another AFC title loss, Myron Cope retires.
  5. Minnesota Vikings - Boat cruise turns Zygi's face purple.
  6. New York Giants - Trade for Eli pays off in his second year.
  7. Chicago Bears - Da Bears lead Da North in Da Cember.
  8. Green Bay Packers - Cheeseheads turn into Limburger in 2005.
  9. Indianapolis Colts - Peyton's run at perfection ends against San Diego.
  10. Cincinnati Bengals - Who dey? AFC North champs.

Top NFL Players

  1. Terrell Owens - How couldn't he be #1? Next question.
  2. Brett Favre - Rough year for Favre, from Katrina to last-place Pack.
  3. Randy Moss - From MIN to OAK to INJ.
  4. Ricky Williams - Ayurveda grad applies holistic healing to his NFL career.
  5. Chad Johnson - Bengals WR making a list, checking it 16 times.
  6. Willie Parker - Fast Willie a fantasy flash for Steelers in early 2005.
  7. Eli Manning - Little brother 7 spots ahead of Peyton on this list.
  8. Tom Brady - #8 here, but #1 w/Jeter on "Who Men Want to Be" list.
  9. Michael Vick - Falcons QB wows them from Atlanta to Mexico.
  10. Donovan Mcnabb - Even chicken soup can't heal Eagle QB's broken season.

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MLB Top Searches

Overall: New York Yankees
Photo This veritable All-Star team, with its range of personalities (from its fiery owner to its too-cool captain), aggressive offseason signings, comeback stories (Giambi, winning AL East after rough start), celebrated past, high expectations (and its renewed rivalry with team #2 on our list) captivated users all year long.

Top MLB Teams

  1. New York Yankees - No title, but still on top of the Red Sox.
  2. Boston Red Sox - #1 in a rout if we include searches for "Bill Simmons."
  3. New York Mets - GM Minaya's real-life rotisserie team.
  4. Chicago White Sox - South Siders, bandwagon fans celebrate Series win.
  5. Houston Astros - First NL title, first World Series game in Texas.
  6. St. Louis Cardinals - Division title, MVP, and Cy Young all in St. Louis.
  7. Los Angeles Angels - Angels of Anaheim win West of AL.
  8. Atlanta Braves - Been there, done that in NL East.
  9. Chicago Cubs - Sox have Series, but Cubs still have Wrigley.
  10. Baltimore Orioles - At least they're ahead of new rival Nationals in something.

Top MLB Players

  1. Barry Bonds - Even when injured, the biggest name in the game.
  2. Derek Jeter - Captain leads Yankees to AL East title.
  3. Albert Pujols - Phat Albert wins first MVP.
  4. Ozzie Guillen - First Latin American manager to win World Series.
  5. Alex Rodriguez - AL MVP still looking for World Series trip.
  6. Lou Piniella - Sweet Lou departs Tampa Bay.
  7. Roger Clemens - Rocket takes Astros to first World Series.
  8. Rafael Palmeiro - 3,000 hits outweighed by 10-day steriods suspension.
  9. Manny Ramirez - Manny being Manny, talks trade with Red Sox.
  10. Theo Epstein - If you don't want $1.5 mil to run the Sox, we'll take it.

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NBA Top Searches

Overall: Los Angeles Lakers
Photo It's showtime again! Well, not quite, but the soap opera that has been the Lakers franchise for the last few years had many twists and turns this year, including the breakup-to-makeup of Phil and Kobe. All in all, the Laker saga was just too interesting for users to ignore.

Top NBA Teams

  1. Los Angeles Lakers - The new triangle: Phil, Kobe, Smush.
  2. New Jersey Nets - Air Canada flight to NJ, connecting service to Brooklyn.
  3. Detroit Pistons - With or without Larry, the beasts of the East.
  4. New York Knicks - NBA nomad Larry Brown returns home.
  5. Miami Heat - Shaq, Dwyane, and Stan Pat.
  6. Cleveland Cavaliers - New owner Gilbert promises titles, low home loan rates.
  7. San Antonio Spurs - Eva Longoria's boyfriend wins NBA title.
  8. New Orleans Hornets - Katrina forces relocation to OKC.
  9. Chicago Bulls - Baby Bulls make 1st playoffs in post-Jordan era.
  10. Dallas Mavericks - Avery Johnson takes over for Don Nelson.

Top NBA Players

  1. Michael Jordan - Still the NBA's biggest name.
  2. Latrell Sprewell - All-Star still looking for 2005-06 team.
  3. Shaquille O'Neal - Shaq leads Heat to conference finals.
  4. Kobe Bryant - Lakers superstar misses playoffs in 2005.
  5. Lebron James - Cavs' King James just misses playoff promised land.
  6. Eddy Curry - Dispute over DNA testing sends Bulls star to Knicks.
  7. Allen Iverson - Philly star wins 2005 All-Star MVP, hates dressing up.
  8. Vince Carter - VC answers critics in New Jersey.
  9. Allan Houston - Knicks star retires in October.
  10. Jason Collier - Hawks center dies at 28 of heart abnormality.

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NHL Top Searches

Overall: Detroit Red Wings
Photo Hockeytown couldn't be prouder of its team. The Red Wings have helped ease the sting of the 2004-05 NHL lockout with excellent play and a fast record out the gate. Detroit has also had its share of headlines early in the season - - Steve Yzerman's possible retirement, Pavel Datsyuk's contract dispute, and Jiri Fischer's health.

Top NHL Teams

  1. Detroit Red Wings - Octopi sales in Detroit return to pre-lockout levels.
  2. New York Rangers - Jagr leads Blueshirts back to Broadway spotlight.
  3. Philadelphia Flyers - Forsberg returns to team that drafted him in 1991.
  4. Boston Bruins - Early season slump leads to Thornton trade.
  5. Toronto Maple Leafs - Canada's glamour team in middle of Eastern pack.
  6. Pittsburgh Penguins - Despite Crosby and new lineup, a disappointing season.
  7. Washington Capitals - Ovechkin only bright spot in dark season.
  8. Chicago Blackhawks - Things so bad for Hawks, Bobby Hull joins the Wolves.
  9. Buffalo Sabres - Sabres emerge as a contender in 2005-06.
  10. Los Angeles Kings - Roenick leads in headlines, Demitra leads in points.

Top NHL Players

  1. Steve Yzerman - Red Wings captain in his final season?
  2. Pavel Datsyuk - Red Wings get center back after Russian contract dispute.
  3. Sidney Crosby - Sid the Kid shines in rookie season.
  4. Ilya Kovalchuk - Thrashers star signs multi-year extension.
  5. Jiri Fischer - Red Wings star's heart stops during Nashville game.
  6. Keith Tkachuk - Blues suspend star before camp for failing physical.
  7. Owen Nolan - All-Star, Maple Leafs argue over lockout compensation.
  8. Todd Bertuzzi - League reinstates Cancuks star after S. Moore incident.
  9. Joe Thornton - Boston trades captain to San Jose.
  10. Alexander Ovechkin - Crosby's main rival for Rookie of the Year.

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College Football Top Searches

Overall: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Photo South Bend's finest enjoyed a meteoric return to prominence, and searchers followed from the hiring of former Patriots assistant Charlie Weis to its #6 ranking and BCS bowl bid. One surprise entry on this list is Bruce Eugene. Grambling's phenomenal QB led the Tigers to an overall 11-1 record while posting 56 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

Top CFB Teams

  1. Notre Dame - Weis's loyal sons march onward to 9-2 record, Fiesta Bowl.
  2. Texas - Mack Brown finally makes a national title game.
  3. Penn State - Robinson and Posluszny lead Lions to Big Ten title.
  4. Alabama - Tide roll until Tyrone Prothro's season-ending injury.
  5. USC - Trojans playing for third national title in three seasons.
  6. Michigan - Preseason fave Wolverines hurt by injuries, home losses.
  7. Oklahoma - Sooners boom with Orange Bowl bid, bust with 7-4 record.
  8. Florida - Urban's boys beat FSU, but lose to Spurrier.
  9. Ohio State - Only losses in 2005 were to BCS-bound Texas and PSU.
  10. Virginia Tech - In ACC driver's seat until late losses to Miami and FSU.

Top CFB People

  1. Reggie Bush - USC star runs to Heisman in 2005, NFL in 2006?
  2. Joe Paterno - JoePa brings Penn State back to glory.
  3. Bruce Eugene - Grambling QB sets I-AA career TD record, wins SWAC.
  4. Charlie Weis - What a year - - a Super Bowl title and a BCS bid.
  5. Vince Young - Texas QB leads Longhorns to undefeated season, #2.
  6. Steve Spurrier - South Carolina coach leads Gamecocks to 7-4, UF win.
  7. Drew Olson - UCLA QB passes for 3,000 yards, 65% completion rate.
  8. Marcus Vick - Michael's brother an ACC MVP candidate until late slump.
  9. Gary Barnett - Embattled CU coach resigns after 0-3 finish.
  10. Matt Leinart - USC QB finishing third year at helm of L.A. sports scene.

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College Basketball Top Searches

Overall: Duke Blue Devils
Photo Roy Williams and the Tar Heels may have won the championship last year, but it's Coach K's winning machine that users are constantly seeking. Great expectations await the Blue Devils this year and they have yet to disappoint.

Top CBB Teams

  1. Duke - Love them or hate them, Duke defines college hoops.
  2. North Carolina - NCAA title comes back to Chapel Hill.
  3. Illinois - Bruce Weber leads Illini to NCAA title game.
  4. Michigan State - #5 seed beats Duke and Kentucky to make Final Four.
  5. Louisville - Pitino leads Cards to Final Four, first Big East season.
  6. Kentucky - NCAA rules Morris ineligible in 2005-06, later reduced.
  7. Connecticut - Huskies start 2005-06 strong, win Maui Invitational.
  8. Villanova - High hopes for Jay Wright's boys in 2005-06 season.
  9. Gonzaga - Zags win 3OT Maui thriller against Michigan State.
  10. Texas - Promising '05-06 in doubt after Duke, Tenn. losses.

Top CBB People

  1. Bob Huggins - Cincinnati coach forced out after 16 stormy years.
  2. Roy Williams - Roy finally wins a title - - in Carolina blue.
  3. Sean May - Tar Heel named 2005 Final Four MVP.
  4. Chris Paul - Wake Forest alum getting big minutes for Hornets.
  5. J.J. Redick - Duke senior leads loaded Blue Devils.
  6. Andrew Bogut - Utah center the #1 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.
  7. Rashad McCants - North Carolina guard drafted by Timberwolves.
  8. Deron Williams - Lone Illini in the top 10 searches now a Jazz starter.
  9. Marvin Williams - North Carolina backup taken #2 in 2005 NBA Draft.
  10. Adam Morrison - Gonzaga star evokes Larry Bird comparisons everywhere.

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NASCAR Top Searches

Overall: Tony Stewart
Photo The 2005 Nextel Cup champion takes first place with our users. Stewart finished 2005 with 5 wins, 25 top 10 finishes, and almost $7 million in winnings. The Indiana native also broke through at his home track, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, by winning the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

Top NASCAR Terms

  1. Tony Stewart - Two-time champion takes season title, Brickyard 400.
  2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Despite average 2005, still NASCAR's most popular driver.
  3. Jeff Gordon - Daytona 500 winner misses the Chase.
  4. Kurt Busch - Roush suspends Penske-bound Busch after Phoenix.
  5. Dale Earnhardt - Big E still a popular search four years after Daytona.
  6. Carl Edwards - Rising star flips his way into tie for second.
  7. Mark Martin - NASCAR veteran finishes in the Chase, returning n 2006.
  8. Rusty Wallace - NASCAR veteran finishes in the Chase, retires.
  9. Michael Waltrip - Dale Jr.'s running mate leaves DEI for Bill Davis Racing.
  10. Jimmie Johnson - Perennial contender misses the title again.

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Soccer Top Searches

Overall: World Cup
Photo No surprise here, even though the World Cup doesn't start until 2006. Germany will host the 32-team contest next summer. The televised draw for the World Cup pulled in 350 million viewers and featured presenters speaking 350 million languages.

Top Soccer Groups

  1. World Cup - Germany hosts Earth's biggest sporting event in 2006.
  2. Champions League - Annual competition between Europe's best club teams.
  3. Real Madrid - Spanish club fails to win a title in 2005.
  4. Barcelona - Spanish club wins 2004-05 Spanish first division.
  5. Manchester United - English club fails to win a title in 2005.
  6. Premier League - The top flight of English professional soccer.
  7. Arsenal - English club wins 2005 FA Cup.
  8. Chelsea - English club wins 2004-05 English Premier League.
  9. Liverpool - English club wins 2004-05 Champions League.
  10. Juventus - Italian club wins 2004-05 Italian first division.

Top Soccer People

  1. David Beckham - English captain and Galactico, Becks always in spotlight.
  2. Ronaldinho - Barcelona star wins FIFA World Player of the Year.
  3. Roy Keane - Manchester United captain heads to Celtic.
  4. Freddy Adu - DC United suspends prodigy for MLS playoff opener.
  5. Cristiano Ronaldo - UK police drop rape charge vs. Man Utd star after arrest.
  6. Michael Owen - English star joins Newcastle after year with Real Madrid.
  7. Thierry Henry - Arsenal star earns captaincy after Vieira's departure.
  8. Ronaldo - Real Madrid star's marriage to MTV VJ ends after 3 mos.
  9. Wayne Rooney - Man Utd and England star wins 2005 top young player.
  10. Malcolm Glazer - Tampa Bay Bucs owner buys Man Utd for $1.47 billion.

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Women in Sports Top Searches

Overall: Sheryl Swoopes
Photo The coming out of Sheryl Swoopes was one of the year's biggest stories and easily the most-searched story involving women in sports. One suprise omission is Annika Sorenstam. Is she so good that users find her uninteresting? Perhaps, like the Manning siblings, users are more interested in searching for athletes that are struggling to get to the top than those already at the top.

Top Women in Sports

  1. Sheryl Swoopes - WNBA star comes out in ESPN The Magazine.
  2. Danica Patrick - IRL driver wins top rookie, parks in Dan Patrick's space.
  3. Michelle Wie - Golfer turns pro, receives endorsements of $10 mil.
  4. Shawntinice Polk - Arizona senior dies at 22 of pulmonary blood clot.
  5. Maria Sharapova - Tennis star reaches #1 in WTA rankings.
  6. Paula Creamer - LPGA rookie finishes second on 2005 money list.
  7. Michelle Kwan - U.S. figure skater prepares for 2006 Winter Olympics.
  8. Kim Ng - Dodgers assistant GM interviews for vacant GM post.
  9. Natalie Gulbis - LPGA golfer finishes sixth on money list.
  10. Serena Williams - Tennis star wins Australian before injuries hurt her form.

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Other Top Searches

Overall: Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders
Photo This story was only in the news for a few weeks, yet landed at #2 on this year's top searches. We wonder why - - the alleged "stall" tactics of Panthers cheerleaders Renee Thomas and Angela Keathley were so outlandish that users were clamoring to find out more. There's not much more to be said on this matter, so we'll just show a thumbnail of Ms. Thomas at a happier time.

Top Other Searches

  1. Cheerleaders - Cheerleaders arrested at Tampa nightclub. You know why.
  2. Steroids - Congress demands action from pro leagues on steroids.
  3. Eddie Guerrero - Wrestler dies at 38; WWE starts random drug testing.
  4. Leavander Johnson - Boxer dies at 35 from brain injury sustained during bout.
  5. Poker - Hachem wins record $7.5 mil at 2005 WSOP.
  6. Cricket - Want cricket? ESPN Search has it, 24/7.
  7. Roy Jones Jr. - Boxer loses rematch against Antonio Tarver, may retire.
  8. Taylor vs. Hopkins - Jermain Taylor defeats Bernard Hopkins twice in 2005.
  9. Lance Armstrong - Cyclist wins 7th Tour de France, Sheryl Crow's heart.
  10. Anna Benson - Wife of Kris Benson stands by her man - - only her man.

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Results listed are the summation of actual search results on ESPN.com in 2005. All results are grouped by clustered variants, including clustering of equivalent terms, requests for web results, requests for local news, and requests for sponsored links.

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