The New Year has not been happy for a number of sporting stars and teams around the world, but some have rung in 2014 with some glorious success.
The Ashes provided such stark contrasts in success and failure, while in the Premier League a couple of big-name managers are feeling the heat already.
Over in the NFL we had some wild games in the first round of the play-offs and we saw a new king of the world crowned at Alexandra Palace in the dart.
It really could not have gone any better for Australia, as they put the exclamation point on a fantastic series with another dominant display and a 281-run fifth Test victory wrapped up inside three days.
They've been the better team throughout the Ashes, and as bad as the tourists have been, Michael Clarke's men have been exemplary in all facets of the game, batting big, catching well, and bowling superbly well to plans that England just could not handle.
Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen survived a remarkable comeback from Peter Wright to win his first PDC World Darts Championship title after a thrilling 7-4 success at Alexandra Palace.
Wright had lit up the tournament and did so again in the final as he came roaring back from 4-0 down, favourite van Gerwen held his nerve and, at just 24, became world champion and also the new World No 1 ending Phil Taylor's long reign at the top.
The Colts staged one of the greatest comebacks in NFL play-off history - the second biggest to be exact - as they came from 28 points down early in the second half to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in a 45-44 thriller in Indianapolis.
Andrew Luck had been pretty average at quarterback with some interceptions but he kept firing and as Indy got back into the game the Chiefs just couldn't handle the pressure and it was the Colts who made it through to the next round - a tough trip to New England.
A great start to 2014 for The Gunners, not only do they sit on top of the Premier League table, but they also moved on into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win at home against North London rivals Tottenham.
It was a tough New Year's Day league game against Cardiff, but Arsenal ground out a 2-0 win, and they repeated the scoreline at the weekend to dump Spurs out of the FA Cup - always a big boost for Arsenal fans, so they're on top of the world after a great first week of the year.
2014 has not brought an immediate change in fortunes for the new Manchester United manager - with a fourth home league defeat of the season quickly followed by a fifth overall as they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Swansea.
Their loss against Tottenham got Moyes' year off to the worst possible start as his side slipped 11 points off the pace in the Premier League, and the mood at Old Trafford was hardly lightened by their FA Cup defeat - the January transfer window is suddenly a huge deal for Moyes.
Another man in the spotlight after a string of terrible performances is the England skipper - who may not be entirely to blame on the field but who inevitably faces the music when his team puts in such a truly awful display in such a big series.
It was not the defeat in the Ashes, not even the 5-0 scoreline, but the complete lack of any competitiveness throughout the series - England hardly won a session - and the skipper has to take some responsibility for that - it will not be a pleasant trip back for Cook.
Big Sam is also under the microscope after the Hammers were hammered 5-0 in the FA Cup at Nottingham Forest. West Ham are struggling near the bottom of the Premier League table and the former Bolton boss is favourite to be the next manager to be fired.
Allardyce insists he will turn things around, but just when things couldn't get any worse he was given the dreaded backing by owners David Sullivan and David Gold - usually a sure sign that the end is near!
He's fast becoming the new Tony Romo in the NFL, with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton yet again playing well below par as they lost out to San Diego Chargers in the first round of the play-offs.
Not just the defeats, but the manner of Dalton's woeful performances have cost a talented team a big play-off run, and the team will hard to take a long hard look at their quarterback and decide if keeping him could cost them even more.