Best Sports Moments Of 2012
2012 was a fantastic year as far as sports go. It was an Olympic year, there were replacement refs, along with all of the usual thrills provided by a calendar year of athletic competition. However, the moments I am about to list went above and beyond the usual and made 2012 extraordinary. Here they are, the best sports moments of 2012.
2012 was Johnny Manziel's year in college football. Going by the moniker 'Johnny Football,' Manziel led his Texas A&M Aggies to a feat no other team could accomplish this season by beating the Alabama Crimson Tide who, oh by the way, are heavy favorites to win the BCS title game over Notre Dame. He also became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy. In my freshman year, I was getting made fun of for not yet acquiring a taste for beer. You win this round, Johnny Football.
Many thought that injuries and a lack of drive were going to derail Usain Bolt's quest to win a second set of three Olympic medals in the 2012 London Games. Bolt defied those doubters with three electrifying runs, most notably his Olympic record performance in the 100m dash.
Prior to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, it had been 11 years since a 15 seed had defeated a 2 seed in what is now the tournament's second round, a feat that had only happened four times ever. In 2012, it happened twice with Norfolk State toppling Missouri and Lehigh defeating Duke. It is moments like these that make the NCAA Tournament the best sporting event of them all.
Miguel Cabrera completed a truly historic act by winning the American League Triple Crown this year, totaling the highest batting average, while piling up the most home runs and runs batted in for the Detroit Tigers. The last time the feat was accomplished was in 1967, when Carl Yastrzemski pulled it off. While his candidacy for American League MVP was debated time and time again, at the end of the day, Cabrera walked off of the field to a standing ovation and a Triple Crown.
The Giants came into Super Bowl XLVI the same way they did in Super Bowl XLII, in that they were underdogs against the New England Patriots in both games. Thanks in large part to plays like Eli Manning's toss down the sideline to Mario Manningham, which started the Giants' game winning drive, the Giants improved to 2-0 against Tom Brady's Patriots in Super Bowls anyway.
Jeremy Lin, in 2012, went from a former Harvard basketball player to a guy who couldn't stick on one roster in the NBA to the most talked about player in the Association. He helped buoy the Knicks during some tough times throughout last season, and even made opposing team's fans root for him, as evidenced by his buzzer beater against the Toronto Raptors. 2012 may have been LeBron's year in the NBA, but for quite some time, the league belonged to Jeremy Lin.
Many NBA fans, up until last season, had questioned LeBron James' ability to close out playoff games in the fourth quarter. He finally silenced those critics with flawless performance after flawless performance en route to his first NBA championship as a member of the Miami Heat.
This, like many items on this list, is one of those moments that you remember exactly what you were doing when it happened. I happened to be in the car expecting a failed Hail Mary on the final play of Packers/Seahawks on Monday Night Football and, in a way, I was kind of right. Behold, the worst call in NFL history.
I know, it's not a moment that happened in America. Deal with it. Manchester City v. Manchester United is the best rivalry in sports at the moment, and the final five minutes of the 2011-2012 English Premier League season is the biggest reason for that. Finding two goals in an entire match can be a struggle in the top flight of international football, let alone the two that Manchester City pulled out in the most amazing five minutes you may ever see in sports. As match announcer Martin Tyler put it perfectly: "I swear you'll never see anything like this ever again, so watch it, drink it in."
The Indianapolis Colts came into a critical game with the Green Bay Packers with the hope of getting back to .500 at 2-2. They knew coming into the game that their head coach Chuck Pagano, who has been unable to coach the team after being diagnosed with leukemia, would be in attendance. After falling behind 21-3, they came back in miraculous fashion to win 30-27, prompting this tear jerking post game speech. If this doesn't get you a little misty, you have no soul, and that's a fact. Indy, by the way, is now 9-5 and in line for a playoff spot against all odds. Chuck Pagano may return to the team by next week. I have a feeling that everyone's second favorite NFL team is going to be the Colts over the next few weeks, and that's the way it should be.