Sports 2012: A year in review, and a look ahead to 2013: National Championships, broken records, and dazzling season starts highlight 2012

Jake Eisenberg and Eric Fishbin, Sports Editor and Staff Writer

These past twelve months have been tumultuous for the world of sports.  The teams from Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, had a rematch in Super Bowl XLVI, Lebron James finally won an NBA title, and the San Francisco Giants took home their second World Series in three years.  Additionally, the realm of baseball saw its first Triple Crown winner since 1967.  The Summer Olympics took the stage at the end of the summer across the pond in London, England, and Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time.  Put the numbers in the books, and the stories in your memories—the year of 2012 was one to tell your grandchildren about.

 

NFL:

The New York Giants entered the 2012 postseason at 9-7, squeezing their way in.  Cruising past the Falcons to start the playoffs, the Giants went on to face the number one seeded and defending champion, Green Bay Packers.  They rolled over the Packers, and, with some unintentional help from 49ers kick returner Kyle Williams, and an overtime game-winning kick from Lawrence Tynes,  the New York Giants went to the Super Bowl.  Big Blue, in a rematch of the 2008 Super Bowl against the then undefeated New England Patriots, once again overcame their underdog status to win, taking their second in five years. Once again, Eli Manning was the MVP.

Now, this season, while there isn’t a clear powerhouse in sight, there are many issues.  Controversy arose over the replacement referee’s officiating abilities, as well as “Bounty Gate,” featuring the New Orleans Saints.  Commissioner Roger Goodel came under fire on both issues, but, they have since been resolved.  Thus far, the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, and Houston Texans have booked their trip to this season’s postseason, with two weeks to play.

 

NBA:

Think back to 2010, the offseason of “the Decision.” LeBron James took his talents to South Beach, teamed up with Dwanye Wade and Chris Bosh, and subsequently lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.  This past season, James finally won his first NBA title, hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy over the Oklahoma City Thunder.  James also won the league MVP, and took home a gold medal with USA Basketball in the London Olympics.  This trio of awards, championship, MVP, Finals MVP, and gold medal, has only been obtained once before—by Michael Jordan.  Let the “greatest player ever” arguments commence.

Now, in the 2012-2013 season, Dwight Howard has gone to the Lakers to play with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, but has a winning percentage only slightly higher than his free throw percentage.  The New York Knicks are atop the Eastern Conference at 17-5, with Carmelo Anthony leading the charge and Imam Shumpert and Amar’e Stoudemire providing reinforcements.  With their 9-0 home record, don’t be surprised when more teams are added to the “Knicks Tape.”

 

MLB:

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in four games during the 2012 World Series.  Pablo Sandoval, the MVP, stayed hot throughout, as he became the forth player ever to hit three home runs in a single World Series game.  For the Tigers, powerhouses Prince Fielder and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera were held to just one hit in eight at bats during Game 3.

New York Met R.A. Dickey won the NL Cy Young Award, and emerging superstar Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels won the AL Rookie of the Year award.  Amidst offseason moves, things for the 2013 season already look interesting.

 

NHL:

Goalie Jonathan Quick made save after save as they knocked off the number one seed, Vancouver Canucks, and then the St.  Louis Blues and Phoenix Coyotes.  Despite making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, the New York Rangers were denied a championship berth by the New Jersey Devils.  Finally, the Los Angeles Kings took home their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, defeating the Devils in six games, 4-2.  Currently, the NHL is locked out, with games cancelled as far as Jan. 1.

2012 Summer Olympics:

Closed by British superstar Paul McCartney, the 2012 London Olympics was one to remember.  The United States led all countries in all medal categories, and won the overall medal count by over 15 medals.

Notable victories were claimed by the “Fierce Five” of Women’s Gymnastics (Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Kayla Ross, Jordyn Wieber), and by Men’s Basketball, led by superstars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant.  The team was coached by Duke Basketball Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who also became the NCAA Basketball leader in Wins (currently 936) this past March.

Finally, swimmer Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all-time, passing former Soviet Union gmynast Larisa Latynina (18), winning six (four gold, two silver) medals for a career total of 22.

 

As 2012 comes to a close, the doors to 2013 open with more records that were made to be broken.