Finally we are at number one! So what could be the biggest moment in sports of 2012? Drumroll please….
THE NEW YORK GIANTS WON THE SUPER BOWL!!!!
This is the same team that did not win a game in November, stood at 7-7 at one point, and was doubted by every sports analyst. However, if you watched this team all season you knew there was something special. Eli Manning was unbelievable all year. The receiving corp seemed to be so in sync. The defensive line would put pressure on the quarterback and was always feared. Even with all the pieces clicking, they were still favorited.
Every week was supposed to be their last week in the playoffs. When will people learn to stop doubting an underrated Giants team? They say this team works best with their backs against the wall, but it is really when they are supposed to lose that they perform exceptionally well. They beat the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC Eact, they embarrassed the Atlanta Falcons at home, they went to the Green Bay tundra and stunned the reigning champs, and they got their rematch in San Francisco to win the NFC Championship. It was like we all traveled back in time and the game depended on Lawrence Tyne’s leg one more time. After a muffed punt, the Giants got Tynes into field goal range and he kicked them into the Super Bowl to get the ultimate rematch against the New England Patriots.
Had Super Bowl 42 been a lucky break for the Giants or were they the real deal? Well, Tom Brady sure thought he was robbed of a title. However, the Giants started off strong with Justin Tuck getting a safety on Brady in the first quarter. The Giants fell behind late and had to rely on Eli’s magical arm to put them back on top. It seemed like it was destined for the Giants to win when a long pass intended for tight end Rob Gronkowski was intercepted by Chase Balckburn. This set up the moment when Eli floated a beautiful pass to the sideline for Mario Manningham that was caught in bounds between two defenders. The Patriots let the Giants score and gave their MVP Tom Brady 30 seconds to make an epic comeback. He came extremely close getting a ‘hail mary’ pass into the end zone that the Giants knocked away that ended the game. Eli Manning outdueled Tom Brady for a second time in the Super Bowl. What a game! Even if you do not like the Giants, you have to respect how hard they played in the playoffs. Nobody wanted to win more than them and for that I thank them. The year might not have ended well for the Giants, but they brought so many smiles to so many different people on and off the field.
There were seven no-hitters this past baseball season. However, one stood out more than the rest. There is one franchise who seems to have the worst luck and has become the laughing stock of the MLB. Who might I be talking about? New York’s other team, the New York Mets. This organization has constantly been ridiculed for its awful contracts and lackluster performance. However, the Mets did make one impressive trade when they traded prospects for the Cy Young winner, Johan Santana.
Santana was one of the most elite pitchers in the game. However, when he came over to New York he was constantly plagued by injuries and never returned to what he was in Minnesota. Except for one night in July when he was spectacular. It was a game that the Mets were hosting the reigning World Series Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals. It was already expected to be a big game because it was Carlos Beltran’s first game back to New York since being traded.
Santana was pitching brilliantly and the Mets were actually giving him run support. Once it got to the sixth,seventh inning, fans started noticing that Santana had yet to give up a hit. Being used to disappointment, Mets fans assumed that there was no way he was going to go all nine innings nor would manager Terry Collins allow his ace to be overworked.
Now the Mets get to the ninth inning. Still no hits have been given up, but Santana is up to 115 pitches and still has batters to face. What to do? Collins surely didn’t know, but knew he owed it to the Mets fans who have waited 8,020 games to see a pitcher go all the way. Two outs in the ninth. Matt Holiday steps into the box. Strike 1. Strike 2. Can this really happen? Can Johan Santana really accomplish something Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Doc Gooden, and David Cone could not deliver to these fans? Strike 3, swinging at a change up! YES JOHAN SANTANA PITCHED THE FIRST NO-HITTER IN NEW YORK METS HISTORY!!!!! What an amazing feeling for the fans! Johan Santana, one of the most beloved Mets pitchers finally broke the curse. It was so emotional, Santana cried, Collins cried, and now I am tearing up thinking about it! It could not have happened to a better guy. What a great moment in sports!
Mr. Olympia! Michael Phelps not only brought home the gold for America, but also pride for our country. Phelps was long considered not only one of the best athletes, but the best Olympian of all time. This year he made it official when he broke the official record for most medals at NINETEEN! Getting invited to the Olympics is an accomplishment, but to win more medals than we have fingers is in a whole other stratosphere. In true style, the nineteenth medal was a gold and all he had to do was not disqualify. All he had to do was take four laps at his own pace and let his fans cheer for him the entire time. While Phelps vows he is done in the pool, he has cemented his piece in history. It was one of the greatest moments to be American!
He was supposed to be the adorable, hard-working, and beloved football coach of PennState. Joe Paterno has been credited with building the PennState football empire. He was a great coach that players were honored to play for and a part of college football history. Unfortunately, all of that became unraveled in 2012. The biggest scandal ever in sports’ history broke when defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested for child molestation. As if that was not shocking enough, it was reported that he was raping the children on school property under Paterno’s nose.
Paterno held to his word that he had told his superior about Sandusky’s crimes, however, people felt that he needed to do more. Morally, absolutely he should have went to the police, but this when our nation realized that football programs are sometimes more important than morals. The Penn State ethics board was at a loss for the right course of action. They ultimately decided that everyone involved needed to be fired, including the beloved Joe Paterno. It was one of the biggest firings ever. It caused chaos on campus and a mixed reaction from the public. No matter what PennState did, they would have been in the wrong. Paterno’s legacy has forever been tarnished and Sandusky has been sent away to rot in jail. Unfortunately, the firing was too much for Paterno and he developed lung cancer and passed away not too long after. It is still one of the most shocking stories in which there were no clear winners.
People have called him all types of names, but in 2012 you have to add NBA champion to it. Lebron James has long been considered one of the greatest players ever to grace the NBA. He has won many awards including regular season MVP and the scoring title however, a championship had always eluded him. Finally, in his second year as a member of the Miami Heat, he got his title. He and his teammates beat the Oklahoma City Thunder four games to one. He finally showed critics that he was not the choke artist that everyone had made him out to be, even though people still had their opinions. People can say that he could have never won it without an amazing support cast, but who cares? He still won it and he is still the 2012 Finals MVP. So in 2012, James quieted the world with their doubts and then went out to represent our great country in the London Olympics where he brought home the gold! It was definitely a good year to be Lebron, but the many is making boat loads of money so when is it ever bad to be Lebron James?
It was definitely not a good year to be Lance Armstrong. The former sports hero pretty much lost everything he has earned over his career including his charity LiveStrong. Armstrong has long been considered one of the best cyclists ever. He won seven Tour de France titles even while battling testicular cancer. People had long been suspicious that Armstrong may be getting some artificial help to win all these titles. Armstrong has always been adamant that he never used steroids and was always willing to fight these accusations.
However, in October, eleven of Armstrong’s former teammates turned against him and testified to the US Anti-Doping Agency that Armstrong had used steroids in the past. Wow, I do not think we have ever seen an athlete receive so much backlash for using steroids. Lance lost everything including all seven of his titles, most of his endorsements, and his partnership with Nike. However, the saddest thing for Lance to walk away from had to be his charity LiveStrong that has raised millions of dollars for cancer victims.
It was incredibly sad to see Armstrong have to separate himself from the charity that he was such a big part of. Lance Armstrong the athlete may have been a fraud, but Lance Armstrong the charity man did some great things for cancer research. I can’t imagine Armstrong making a comeback in 2013, but stranger things have happened.
The San Francisco Giants are starting to build a dynasty. However, this year it seemed more like destiny this year that led them to another World Series title. At every point in the playoffs, it looked like it was all over for the Giants, but they always found a way to get a big hit or a strike out in crunch time. The biggest moment for this team? It had to be in Game 4 of the World Series with the Giants up 3 games looking for the win and Sergio Romo struck out triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera. First of all, holding Cabrera in check was an accomplishment enough, but to get him looking? That definitely deserves a World Series title. Unfortunately, their accomplishment was overshadowed by Superstorm Sandy, but they deserve immense credit and that is why their World Series win is the number seven most memorable moment.