Best/Worst Sports Moments of 2012

In honor of my best/worst sports moments of the year entry coming later this month, I am posting my annual recaps from 2009-2012.  Here is my 2012 entry:

Best Moments:

1.  Norfolk State and Lehigh pull off first round NCAA Tournament upsets (March 16, 2012)– My Facebook status from that day said it all, “Everybody has a moment… that moment where all of their life’s work, wishes, hopes, and dreams come together at once and all of your doubters are proved wrong.  For the past 20 years I have been the most obsessed NCAA tournament upset fan in the country.  I have religiously followed all the small conferences that no one else watches in hopes of being able to predict a major NCAA upset and maybe even see that team live.  Well, last week, with everyone laughing at me I drove from Greensboro to Winston-Salem to watch the MEAC Quarterfinals (by myself) just so that I could scout out a team called Norfolk State who I felt might actually be able to do something.  I went, I watched, and I said that very moment that this team will win a first round game if matched up against a squad without a dominant big man.  And sure enough they got matched up with Missouri, I picked Norfolk in all of my brackets and the rest is history.  The moral of the story is follow your dreams, believe in the impossible, and go to the MEAC Quarterfinals.  Merry Christmas everyone!”  In addition, an hour after making this post my least favorite team in all of sports (Duke basketball) fell in a 15 vs. 2 matchup against Lehigh.  Without a doubt, one of the greatest sports days of my life.

2.  Andy Murray wins Olympic Gold (August 5, 2012)– It wasn’t quite as special as if Murray had won the Championships at Wimbledon, but winning an Olympic gold on Centre Court was pretty darn close.

3.  Kentucky wins basketball national championship (April 2, 2012)– It wasn’t as sweet for me as Kentucky’s championships in either 1996 or 1998, but it was still my 2nd favorite basketball team winning its first national title in 14 years.  Most shocking of all, was the fact that this Calipari-led squad was universally likeable all season long.

4.  Andy Murray wins tennis U.S. Open (September 10, 2012) – A Brit still hasn’t won Wimbledon since 1936, but now a Brit has won a grand slam since Fred Perry did so 76 years ago.

5.  South Carolina football defeats Clemson for fourth-straight season (November 24, 2012)– This one had a special meeting because of a bet I made with a local judge who is a Clemson alum.  Loser had to wear to other team’s tie the next week in court.

6.  Webb Simpsons wins golf U.S. Open (June 17, 2012)– Not only is Simpson a fellow Wake Forest alum, but he was also a member of my graduation class.  This was my all-time favorite golf moment.

7.  I’ll Have Another wins Preakness Stakes (May 19, 2012)– Sometimes a sports moment becomes particularly special because of the setting where it is watched.  I watched this year’s Preakness at a bar in Charleston during the early stages of a good friend’s bachelor party.  All 5 of us (3 of whom weren’t horse racing fans at all) were screaming at the top of their lungs as I’ll Have Another and Bodemister battled to the wire.  It was probably my all-time favorite Preakness.

8.  South Carolina football blows out Georgia (October 6, 2012)– I attended this game in Columbia, SC, and it was probably the most raucous sports crowd I’ve ever been a part of.  This was a night no Gamecock fan will soon forget.

9.  Los Angeles Kings win Stanley Cup (June 11, 2012)– The Kings aren’t my favorite hockey team in the NHL.  In fact, they probably wouldn’t crack my top 5 list.  However, they were a lovable underdog who was easy to root for throughout the Stanley Cup Finals this past spring.

10.  Pete Weber wins bowling U.S. Open (February 26, 2012)– It’s quite rare for a bowling moment to have a profound effect on me or anyone else in the sporting world, but Weber has always been my favorite bowler and his reaction to his record-setting championship was stuff of legend.

Worst Moments:

1.  Andy Murray loses Wimbledon final (July 8, 2012)– This was the closest I’ve come in several years to accomplishing one of my four life goals (16 seed over a 1, Wake Forest national championship, triple crown in horse racing, Brit winning Wimbledon).  Murray still has a great chance at winning the Championships at some point in his career, but this loss still brought Murray, his family, myself, and all of Great Britain to tears.

2.  I’ll Have Another withdraws from Belmont Stakes (June 8, 2012)– Is it worse for a triple crown contender to not even get a chance to run the Belmont or lose in dramatic fashion like Silver Charm or Smarty Jones?  Not really sure, but this announcement was definitely heartbreaking.

3.  Oregon and Kansas State suffer simultaneous shocking defeats (November 17, 2012)– After Alabama’s loss to Texas A & M on November 10th, I was getting excited about the possibility of a non-SEC championship game pitting two teams with zero national championships between them and whom I both really liked.  In a matter of three hours, that dream came crashing down as both the Wildcats and Ducks suffered shocking Saturday night defeats

4.  Miami Heat wins NBA championship (June 21, 2012)– It was just a matter of time before this heinous squad starting winning championships.  Let’s just hope they don’t get too many more.

5.  New York Giants beat New England Patriots in Super Bowl (February 5, 2012)– I hate the Giants, and the Patriots are my favorite pro sports team.  Needless to say, this one hurt a lot.

6.  Boise State football loses opener to Michigan State (August 31, 2012)– College football just isn’t the same if Boise isn’t in the national title hunt.  Sadly, the Broncos title hopes were dashed as the clock struck midnight on the opening day of September this season.  Posting an 11-2 record in the midst of a rebuilding year still isn’t too bad.

7.  Andy Murray loses five-set marathon to Novak Djokovic in Aussie Open Semifinal (January 27, 2012) – This wasn’t the most heartbreaking Murray loss of 2012 (see moment # 1), but it certainly was his closest.

8.  Ohio loses heartbreaker to North Carolina in NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 (March 23, 2012) – The Bobcats came oh so close to being the lowest seed ever to knock off a # 1 seed this past March.  Their half courter at the end of regulation very well could have dropped, and Clark Kellogg’s reaction to his son’s defeat while broadcasting the Baylor-Xavier game was the most poignant moment of this year’s tournament

9.  United States chokes away Ryder Cup (September 30, 2012) – Epic meltdown… nothing else needs to be said here.

10.  South Carolina football gets pummeled by Florida (October 20, 2012) – The Gamecock’s best chance at both an SEC and national championship came crashing down in humiliating fashion.

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