This list is obviously gonna be mostly sports stories but we’ll sprinkle in a few from the real world as well. The good, the bad, and the ugly from 2012. All of it pretty memorable.
10. The Nets Move To Brooklyn
Brooooooklynnnn, Brooooooooklynnnn. The long awaited move from the dumps of New Jersey to BK finally happened. Highlighted by 0.00001% owner Jay-Z and the brand new Barclays Center, the Nets move to Brooklyn was huge for New York before they ever even played a game. From 8 sell out concerts from Hova to christen the arena, to Phil Mushnick saying their team name should be the New York Niggas, to the Dwight Howard Saga, and now to the latest drama with firing Avery Johnson, the Nets returned to New York with a bang. They looks like shit right now and the Knicks have looked like one of the best teams in the league, but behind Proko’s money and a billion bandwagon fans, the Nets are gonna eventually be a Knicks inter-borough rival.
9. The Rangers Bring Hockey Back To NYC
I don’t give a shit about hockey. Don’t even know the rules, really. So when any hockey team does anything that gets my attention, its a big deal. King Henrik and the Rangers were #1 in the Eastern Conference and had the Garden absolutely rockin through the 2012 season. All the bandwagon fans joined the NHL hipster diehards and for a brief moment the Rangers actually owned this city. 2 Games 7s and a Game 6 during the playoffs were absolutely outrageous. From being on the verge of an embarrassing 8 seed upset, to being on the verge of beating Brodeur and the Devils to go back to the Finals, every bar across the city was packed with people getting shitfaced for the Blueshirts. Also, the matchup against New Jersey in the Eastern Conference Finals introduced us to Gumdrop, the fattest most New Jersey dude ever.
8. Johan Throws Mets First Ever No Hitter
Despite all the historic pitching the Mets franchise has seen throughout the years, they had gone 8,019 games without a no hitter. Seaver and Ryan and Gooden and Cone went on to pitch like 65 no hitters combined. Fucking Philip Humber tossed a perfect game. But on June 1st, Johan Santana basically pitched his arm off to give the Mets their first ever No-No. 134 pitches essentially ended his season and probably his career, but it was all worth it. Jorts Fan ran on the field to celebrate with the team. My mother didn’t speak to me for weeks because I didn’t want to call her to tell her what was happening. But listening to Howie Rose’s call and seeing the Mets ace finally break the curse was all worth it.
7. RA Dickey Knuckles His Way To A Cy Young
If it were up to me, Johan and The Dickpiece would be #1 and #2 in this list. But I know my place and the Mets place in the city. Nonetheless, RA Dickey winning the 2012 Cy Young was one of the biggest stories in Major League Baseball this season. When you really look at it, probably the most improbable Cy Young of all time. 38 year old knuckleballer on a 70 win team wins 20 games, leads the league in strikeouts, innings pitched, complete games and CG shutouts. A nobody journeyman who reinvented himself, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and dominated the mound in 2012. And in his greatest feat of all, made the Mets fun to watch this year.
6. Hurricane Sandy Takes The City By Storm, Cancels The Marathon
Obviously this should be #1 in a lot of ways. Hurricane Sandy came through and fucked our shit up. From Breezy Point to Staten Island and all of the Jersey Shore, Sandy brought a lot of death and destruction to our area. A lot of sad stories and heartbreaking moments in the aftermath from the Superstorm. But it was also a moment New York and New Jersey rose to the occasion and rallied to support each other. Hundreds of thousands of dollars raised in tons of charities and fundraisers. People donating clothes and tools to those in need. The 12/12/12 Concert put the best collection of rock stars of all time on stage at the Garden to raise millions in relief funds. The only assholes in the world who didn’t feel the love was Kanye West and all the dickhead marathoners who were upset they couldn’t run their race. On a lighter note for the lucky people that weren’t hit too hard by the storm, Sandy provided hurricane parties all across Manhattan. Days off from work and SNL skits galore. Stars rose to prominence – namely Mayor Bloomberg, his sign langauge interpreter and…
5. The Rise of Chris Christie
Up until this year, Chris Christie was just the Fat Guy From New Jersey. Now he’s the Fat Guy From New Jersey In His Own Motherfuckin Fleece! Seriously before Sandy, nobody outside of New York and New Jersey knew Governor Christie. I knew him as the dude who once took a helicopter to his son’s Little League game. I knew him as the guy who called in to Boomer & Carton in the morning. I knew him as the guy who loved Springsteen but The Boss wouldn’t reciprocate the love because he was a Republican. Then over the summer he gives the introduction speech at the RNC. People all over the country are finally exposed to this boisterous fat man who basically took the opportunity to give a speech about himself and NJ. Ranting like Paul Bearer in a WWF promo. About a month and a half later his state faces unimaginable death and destruction and the spotlight is on him to help New Jersey recover. Chris Christie throws on his *Governor* fleece, tosses aside all the political bullshit, and works with anyone and everyone that can help NJ recover. He did it with style, flair, humor and strength and endeared himself to people all across the county. Next thing you know he’s on stage giving Springsteen high fives.
4. Arod Struggles In The Playoffs, Ibanez Puts The Yankees On His Back
The Yankees putrid playoff performance was the biggest baseball story of the year in the biggest baseball town in America. And at the center of it all, as always, was Alex Rodriguez. 3 for 25 (.120) with 12 strikeouts, and 0 RBI. He was 1 for 9 (.111) in the ALCS. It was such a horrendous stretch that it made the entire world ignore the fact that Cano, Swisher, and Granderson were probably playing just as bad, if not worse. Joe Girardi’s decision to bench the highest paid player in the history of baseball marked the end of the Alex Rodriguez that we knew. It was clear that from here on out, Arod would live out his days as a marginal player receiving no superstar treatment while collecting $125 million. And the nail in the coffin for Alex Rodriguez The Immortal was Raul Ibanez and his Babe Ruth-like heroics. Raul entered the game for Arod in the 9th to blast a game tying home run, a few innings later he hits the game winner in the 12th. Later in the postseason, he blasted another game tying home run in the 9th inning of game 1 of the ALCS. Raul set a playoff record with 3 home runs in the 9th inning or later in a single post season. The guy he surpassed in the record books? Alex Rodriguez. The symmetry was almost out of a movie script. A dramatic playoff baseball storyline at its finest.
Personally I think Jeremy Lin was the sports story of the year. Now I know a lot of people would disagree with me because it was only a 2 week stretch of regular season basketball. It wasn’t a playoff run or a championship. No records really fell. But Linsanity transcended basketball on the court. It was the perfect storm of international intrigue. A rare Asian basketball talent in one of the biggest sports markets in the world going on a run almost never seen before. On the court, he started off his career with a 4 game stretch scoring almost 28 points a game. A stretch better than Jordan, Shaq and Allen Iverson. He beat Kobe and the Lakers. Game winning shots against the Raptors in Toronto. A short, but almost unprecedented streak in February of 2012. Off the court was the real sensation. He was the Harvard educated Asian sensation. He made the Sports Illustrated cover 2 weeks in a row. He was the subject of every sports and non-sports newspaper article. He ended a goddam strike between Time Warner and MSG. His memorabilia selling for thousands of dollars on eBay. MSG’s stock went through the roof, ratings at an all time high. His every move covered by every media outlet everywhere. Yes, the hysteria was 100% a product of him being a nerdy Asian, but thats what made his story so unique. It was one of the few stories, along with the Yankees World Series in 2009, that I wrote an entire day of Barstool on just one topic. All in, considering every factor, it was the type of sports story we had never seen and may never see again.
2. Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez, Greg McElroy and The New York Jets Saga
Hands down the most nauseating New York storyline of 2012. The Jets signing Tim Tebow completely out of left field and absolutely owning ESPN and the back pages of the newspapers all year long. And for all the wrong reasons. A glorified publicity stunt gone completely wrong. After fucking 14 weeks of shitty quarterback play, shitty coaching and an especially shitty attempt at the wildcat, the Jets go with Greg McElroy and add a third asshole to the mix. Only to be deemed inactive after a game winning drive, have Sanchez return to start, a week later be ruled the starter, get a concussion, lose the job to Sanchez yet again, all while Tim Tebow sits on the sidelines pouting because he sucks and nobody thinks he should be the starter. Sprinkle in a completely ineffective offensive coordinator, a delusional head coach, absolutely zero offensive weapons, and an attention starved owner who demanded a prime time game on Thanksgiving, and you have the recipe for the worst, most pathetic quarterback controversy and football team of all time. 3 awful quarterbacks on an absolutely awful team that received more coverage and attention than virtually every other player and every other team combined. The most embarrassing storyline of 2012 NY sports, hands down.
1. Giants Win Super Bowl XLVI
Its hard to remember just how big of a deal the Giants Super Bowl win was, because it was the very first sports story of the year. But make no mistake, it was absolutely the biggest moment of the year in New York City. The Giants 2nd Super Bowl win in 5 years. Their 2nd Super Bowl victory over Tom Brady and the Patriots. Essentially solidifying themselves as the best football franchise in recent memory. By most standards, Tom Brady and the Pats were the team of the decade, and Eli Manning, Tom Coughlin and the Giants claimed ownership over New England with their second Super Bowl victory. 2007 was more of the perfect storm, catch lightning in a bottle sort of victory. It was a lucky win over probably the best football team of all time. But 5 years later, Super Bowl XLVI was different. This was the chance at revenge for the Pats. Their chance at redemption. Their chance to prove 2007 was a fluke and reclaim the throne as the best in the NFL. It was the Barstool Bowl. El Pres and Jerry Thornton going all in, proclaiming it the most important game of all time. And the Giants came out on top again. Establishing a mini-dynasty over the best franchise in football and shoving their feet directly up Rex Ryan and the Jets’ assholes. In true, nauseating Giants fashion, they did it quietly like a bunch of boy scouts. They let their play do the talking. Let their MVP quarterback lead them to victory. Reminded New York who the true franchise of the city was and reminded the rest of the league they owned Tom Brady and the Pats. Claimed their city and the entire league in one win.