The 2012 sports year was jam-packed full of clutch hits, big-name acquisitions and controversial benchings. This list consists of the Top 10 moments of the New York sports world that took place during this calendar year. Enjoy!
10) The Wright Man for the Mets
-David Wright signs mega-deal with Mets
-There wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about for Mets fans this season, but the offseason got off to a great start as the team inked the face of their franchise to an eight year deal worth $138 million. The deal for Wright surpasses Johan Santana’s $137.5 million contract signed back in 2008 for the highest contract in Mets history. Last season, Wright batted .306, hit 21 homeruns and drove in 93 runs. Keeping the six-time All-Star in New York was a top priority of Mets’ ownership. Wright is under contract until the 2020 season, and will soon be the Mets’ all-time homerun leader as he is just 48 behind Darryl Strawberry.
-Jets acquire Tim Tebow
-After the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning earlier this year, quarterback (punt protector?) Tim Tebow became expendable. The Broncos were eager to move Tebow, the fan-favorite, but they just needed a team to deal him to. Enter the New York Jets. The Jets had one of their quietest off-seasons in recent memory…only until the Tebow trade caused shock waves to hit New York. Despite all the hype, Tebow has had little impact on the 6-7 Jets this year. He has only attempted seven passes all season long, and his biggest impact has been as punt protector.
8) The Knicks are Back!
-Knicks beat the Heat…TWICE by 20 points!
-The New York Knicks have manhandled the Miami Heat in both of their meetings this season. On Opening Night for the Knicks, they cruised to a 104-84 victory in front of the fans of Madison Square Garden. But once was not enough for the Knicks, as Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Co. defeated the defending champions again on December 6th 112-92, but this time it was in Miami.
7) No-Hit and Cy
-Johan Santana’s No Hitter & R.A. Dickey’s Cy Young Award
-On June 1, after over 50 years and 8,000 games, Mets’ pitcher Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history. Here’s another cool stat: Santana became the eighth pitcher in the history of baseball to throw a no-hitter against the defending champions (St. Louis Cardinals).
-Of course, the story of the 2012 MLB season for the Mets revolved around R.A. Dickey. He became the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young Award in history. The 38-year-old went 20-6 and led the National League in shutouts with 27, strikeouts with 230 and innings pitched with over 230. In addition, after making his first All-star team, Dickey threw a franchise-record 32 2/3 scoreless innings.
6) “Sanchise” Hits the Pine
-Mark Sanchez gets benched
-After leading the New York Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship appearances in his first two seasons as quarterback, Mark Sanchez got benched Week 13 against the Arizona Cardinals. After throwing three interceptions, Coach Rex Ryan saw enough and pulled the quarterback he drafted. Greg McElroy relieved Sanchez and the team ended up grinding out a 7-6 win over the Cards.
5) Jay-Z Christens the Barclays, Nets Open with Win
-Opening of the Barclays Center
-After several concerts done by Jay-Z to open up the Brooklyn Nets’ new home, the Barclays Center, the Nets took the floor and defeated the Toronto Raptors. It had been over 55 years when the last professional game in Brooklyn was held, so there was much anticipation. Brook Lopez scored 27 points and Deron Williams added 19 points in the W.
-Raul Ibanez comes up clutch in playoffs
-On October 10 in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles, Raul Ibanez pinch-hit for Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the ninth inning with the Yankees trailing by a run. Ibanez then went deep and his heroics forced extra innings and eventually a Yankees’ 3-2 win to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
-Twice is just as nice as Ibanez came through in the clutch yet again in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. With two outs in the ninth inning down two runs, Ibanez stepped up to the plate, and the magic happened AGAIN! However, the Yankees would go on to lose the game and the series.
3) Flirting with Trouble
-A-Rod gets benched
-A handful of Yankees struggled at the plate during the playoffs this season but the most scrutinized Yankee was Alex Rodriguez. That’s what happens when you make the big bucks! The highest paid player in baseball and one of the greatest homerun hitters of all time was pinch-hit for in the bottom of ninth inning with the game on the line. A-Rod has since revealed that he was playing injured and will be out 4-6 months due to a hip injury.
-Jeremy Lin’s Magical Run
-There was no escaping it. Everywhere you turned you heard, “Linsanity! Linsanity! Linsanity!” It was a crazy couple of months as the former Harvard baller hit game-winning shots, broke a few ankles, and had pretty much the coolest handshake imaginable with teammate Landry Fields. However, after a contract squabble, Lin and the Knicks parted ways and the sensation is now a part of the Houston Rockets.
1) Giants on Top of the World!
-G-Men win the Super Bowl
-The top moment of the 2012 sports season in New York is when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17 in the Super Bowl. It was the second time in five years, Eli Manning and the G-Men knocked off the Tom Brady and the Pats in the Super Bowl. Trailing late in the game, Manning orchestrated his typical late-game, clutch game-winning drive. For his efforts, Eli(te) Manning was named Super Bowl MVP.