5. I’m sorry…but this moment has to be included. If only because it was the epitome of the train wreck that was the Jets season. And really, it’s become a moment that will be immortalized in NFL history. You know it, I know it, every comedy act performed since knows it: the butt fumble.
4. The Rookies. I don’t think we’ll be able to look back on this season without thinking of the unbelievable year rookie quarterbacks had. Luck, Wilson, and RG3 changed the game for incoming rookies. They each led their team to the playoffs and will undoubtedly keep their team in contention from here on out. Another player genre we’ll remember from this season? The Comebacks. Peyton and Adrian Peterson blew traditional comeback timelines out of the water to put their teams in the playoffs. What a year for unexpected greatness!
3. I think it’s fair to say that the first quarter of the season was defined by the Replacement Refs. As a Packers fan, the Fail Mary will always stand out to me as one of the iconic moments in my personal history as a Packers fan, one of those moments that Packers fans – and football fans in general – will likely reference as a national tragedy, in that we’ll all remember where we were when it happened. (I’m telling you, sports are as real a part of “real life” as anything.) I stayed up more than half the night/morning that followed in disbelief that the NFL had let something like this happen, all over a contract dispute. But it wasn’t all bad. It was the catalyst for resolution that brought the regular refs back, and it was the defining moment for me and this website. That process of watching the game, staying up all night watching/reading analysis of the game, waking up a couple of hours later to watch/read more analysis, spending the next 6 hours writing about the game…I was hooked. I want to do this forever.
2. The HarBowl. What a Super Bowl storyline! Brother against brother for all the marbles in New Orleans, arguably the best Super Bowl location of them all. Even if the Harbaughs weren’t brothers, this game still would have had a great angle: two teams who made HUGE changes mid-season and reaped the benefits. For the 49ers, a quarterback change. A quarterback change from a guy with a 7-2-1 record to a guy who had started two games. For the Ravens, the firing of their Offensive Coordinator and a complete reshuffling of their offensive line. And the game itself did not disappoint! From the blackout to the safety to Ray Lewis’s last stand…it was just a unique Super Bowl, a perfect way to end a unique season.
1. Chuckstrong. The first big comeback win. The cheerleaders shaving their heads. The speech. Andrew Luck. Reggie Wayne. BA. Making the playoffs. Even after all of the other 2012 memories start to fade, Chuck Pagano’s brave battle against leukemia and the Colts resilience throughout will be the story of the season, at least for me. This is why sports matter. It’s so much more than just a game.
Ok guys, sound off! What were the most memorable stories of the season for you?
(And FYI – just because we’re wrapping up the season does not mean I’m wrapping up the blog! Not a chance. Tune in next week for a new offseason posting schedule! We train year-round around here :))