At the beginning of February this year NBA New York Knick Jeremy Lin was the toast of the City. He was called into an injury ravaged team and had a breakout game. In the next three weeks he became the next Asian superstar and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated two weeks in a row as well as TIME. The world went a bit potty trying to specialise in semi-puns.
The term “Linsanity” was born and he became one of the highest profile sportsman in the world due to his playing ability – for a few short weeks. And a lot was made of his rags to Riches story. If you can call a Harvard degree that. On March 24th his season was over due to a knee injury. He left the Knicks and joined the Houston Rockets on a $25M deal over three years however he has not really managed to achieve the same hype or play as before, and appearing less and less in terms of game time.
In fact, he’s all but disappeared. Clearly, in 2012 demographic based marketing hype s in, but shooting stars normally last a bit longer than Jeremy Lin.
Champions League Winners Chelsea
In years to come people will really scratch their heads at Chelsea in 2012 They started the year mid-table in the Premiership. In February they had sacked their coach. Torres had scored by then, once, but they really were rubbish yet somehow still in the Champions League.
Surely a semi-final against Barcelona would see to that. Despite hardly seeing the ball in the first leg Chelsea travelled to the Nou Camp with a 1-0 lead. But just before halftime it appeared to be all over. The hosts were leading 2-0 and John Terry had been sent off for one of the dumbest boots in the back you’ll ever see. Chelsea pulled one back in first half injury time to pull one back and lead on away goals.
The second half was all Barcelona laying siege on the Chelsea goal. They even had Lionel Messi hitting a penalty against the cross-bar. In the last minute Chelsea made it safe when Torres scored with all Barcelona players at the other end of the park.
The final against Bayern Munich was equally strange. Once more, one team had all the ball and it wasn’t Chelsea, who had four players suspended for the match. Bayern spent most of the match hitting the post and having goals disallowed before hitting the lead in the 83rd minute. Surely it was all over. Five minutes later, from their first corner of the match, Chelsea equalised.
It ended up going to penalties, and for once and English based side beat a German side and at last Abramovich had the biggest trophy in club football.
It was a masterclass of anti-football.
Chelsea ended up coming sixth in the league, and in November sacked Roberto Di Matteo; the man who had guided them to unlikely glory. Just after that they were eliminated from this season’s Champions League; the earliest stage the holders had ever been eliminated from the tournament.
Kruger Van Wyk
In years to come people will look back at 2012 and wonder how Cornelius Francoius Kruger van Wyk had a test career in 2012.
Wicketkeeping is normally an area of strength in New Zealand cricket, but the gap left by McCullum’s transition to becoming a specialist batsman has become surprisingly troublesome to fill.
Enter CFKVW; one of the most vertically challenged test cricketer of them all. Where he got off-side with people was when he stated publically how mentally tough he was, with the implication that he was more mentally tough than whose who’d gone before him. There are just some things you should not say; if you’re going to make such a claim you need to back it up.
As the year progressed this claim started to look more and more embarrassing. The ugly dismissal in Kingston when bogged down by Narine was the defining moment in NZ giving up a winning position in that test.
It all finished in fitting style in Colombo with a four-ball pair, both to loose shots.
What an extraordinary year it’s been for sport in the UK.
Tour de France winner, 5k / 10k double at the Olympics, a golf major, a tennis major (76 years for that one to come along), a cricket test series win in India, and that thrashing of the All Blacks.
And amongst this a fantastic Olympics including the best opening and closing ceremonies you will ever see.
Just as well Euro 2012 gave us some perspective.
The Masters is a strange golf tournament at the best of times. With its painted flowers, dye in the lakes and Victorian attitude to gender equality, the tournament often feels like it’s being held in a museum.
But this year it got ever stranger. Won by a born-again teetotalling golfer with appalling fashion sense, even by golfing standards with the completely ridiculous name of Bubba. And for good measure, he was raised in a town called Baghdad.
Sure enough, he cried a river at the presentation