By now you're probably extremely tired of every website publishing a barrage of year end best and worst lists, awards, recaps, and retrospectives.
Sorry to add to your weariness.
Seeing as how we survived that rumored apocalypse and appear (knock on wood) to have made it through 2012, it's inspired all of us around the interwebs to be extra fond in reminiscing about the year that was and publish a neverending supply of year end posts. Besides, any year in which we can put food on the table by writing about absurdities like Josh Duhamel calling out Merril Hoge on Twitter for bashing Tim Tebow is a good year in our books. 2012 wasn't just a good year, it was dare I say a great year. Let's take a look back at the best of the best…
The Year in Craig James – 2012 will forever be remembered for the delusional United States Senate run of an ESPN college football analyst. But while Craig James' campaign didn't deliver in votes, it did in a delicious helping of schadenfreude. From his awful campaign advertisements to his eye-opening social commentary, to his inevitable defeat, it was a nightmare on Real Street. This post looks back at the most ridiculous moments of the infamous James campaign.
The 2012 Pammies – It was Matt Millen who stepped up to the plate in James' absence to crush the field in this year's Pammies. Just take a look at his greatest hits this year and remain in shock and awe that he's still paid to analyze college football.
Jungle Bird – Who could forget the lovable US Open trophy presentation invader whose true identity we uncovered. It appears Jungle Bird was the only man this year who could slow down Bob Costas. God speed in your mission to stop deforestation, sir.
A Long, Strange, Wonderful Trip with Bill Walton - Bill Walton is a national treasure! Any time he steps in the booth changes the course of Western Civilization! Just take this cameo in the Kings booth as one example of his greatness! Why am I speaking only in exclamations!
ESPN Goes Hollywood – With the news of the Anchorman sequel and Disney acquiring Star Wars, we cast the good folks of Bristol in both movies. The thought of Chris Berman as Ron Burgundy or Skip Bayless as Darth Vader really gives you pause, doesn't it?
Your Mock Olympic Sailing Commentary Interlude – I'm legitimately embarrassed I forgot this brilliant video in our favorite clips of 2012. For shame, Yoder!
The Sports Media Summer of 2012 = The NBA's Summer of 2010 - The major moves amongst the major networks brought back memories of the days when LeBron James was taking his talents to South Beach. Scott Van Pelt, Erin Andrews, Michelle Beadle, and Jim Rome were just a few of the big names involved in the eventful free agency period this year.
The AA NFL Media Fantasy Draft - Perhaps our favorite piece from this year is when we invited SI's Richard Deitsch, SBJ's John Ourand, and Paul Pabst of the Dan Patrick Show in for an NFL announcers fantasy draft with yours truly. I still think I got hosed in the voting. Last place??? C'mon people, this is my house!
Sarah Phillips and the Willy Wonka Connection - The most fascinating story of 2012 may have been how an ESPN.com writer, Sarah Phillips, was exposed as a fraud and internet scam artist. The fallout was like a modern day blogosphere mystery novel unfolding in real time with the farthest reaches of the Twitterverse involved. At last check, Phillips had returned to an anonymous life in Oregon.
The Odyseey of Vern Glenn - This story about the comeback of a Bay Area sportscaster is one anyone interested in sports journalism can learn from.
Remembering Steve Sabol - The NFL Films pioneer passed away and Ben got insight into his career from this Q&A with a longtime NFL Films producer who worked closely with the legendary figure.
Your John Sterling Bloopers Second Interlude – Some day, this Youtube montage will make it to the Smithsonian.
Complete BWB Coverage – Andrew was in Toronto for Blogs Wtih Balls 5 and provided a comprehensive recap of every panel of the great blogosphere get together from Day 1 and Day 2… with a few dashes of hoserism mixed in for good measure.
Will the real Lukas Podolski please stand up? – ESPN's vast array of sourcing issues and questions (as discussed in this AA Podcast w/ Deadspin's John Koblin) can be summed up in this strange story of Arsenal's Lukas Podolski claiming an ESPN Soccernet interview with him was completely made up.
Let The Torg Live – Columbus radio host Scott Torgerson was suspended and then fired for controversial comments about ESPN's Desmond Howard. The story took on an additional level of intrigue with former Buckeye Kirk Herbstreit also at the heart of the matter. Although The Torg went down in a ball of flames, he, much like other controversial shock jocks before him, landed on his feet once again. The Torg is currently doing part time work in Cleveland.
Herbie vs Northern Illinois – Perhaps the post that generated the most conversation in the past year was this defense (ok… it was more of a rant) regarding Northern Illinois earning an Orange Bowl berth after Kirk Herbstreit went after the MAC champs. I wonder if Musburger will take the Huskies and the points in that game?
The Year in Skip Bayless - The First Take circus and its ringleader in particular became the mascot for Awful Announcing in 2012 as that show spiraled out of control and took common sense with it. There are seriously way too many reminders from the past year on why First Take needs fixed to make the sports world a better place. However, the best piece that captures it all is the guest piece Deadspin's Erik Malinowski wrote in the lead up to Skippy being immortalized on AA's Mount Rushmore.
Twitter Wars! – 364 days ago, I could have never imagined AA's most popular recurring series being the way-too-detailed breakdowns and nonsensical scoring of Twitter fights. Who would have thought sportswriters and announcers trading insults and barbs through social media could be so much fun? It all started in January with the epic rivalry of Darren Rovell vs Richard Deitsch that led to a second and third battle. Then Rovell got into it with Bomani Jones and Richard Sandomir. Sadly, since moving to ESPN, Rovell has retired from the Twitter Wars. (Where's the ESPN Classic special, Bristol!)
Thankfully, there were plenty of folks willing to fill the void with Yankees announcer Michael Kay trading haymakers with a random fan , Tim Brando fending off all of Buckeye Nation, and Dave Dameshek squaring off with Michael Smith. Deitsch even got involved once again knocking out Doug Gottlieb. AA's Fight of the Year spanned all of social media though as Mike Wilbon and Dan Steinberg duked it out on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere in between for DC sports supremacy.
More Year End Nonsense – In some sort of Inception moment, we're contractually obligated to end our "Best of 2012" list with a series of year end lists from the past couple months. Our wish is for you to continually cycle through this complicated matrix of links in the hopes that you'll never be able to escape this website. There is a point to all this don't you know…
Happy New Year!