29 December 2012

2012: Sports and other Crap

Welcome back, folks, to our look back at the weird, wonderful times of 2012. Now, we've got the requisite Music, TV, and Movie lists to feed your appetite, but there was a lot more that happened this year. Here we'll talk Sports, Video Games, Politics, and everything else.

Summer O's:

The biggest worldwide sporting event this year by far was the London Olympics. And like all Olympics, it was filled with great stories of American Success. From an Abby Wambach-led US Soccer Team enacting revenge on the Japanese to Gabby "Flying Squirrel" Douglas' breakthrough Gymnastics performance. Then of course, our idiot swim dominated both viral videos, the zeitgeist, and the competition in the pool. Mike Phelps may have gotten AP Male Athlete of the Year, but c'mon - Lochte's jeah dominated Olympic branding.

There were plenty of other great stories to come from these games though. The Olympics are always fun because for two weeks we suddenly care about all these people, then they do talk shows in the fall, then no one really cares about them. What will we think of Mo Farrah memes in 2014? Who knows, but it's pretty fun while it lasts. There's no other event that so dominates conversation for a short period of time and then dissipates without much other thought. The accomplishments of some such as Usain Bolt's victory over Wally West and Misty May and Kerry Walsh's three-peat ought to create a lasting stamp on history, but other great moments tend to be fleeting outside of their respective sports. Will anyone care about the ridiculous fast 100 meter freestyle swim of Ranomi Kromowidjojo? They should - because she has the best name in history.

NBA 2k12:

This was a ridiculous year for Basketball. LeBron James literally could have had more success, having won NBA League MVP and Finals MVP, an NBA Championship with the Miami Heat, and an Olympic Gold Medal. It's not even really fun to cheer for, but then again, it wasn't supposed to be since his 2010 Decision. It's tough to even get excited for, but at least he's losing games this year, although a deep Playoff Run is still a foregone conclusion, and he's had a nasty streak of high but not too high scoring games.

The team of this season, though is really the Brooklyn Nets. Apparently it really helps if you're the favourite team of Jay-Z. I would love to just buy controlling stakes in my casual interests, but that team has successfully become one of the coolest in the NBA (although they have had a little collapse as of late). Dan Gilbert needs to take lessons from them, the Clippers, and the Oklahoma City Thunder to find out how to make a team that can contend for a championship.

Foozball and Giants:

The hottest NFL teams this year really boil down to the Denver Broncos an the New York Giants. Capping the 2011 season we saw a Tebow-led Denver team take a deep stab into the playoffs as he became the most marketable QB in the League. Of course, he was then dumped for Peyton Manning and has played the worst football of any player in history as a New York Jet (except for Sanchez, possibly). At the same time, the Broncos under Manning are a serious Super Bowl Contender. It's a dream.

The New York Giants have proved themselves to be adept Patriot-killers, winning Super Bowl XLVI over the most evil team in the league, in New England. Just like 2008, it was like living in a dream. The unbelievable happened, and we all got to bask in the greatest picture of the year in sports, seen at left. This proved be a great year for Giants of all kinds when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series and also proved to be the funnest team to cheer for in Baseball. If you don't believe me, re-watch Pablo "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval's three home runs in Game 1 against Detroit - what an epic feat.

Video Games:

This was kind of a quiet year for video games. After unprecedented industry growth in the past few years, the market for console gaming actually appears close to saturation as repetitive titles and 15 new Call of Duty games crowd a once creatively lucrative field. Ultimately without any Arkham Asylum games, there isn't a real clear winner. We'll sum it up with Borderlands 2, Dishonored, and Halo 4. Both sequels were able to build upon and expand their franchises, the latter was especially needed to move on from both a stale and repetitive story. Dishonored was really the best original title of the year, but it didn't innovate or change the game at all.

Politics and Events:

Even if 2012 wasn't the year that the world ended, it sure came close. We had people on bath salts eating people's faces, a derth of senseless, mindless shootings in Connecticut and Colorado, one of the greatest disasters in US history in Hurricane Sandy, and the racially motivated slaying of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Terrible shit happened all over the country, but at least we have Saint Obama to guide us out of the shit.

Republican primaries and then a national election dominated 2012 news, to the extent that it was unbelievable that the President can actually get anything done in an Election year. Still, it's a good thing that Obama was reelected. We caught a glimpse of the evils of the Republican party this year - how much crazier and partisan they are than even the Bush years. We'll see if we can all just get along, but ultimately we need to start thinking more about the actual people of this country and not just a handful of wealthy white dudes.

This year was also a tipping point year for technology and media in many ways. For the first time since its inception, less American households owned television sets than the year before. Economic struggles and the shifting priorities of a new generation is changing consumption habits, and as more twenty-somethings adapt to new technology and gain economic and political power this country should be forced to innovate to meet their needs as well. This was an election driven by social media and twitter - the side that understood that rather than the one that raised more money was able to pull off a victory. It's the future, and the quicker we adapt and implement creative change, the greater advantage we can have in advancing our civilization.

What do you got, 2013?

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