New Year's Eve Clock - www.punchbowl.com
Time to look back at the year that was in sports and maybe even a few things that fall outside of the realm as well.
Who doesn't love a list? I love lists and I assume you do too. Hence why I do a weekly column that is a list. I am one of those people who will click on almost any link that has a list or a countdown on it. With that in mind I figured I would look back at the year of 2012 with my own lists. Yes I said lists not list. I now bring you my lists of what happened this past year Five-Orite Friday style.
Top Five Local Sports Stories:
5. KU Basketball Reaches Nation Title Game:
It suppose to be a rebuild year for Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks and all they did was find themselves in the National Championship game.
4. MU Basketball Rises Then Falls:
No one and I mean no one expected the Missouri Tigers basketball team to have the year that had in 2012. New coach with a new system and a lot of uncertainty. MU shot up the polls throughout the regular season and captured the Big 12 Tournament title in Kansas City in their final season as members of the conference.
Then less than a week later the wheels fell off as the Tigers were added to the history books being a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and losing to #15 seed Northfolk State.
3. K-State Becomes College Football Kings:
It only lasted a week but that is a lot longer than most get at the mountain top and the KSU Wildcats were that. They were the kings of college football and #1 in the BCS. It only lasted a week but in that week their QB Collin Klein was able to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated and found himself in New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist. The Cats did not get the result they dreamed and hoped for but the consultation prize doesn't suck either.
2. Kansas City Royals Making Moves:
It can be looked at as a sad state of affairs that it is the Royals off the field moves and not on the field play that makes this list but that could be ending soon. The reason why that could/should be ending is because of the moves the Royals made before last season, during the season and this off-season. Last off season the Royals signed extension with Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar, and Salvador Perez. Then during the season the team turned the turd that was Jonathan Sanchez into Jeremy Guthrie.
This off-season the Royals continued to improve the big league club by re-signing Jeremy Guthrie, trading for Ervin Santana, and then trading for James Shields and Wade Davis. The appears to be serious about improving the big league product. This has been a very exciting season for Royals fans and I know the seam heads can't wait for pitcher and catchers to report to Surprise, Arizona.
1. Downward Spiral Of Kansas City Chiefs:
It is hard to remember a team and season that was looked at with so much promise crashing and burning as the Chiefs season did in 2012. Expectations were high for the 2012 Chiefs entering the season. I predicted a 9 win season for the Chiefs based off of the returning talent and the crappy division they play in. The team is heading toward a 2-14 season and many people are and should lose their jobs because of it.
The worst of the worst for the 2012 Chiefs season came on December 1st when Linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend and mother of his 3 month old child then drove to the Arrowhead practice facility and killed himself in front of head coach Romeo Crennel, GM Scott Pioli, and defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs. This season will be forever remembered by Chiefs fans for all of wrong reasons.
Now lets look at some different things from this past year.
5. Game 6 Eastern Conference Finals:
LeBron Freaking James! In a must win game on the road King James dropped 45-15-5 and completely dominated the Boston Celtics. In the basketball world it was the year of LeBron James. Which brings us to number 4 on the list...
4. Team USA Gold Medal Game vs. Spain:
Combine national pride with the fact that Spain is an easy team to root against and you get the Gold Medal game in the 2012 Olympics. USA! USA! USA!
I was lying on my couch just counting down the minutes until the Cardinals were eliminated from the post season. The St. Louis Cardinals had other plans that night. Thankfully for Royals fans everywhere the Cardinals lost in the NLCS vs. the Giants a few weeks later.
2. MLB Home Run Derby:
The Royals, Kauffman Stadium, and the city of Kansas City were had the national spot light shined upon them and they did not disappoint. Booing Robinson Cano to loudly and passionately gave me great pride in the town I have spent my entire life in. It was a great moment for this town to show how much they love their baseball.
1. MU vs. KU For The Last Times:
I am going to include both of the regular season games between MU and KU from 2012. Both were classic games and will be ones people talk about for years. It appears that those will be the last games between these two hated rivals for some time. If that is the case they picked two great ways to go out.
Five-Orite Players I Enjoyed Watching Play:
I find myself watching a lot of late night west coast college this year. I watched a lot of Oregon and every time Thomas touched the ball I expected something special to happen and many times it did.
The NFL is a lesser place without Peyton Manning in it. He is one of my all time favorite players and he is picking up right where he left off this season. And he makes awesome commercials.
I have been a fan of All Day for many years now. I loved watching him play at Oklahoma and have had him on a fantasy football team ever since he rookie year. What he is doing this season barely a year after ripping up his ACL and MCL vaulted him in to straight up freak of nature status. I am now convince that he isn't human at all. I am beginning to think he is an alien that came to this planet many years ago and is powered by Earth's yellow sun.
2. Kevin Durant - Oklahoma City Thunder
What do you get when you combine a 6'11 forward who has unlimited range, handle skills like a guard with incredible work ethic, and is humble beyond belief? You get the Durantula. He is everything that is right about the NBA and professional sports in general.
1. LeBron James - Miami Heat
Every time I watch LeBron play I see something new and different about his game. He is the great basketball player on this planet right now and it isn't even close. This past season he got his one of what I am sure will be many rings.
Now for some non sports topics from 2012.
Five-Orite Movies I actually Saw:
I really enjoyed this movie a lot. I liked the over arching theme and the fact that not everything was spelled out for you. Sometimes it is nice to have a movie treat you like you are intelligent and trust you to connect some dots on your own. Plus it looked sooo pretty.
The Amazing Spider-Man:
Telling the origin story of Spider-Man this quickly after the other Spider-Man films annoyed me. But I love Spider-Man and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker were really enjoyable.
Now time for the list...
5. Safety Not Guaranteed:
This movie was funny, smart, emotional and had depth. It is one of my favorite movies I have seen in years. I can't recommend this film enough. Aubrey Plaza was great in this film. If you love her on Parks and Recs you will love her in this film.
I am not the biggest James Bond ever. I have enjoyed the more recent Bond films but they were not anything I would rush out to see. Skyfall is the best Bond film I have ever seen. Well worth your money.
3. Django Unchained:
I saw this movie two days ago and enjoyed every minute of it. I am a huge Quentin Tarantino fan and tend to love everything he does sans Jackie Brown. Christopher Waltz was absolutely fantastic and gave one of the best performances I have seen in the past decade. I imagine a lot of hardware is coming his way.
2. The Dark Knight Rises:
The final chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy had its set of problems but as a whole it was a really good movie. I worried about how the character of Bane would play on screen (and if I would be able to understand him) but those fears went away during the first ten minutes of the film.
You might be noticing a theme here. I like comic books and I like comic book movies. The Avengers had many ingredients that looked like this movie could fail horrible. Thankfully for all movie goers out there super nerd Joss Whedon was the man calling all of the shots for this film. If you are a Whedon fan you could tell early on that this was his movie. It shared many of the same qualities that made Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly great.
Five-Orite Movies I Wanted To See But Didn't:
At that time there were about 5 movies I wanted to see in the theatres and never got a chance to get around to them. This was one of them.
Sometimes seeing a mindless action flick is all you need in life.
3. Perks Of Being A Wallflower:
One of those films that comes and goes before you ever get a chance to plan when and where you are going to see it.
I mean its Ben Affleck. The dude was the bomb in Phantoms yo.
A movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and time travel. Really bummed I missed this one.
5. Of Monsters And Men - My Head Is An Animal
4. Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, M.A.A.d. City
3. Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1
2. Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
1. Jack White - Blunderbuss
Hope you enjoyed a stroll into pop culture with me this week. Make sure to follow me on twitter @craig_a_brenner and until next year peace out.