Austin American-Statesman - - YEAR IN SPORT - ALSO ...

Ad­mit it, when Pey­ton Man­ning signs with the Den­ver Broncos, you won­der if the ag­ing, bro­ken-down QB still has his fast­ball ... or any pitch be­sides his com­mer­cials. Man­ning, re­cov­er­ing from a se­ri­ous neck in­jury, throws for nearly 1,200 yards in the open­ing month and goes on to guide the Broncos to a 12-3 record and the di­vi­sion ti­tle.

Speak­ing of re­mark­able come­backs, Adrian Peter­son, who suf­fered a dev­as­tat­ing knee in­jury a year ago, comes out of the box fly­ing, too. By late De­cem­ber, he leads the NFL in rush­ing by more than 400 yards.

■ In its SEC de­but, Texas A&M puts up a valiant strug­gle but loses 20-17 to Florida at Kyle Field.

■ Re­place­ment refs screw up enough NFL games that the league fi­nally set­tles a la­bor dis­pute with its of­fi­cials.

■ Mar­ble Falls QB Mike Richard­son smashes a state record with 724 yards pass­ing in one game.

■ The Big 12 signs a $2.6 bil­lion TV deal that brings sta­bil­ity to a league that was tee­ter­ing just a year ago.

■ Geno Smith fires 8 TD passes and seizes the Heis­man lead in West Vir­ginia’s wild 70-63 win over Bay­lor.

■ Texas State falls to Texas Tech in its first home game as an FBS pro­gram.

■ “Austin Andy” Rod­dick retires from ten­nis af­ter tum­bling in the fourth round of the U.S. Open.

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