In the books: Reviewing the memorable stories of 2012
Who were the top newsmakers this year in the world of sports? AmericanStatesman writer Kevin Lyttle revisits the year’s biggest stories — and the athletes, teams or coaches who made them so big this season.
Score that Eli 2, Peyton 1. Eli Manning steps out of his older brother’s shadow once and for all by winning his second Super Bowl as the Giants edge the Patriots, 21-17. Peyton Manning, despite all of his accomplishments, still has just one NFL title. Eli, in outperforming Tom Brady, is voted Super Bowl MVP for the second time. He guided a team that was 7-7 in midDecember to six straight victories.
■ Mack Brown and the Longhorns always own February, and they do it again by reeling in the consensus No. 2 recruiting class behind, naturally, Alabama.
■ Matt Kenseth wins a bizarre Daytona 500 over Dale Earnhardt Jr. Rain delays the event for about 32 hours and then the race is held up again when Juan Pablo Montoya runs into a safety truck, which catches fire and burns a hole in the track.
■ Texas exes Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge play in the NBA AllStar game, the first time the Longhorns have two players in the event.
■ Ricky Williams, 34, who won the Heisman Trophy at Texas in 1998, retires from football.
When Hall of Fame coach Jody Conradt called it quits, Texas women’s basketball got an established winner in Gail Goestenkors of Duke, but the seven-time ACC coach of the year struggled in the Big 12. Unable to land the top players in Texas, she resigns under duress after the Longhorns lose in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA tournament. Despite being one of the few million-dollar women’s coaches, Goestenkors won only one NCAA tournament game in five years. She’s replaced by Karen Aston, a former Conradt assistant.
■ The New Orleans Saints are hammered by Roger Goodell for an alleged bounty system that targets opposing players.
■ Tiger Woods wins his first PGA Tour event, the Arnold Palmer in Orlando, Fla., since his sex-scandal troubles of 2009.
■ The Texas men join the women as first-round losers in March Madness.
■ Torrey Henry drills a 3-pointer from the corner with seconds to go as Dallas Kimball beats Houston Yates 78-75 in a Class 4A boys state final that rocks the Erwin Center.
YEAR IN SPORTSMATT SLOCUM / AP FILE
Swimmer Michael Phelps retires with twice as many golds (18) as any other Olympian, and his total of 22 medals is easily the best career mark.