Boston’s Best Sports Moments Of 2012

The narrative of the 2011 NFL season looked a lot like this: Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow. Once the playoffs began in January 2012, though, it looked a lot more like this: Tom Brady. The Patriots' quarterback threw six touchdowns in the divisional round, Tebow threw zero, and the Patriots routed Denver 45-10. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Demolishing Denver The narrative of the 2011 NFL season looked a lot like this: Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow. Once the playoffs began in January 2012, though, it looked a lot more like this: Tom Brady. The Patriots' quarterback threw six touchdowns in the divisional round, Tebow threw zero, and the Patriots routed Denver 45-10. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Sterling Moore jarred the ball free from Lee Evans' hands to save the Patriots' season, and moments later, Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff propelled the Patriots to the Super Bowl by badly missing the game-tying kick. It was an unexpected but happily welcomed development at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
'He Hooked It!' Sterling Moore jarred the ball free from Lee Evans' hands to save the Patriots' season, and moments later, Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff propelled the Patriots to the Super Bowl by badly missing the game-tying kick. It was an unexpected but happily welcomed development at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Tyler Seguin's rookie season was a teaching experience, with the No. 2 overall pick averaging a little over 12 minutes per game. He broke out in a big way in his sophomore season though, leading the team with 67 points and 29 goals and blossoming into the star he was expected to be. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Seguin's Breakout Tyler Seguin's rookie season was a teaching experience, with the No. 2 overall pick averaging a little over 12 minutes per game. He broke out in a big way in his sophomore season though, leading the team with 67 points and 29 goals and blossoming into the star he was expected to be. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
When the shortened 2012 NBA season got underway, no one really knew what to expect out of the Boston Celtics. Jeff Green was lost to heart surgery, and Danny Ainge had to scrap together a bench for an aging core. It looked gloomy after a mediocre start, but the Celtics took off in the second half and carried that into the playoffs. After dispatching the Hawks and 76ers in the first two rounds, they took the eventual Champion Miami Heat to seven games – and were one win away from their third NBA Finals in five years.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Celtics Take Heat To 7 Games In Eastern Conference Finals When the shortened 2012 NBA season got underway, no one really knew what to expect out of the Boston Celtics. Jeff Green was lost to heart surgery, and Danny Ainge had to scrap together a bench for an aging core. It looked gloomy after a mediocre start, but the Celtics took off in the second half and carried that into the playoffs. After dispatching the Hawks and 76ers in the first two rounds, they took the eventual Champion Miami Heat to seven games – and were one win away from their third NBA Finals in five years. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Prior to Thanksgiving 2012, there was no such word as "buttfumble." Thanks to Mark Sanchez, there now is. The Jets' quarterback ran straight into his own offensive lineman, coughing up the football amid a second quarter when the Patriots outscored the Jets 35-3. The Jets' failures are often enjoyable to watch, but the buttfumble brought that happiness to new heights. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
The Buttfumble Prior to Thanksgiving 2012, there was no such word as "buttfumble." Thanks to Mark Sanchez, there now is. The Jets' quarterback ran straight into his own offensive lineman, coughing up the football amid a second quarter when the Patriots outscored the Jets 35-3. The Jets' failures are often enjoyable to watch, but the buttfumble brought that happiness to new heights. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Nathan Horton never will get the chance to really get even with Vancouver after Aaron Rome's cheap shot ended the Bruins winger's Stanley Cup Final in Game 3, but Bruins fans still appreciated seeing Horton exact some revenge in January when he dropped the mitts with Dale Weise. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Horton's Revenge Nathan Horton never will get the chance to really get even with Vancouver after Aaron Rome's cheap shot ended the Bruins winger's Stanley Cup Final in Game 3, but Bruins fans still appreciated seeing Horton exact some revenge in January when he dropped the mitts with Dale Weise. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Stevan Ridley had a somewhat quiet rookie season in 2011, rushing for just 441 yards and one touchdown and getting benched for the playoffs for fumbling in Week 17 and the divisional round. He's turned it around in a huge way in 2012 though, needing just 12 games to top the 1,000-yard mark and sitting among the top 10 rushers in the entire league. His touchdown celebration of kicking through a doorway certainly fits.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Breaking Down The Door Stevan Ridley had a somewhat quiet rookie season in 2011, rushing for just 441 yards and one touchdown and getting benched for the playoffs for fumbling in Week 17 and the divisional round. He's turned it around in a huge way in 2012 though, needing just 12 games to top the 1,000-yard mark and sitting among the top 10 rushers in the entire league. His touchdown celebration of kicking through a doorway certainly fits. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The second-year guard emerged to help Boston both on defense and offense when he was inserted into the starting lineup for the injured Ray Allen. Bradley changed the dynamic of the team, giving them a defensive minded two guard and Rajon Rondo another running mate. He is expected to return from a pair of shoulder surgeries when the calendar changes to 2013, so we’ll see if he has the same impact again. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Avery Bradley Emerges The second-year guard emerged to help Boston both on defense and offense when he was inserted into the starting lineup for the injured Ray Allen. Bradley changed the dynamic of the team, giving them a defensive minded two guard and Rajon Rondo another running mate. He is expected to return from a pair of shoulder surgeries when the calendar changes to 2013, so we’ll see if he has the same impact again. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
If there's one criticism of Bill Belichick that persists in New England it is the coach's habit of trading down in the draft for "value." He bucked that trend in a big way in 2012 though, moving up to draft Chandler Jones and Don’t'a Hightower in the first round. The move already paid off in their rookie years, with both players proving they were NFL-ready upon entering the league. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Welcome To The NFL If there's one criticism of Bill Belichick that persists in New England it is the coach's habit of trading down in the draft for "value." He bucked that trend in a big way in 2012 though, moving up to draft Chandler Jones and Don’t'a Hightower in the first round. The move already paid off in their rookie years, with both players proving they were NFL-ready upon entering the league. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Shawn Thornton is one of the toughest players in the league, known more for his work with his fists than the puck. However he showed off some Grade A skills in January against the Jets, putting the moves on goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and scoring on a penalty shot at the Garden. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Sniper Shawn Shawn Thornton is one of the toughest players in the league, known more for his work with his fists than the puck. However he showed off some Grade A skills in January against the Jets, putting the moves on goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and scoring on a penalty shot at the Garden. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
When a team isn’t doing so great, fans often turn to a star in the making. In 2012 that was Will Middlebrooks, who took over third base a year ahead of schedule. Middlebrooks stepped in for an injured Kevin Youkilis and earned his stay in the Majors with an impressive month of May, batting .316 with six homers and 21 RBIs. He put together a solid rookie campaign with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs while batting .288 over 75 games until a broken wrist ended his season in early August. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Middlebrooks Takes Over When a team isn’t doing so great, fans often turn to a star in the making. In 2012 that was Will Middlebrooks, who took over third base a year ahead of schedule. Middlebrooks stepped in for an injured Kevin Youkilis and earned his stay in the Majors with an impressive month of May, batting .316 with six homers and 21 RBIs. He put together a solid rookie campaign with 15 home runs and 54 RBIs while batting .288 over 75 games until a broken wrist ended his season in early August. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski is perhaps the most dangerous tight end in the NFL, and Aaron Hernandez is one of the most dynamic weapons in the league. Both players entered 2012 on the final year of their rookie contracts, but the Patriots signed both of them to six-year deals, ensuring they'll both be around for a while. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Locking Up The Tight Ends Rob Gronkowski is perhaps the most dangerous tight end in the NFL, and Aaron Hernandez is one of the most dynamic weapons in the league. Both players entered 2012 on the final year of their rookie contracts, but the Patriots signed both of them to six-year deals, ensuring they'll both be around for a while. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Kevin Garnett’s move to the center position sparked the Celtics to a vastly improved defense and a 24-11 record down the stretch in 2012. That trend continued in the playoffs when he averaged 19.2 points and 10.3 rebounds as the C’s came one game away from heading to the NBA Finals. When the season was over it wasn’t clear if Garnett would return or retire, but KG re-uped with Boston with a three-year deal. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Garnett Moves To Center, Re-Signs With Celtics Kevin Garnett’s move to the center position sparked the Celtics to a vastly improved defense and a 24-11 record down the stretch in 2012. That trend continued in the playoffs when he averaged 19.2 points and 10.3 rebounds as the C’s came one game away from heading to the NBA Finals. When the season was over it wasn’t clear if Garnett would return or retire, but KG re-uped with Boston with a three-year deal. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The “cheerful” Cody Ross was one of the lone bright spots of the Red Sox in 2012, clubbing 22 home runs and driving in 80 runs. His biggest swing came in July, with the Red Sox trailing the Chicago White Sox 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Ross clubbed a three-run, walk off homer to give Boston their fourth win in five games and improve to 48-45 on the season. Unfortunately, after that swing the Red Sox dropped six of their next seven and 13 of 20. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Ross, Red Sox Walk-Off In July The “cheerful” Cody Ross was one of the lone bright spots of the Red Sox in 2012, clubbing 22 home runs and driving in 80 runs. His biggest swing came in July, with the Red Sox trailing the Chicago White Sox 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Ross clubbed a three-run, walk off homer to give Boston their fourth win in five games and improve to 48-45 on the season. Unfortunately, after that swing the Red Sox dropped six of their next seven and 13 of 20. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
With a 4-1 win over Ferris State, the BC Eagles won their fifth NCAA hockey title and third in the last five seasons. The Eagles closed out their season with 19 straight wins. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
BC Wins Another Hockey Title With a 4-1 win over Ferris State, the BC Eagles won their fifth NCAA hockey title and third in the last five seasons. The Eagles closed out their season with 19 straight wins. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
It was addition by subtraction when the Red Sox sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and their massive contracts (along with Nick Punto) to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August. The deal let Boston shave $250 million in salary through 2018, and got rid of a couple of the headaches that played into the 2011 collapse and 2012 season-long debacle. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Salary Dump To LA It was addition by subtraction when the Red Sox sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and their massive contracts (along with Nick Punto) to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August. The deal let Boston shave $250 million in salary through 2018, and got rid of a couple of the headaches that played into the 2011 collapse and 2012 season-long debacle. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The 116th Boston Marathon will be remembered for it's exciting finishes and temperatures in the 80's. Kenya's Wesley Korir fought off fellow countryman Levy Matebo to claim his first Boston win, and women's winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya won by just two seconds. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Exciting Finishes In The 116th Boston Marathon
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Wesley Korir of Kenya, men's winner, and Sharon Cherop of Kenya, female winner, of the 116th Boston Marathon,
The 116th Boston Marathon will be remembered for it's exciting finishes and temperatures in the 80's. Kenya's Wesley Korir fought off fellow countryman Levy Matebo to claim his first Boston win, and women's winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya won by just two seconds. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
The Red Sox went just 5-13 against the Yankees in 2012, but Pedro Ciriaco became a bit of a cult hero thanks to his efforts against New York. It all started the day after he was first called up on July 7, when he went 4-for-5 in Boston’s 9-5 win – earning them a split of a double-header. Ciriaco gave Boston the lead with a 3-run double in the sixth, and continued to put up good numbers against the Yankees for the rest of the season. Ciriaco hit .415 with 7 RBIs in 14 games against New York with two 4-hit games. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Ciriaco Dominates Yankees The Red Sox went just 5-13 against the Yankees in 2012, but Pedro Ciriaco became a bit of a cult hero thanks to his efforts against New York. It all started the day after he was first called up on July 7, when he went 4-for-5 in Boston’s 9-5 win – earning them a split of a double-header. Ciriaco gave Boston the lead with a 3-run double in the sixth, and continued to put up good numbers against the Yankees for the rest of the season. Ciriaco hit .415 with 7 RBIs in 14 games against New York with two 4-hit games. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Prior to injuring his Achilles in July and missing most of the last two-plus months of the season, David Ortiz was putting together a heck of a year for a 36-year-old DH. Ortiz hit .318 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs in 90 games in 2012, posting a .415 OBP – his highest since 2007. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Ortiz Plays Well Before Injury Prior to injuring his Achilles in July and missing most of the last two-plus months of the season, David Ortiz was putting together a heck of a year for a 36-year-old DH. Ortiz hit .318 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs in 90 games in 2012, posting a .415 OBP – his highest since 2007. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Following a Celtics loss to the Houston Rockets on December 14, Kevin Garnett shared a heartwarming moment with his former coach Kevin McHale. It was only McHale’s sixth game back on the Houston bench following the death of his 23-year-old daughter Sasha, who passed away in November due to lupus-related complications. The two embraced after the game, with McHale breaking down into tears. Garnett isn’t always the most pleasant person on the court, but he showed his lighter side in that moment with McHale. (Photo from NBA Facebook Page)
Garnett And McHale Share A Nice Moment Following a Celtics loss to the Houston Rockets on December 14, Kevin Garnett shared a heartwarming moment with his former coach Kevin McHale. It was only McHale’s sixth game back on the Houston bench following the death of his 23-year-old daughter Sasha, who passed away in November due to lupus-related complications. The two embraced after the game, with McHale breaking down into tears. Garnett isn’t always the most pleasant person on the court, but he showed his lighter side in that moment with McHale. (Photo from NBA Facebook Page)
Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield both retired following 2011, and were given grand send-offs at Fenway Park during 2012. In addition to throwing out the first pitch before the home opener, both had nights for fans to thank them one final time – and take their mind off what was happening on the field. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Tek, Wakefield Honored Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield both retired following 2011, and were given grand send-offs at Fenway Park during 2012. In addition to throwing out the first pitch before the home opener, both had nights for fans to thank them one final time – and take their mind off what was happening on the field. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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