Welcome, 2013. Good riddance, 2012. What a miserable year you were, in and out of sports.
From the life of Jerry Sandusky to the death and complicated legacy of Joe Paterno to the unprecedented NCAA sanctions hurled at Penn State, you were a year that made us squeamish.
From Superstorm Sandy to Sandy Hook, you were a year that assaulted us, numbed us, and brought us to tears.
From Bounty Gate to empty, silent NHL arenas, to transforming Lance Armstrong from hero to fraud, you were a year that angered us.
From the Browns to the Lions, from the Pistons to the Cavaliers, to elections and partisan politics you were a year that frustrated us.
From Junior Seau to the renewed examination of football and brain trauma you were a year that smacked us and made us sad.
Oh, you had your moments. The London Olympics were spectacular and gave us a local hero in Erik Kynard. You brought back Peyton Manning and provided feel-good stories in Indianapolis, too. LeBron finally silenced his critics in magnificent fashion. You produced perfection, whether it was a Baylor women’s basketball team stopping by the Stroh Center en route to 40-0 or a high school girls’ soccer team in Perrysburg. You brought us a fresh-faced Johnny Football.
But you were a fickle mistress. You made Notre Dame football relevant again, but conspired with the NCAA to make a 12-0 Ohio State team somewhat irrelevant. You gave us a Triple Crown winner in Miguel Cabrera and a pennant winner in Detroit, but then saddled the Tigers with a massive power failure and a World Series sweep. You sent the Rockets and Falcons to bowl games, but both lost.
All in all, we’ve had enough of you, 2012. Since the Cleveland Indians’ ancient ancestors, the Mayans, so grossly miscalculated, it’s on to ’13 and to the resolutions that come with the annual flip of the calendar.
I hereby resolve to:
■ Watch a Mud Hens game from the Roost.
■ Treat people as well as I treat my dog. Of course, it would help if I liked people as much as I like my dog.
■ Come next football season, write something nice about Toledo’s defense and Bowling Green’s offense.
■ Not jump off any cliffs, fiscal or otherwise.
■ Go walleye fishing with my colleague Matt Markey. And, then, go to a Walleye game.
■ Comment on non-sporting issues, when timely, even knowing that my many critics will flood the inbox. After all, it’s not important what others think about us, it’s what we think about ourselves. Right?
■ Grow in my appreciation of a good nap, daily when possible.
■ Be at the Stroh Center on Jan. 13 for the UT-BG women’s game.
■ And enjoy Toledo coach Tricia Cullop as long as they can keep her around.
■ Try understanding, with Superintendent Hickey’s help, the difference between a fine and a contribution.
■ Eat a more healthy diet. That means finding foods I can stand without mayo and melted cheese oozing from every corner.
■ Enjoy the Super Bowl between the Seahawks and Broncos.
■ Admit I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, but under disguise using my wife’s name.
■ Wonder on a daily basis how NHL commissioner Gary Bettman keeps his job.
■ Quietly pull for Tod Kowalczyk at UT and Lewis Orr at BG to turn things around after rocky starts. It would be nice for two hot men’s teams to collide Jan. 26 at Savage Arena.
■ Solicit nice thoughts about teachers. I have two in the family and believe me they don’t do it for the summer vacation.
■ Wish everyone a Happy New Year from The Blade’s sports staff.
Contact Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6398.