It was a year that many Philly sports fans will likely want to forget as 2012 was full of more lows or highs in The City of Brotherly Love. The Sixers and Flyers each had emotional playoffs win before equally emotional losses while the Eagles and Phillies both failed to make a postseason run. Let’s take a look back on the year that was in Philly sports.
It was a year that many Philly sports fans will likely want to forget as 2012 was full of more lows or highs in The City of Brotherly Love as we said goodbye to some, hello to others and marveled at Olympic feats.
12 (tie): Bryzgalov’s Record Shutout Streak (March 15, 2012)
The Flyers odd goalie seemingly finally put it all together when he held opponents scoreless for a team-record 249:43. The streak, which included three-straight shutouts, ended against the Islanders but Bryz and the Orange and Black still won 3-2.
12(tie): Delle Donne Becomes a Star (March 19, 2012)
The biggest moment in area college hoops in 2012 came when Elena Delle Donne led the nation in scoring and the Blue Hens to a 31-win season, a Top 10 ranking and the school’s first NCAA Women’s Tournament win -- a 73-42 beatdown of Arkansas-Little Rock.
11: The Foles Era Begins (Nov. 11, 2012)
After a few impressive preseason performances (against what might not have been the best competition), Eagles rookie quarterback had fans yearning for a new era. Well, he finally got his chance after Mike Vick was knocked out against the Cowboys. Foles would go on to lead the Eagles to only one win over his six starts while he posted 1,699 passing yards and a 79.1 passer rating.
10: Utley, Howard Finally Return (June 27 & July 6, 2012)
The 2012 Phillies showed their age as they stumbled to a .500 record in large part to playing half the season without their middle-of-the-order sluggers. Chase Utley was first to return in late June as he homered in his first at bat back. Ryan Howard followed a little more than a week later going 2-for-4 in his return. But neither player looked right as they both posted career lows in batting average.
9: So Long Hunter and Shane (July 31, 2012)
The return of Chase and Ryan wasn't enough. With the Phillies in last place, nine games under .500, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. shipped away two-thirds of his outfield on MLB’s trade deadline. First Shane Victorino was sent to the Dodgers, where he would struggle, followed a short time later by Hunter Pence going to San Francisco, where he would win a World Series.
8: Eagles Retire B-Dawk’s No. 20, Beat Giants to Stay in 1st (Sept. 30, 2012)
It seems like forever ago when the Eagles maintained first place (yes, they once were in first place) in the NFC East with a dramatic 19-17 win over the Giants thanks to Lawrence Tynes twice missing a 54-yard field goal. Maybe the Eagles had something extra going for them that night as they retired Brian Dawkins No. 20 jersey before the game.
7: Sixers Beat Back Bulls (May 10, 2012)
The Sixers beat the beast of the East, the No. 1 seeded Chicago Bulls, in six games to advance in the playoffs for the first time since the early 2000s. They would go on to lose to the Celtics in seven games.
6: Cole Sticks Around (July 25, 2012)
The only thing more popular for Phillies fans to do than speculating when Howard and Utley would return was to fret over the team possibly trading its ace Cole Hamels. It didn’t happen thanks to the team inking the lefty to a six-year, $144 million deal.
5: Winter Classic Takes Over CBP (Jan. 2, 2012)
The battle between the Orange and Black and Rangers at the home of the Phillies got 2012 started with a big blast and then a disappointing fizzle. Despite the loss, the Winter Classic put the Flyers in the spotlight and gave fans a chance to appreciate hockey before it would go away thanks to the lockout.
4: So Long Iggy, Hello Bynum (Aug. 10, 2012)
While he was off winning gold with Team USA in London, Andre Iguodala was traded in a four-team mega deal that landed star center Andrew Bynum in Philly and Iggy in Denver. The 76ers also gave up Moe Harless, Nik Vucevic and a first-round pick while getting Jason Richardson. J-Rich has played well when on the court for the Sixers, while Bynum never stepped on the court for the Sixers in 2012 as his hair and bowling made more news than his play.
3: Joe Paterno Dies (Jan. 22, 2012):
Former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno died of lung cancer mere months after being fired in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal. Paterno's 46-plus years leading the Nittany Lions draw different reactions for different people. His legacy was tarnished though by a variety of later revelations including the release of the Freeh Report, Sandusky’s conviction and sentencing for child abuse and the NCAA stripping Paterno of being the winningest coach in major college football history.
2: Locals Get Gold in London (Summer 2012)
It was a golden Olympics for Team USA in London including gold medals by a slew of athletes with local ties including Jordan Burroughs (wrestling), Rebecca Soni (swimming) Brendan Hansen (swimming), Susan Francia (rowing), Caroline Lind (rowing), Carli Lloyd (soccer), Heather Mitts (soccer), Nicole Barnhart (soccer), Christie Rampone (soccer), Kobe Bryant (basketball), Tamika Catchings (basketball) and Jamie (Beyerle) Gray (shooting).
1: Flyers Knock Out Sid “the Kid,” Pens (April 22, 2012)
What could be bigger than gold? Well, the Flyers cross-state beatdown of Sid “The Kid” Crosby and the Penguins. Claude Giroux led the Flyers as the Orange and Black took care of the Pens. But, the good feelings wouldn’t last as the Fly Guys lost to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Devils in five games.