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LEADING OFF

Dec. 31, 2012
Dec. 31, 2012

Table of Contents
Dec. 31, 2012

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
BEST MOMENTS OF 2012
  • HOW DO YOU MEASURE A YEAR IN SPORTS? IN MIRACLE COMEBACKS, IN LAST-SECOND SHOTS, IN VICTORY LEAPS, IN MIND-BLOWING LAPS. ONCE AGAIN WE ASKED SI'S FACEBOOK FANS TO PICK THE YEAR'S MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT. AN ALLTIME OLYMPIAN'S FINAL ASCENT TO THE PODIUM STOOD ABOVE THE REST, BUT THERE WAS PLENTY MORE TO CELEBRATE—AND TO MARVEL AT

  • SIX TEAMS, EIGHT HOURS, THREE OVERTIMES, 10 LEAD CHANGES AND 206 POINTS: HOW ONE EVENING IN NOVEMBER SHAPED THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUP AND BECAME, EASILY, THE BEST DAY OF SPORTS IN 2012

  • By Ed Feng

    WHO WILL WIN? OUR ANALYTICS EXPERT, AN ENGINEERING PH.D. FROM STANFORD AND THE BRAINS BEHIND THEPOWERRANK.COM, WENT INSIDE THE TENDENCIES OF BOTH CONTENDERS THIS SEASON TO CREATE A SIMULATION THAT MAY BE CLOSER TO REALITY THAN REALITY ITSELF

  • FOR ONE MAGICAL APRIL AFTERNOON, PHILIP HUMBER WAS FLAWLESS. BUT THAT RANDOM SMILE FROM THE PITCHING GODS CAME WITH A HEAVY BURDEN: THE PRESSURE TO LIVE UP TO A STANDARD NO ONE CAN MEET

  • GRINNELL'S JACK TAYLOR IS THE LATEST MEMBER OF A TINY FRATERNITY OF PLAYERS WHO SCORED AT LEAST 100 POINTS IN A COLLEGE OR NBA GAME. THE QUESTION IS, AT WHAT COST?

  • A BOWLER AND SEVERAL BRAWLERS, COACHES AND A CARD SHARP, TWO SLUGGERS AND A TACKLE WHO SLUGGED A HORSE—LUMINARIES OF ALL SORTS PASSED AWAY IN 2012

Departments

LEADING OFF

PHOTOPhotograph by Robert BeckLEADING OFF NFL MOMENTS 2012 Peyton's Place From Super Bowl XLVI through the last weeks of this season, it was a year of astounding performances, dramatic finishes and remarkable comebacks in the NFL. But the most welcome sight of all was that of Peyton Manning trotting onto the field in Denver on Sept. 9 for his first game in 20 months. The four-time MVP led the Broncos to a 31--19 victory and then enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career, guiding his new team to a division title.FIFTEEN PHOTOSPhotographs by CJ Gunther/EPA/ Landov (Patriots) Ray Carlin/Icon SMI (Cowboys) Elsa/Getty Images (Giants) Ric Tapia/Icon SMI (Falcons) Justin K. Aller/Getty Images (Chargers) Damon Tarver/Cal Sport Media (49ers) Patrick McDermott/Getty Images (Redskins) Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PRESSWIRE (Browns) David Banks/Getty Images (Packers) Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images (Lions) Tom Pennington/Getty Images (Cowboys II) John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/MCT/Landov (Raiders) MSA/Icon SMI (Texans I) Jake Roth/US PRESSWIRE (Broncos) George Bridges/MCT/Landov (Texans II)LEADING OFF NFL MOMENTS 2012 Joy to The World Happiness unbridled—for all of football's faults, that's why they play the game, and why countless fans revel in it every weekend. Even in Cleveland.SIXTEEN PHOTOSPhotographs by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images (Lewis) Mark J. Rebilas/US PRESSWIRE (Stevie Johnson) Sam Riche/MCT/Landov (Luck) Wilfredo Lee/AP (Reggie Bush) Jim Rogash/Getty Images (Tom Brady) Christopher Hanewinckel/US PRESSWIRE (Antonio Garay) Jody Gomez/US PRESSWIRE (Takeo Spikes) Patrick Smith/Getty Images (Jacoby Jones) Tony Avelar/AP (Corey Williams) Andrew Weber/US PRESSWIRE (Wilson) Anthony J. Causi/Icon SMI (Tim Tebow) Scott Terna/Cal Sport Media (Brett Keisel) Jake Roth/US PRESSWIRE (D.J. Moore) Darren Hauck/Reuters (Joe Staley) Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports (Greg Hardy) Bob Leverone/AP (Duane Brown)LEADING OFF NFL MOMENTS 2012 Express Yourself Emotions run the gamut in America's game. From Ray Lewis's veteran intensity in last January's playoffs to the youthful exuberance of Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson, the looks speak volumes.