A year in mixed bags, from Detroit's rise and fall in baseball to horse racing's continued decline
When getting together year-end lists, the tendency is to point out the highlights and lowlights of the preceding 12 months. That's certainly what other Atlantic's sportswriters did a few weeks back, rounding up 2012's most epic wins and losses. But I'm interested in the more ambiguous happenings: the "midlight" moments that may not have been epic in themselves, but that should signaled out for what they revealed about the sports year that was. So here is a list of 10, in rough chronological order:
1. Linsanity. It was one of the most heart-warming and thrilling sports stories of our time—and then it wasn't. Jeremy Lin came (out of nowhere it seemed), he conquered, and he left. Last February this most unlikely of superstars, an Asian-American graduate of Harvard with an undistinguished resume as an NBA cast-off, who was sleeping on his brother's couch, saved the season for an injury-ridden New York Knicks team. For a few inspiring weeks, the heroics lived up to the hype. But "Linsanity" turned out to be a seismic event without aftershocks. Unable to agree on contract terms with the Knicks, Lin left New York for Houston in the off-season—and now the Knicks sans-Lin are off to their best start in years. Sad to say, he is hardly missed by the team's fans, enjoying the Knicks' current success. Perhaps it is all for the good: a vote for the team over the individual in the era of the "me,me,me” But it leaves me with one question. Is my Lin 17 Knicks t-shirt a collectible or clutter?