2012 Football Year in Review
by Randy Snow
Originally posted on Yahoo! Voices, Friday, December 28, 2012
With the closing of another year, it is time to review some of the highlights that occurred in The World of Football in 2012.
The year began on January 7 with North Dakota State defeating Sam Houston State 17-6 to win its first Football Championship Subdivision title. (This year's FCS title game will be a rematch of last year's game and will be played on January 5, 2013)
A new BCS national champion was crowned on January 9, the Alabama Crimson Tide. They defeated the LSU Tigers 21-0. (Alabama will have a chance to make it two in a row next month when they face the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in the BCS title game on January 7, 2013 in Miami)
February 5th saw Super Bowl XLVI played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the first time. The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17.
On April 26, quarterback Andrew Luck from Stanford was selected first overall in the NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. The Canadian Football League held its own college player draft on May 3. The Saskatchewan Roughriders selected offensive lineman Ben Heenan from the University of Saskatchewan with the first overall selection.
June 20 saw the final College Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest in South bend, Indiana. The facility is shutting down at the end of 2012 and the Hall will be moving to Atlanta as soon as a new facility is built there.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed six new members during an enshrinement ceremony on August 4. They are RB Curtis Martin, DE Chris Doleman, DT Cortez Kennedy, OL Willie Roaf, center Dermontti Dawson and CB Jack Butler.
ArenaBowl XXV was played in New Orleans on August 10. The Arizona Rattlers defeated the Philadelphia Soul 72-54. It was the third AFL title for the Rattlers.
On September 1, Notre Dame and Navy played a college football game in Dublin, Ireland known as the Emerald Isle Classic. The Fighting Irish won the game 50-10.
On November 17, the British Columbia Angels defeated the Saskatoon Sirens 25-12 to win the inaugural Lingerie Bowl in Canada. The championship game of the new four-team Lingerie Football League in Canada was played in Abbottsford, British Columbia. The LFL in the US took the fall season off and is planning to come back as a spring league in 2013.
Canadian Interuniversity Sport played the 48th Vanier Cup college football championship game at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on November 23. The Laval Rouge et Or defeated the McMaster University Marauders 37-14 in a rematch of last year's Canadian college football championship game, which was won by McMasters.
A few days later, on November 25, the Canadian Football League crowned its own champion. The Toronto Argonauts defeated the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 in the 100th CFL Grey Cup. That game was also played indoors at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
December 8th saw quarterback Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M become the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
Sadly, we lost many people this year that made lasting impressions on The World of Football. Here a just a few;
January 12 - Jim Stanley, who was the head coach of the Michigan Panthers of the United States Football League in 1983 and 1984. He led the team to the inaugural USFL title in 1983. He was 77.
January 22 - Joe Paterno, head coach at Penn State for 46 seasons from 1966-2011. He was fired towards the end of the 2011 season over allegations that he covered up a child sex abuse scandal by one of his assistant coaches, Jerry Sandusky. Paterno was 85.
February 13 - Freddie Soloman, a wide receiver in the NFL for 11 seasons from 1975-1985. He played his first three seasons with the Miami Dolphins and the rest with the San Francisco 49ers. He won two Super Bowl titles with the 49ers. He was 59.
April 5 - Joe Avezzano, who was the special teams coach of the Dallas Cowboys from 1990-2002. He was also the head coach of the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League in 2002 and 2003. He won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys. He was 68.
May 2 - Junior Seau, who played linebacker for the San Diego Chargers from 1990-2002 and the New England Patriots from 2006-2009. He was voted the NFL Man of the Year in 1994. He committed suicide at the age of 43.
June 28 - Norman Sas, the man who invented the Electric Football game. He was 87.
July 2 - Ben Davidson, who is best remembered as a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders from 1964-1971. He became an actor after his playing career was over. He was 72.
September 6 - Art Modell, the owner of the Cleveland Browns from 1961-1996. He then moved the team to Maryland where it became the Baltimore Ravens. Modell was 87.
September 18 - Steve Sabol, the President of NFL Films. He had been with NFL Films since it was founded by his father, Ed Sabol, in 1964. Steve Sabol was 69.
October 10 - Alex Karras, a defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions from 1958-1970. Karras went on to have an acting career, starring in movies like Blazing Saddles and Victor/Victoria. He also starred in the TV show Webster from 1983-1989. Karras was also an analyst on Monday Night Football from 1974-1976. He was 77.
October 11 - Carroll "Beano" Cook, a college football commentator/analyst for ESPN. He was 81.
November 7 - Darrell Royal, best know as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns from 1957-1976. He won two national championships at the school in 1963 and 1969. He is credited with creating the Wishbone offense along with his offensive coordinator, Emory Bellard, in 1968. Royal was 88.