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Mike Maniscalco

The naughty and nice in 2012 sports

Posted December 21, 2012

The holiday season always brings out the year-end lists; from top games and moments to best players and coaches. With Christmas so close, a naughty and nice list seems to be in order - you know Santa could use some help.

So let’s take a look at a few names that deserve the shiny new bike or a lump of coal.

Nice:

Mike Krzyzewski: the Duke head basketball coach might not have had the greatest start to the year, with his team missing out on the chance to win the ACC regular season title and a first round elimination in the NCAA tournament at the hands of Lehigh, but things picked up from there. Coach K led team USA to another Olympic gold medal, cementing the job he was hired to do to: put and keep USA hoops back on the top of the mountain. The year will end with his Duke Blue Devils as the No. 1 team in the polls and an early present with the commitment from No. 2 recruit in the nation for the class of 2013, small forward Jabari Parker from Chicago.

Russell Wilson: The former NC State and Wisconsin quarterback was drafted in the third round by the Seattle Seahawks. Since April, all Wilson has done is led the Seahawks to the cusp of the NFC playoffs and convinced people that he’s not “too short” to succeed in the league. Along the way, he has shown the playmaking ability that was on display while wearing Wolfpack or Badger uniforms with the same efficiency. For Seahawk fans he has been the best surprise gift in years.

Gio Bernard: The UNC running back cracked the 1,000-yard rushing mark again for the Heels, helping them put together an 8-4 season in Larry Fedora’s first year as head coach. The Heels had a lot of things to overcome this year due to NCAA sanctions and the fact that the team hadn’t beaten NC State in five years. Bernard didn’t just get the job done running the football, he was one of the best punt returners in the nation and his 74-yard punt return with 13 seconds left against State provided a highlight for Heels fans forever.

Duke football: It had been 18 years since the Blue Devils were bowl eligible. On Oct. 20, the Blue Devils not only became bowl eligible, they beat their rival North Carolina to get there.

Mark Gottfried: The NC State basketball coach in his first year took the Pack to the Sweet 16. In the off-season, Gottfried inked a top-10 recruiting class, this year he is on the trail of landing another top-10 class and he has returned NC State to the national basketball consciousness. The Wolfpack opened up the season in the top-10 and have been in the top-25 all season. 

Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning: Both players have returned from devastating injuries to return not only to their all-pro form, but beyond. Peterson has a chance to break the NFL’s single-season rushing record and the running back has kept the Minnesota Vikings in the playoff race after coming back in less than a year from a devastating knee injury. Manning has shown that the year off after a reported four neck surgeries didn’t erode his quarterbacking skills. The Indianapolis Colts couldn’t count on Manning to be healthy so the QB moved on to the Denver Broncos. With their new sheriff in town people in the Mile High City are talking Super Bowl.

Kirk Muller: The new Carolina Hurricanes head coach led the team to a 25-20-12 after taking over. Muller instilled a new confidence in the team and an aggressive style of play that had Canes fans excited for the upcoming season.

This leads us to the next list.

Naughty:

Gary Bettman: The NHL commissioner is presiding over the third lockout of his tenure. This happened after a major market team in the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup, and the commissioner told us that the NHL hadn’t been healthier. Bettman has basically put the ‘take it or leave it’ stance in most of the negotiations with the NHLPA leaving little room for negotiating. The NHL management forced the Players Union to take a deal that the league wanted to end the last lockout and now is asking the players to save the owners from the deal that the NHL wanted in the first place.

Donald Fehr: The head of the NHLPA could have ended this lockout sooner if he was willing to make a deal before this summer. Fehr’s favorite game is negotiating and he shares blame in the NHL keeping the doors closed on this season. While it is his job to give the players the best deal possible, he also has to understand that holding out this long might not leave a league to come back to.

Lance Armstrong: For years Armstrong wanted us to believe that he was clean and that it was a conspiracy of jealous cyclers trying to sully his name. The evidence continued to mount against Armstrong and he was eventually stripped of his seven Tour De France titles.

Roger Goodell: The NFL commissioner sat back and let replacement referees - that were sub-par - handle regular season games. This game of chicken with the real referees did not sit well with fans or the players. Goodell further upset the players with his handling the Saints bounty-gate, suspending four players and using his position of power to govern the league. The NFL has never been more popular, the commissioner on the other hand, not so much.

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  • 4tarheels Dec 23, 12:44 p.m.

    UNC Football should be on your naughty list too, since they missed the postseason due to cheating.

    — Posted by aoakley336

    You are in error, that would be the 2009-2011 teams. The 2012 UNC football team is paying for those teams mistakes but Fedora and his boys won fair and square. Happy New Year, the penalties are over. Time to move on, GO HEELS!!

  • aoakley336 Dec 22, 10:23 a.m.

    UNC Football should be on your naughty list too, since they missed the postseason due to cheating.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Dec 21, 9:10 p.m.

    Great article, Mike! It was an entertaining read and a great recap of the year. The only one I don't agree with is Roger Goddell on the "bad" list. I think Goddell has tried to "protect the shield" and keep player safety as areas of concern.

    I'm a Heels fan, but I have to agree with K being on the "good list". I have a ton of respect for a man who can coach excellence on the collegiate and Olympic level.

    Thanks for a great review of the year in sports and I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
 
3rd
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
Final
PHI 91
BRK 99
 
Final
ORL 96
GSW 111
 
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
 
Final
CLE 113
WAS 87
 
Final
DET 98
LAC 104
 
4th
DAL 90
NYK 89
 
4th
ATL 115
TOR 122
 
4th
MIN 78
MIL 81
 
4th
HOU 81
SAC 75
 
4th
OKC 81
UTA 70
 
3rd
SAN 60
IND 62
 
2nd
PHO 53
DEN 50
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
 
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
 
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
Final
OSU 91
CAMP 64
 
Final
LOU 45
CLST 33
 
Final
UCF 69
DAVID 95
 
Final
IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
 
Final
TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
Final
ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
YALE 82
LAF 60
 
Final
GWU 91
LONG 66
 
Final
VT 78
UMO 63
 
Final
WAKE 83
MNTER 49
 
Final
NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
 
Final
MINN 61
STJ 70
 
Final
JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
Final
YOUNG 66
UMKC 63
 
Final
UAB 43
WISC 72
 
Final
CORN 67
CAN 60
 
Final
WVU 103
VMI 72
 
2nd
DEP 68
LEH 76
 
Final
UNT 67
MVSU 52
 
2nd
MARS 66
MORE 74
 
2nd
TCU 73
RAD 50
 
Final
SELA 86
TENT 65
 
Final
SMU 72
TXSOU 59
 
2nd
UTAH 81
TXPA 48
 
2nd
LMU 61
UCR 53
 
2nd
SCAR 87
UNCA 75
 
Final
SD 86
WAYNEST 69
 
2nd
PITT 64
KYST 45
 
2nd
UWGB 43
FLGC 32
 
2nd
IOWA 52
NILL 39
 
1st
ORST 35
AUB 42
 
Half
MONT 36
CARROLLMT 23
 
Half
SUTAH 34
EKENT 31
 
Half
NMST 40
FAM 15
 
1st
WYO 33
STET 16
 
Half
EWASH 37
NKENTUCKY 20
 
Half
IDST 25
WLVRN 28
 
1st
GEOR 15
UF 16
 
1st
GONZ 16
UGA 6
 
1st
NIOWA 10
NW 13
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
Final
NYI 3
WAS 2
 
Final
BUF 1
WIN 2
 
3rd
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
3rd
TAM 4
NYR 3
 
3rd
DET 4
PHI 2
 
3rd
PIT 3
TOR 3
 
3rd
MIN 0
LOS 4
 
1st Intermission
COL 0
CHI 0
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL