It wasn’t the best year for Philadelphia sports.
That might be an understatement. The Phillies went 81-81, failing to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Their future is a Magic 8-Ball saying, “REPLY HAZY, TRY AGAIN.” The Eagles, ostensibly Super Bowl contenders before the season, lost eight in a row and will have a whole new coach and system next season. The Sixers had an exciting playoff run in the spring, but the big offseason acquisition looks unlikely to ever step on the court. The Flyers were routed out of the second round of the playoffs, then saw two players they traded away in the offseason win the Stanley Cup in Los Angeles. And now they’re not even playing!
Also, the Union had its worst finish of all time. It’s only three years, but, hey, still the worst. Even the Philadelphia Passion were destroyed in Lingerie Bowl IX.
If you’re a relatively new Philadelphia sports fan, you might be a little confused. But those who have been rooting for decades understand this is the usual face of Philly sports, and the only way to get through it is to laugh at your favorite teams’ failures for yet another year. And now with high-speed Internet, we can do it through the magic of GIFs!
I occasionally (read: constantly) post animated GIFs on my Twitter account, for no other reason than boredom. Compiling the 10 best GIFs of the year was hard! I wasn’t able to include this snap whizzing by Michael Vick’s face or the Phillie Phanatic harassing an old woman. An honorable mention award: Thaddeus Young getting trucked after the Sixers won a playoff series and throwing the ball right in the face of a Celtics player just missed the cut.
10. Victorino falls rounding first
We will miss Shane Victorino on the Phillies, mostly for plays like this.
9. Hunter Pence, champion rower
Before Hunter Pence departed for San Francisco and a World Series title, he filmed this incredibly sensical commercial for Liscio’s Bakery.
8. Chooch smacks Joe Savery’s ass
Look how enthusiastic this is! We should have known it was the amphetamines all along.
7. Brian Dawkins exits the tunnel one last time
Yes, one of the best Eagles highlights of the year was a retired player doing his old entrance, like he’s an aging pro wrestler coming back for one more appearance on Monday Night Raw. Still, pretty cool.
6. Scott Hartnell does Hulk Hogan
The Penguins have a fan who dresses as Hulk Hogan. After a late season Flyers win, Scott Hartnell delivered the only proper reply.
5. Andy ‘n’ Duce celebrate
It was nice to see Andy Reid get one more exciting win before the end of his tenure here. And look who he’s celebrating with: Assistant coach Duce Staley, who once ran for 201 yards in a game for the Eagles. Really!
4. Doug Collins is sad
Aw, Doug, don’t worry. We all feel the same way when we watch the 76ers sometimes.
3. Meredith Marakovits photobombed
Meredith Marakovits has since left the Sixers’ sideline for the Yankees clubhouse. But no matter, while she was here a fan and the 76ers’ Jrue Holiday pulled off excellent photo bombs.
(Incidentally, new 76ers sideline reporter Molly Sullivan topped this when Dr. J asked her out on air.)
2. The Phillie Phanatic trucks some hot dogs
Just another day in the life of the world’s greatest mascot.
1. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s amazing tackle
The ultimate Philadelphia sports GIF of 2012: An Eagles cornerback goes for an illegal hit leading with the helmet and misses wildly.