The only thing gaining on us is 2013, but let's not look ahead just yet. The secret to life is to live in the moment. So said Buddha. Or was it Bubba? Bubba Watson authored one of the year's most indelible moments on the second hole of the sudden-death playoff at Augusta, from the pine needles off the 10th fairway, bending his approach shot around a stand of trees to a pin-high position on the green, the most memorable game-winning hook shot since Magic Johnson's in the NBA Finals 25 years earlier.
In 2012, LeBron was the latter-day Magic, conjuring victory from a clapped cloud of talcum. It settled like pixie dust on everything around him. And speaking of sprites, the Notre Dame leprechaun returned to supremacy. Having restored luster to its helmets a year ago—that paint swatch is Benjamin Moore's Catholic Gilt—Notre Dame did the same to its program, waking up echoes that had slumbered for nearly 20 years.
In the rest of the world's football, the shot heard 'round the world was Sergio Agüero's goal for Manchester City in the last minute of the last game of the English Premier League season, giving his team the title over its crosstown rival, Manchester United. Three months later at United's so-called Theatre of Dreams, the U.S. women's team beat Canada 4--3 in an epic Olympic semifinal, on Alex Morgan's header in the third minute of heart-stoppage time added to the 120 minutes already played.
There were more than half a million minutes in 2012, and nearly as many moments. Here's a Final Four. On May 8 in Baltimore, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers hit four home runs in five at bats, his evening blighted only by a fifth-inning double. But then his eyesight was tested and found to have deteriorated slightly, from 20/10 to 20/15.
The average big leaguer's vision? It's said to be 20/12, a number we won't soon forget.