Photo: via Tumblr

boxing The Biggest Plays of 2012  

Pedro Cerrano
259 votes 37 voters 2.1k views 35 items

The biggest plays of 2012 are those moments in professional sports where our favorite players came up big to accomplish amazing things. While selecting the biggest sports plays of 2012 is often a matter of opinion but these moments all left fans speechless. From those ridiculous catches in professional football to the legacies left by the talented Olympians who made history in London and everywhere in between, these are the moments that defined sports in the year 2012.

There's no surprise that many of the biggest plays of 2012 came from some of the biggest athletes and sports teams in the world right now. Michael Phelps' record-breaking performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Miguel Cabrera's World Series-clinching strikeout and Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel's 72-yard touchdown run highlighted the offerings among the top plays of the year.

It would be easy to list those sports teams and individual players who won championships during the year as the best but there were so many other amazing moments during 2012 that should get love as well. Notre Dame's goal-line stand against Stanford in college football for instance only won them that game but was part of the process to finishing an undefeated season culminating with a trip to the BCS National Championship Game. And not all of these moments are favorable, such as the mass confusion when NFL replacement officials fumbled a game-altering call during the Packers vs. Seahawks game.

So from those huge accomplishments, like when Juan Manuel Marquez IV knocked out Manny Pacquiao, to the controversial, like the infield fly rule call during the Cardinals-Braves MLB game, each of these moments has its place in the sports history books for 2012. See a favorite moment missing? Want to re-rank this list in the order you see fit? Do all of that and more below with the biggest plays of 2012.

1
15 2
Ranker Video
Packers vs. Seahawks vs. Replacement Refs

The Best College Basketball Arenas The Best Bars and Pubs in London

2
16 3
Ranker Video
Michael Phelps Becomes the Most-Decorated Olympian Ever

3
13 4
Ranker Video
Miguel Cabrera World Series-Clinching Strikeout

4
10 2
Ranker Video
Denard "Shoelace" Robinson Shoeless Touchdown

5
10 2
Ranker Video
Cardinals at Braves Infield Fly Rule Call

6
6 1
Ranker Video
Patrick Kane Shootout Game-Winner Against Minnesota

7
7 2
Ranker Video
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings Three-peat

8
6 2
Ranker Video
No. 15 Norfolk State upsets No. 2 Missouri

9
6 2
Ranker Video
US Swimmer Missy Franklin Sweeps in London

10
7 3
Ranker Video
Paul Pierce Eastern Conference Finals Three-Pointer

11
4 1
Ranker Video
Chris John vs. Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo

12
5 2
Ranker Video
Green Bay Packers Fake Field Goal Against Chicago

13
8 5
Ranker Video
Notre Dame's Goal-Line Stand Against Stanford

14
3 1
Ranker Video
Oscar Pistorius Competes at the 2012 Summer Olympics

15
4 2
Ranker Video
Kobe Bryant Reverse Dunk

Basketball Teams with the Most Annoying Fans The Scariest Clown Movies in Film History

16
6 4
Ranker Video
A.J. McCarron 51-Yard Touchdown Pass

17
6 4
Ranker Video
Johnny Manziel 72-Yard Touchdown Run

18
2 1
Ranker Video
Mo Williams Buzzer Beater

19
3 2
Ranker Video
Gregor Blanco "The Bunt"

20
3 2
Ranker Video
Sebastien Gauthier vs. Rodrigo Guerrero

21
5 4
Ranker Video
Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez IV

22
5 4
Ranker Video
Pablo Sandoval World Series Home Run Trio

23
5 4
Ranker Video
Eric Wright 60-Yard Interception Touchdown Return

24
1 1
Ranker Video
Evgeni Malkin Splits the Defense

25
1 1
Ranker Video
Trey Watts Punt Return Touchdown in the 2012 Conference USA Championship Game

26
1 1
Ranker Video
Lions Hail Mary to Force Overtime Against the Titans

27
2 2
Ranker Video
Ondrej Pavelec Empty Net Save

28
2 2
Ranker Video
C.J. McCollum and No. 15 Lehigh upset No. 2 Duke

29
2 2
Ranker Video
Kevin Durant Game-Winning Jumper Against San Antonio

30
3 3
Ranker Video
David Akers Record-Tying 63-Yard Field Goal

31
4 4
Ranker Video
Matt Barkley 83-Yard Touchdown Pass

32
1 2
Ranker Video
Tim Duncan Dunks Over Serge Ibaka

33
0 3
Ranker Video
Devin Smith One-Handed Touchdown Catch

34
0 3
Ranker Video
BYU Largest Comeback in NCAA Tournament History

35
0 4
Ranker Video
Benoit Pouliot Out Dekes Dmitry Kulikov