Vote: What Was the Defining New England Sports Story of 2012?

Beckett, Brady, Garnett, ThomasThe last 12 months have seen no shortage of sports stories in New England, and plenty of them will leave their impact beyond 2012. While there have been some serious ups and downs on the year-long roller coaster ride, some of them stick out in the memory banks a little more than others.

The Red Sox season definitely had its fill of stories, and the season started off in memorable fashion with the first home series against the Yankees. The Sox celebrated the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park in style, inviting back all of the team’s living members for a party at the ballpark before taking on the Bronx Bombers. Pedro Martinez and Kevin Millar toasted the world-record crowd with a rambling but endearing speech, and the Sox’ 2012 might have hit its high point in April.

A more somber occasion for the Red Sox came in August with the news of Johnny Pesky‘s passing. The Boston icon spent the majority of his 92 years with the Sox, joining the team in the 1940s as a player and moving throughout the organization as a manager, broadcaster and friend. Of course, the biggest story of the Red Sox season might have come later that month, when the team traded Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a surprise blockbuster, effectively pressing the “reset” button after a frustrating season for the franchise.

In basketball, Celtics fans got to watch the C’s get oh-so-close to knocking off the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. With Kevin Garnett‘s future in the air during the summer, the Boston faithful had to wait with bated breath to see what the 7-foot center would finally decide to do — and react with happiness when he signed a three-year deal to stay with the C’s.

The hockey side of things certainly saw its fair share of drama in 2012, with the NHL lockout looming over all. The league wiped away any chance of a 2012-13 season by not being able to work out a new CBA, but there at least is still hope of playing an abbreviated 2013 season. The same, however, could not be said for Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, who controversially announced that he would be taking the year off to focus on friends, family and faith.

Then again, in a year when the Patriots advanced to one Super Bowl and paved a path for a possible return, it would be impossible to ignore the history being made in Foxboro. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick became the all-time winningest coach-quarterback duo in 2012, and that win total should only continue to grow in 2013.

When looking back at the year that was, what will you remember most?

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