As sports years go, 2012 felt like a light switch in the hands of a 3-year-old for fans in the Charlotte area.
It was off the Charlotte Bobcats lost 23 games in a row and set the all-time NBA record for lowest winning percentage in a single season.
And it was on new stars who live in our region fully emerged, like 2012 NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski and golfs U.S. Open champion, Webb Simpson.
It was off the Carolina Panthers began the season 1-5, which caused the firing of longtime general manager Marty Hurney and ruined the teams chances at the NFL playoffs, which they havent made since 2008.
And it was on Dale Earnhardt Jr. broke his winless streak and Davidson survived a wild Southern Conference final to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since the Stephen Curry era.
The sports year alternated between light and darkness throughout 2012, between dreams fulfilled and unfulfilled.
There were the multiple Olympic gold medals won by SwimMAC Carolinas Team Elite, which is based in Charlotte. And there was Panthers center Ryan Kalils promise of a Super Bowl for his team in a full-page Charlotte Observer advertisement.
There was Duke guard Austin Rivers incredible last-second three-pointer over UNCs Tyler Zeller to win a thriller in Chapel Hill. There was N.C. States basketball resurgence and Sweet 16 berth. There was the drama of Gio Bernards punt return for North Carolina to beat N.C. State and Duke footballs first bowl appearance since 1994. But there was also the continuing saga of the athletic and academic scandal at UNC.
In 2013, we will see the birth of the Charlotte 49ers new football program. The Panthers and Bobcats will surely be a little better. There will be more new stars. And hopefully some thoughtful adult will seize control of that light switch and keep it on more often, because we could use a little more brightness around here.