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20 Most Disappointing Athletes For 2012

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The 20 Most Disappointing Athletes of 2012

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ahh 2012. It was an interesting year in sports. The year Linsanity stole our hearts for a month. It was the year Tebowing stopped being cool. The year two different kinds of Giants won championships. The year two rookies became two of the most popular players in major league baseball. The year three rookie quarterbacks in the NFL made the playoffs. The year that spending big money wasn't necessarily a good thing.

2012 was the year Lebron James became a champion and a gold medal winner. The year you could make a not impressed face with the president of the United States. The year Kings ruled the ice, coming out of nowhere to make the Stanley Cup Finals and win.

2012 was the year that a USC golden boy quarterback was supposed to win the Heisman, but a little known quarterback with the monicker Johnny Football won it instead. 2012 was the year a guy came back from tearing his ACL and lead his team to the playoffs.

2012 was also a year of stars changing teams. Peyton Manning, Steve Nash, Josh Hamilton, Ichiro Suzuki and Rick Nash all changed uniforms. 2012 was also the year of lockouts, replacement referees and umpires who called the infield fly rule in the outfield. It was also the year of a champion losing that and his reputation being gone forever.

In that same vein, 2012 was the year of athletes disappointing us. As 2012 becomes 2013, here are the top 20 disappointing athletes of 2012.

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20. Carl Edwards

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The NASCAR pitchman had quite the year in 2011. He came within one point of winning the Sprint Cup Championship. Then 2012 happened and it didn't go so well. He didn't win a single race and only finished in the top five three times. He didn't qualify for the chase for the Sprint Cup and finished the year 15th in the Standings and changed crew chiefs mid-season.

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19. Tim Tebow

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2012 started off pretty well for Tim Tebow. He led the Denver Broncos to a dramatic, overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. Then the off-season game. The Broncos never really wanted to start him and signed some Peyton Manning guy. Tebow was then traded to the New York Jets. He was supposed to be their wildcat/backup quarterback. Instead, he went 6-8 for 39 yards passing and added 102 yards on the ground and Rex Ryan wouldn't let him play, even though Mark Sanchez didn't exactly play well in 2012. (but more on him later)

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18. Ricky Romero

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Romero was supposed to be an ace on the rise for the Toronto Blue Jays. Romero's wins increased from 13-14-15 from 2009 to 2011. His ERA dropped from 4.30 to 3.73 to 2.92. Entering his age 27 season, he was supposed to be entering his prime. He was coming off of an all-star campaign in 2011 and finished 10th in Cy Young Voting. Then 2012 happened. Romero finished 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA. The Jays have added R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle so now Romero will be fighting for the fifth spot in the rotation coming 2013.

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17. Deron Williams

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Williams at one point was one of the elite point guards in the entire NBA. You could even mention him the class with Chris Paul among the elite. Now, there's some question about it. Williams was one of the top free agents in the summer of 2012 class. There was questions about whether or not he'd re-sign with Brooklyn or go home and play with the Dallas Mavericks. He chose Brooklyn and signed a five year, $98 million contract. He's averaging under his career average in points, assists and field goal percentage, and his struggles led to Avery Johnson being recently fired as head coach.

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16. Nnamdi Asomugha

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At one point, there was a debate as to who the best corner in the NFL was, Asomugha or Darelle Revis. I think we now know the answer to that question. Asomugha may be cut by the Philadelphia Eagles this off-season. He only had one interception during 2012 and was benched in the second half of their last game of the season against the New York Giants. Whether or not he didn't fit in the Eagles scheme, he just isn't the same player he used to be.

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15. Ryan Matthews

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The former number one pick was expected to replace Ladanian Tomlinson as the San Diego Chargers running back. Now, a new regime in San Diego may think of replacing Matthews just three years later. Matthews only played in 12 games and started just nine of them. He rushed for 707 yards and just one touchdown. Matthews has battled injuries throughout his career and this year was no exception. He broke his right clavicle in the preseason and then broke his left clavicle in late December. He was also benched for fumbling.

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14. Jose Valverde

H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY

Valverde was coming off a perfect season in 2011. He didn't blow a save the entire season. Then came 2012. His saves dropped from 49 to 35. His ERA rose from 2.24 to 3.78. His strikeouts dipped from 69 all the way down to 48. He then became truly disappointing in the playoffs. After saving game one of the LDS he came in up 3-1 in game four against the Oakland A's. He gave up three runs and the team lost. Then in game one of the ALCS against the Yankees, he came in with a lead and gave up 4 runs. He wasn't used until game one of the World Series where he gave up two runs in just .1 of an inning. As of this post, he's a free agent and there are rumors of him retiring.

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13. Roberto Luongo

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Remember when the term Lebrongo was around back in 2011? Well, in 2012 Lebron James stepped his game up another level, Roberto Luongo did not. Luongo put up another steady regular season, going 31-14-8 during the regular season and helped to lead the Canucks to a President's Trophy. Then came the playoffs against the upstart Los Angeles Kings. Luongo lost games one and two and was benched for the rest of the series, a series that the Canucks would lose. When the sport resumes, there are rumors of him possibly being traded.

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12. Andrew Bynum

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Bynum's 2012 didn't start out too bad. He started out playing well. Then it kind of fell apart. Bynum was fined by the Lakers for not being a part of team huddles during timeouts. Bynum's contract option was exercised in the off-season. He was then a huge part of the four team Dwight Howard deal, and went to the Philadelphia 76ers. He's had knee issues in the past and they continued. A week before camp he got treatment, but the team held him out. He's also had a bone bruise on his right knee. It looked like he was coming back to play. Then he decided to bowl and hasn't been able to do anything since.

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11. Amar'e Stoudemire

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2012 was the first year that Stoudemire wasn't picked to the NBA All-Star Game since 2006. Then he suffered a bulging disc in his back. He came back as the New York Knicks took on the Miami Heat in the playoffs. After game two's defeat to the Heat, Stoudemire was so upset that he punched the glass case holding a fire extinguisher. His hand required stitches and he missed the rest of the series. Coming into training camp for 2012-2013, he was diagnosed with a cyst on his knee. After missing the first 30 games of the season, he made his return New Year's Day of 2013 and is coming off the bench.

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10. Alex Rodriguez

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Rodriguez was having a decent 2012 with the New York Yankees, being an important cog in the Yankee machine. Then he was hit by a Felix Hernandez fastball that broke his hand and he missed a little over a month. Then the playoffs came. He struggled in the playoffs before, but not to the point where he seemed to strikeout every time he got up to hit, plus was pinch hit for multiple times. He was also flirting with a model after being pinch hit for and stands to miss most of 2013 due to hip surgery.

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9. Tony Romo

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Romo has been an enigma, wrapped in a paradox for the Dallas Cowboys and their fans. He shows flashes of brilliance. On New Year's Day 2012, with the division on the line, the Cowboys lost to the New York Giants, and missed the playoffs. Romo's numbers declined in 2012 regular season, tying for the league lead in interceptions with Drew Brees. The Cowboys were again in a position to make the playoffs with a win or go home game against the Washington Redskins 363 days later. He threw three interceptions and the Cowboys were again eliminated.

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8. Matt Barkley

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USC was supposed to be playing for the BCS Championship and Matt Barkley was supposed to lead them there with the Heisman Trophy. Neither of those things happened. USC went to the Sun Bowl and lost to Georgia Tech and Barkley didn't even play after suffering a shoulder injury in their loss to UCLA. Barkley threw for fewer yards and touchdowns than in 2011. In the four losses that he played in. He threw 11 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, including their loss to Stanford, when he didn't throw a touchdown pass. It will be very interesting to see who grabs him in the 2013 NFL Draft.

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7. Mark Sanchez

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Speaking of USC quarterbacks, Mark Sanchez checks in at number seven. He clearly regressed from 2011, where he put up respectable stats. His touchdowns dropped from 26-13. His interceptions stayed at 18 and he fumbled 14 times and none more famous than his one Thanksgiving night. The Jets traded for Tim Tebow before the season, and whether that contributed to his lack of confidence or not, he did not play good football. Now the Jets are kind of stuck with him, because he got a contract extension from them last off-season and if they trade him it's a $17 million cap hit.

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6. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather

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Why am I grouping them together? Because they still haven't fought each other and at this point never will. They make Congress look like good negotiators. Mayweather only fought once in 2012, beating Miguel Cotto. He then went to jail for almost three months and is looking to make a return to the ring in 2013. Pacquiao fought twice in 2012 and lost both of them, including his being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez that spawned many a meme across the internet. He's apparently willing to take less money to fight Mayweather. Will it happen in 2013 or will we still wonder what will happen if these two face each other?

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5. Matthew Stafford

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

There is no question that Matthew Stafford has a ton of talent. That talent wasn't on display at it once was. Coming off a season where he threw for over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns, Stafford again came close to the 5,000 mark. The problem was, his touchdowns dropped from 41 to 20 and his interceptions went up from 16 to 17. His completion percentage went from above 60% to just under 60. His team also went from 10 wins and the playoffs to four wins. If the Lions can be more balanced on offense and find another wide receiver for him, he shouldn't be on this list come 2013.

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4. Tyrann Mathieu

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Honey Badger was supposed to contend again for the Heisman Trophy. He won the Chuck Bednarik award in 2011 and the sky was the limit. In August, it was announced that he would be dismissed from the team. There were rumors of failed drug tests. He then withdrew from LSU and enrolled in a drug rehab facility with hopes of returning to school for 2013. Then in October, he and three former teammates were arrested on drug possession charges. He declared for the NFL Draft and it will be interesting who takes a chance on him.

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3. Lance Armstrong

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Lance Armstrong was one of the best cyclists of all-time and an inspiration to those who were fighting their own battles with cancer. Let's be honest, you had a livestrong bracelet at one point in your life. This past June, that image of him was gone. The USADA accused Armstrong of doping and drug trafficking. Armstrong appealed and lost and in August was stripped of all his titles since August of 1998 and received a lifetime ban. After this decision, France's cycling authority wanted all the prize money Lance had won from his Tour De France wins. He had to resign from running his foundation and lost many sponsorship deals as well.

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2. NHL

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2012 wasn't all bad for the league. Revenues were up. Interest was up for the sport. Ratings started to come back, though not as high as it was in the early 2000's. They had a very entertaining Stanley Cup Playoffs. Then the off-season came and the new season has yet to begin. The NHL is having yet another work stoppage due to labor issues, its third since 1994. They lost the entire 2004-05 season and are about a week away from losing the entire 2012-13 season. There have been so many stops and starts between the two sides and the negotiations still go on. It's disappointing for a sport that was on the rise back to huge popularity. You wonder what the effects will be this time.

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1. Michael Vick

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2011 was no picnic for Vick either. This season was actually worse. He only played in 10 games due to a concussion and ineffectiveness. Vick threw for 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also fumbled 11 times. Vick helped cause the Eagles to be 28th in the league in Red Zone scoring percentage in the entire league. Vick's coach Andy Reid has been fired and it looks like Vick may follow Reid out the door. Vick's turnovers always seemed to be at the most inopportune times. The Eagles were a disappointing 4-12 and Vick was a big reason for that and now the Eagles have to retool their roster.

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