Patriots vs. Jets in the playoffs
Red Sox in September
There's really no argument here. The winner is the Red Sox and their epic September swoon.
What happened, on paper, was pretty bad. The Sox just kept losing. Then on the last night of the season, they had a chance to clinch a 163rd game with a win, and clinch the Wild Card with a Tampa Bay loss. The Sox had the lead, then Papelbon blew the game. Then the Rays came from behind and won. The season was over.
That was the heartbreaking, sad part. The blood-pumping, enraging part was how this collapse happened. This team had no character. They spent the year whining about NL rules in interleague play, and official scorers taking hits away from them.
There were a few classes of player in the Sox' clubhouse. There were troublemakers like Beckett and Lackey, who cared only about their paycheck and Popeye's chicken. There were followers like Lester, who went along with the troublemakers. There were introverted types like Ortiz who minded their own business, and Gonzalez who blamed God for anything bad. And there were very few motivated guys like Pedroia, Youkilis, and Papelbon, who were mocked for trying so hard.
The Sox became an out of shape rabble of miscreants who mocked those who actually tried hard. They were painful to watch on the field. And in the dugout, they didn't seem to care that they were failing.
One of the least likeable teams I've ever seen. At least expectations will be low for 2012.