Top five over-hyped athletes of 2012

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Endlessly obnoxious and ultimately disappointing

Braden Dupuis
Sports Writer

Tebow-mania, Lin-sanity, Bieber-fiever, the Mayan Apocalypse. What do these staples of 2012 all have in common?

The short answer is hype. Far-reaching, long-lasting, overstated hype brought about by an overzealous news media and the public’s burning desire to be distracted from anything that holds any semblance of real-life consequence.

Like every year before it, 2012 had no shortage of artificial hype. Gag-inducing buzzwords, bad puns and internet memes ruled the interwebz, and we lapped it up like never before.

Now that 2013 is upon us, we’ve got 12 fresh months of dick-punching hype to look forward to, but, just like a real punch in the dick, who wants to look forward to that?

WARNING: The rest of this article contains copious amounts of awful puns – some of which are about as subtle as a punch in the dick. You’ve been warned.

5. Taylor Hall

The Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League have been stockpiling young, talented draft picks for some time now, but have yet to see much in the way of net benefits.

Year after year, the young guns start promisingly enough only to flame out by mid-season and finish dead last. Not so in 2013. It has become quite obvious that the media will be showering Oilers’ third-year forward Taylor Hall with attention pretty much regardless of his performance.

The overwhelming media coverage will sweep the city of Edmonton into a frenzied state of Alco-Hall-ism, helping the Oilers take the next 12-steps to the playoffs.

4. Kory Sheets

Roughrider hype pretty much exists in a big, rectangular Saskatchewan vacuum, but at times it can suck so hard you wouldn’t even know it.

First-year Riders running back Kory Sheets was responsible for more than his share of headlines and bad puns in 2012, but the hype level never quite reached and obnoxious level.

The Rider hype machine will be firing on all cylinders come summertime, and Rider Nation will be fall head-over-heels for Kory Sheets once again.

3. R.A. Dickey

It’s hard to believe that a 38-year-old starting pitcher could generate a sustained erection, let alone sustained media hype, but in the barren sports wasteland that is Toronto, Dickey might as well be the second coming of Christ.

By the time the reigning Cy Young winner arrived in Toronto, the city’s baseball fans were already borderline incoherent from the hype of the previous month’s blockbuster trade involving Mark Buehrle and José Reyes.

The addition of Dickey and his greying knuckleballs threatens to push the city over the cliff of full-blown Dickey-lirium.

2. Orlando Cruz

Near the end of 2012, one sports story in particular caught my attention, but not because of catchy and clever puns or a cavalcade of media attention.

In early October, professional Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz became the first pro boxer to come out as openly gay while still competing professionally. This got me thinking: What in the fuck? Are we really this far behind? Is it possible that out of the hundreds and hundreds of professional athletes in North America that none of them are gay? Is there still that much stigma behind homosexuality that they can’t openly express who they are until they are no longer affiliated with pro sports? I suppose there is, and that’s a damn shame.

We can only hope that Cruz gets the ball rolling in the right direction, and 2013 sees a wave of media attention that openly challenges the homophobic culture of pro sports.

1. Fabe Dia

This French-Italian sprint-athlete who specializes in the 200-metre has been running under the radar for some time now, but 2013 is poised to be an explosive year for her.

After failing to qualify for the London games a hair, she could very well bring a plethora of medals in the next 12 months. You may think I chose Dia for the sole reason of wrestling a tastelessly obvious and clumsy pun into the final paragraph of this article, but that’s where you’re wrong.

I truly believe that, with the help of the media, an overwhelming, contagious batch of Dia-rrhea will soon wash across North America, making a punch in the dick look like brunch with grandma by comparison.

Photo courtesy of Marc Serota, Getty Image Files, Postmedia News

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