This collection of stunning visuals isn't necessarily about winning or losing moments, although some are included. It's a chance to appreciate the artistry of the photographs and the texture they can provide in reviewing the past year in sports.

Best Sports Photos Of 2012 Slideshow


Giants-Cowboys, 1/1

Fullback Henry Hynoski has a unique way of saying, "Hello, (Terence) Newman!"


Texans-Bengals, 1/1

Brian Cushing gets an overhead view of his teammates sacking Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton.


Alabama wins BCS title game, 1/9

Nick Saban doesn't seem to mind getting his hair mussed up here.


Wizards-Bulls, 1/11

Despite the agonized look on his face, John Wall doesn't miss any games for Washington.


Saints-49ers, 1/14

Drew Brees takes a big hit from San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith.


X Games, 1/28

Snowboarder Mark McMorris takes a practice run in Aspen.


Super Bowl, 2/5

Giants receiver Mario Manningham makes a catch that becomes an instant classic.


Super Bowl, 2/5

Being comforted by a supermodel helps take the sting out of losing the biggest game.


Slam Dunk Contest, 2/25

Jeremy Evans shows a flair for the creative, using teammate Gordon Hayward as a prop.


Linsanity, 2/29

Jeremy Lin has 13 assists in a blowout win for the Knicks against Cleveland.


Lehigh-Duke, 3/16

This type of hustle and desire from Justin Maneri helps Lehigh pull off the huge upset in the NCAA tournament.


Baylor-Colorado, 3/17

Carlon Brown of the Buffaloes goes down in a tournament loss to the Bears.


North Carolina-Kansas, 3/25

Harrison Barnes of the Tar Heels copes with the loss to the Jayhawks in the NCAA tournament.


Kraft Nabisco Championship, 4/1

Sun Young Yoo of Korea and caddie Adam Woodward take a celebratory plunge.


Sony Ericsson Open, 4/1

Maria Kirilenko shows a serious bounce in her step after winning the doubles title with Nadia Petrova.


NCAA Championship Game, 4/3

Brittney Griner sparks the Baylor Bears past Notre Dame to win the title.


Whitewater Olympic Trials, 4/14

James Wade is pleased with the way his final run went.


UFC 145, 4/21

Matt Brown connects against Stephen Thompson and wins the decision.


USA Diving Grand Prix, 5/11

Drew Livingstone prepares for a practice dive in Fort Lauderdale.


A's-Giants, 5/20

Collin Cowgill score from second base on a wild pitch by Tim Lincecum, who also pays the price on the play at the plate.


Lakers-Thunder, 5/21

Who's more pumped up by beating L.A.? Russell Westbrook or the Oklahoma City fans?


Rays-Red Sox, 5/25

Luke Scott gets testy with Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.


Derek Jeter, 6/6

Not quite the "Outlined against a blue-gray October sky" moment from Grantand Rice, but it's in the neighborhood.


Kings-Devils, 6/9

Here's another example of why the Stanley Cup playoffs are about battling for every inch of the ice.


Kings-Devils, 6/11

New Jersey winger David Clarkson rattles Trevor Lewis. But Los Angeles wins the Stanley Cup.


NASCAR At Michigan International Speedway, 6/17

Denny Hamlin heads to the pit where his crew is waiting with fire extinguishers.


College World Series, 6/25

Arizona's Robert Refsnyder scores the go-ahead run in the ninth inning against South Carolina.


Australian Football, 7/1

Is there an "illegal hands to the face" penalty like in the NFL?


Orioles Fans, 7/18

Mark Reynolds' effort to catch a foul pop draws some interesting reactions.


Breaking Of The Bat, 7/24

Allen Craig of the Cardinals ends up holding a useless stump.


Opening Ceremony, 7/27

The Red Arrows perform a flyover at the London Olympic Stadium.


Olympic Weightlifting, 7/30

Un Guk Kim of North Korea sets a world record.


Sunset At Coors Field, 8/3

The Rockies and Giants play at dusk in Denver.


Olympic Swimming, 8/4

Missy Franklin is part of the U.S. team that wins the 4x100-meter medley relay.


Olympic Steeplechase, 8/5

Silver medalist Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France celebrates with gold medalist Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya.


McKayla Maroney, 8/5

A silver medal doesn't sit well with the U.S. gymnast.


Olympic Discus, 8/7

Robert Harting of Germany auditions for "The Hulk" sequel after winning gold in London.


Kerri Walsh, 8/8

The volleyball champ celebrates another Olympic gold with her two sons.


The Flag Hug, 8/8

Jason Richardson and Carmelita Jeter celebrate with each other and Old Glory.


Olympic Decathlon, 8/9

Ashton Eaton gets ready to run the 110-meter hurdles event.


Olympic 5,000 Meters, 8/11

Britain's Mo Farah takes the gold.


Ump Thumped, 8/15

Greg Gibson gets the worst of it on this play at the plate involving Torii Hunter of the Angels.


Lions-Ravens, 8/17

Baltimore running back Bobby Rainey gets the most out of his stiff-arming Detroit's Jonte Green.


MLS, 8/22

Richard Eckersley of Toronto takes it in the face from Federico Higuain of Columbus.


San Francisco Rainbow, 9/5

The Giants and Diamondbacks play under this picturesque setting.


U.S. Open, 9/9

Serena Williams wins her fourth title by rallying to beat Victoria Azarenka.


Notre Dame-Michigan State, 9/15

Stephon Tuitt's sack of Spartans quarterback Andrew Maxwell also causes a fumble.


Replacements Refs, 9/24

This debacle at the end of the Packers-Seahawks game on Monday Night Football prompts a quick resolution to the labor dispute between the NFL and its officials.


America's Cup, 10/6

The Oracle Team flips over in San Francisco Bay.


Derek Jeter, 10/13

The Yankee captain makes the play on the ball but breaks his ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Tigers.


Ohio-Miami, 10/27

Landon Smith of the Bobcats hangs on to the ball for a first down, despite this head-first landing.


Breeders Cup, 10/31

Horses head to the stable after a training session at Santa Anita Park.


Colts-Jaguars, 11/8

Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck scores a hard-earned touchdown in the trenches.


Battle Of The Midway, 11/11

Syracuse and San Diego State play basketball on the USS Midway aircraft carrier.


John Daly, 11/15

Decked out in a patriotic garb, Daly fights out of a tough spot at the Hong Kong Open.


Notre Dame-USC, 11/24

Theo Riddick of the Irish and Jawanza Starling of the Trojans both go for the head shot.


Boxing, 12/1

Daniel Jacobs creates a spray of blood with this punch to the face of Chris Fitzpatrick at Madison Square Garden.


Tyson Chandler, 12/2

The Knicks center has a distinctive way of loosening up before the game.


Bo Ryan, 12/2

The Wisconsin basketball coach gets pretty fired up for a game so early in the season.


Packers-Bears, 12/16

Another "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" classic.

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