Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Days like this don't come around too often.
Today is December 12, 2012. That's right, 12/12/12.
The last time we could say that, neither World War had been fought yet, the Titanic had just sunk and Babe Ruth was only 17 years old. Facebook and Instagram hadn't been invented yet either (gasp).
I doubt I'll be alive the next time the calendar reads 12/12/12 (Though Ricky Bobby might be. In the movie "Talladega Nights," the race car driver insists he'll live to be at least 245 thanks to "advances in modern science" and his "high level of income.") so let's celebrate this historic event for what it's worth. In honor of 12/12/12, I now present to you fantasy's top 12 No. 12s.
Quick note before we begin: I only included current athletes so don't expect to find Terry Bradshaw, Jim Kelly and Joe Namath on this list.
Okay, now we can start:
12. Evan Turner, Guard/Forward, Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers drafted Turner with the second overall pick back in 2010 and now he's finally starting to play like it. After averaging just 8.2 ppg in his first two seasons, the former Ohio State Buckeye is posting a career-best 15 ppg in 2012-13. He knocked in a season-high 26 last Friday in a win over Boston.
11. Jarome Iginla, Right wing, Calgary Flames: When the NHL lockout eventually gets resolved, you can expect Iginla to be among the league's top scorers. The six-time All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist for Team Canada is Calgary's all-time points leader with 1,073 points (516 goals, 557 assists) in 1,188 career games. Iginla, the first black player to be captain of an NHL team, led the Flames to within one game of the Stanley Cup back in 2004.
10. Alfonso Soriano, Outfielder, Chicago Cubs: We all know it's usually feast or famine with the notoriously free-swinging Soriano. Fortunately for fantasy owners, the 36-year-old's 2012 campaign was mostly feast. He bopped 32 dingers last season, his most since 2007 when he slugged 33 round-trippers. Soriano's 108 RBI in 2012 were a career-high.
9. Patrick Marleau, Center, San Jose Sharks: Marleau, San Jose's all-time points leader with 830, wasn't quite as prolific last season as he has been in years past (30 goals, 34 assists) but the 33-year-old can definitely still bring it. The Sharks will almost certainly raise Marleau's No. 12 to the rafters whenever he decides to finally hang up his skates.
8. Marques Colston, Wide receiver, New Orleans Saints: Colston, a seventh- round pick out of Hofstra back in 2006, has quietly put together an excellent career. Right now, Colston is putting the finishing touches on his fourth straight 1,000-yard season. Earlier this year, the 29-year-old passed Joe Horn for the most receiving touchdowns in New Orleans history.
7. Eric Staal, Center, Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes' captain was 21st in the league in scoring last season (70 points) and since entering the league in 2003-04, Staal has averaged almost 72 points per season. Staal has also been among the league's most durable players, missing just 14 games in eight NHL seasons.
6. Percy Harvin, Wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings: Maybe it's a little premature to have Harvin this high on the list but before his season-ending ankle injury, Harvin had been one of the most productive receivers in the NFL in 2012 (62 catches, 677 yards in nine games). Harvin emerged as quarterback Christian Ponder's favorite target this season and he should have a bright future ahead of him as long as he can stay healthy.
5. LaMarcus Aldridge, Forward, Portland Trail Blazers: Aldridge has been on the cusp of super-stardom for several years now and this might be the season the 27-year-old finally takes the next step. So far, he's averaging 21 ppg to go along with 8.3 rebounds per contest. Those numbers are about par for the course but Aldridge's 1.3 blocks per game represent a major improvement in that area and an added bonus for fantasy owners who drafted Aldridge simply for his scoring prowess.
4. Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts: Who cares if he leads the league in interceptions? Luck has obliterated NFL defenses for 3,792 yards this season and should easily eclipse Cam Newton's rookie record in that statistic (4,051 yards in 2011). Luck has also become a master at fourth quarter comebacks and has already led the Colts to seven more wins than they had all of last season. If Luck doesn't beat out Robert Griffin III for the Rookie of the Year, he'll probably be the best rookie to ever not win the award.
3. Dwight Howard, Center, Los Angeles Lakers: Love him or hate him, there's no debating that Howard is the best big man we've seen in the league since Shaq was in his prime. He rebounds (12.6 rpg), he blocks shots (2.6 bpg). He even wins dunk contests. He's basically Superman. Well, except when it comes to free throw shooting (48.8 percent). Mike D'Antoni can fix that though, right?
2. Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers: Coming in at No. 2 is Mr. Discount Double-Check himself. The 2011 NFL MVP is having another brilliant year for the first place Packers. He's fifth in the league in quarterback rating and only Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have thrown for more touchdowns. And unlike the last two quarterbacks I just named, Rodgers can actually run a little bit (234 yards on 46 carries this season for an average of 5.1 yards per rush).
1. Tom Brady, Quarterback, New England Patriots: Did you see his game against the Texans on Monday night? The man is unstoppable. Seriously, is there anything Brady can't do? He even makes wearing Uggs look cool. I don't know about you but I'm already counting down the days until Brady's rematch with Eli Manning in Super Bowl XLVII (53 days away for those of you who were wondering).
Honorable mention: Lance Berkman, Eric Bledsoe, Andrew Bogut, Robert Meachem, A.J. Pierzynski and Mark Reynolds
So happy 12/12/12, everybody! And remember, only 36,524 days until we can celebrate this again.