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BOO 2012

Sports & Recreation - Staff Picks

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Orlando Hurling Club


Best one foot in, one foot out

Dwight Howard

The headlines spattered out like the promo reel of a soap opera drama: Dwight Howard seeks trade; Howard loves Orlando, says he'll stay; Howard calls for Stan Van Gundy firing; Howard's loyalty questioned. And then after the months-long saga, Howard winds up benched with a season-ending back injury (yippee!). In the end, our city's most fair-weathered player stays (for now), but Van Gundy's out and the Orlando Magic is left picking up the pieces. These are the days of our lives.


Best jet-set weekend

NBA All-Star Game

Our city's duties hosting the 2012 NBA All-Star Game went beyond just the courtside amusements. A cluster of A-list celebrities – Kevin Hart, Floyd Mayweather, Diddy, among others – descended on Orlando's hottest nightlife spots to throw red-carpet cocktail soirees, high-end comedy showcases and DJ club parties. After all of the lockout back-and-forth this season, this year's All-Star weekend proved to be a huge boost for not only the NBA, but also for the city of Orlando.


Best football game where halftime is the main event

Florida Classic

Each year for nearly 35 years, thousands of fans have gathered at the Florida Citrus Bowl for this annual college-football showdown between Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M. Some fans attend for the game-time action, some only go to experience the renowned halftime marching-band spectacle. So the immeasurably dark shadow cast over this Central Florida tradition, after last year's post-game hazing death of FAMU's Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion, pains us. Florida A&M's marching band has been suspended for the year as a result of band member's actions that may have caused Champion's death, so it might be a while before the Classic is restored to its former glory – when it is, we hope the school's band has cleaned up its act and can remind us why it is that we really love the Classic.


Best attempt to keep fans occupied during the NBA lockout

Tampa Bay Lightning play at Amway Center

There was a time early last fall when Orlando Magic fans twiddled their thumbs while they waited for the end of the drawn-out NBA lockout. In an effort to curb fans' jock itch (and supposedly broaden the hockey fan base), the city invited the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Amway Center for an icy bout with the St. Louis Blues. The arena's inability to execute an appropriate rink floor (a giant hole opened up during the game), plus the Lightning's slow-pace (and losing) efforts disappointed fans craving a basketball bounce-back.


Best game-time decision

Orlando Predators season opener strike

Labor negotiations had plagued the Arena Football League for months leading up to the season opener scheduled at Amway Center in March. The players union demanded a salary bump, and on game day the Preds' players threatened an on-field strike. Within two hours of game time, the league fired the entire rosters of both the Orlando Predators and visiting opponents Pittsburgh Power. (They were notified during their pre-game meal.) Replacement players (including former UCF quarterback Kyle Israel) took to the field that night and the game ended in a 40-26 Predators loss.

Best of Orlando 2012
  • Local Color - Reader' Picks This year's Best of Orlando issue was written, edited, tallied, combined and compiled with the blood, sweat and tears of Marcus Griggs, Holly V. Kapherr, Faiyaz Kara... | 7/18/2012
  • Local Color - Staff Picks Gracing the cover of Orlando Weekly's 2012 Best of Orlando issue is no sweat, when you're Jose Melendez. Better known as Orlando's Mr. Gold, Melendez is the... | 7/18/2012
  • Goods & Services - Reader' Picks Best adult entertainment store 1st Fairvilla Megastore, 1740 N. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-425-6005; 7631 | 7/18/2012
  • Goods & Services - Staff Picks Nameplates! Doorknockers! Gucci bamboo hoops! Cuban links, herringbones, dookie ropes! Medallions! Dog tags! Caps and grills! On strictly utilitarian... | 7/18/2012
  • Food & Drink - Reader' Picks Best Caribbean 1st Bahama Breeze, multiple locations, bahamabreeze.com 2nd Mama Millie's, 12273 University Blvd., 407-382-3570, mamamillies.com | 7/18/2012
  • Food & Drink - Staff Picks Best attention-grabber beverage Beet & green apple juice from Café 118 | 7/18/2012
  • Music & Nightlife - Staff Picks If you're afraid of heights, stay away: Aptly named after its striking 180-degree view of downtown Orlando, this chic sanctuary sits at the top of Amway Center's... | 7/18/2012
  • Music & Nightlife - Reader' Picks Best Club DJ 1ST Baby Lac, @djbabylac 2ND Lemy Currey, facebook.com/lemycurrey 3rd Jimmy Joslin, facebook.com/JimmyJoslin | 7/18/2012
  • Arts & Culture - Reader' Picks Best Arts Event/Festival 1st The Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, orlandofringe.org 2nd Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org 3rd Nude Nite Art Exposé, nudenite.com | 7/18/2012
  • Arts & Culture - Staff Picks Best public art that doubles as a weapon "Symphony," 1989, by Paul Marco Mennello Museum of American Art 900 East Princeton Street 407-246-4278 mennellomuseum.com If you've ever thought of an "ice knife" as the perfect murder weapon (it melts! No finger | 7/18/2012
  • Sports & Recreation - Reader' Picks Best billiards hall 1st Sportstown Billiards, 2414 E. Robinson St., 407-894-6258, sportstownbilliards.com 2nd Cue-Phoria Billiards and Café, 2050 Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, 321-972-1867, cuephoria.com 3rd Trick Shots Billiards, multiple locations | 7/18/2012
  • Sports & Recreation - Staff Picks First word we received about this Gaelic jumble of a sport was when Orlando Hurling Club hosted their Clash of the Ash tournament last September. | 7/18/2012
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