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The most influential guitarists of 2012

Illustration of a guitarist

You may remember that last month I posted the first article in our "Most influential of 2012" series. I asked people who write about drumming who they thought was the most influential drummer of 2012.

This time the series focuses on guitarists. Whole lists have been published on this subject, with Rolling Stones' "100 Greatest Guitarists" article perhaps the best known. So we know who the best and most influential guitarists of all time are, but who brought something new to the art in 2012 specifically? That is the question I asked a number of bloggers, and I received a couple great responses.

The first to get back to me was Josh Evitt, a guitar player from Nashville, TN, who writes at Guitar Lifestyle. Evitt told me about a blues-rocker whose impact was really felt last year.

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NHL 2013

The NHL lockout stole three months of hockey, including 34 games per team, the Winter Classic, and the 2013 NHL All-Star Game; understandably, it upset many, many hockey fans. When the lockout officially ended, teams went into full fan repair mode, in an attempt to win back all those fans who were sick of players and owners squabbling over money, something both parties had a lot more of than the average fan. Now that the season has been back for a little over a month now, have the fans come back?

The answer is.... yes!

Oh, and the answer kinda is no, too.

Let me explain — unlike the other major sports leagues, the NHL and its franchises are really divided into two classes: the haves and the have-nots. Hockey-crazed fan bases, which include mostly cities in Canada and the Northeast U.S., have returned in full force, filling arenas on a nightly basis. According to ESPN.com's attendance figures, all seven teams located north of the border have 100% attendance or better so far this season. Same goes for major hockey markets including Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and Detroit. Some of those have even improved from last season.

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The most influential drummers of 2012

Photo of a drummer in action

2012 may now be history, but there is still a little more to talk about before we leave it behind, such as finding out who were the most influential artists of 2012. Over the next month or so, I'll post opinions on the topic from artists, commentators, teachers, and others, with whom they thought were the best artists in a number of roles. This week we start with drummers.

You often hear a lot about singers and guitarists, but for most bands drummers are a crucial part. Their playing can really make a good song what it is, and their skill on the set can influence generations of drummers after them, just as guitarists can influence future guitarists. So, with that in mind, I set out to ask some folks who actually drum who they thought was the most influential drummer of 2012.

My first respondent was Adam Silverman. Since late 2011, Silverman has been the drummer for country artist Lauren Alaina, the runner-up on season 10 of American Idol. He also blogs at his site adamdrums.com. Silverman told me about the drummer for Jason Aldean, who Alaina toured with last year.

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NFL Week 1 Recap: Peyton Manning debuts and RGIII dominates

The first week of the NFL season is now in the books and it did not disappoint. Teams like the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens proved they were worthy of all the off-season hype that surrounded their teams, while others like the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions stumbled, but won, in their opening games. With that being said, there were a few moments that stood out above all else in the opening week of the 2012 NFL Season:

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Peyton Manning's stellar debut in Denver

When Peyton Manning decided to sign with Denver in the offseason, speculation began about whether or not Manning was fully recovered from his neck injury that cost him all of last season. Well, the future Hall-of-Famer silenced all of his doubters. Manning threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns, helping Denver to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19 on Sunday night. The Broncos now head to Atlanta to face the Falcons on Monday Night Football.

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This is awesome: David Akers makes 63-yard field goal

I'm not normally a football fan, but this is ridiculously impressive even for me. In case you missed it, in yesterday's game vs. the Packers, the San Francisco 49ers' David Akers made a record-tying 63-yard field goal. Only three other players in history have accomplished the feat, including two who made the goal in very thin air at Denver's Mile High Stadium and one who was using a controversial modified shoe. So this is a big deal.

Click the link above to see the video of the shot. My favorite moments in the video:
1. 11 seconds: the thud when the football hits the goal post, and most of the Green Bay fans think they've managed to avoid the 49ers' point gain.
2. 14 seconds: the moment when the crowd quiets down, because they realize that the point gain has, in fact, happened.
3. 37 seconds: the field goal is ALMOST blocked by a Packer, due to the very long distance and the very low trajectory of the punt.
4. 43 seconds: Akers' face when he realizes what he has just done. It's almost like he can't believe it himself.

What do you think? Was there a better moment in football yesterday? Let us know in the comments.

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