Welcome, 2013. Fair warning, the bar has been raised.
The past year was like no other for this sports scribe.
My view, on more than one occasion, was through the eyes of my infant son, who made his debut in February. Oftentimes, I tried to explain to him what had transpired during a sporting event on television, or attempted to articulate the magnitude of a particular accomplishment.
He might not understand the details, I thought, but he could certainly comprehend exuberance.
A priceless moment occurred Sunday night after I returned home from the Daily Mail newsroom. I cracked open the door to the living room and found my bubbly, giggly 10-month-old boy decked out in a burgundy and gold onesie.
We watched the first quarter of the Cowboys-Redskins regular season finale before he curled up with his blanket and drifted to sleep. He missed the Washington Redskins clinching the franchise's first NFC East title since the last millennium.
It's been a year of firsts in sports ... and my boy has witnessed it all in his own year of firsts.
In early March, my son wasn't even a month old - and hadn't been home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit but a few days - when Marshall made its first-ever dash to the Conference USA men's basketball championship game. That followed the Herd partaking in the highest-scoring C-USA tournament game ever, a 105-100 triple-overtime semifinal triumph over Tulsa.
During the dog days of summer, I'd sit the boy on my lap and gush over a couple of baseball's rookie phenoms, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.
Trout, the American League Rookie of the Year and runner-up for the MVP, was the first player in Major League history with 30 home runs, 45 steals and 125 runs in a season. He was also the youngest to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases, and the first rookie to hit 30 round-trippers and swipe 40 bags.
Harper, who played most of the season as a teenager, won the National League's top rookie honor a summer after playing a five-game series against the West Virginia Power in Charleston.
My son's first summer also included an unprecedented three perfect games in one season and the first Triple Crown winner in baseball (Miguel Cabrera) since 1967.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Summer Games, given that my boy arrived on an Olympics year. This year's Olympics marked the first time that each of the 205 participating countries had a female representative, and it was the first time the United States had more female Olympians than male.
And then we have the football firsts this fall.
WVU became gridiron goats after plummeting from the top 5 of national polls to unranked during its first five-game losing streak since 1986. That downward spiral included a 41-point home loss to Kansas State, which almost became the Mountaineers' worst defeat in Morgantown - at any venue - since the program's first ever football game on Nov. 28, 1891.