Top 12 of 2012 (#1-#4)

In the final installment of looking back at 2012 and highlighting my Top 12 articles of the year, I walk through my top four (list 9-12 is here and 5-8 is here).

4. The first week of 2012 offered a Sports Illustrated print article on new Nike-made technology used primarily for football and soccer training. The story that took me to Portland and Eugene to cover the new Vapor Strobe glasses and see them in use on the campus of the University of Oregon. I also chatted with Greg Jennings, among others, about his use. Take a look at my SI article here and a teaser to the SI piece on TIME here.

3. As a magazine writer, live event coverage isn’t a regular assignment any longer, but I enjoyed covering a losing Vancouver Canucks team in Rogers Arena on deadline for Sports Illustrated, trying to have fun with the writing along the way. It wasn’t fun because the Canucks lost (I also covered the team’s Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 loss for SI and TIME in 2011, so was hoping they could return to the Finals), but it made the article more interesting, or so I thought. See what you think here.

2. A dream combination of Olympic and sports technology/apparel happened in one article for Popular Mechanics, pinpointing what new features we could expect for London. I chatted with designers from some of the major apparel brands to see what they were rolling out for London-bound athletes and the reporting included a trip to Italy. Read the result here.

1. In what was one of my most well-read articles of the year, I took time to chat with Christian musicians, such as Lecrae and TobyMac, for a TIME article to discuss their rise in the secular charts, the role their music plays in culture and how they see the genre interacting in the music industry. The article led to a spin-off Q&A in TIME print with Lecrae (behind a paywall). To read the main article, visit here.

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TIME.com article looking at the Christian music boom

In September, I tackled an article for TIME.com on the sudden rise of Christian artists on the Billboard and iTunes charts. I was able to track down both Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae (in between soccer games I was coaching on a Saturday morning) and hip-hop/pop artist TobyMac. Using interviews with both of those artists, plus others in the industry, I put together a longish-form article for TIME.com Entertainment, which can be found here. I also had part of the Q&A with Lecrae in the print edition of TIME that same week.