How ignoble was 2012? It was a year in which our idols fell from their pedestals only to land on our leaders, who had already toppled from their own heights. The shame spiral began on January 3, when Rick Perry lost his first election ever, the Iowa caucuses in the GOP presidential primary. The guv-who-would-be-prez limped along for a few more weeks, tweeting strange photos, but before the month was out, he was too. Next to tumble was the lite guv, David Dewhurst, a.k.a. the Dew (and now a.k.a. the Don’t), who entered his primary contest, for U.S. senator, as one of the wealthiest politicians ever to stroll Congress Avenue. Within months he was reduced to a pile of ashes by rookie campaigner and Peter Sellers–look-alike Ted Cruz. Well, perhaps the national pastime would restore our faith. On the strength of Josh Hamilton’s bat, the Rangers were favorites to return to the World Series—at least until the slugger’s epic midsummer collapse, followed by his epic effort to show how much he didn’t care.
But by far the hardest to fall was seven-time Tour de France winner (and four-time Texas Monthly cover boy) Lance Armstrong. In August, after denying for years that he’d used performance-enhancing drugs ever at all in any situation and you’d better watch out if you keep suggesting it, buddy, the famously intense competitor announced that he wouldn’t fight the charges put forth in a new U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that made a blisteringly convincing case that, well, he had. In short order, the Plano native was stripped of his Tour titles, dumped by his corporate sponsors, and, for all we know, asked to return priz es from old Happy Meals. But there’s one thing those bastards can never take from him: He’s our 2013 Bum Steer of the Year!