The Vamos Brigade Awards 2012
by MAC

2012 has not been an easy year to be a Rafa fan. For the last six months we have been grasping at any straws of information as we do our best to wait patiently for his return to the court. We can't let the year close, however, without gathering for the year's climax as we reveal the winners of the Vamos Brigade Awards 2012.

What was the best tournament of 2012?

There weren't that many contenders for this title. It came down to a vote between Monte Carlo and Roland Garros with the latter polling 82% of the vote.

Rafa Nadal
Screencap by MAC

What was the best match of 2012?

The nominees were the Australian Open quarter final and final. the Rome quarter final, the Monte Carlo final and the Roland Garros final. The runaway winner, with 64% of the vote, was the Roland Garros final.

What was the best point of 2012?

The winner (with 43% of the vote) was from the Australian Open Semifinal against Roger Federer. It's the 6th game of the third set with Federer serving at 0-30, 2-3 and this is Rafa's passing shot from waaaaay off the court to give him three break points.

What was your favourite on court moment?

With 51% of the vote, the winner is from Monte Carlo during the warmup for his round 16 match against Kukushkin. There was an enormous clap of thunder which made Rafa duck (and those of us watching jump too far out of our skins to get a picture). This shows his post-startle reaction:

What was your favourite on court outfit?

It was a very tight vote between the peach and gray clay tournament outfit (46%) and the winner (54%) but the Roland Garros outfit just edged it.

Rafa Nadal
Taken by MAC at Roland Garros

What was your favourite off-court outfit?

The white shirt and jeans from his TV appearance on El Hormiguero blasted all other contenders off the court with 75% of the vote.

Rafa Nadal
Screencap by MAC

What was your favourite off-court moment?

The hands down winner, with 76% of the vote, was when Rafa climbed up into the stands after his victory at Roland Garros. (Starting at 2:22 on this video.)


What was your favourite quote about Rafa?

71% of the vote went to this quote from David Ferrer, from an article in the New York Times.

"Not to say that Iím close to lots of stars and famous people, but Rafa is the most down-to-earth and humble star that I know," Ferrer said.
"Irrespective of how good a tennis player he is, I think heís a better person than a tennis player. And I think weíre all lucky to have someone like Rafa, more because of the kind of person he is than because of the kind of tennis player he is. Heís normal. He plays tennis, but tennis is a sport and life goes on, and Rafa handles it really well. He doesnít give more importance to tennis than it deserves. I see it the same way. Being an athlete is not worth more than another job. Itís just more recognized than most other jobs."

What was your favourite Rafa quote?

The winner (with 56% of the vote) was a remark made by Rafa as he walked into a freezing cold press conference room at Wimbledon (as tweeted by ?@CarolineCheese): -

"The penguins didn't came?"

What was your favorite Facebook picture of Rafa?

This is the first time we have run this poll and there were a lot of choices. This one just narrowly squeaked the victory with 24% of the vote :-

Rafa Nadal

What would you most like to see happen in 2013?

What we would all most like to see is a return of Rafa to the courts, able to play injury free. These are the results of the voting on the other things we'd like to happen. Sadly, completing a calendar slam is something we now know to be impossible.

Regain Year-End No. 1 ranking 14%  14% 
Complete a Calendar Slam (win all four Majors in 2013) 29%  29% 
Win Roland Garros for the 8th time 31%  31% 
Win Wimbledon for the 3rd time 16%  16% 
Win a Masters 1000 tournament that he hasn't won before 1%  1% 
Play in the Paris Masters 0%  0% 
Win Monte Carlo again for a record-setting nine years in a row 7%  7% 

A very healthy and happy 2013 to everybody!