One of my favorite television shows of all time is The Wonder Years. In one episode, Kevin becomes friends (of sorts) with his school's star basketball player, Bobby Riddle. It's a bit of a one-sided relationship, tinged with admiration. When the team loses the big game and Kevin offers consolation afterward to the dejected hoopster, Bobby- for all intents and purposes- tells him to buzz off. Watching the scene leaves one more sympathetic to Riddle than that summary may, but it is the narrative nonetheless.
Later, Kevin sits at a diner with his dad, Jack. The former is being a dejected teen, and the latter--as he was prone to do--delivers a killer line: "Let me tell ya something, Kev... it's not easy being a hero."
Roy Halladay's heroism wasn't as easy in 2012. There was no division crown, no playoffs at all. None of his starts were perfect. No hitter? No. The injury to insult was ... injury. Suddenly, a fan base--nay, a nation--was faced with a frightening proposition: our hero seemed human, just like us. Men like Roy Halladay aren't supposed to be just like us.
In spite of the collective unrest, Halladay persevered. He fought through injury and returned to make his final starts of the season, however disappointing it all may have been. Halladay knew he wasn't where he wanted or needed to be to dominate, that each hit led to more whispers, more questions, more judgement from those who (truth be told) would give up every last bit of their 140 character snark to get their grubby hands on but a drop of the potion that concocts a career like the one Roy's had. He didn't care. Roy Halladay fought on, he worked harder than everyone else, and he pitched his heart out. Let me tell you something, donkey... it's not easy being a hero.
Roy Halladay is, and that's why he's ZWR's 2012 Man of the Year.