DETROIT (WWJ) – Sometimes a look back at the year can just be brutal but Michigan had some real bright spots and ‘pull at the heartstring’ uplifting stories this past year. Let’s take a stroll down ‘happy lane’ which includes shining innovation for the city of Detroit and feel good stories throughout the year.

This might be a case of the ‘glass is half full’  but the Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford continues show class under pressure (alright … losses) and could have turned on teammates but shoulders the ups and downs for the team, even when we know that fingers could point in several areas.

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Earlier this year Stafford appeared in a Monday Night Football commercial, which many know by the line “it’s my new shirt.”

Stafford, who played at Georgia, was featured in another spot with the Georgia mascot spilling water from the water cooler on the floor. Too bad for him it looks as if he had an “accident.” Stafford reacts to the “accident” in the  commercial that you can see, here.

Detroit’s sporting news continued to fascinate as Justin Verlander did or did not date hot model Kate Upton, and the Detroit Tigers got into World Series.

Really now, how cool was it to sweep the Yankees. You know everyone in the country (except maybe those crybaby New Yorkers) loved watching that series!

Max Scherzer capped a stupendous stretch for Detroit’s starting rotation, and the Tigers advanced to the World Series for the second time in seven years by beating the New York Yankees 8-1 for a four-game sweep of the AL championship series.  (With the final out audio)

A massive celebration took place in Detroit as the Tigers won the American League pennant.

You may recall that the Tigers then lost the World Series to the red-hot  San Francisco Giants but the Yankee series was a FANtastic run.

We had local Olympic stars – like boxer, U.S. middleweight Claressa Shields, of Flint, winning the Olympic gold medal in August, capping her swift rise to the top of women’s boxing with a 19-12 victory over Russia’s Nadezda Torlopova.

The 17-year-old Shields shuffled, danced and slugged her way past her 33-year-old opponent, showing off the free-spirited style and brute strength that made her unbeatable in London.

Shields even stuck her tongue out at Torlopova after ducking a few punches.

Two metro-area swimmers medaled on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Center.

In June, Schmitt has added another race to her growing Olympic schedule, winning the 200-meter freestyle at the U.S. swimming trials, breaking her own 200 freestyle record.

A 9-year-old boy got national attention and stole the hearts of metro Detroiters for his efforts to raise money to help out the financially strapped city of Detroit and turned over nearly $3,000 to the Detroit City Council.

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Joshua Smith gained notoriety nationwide as the “lemonade kid,”  and was officially recognized by council members for efforts to raise money for city parks.

Joshua said he was “really upset” when he heard on the radio that the city was in crisis. He then came up with the plan to raise money by selling lemonade and popcorn from a stand outside his home.

The flyer for the stand read: “May you please help the City of Detroit. Please buy this popcorn and drinks. It’s not so expensive. I didn’t make it expensive so you would have to spend all your money. The money will help clean up trash on the ground and cut the grass in the parks.”

Let’s hope he runs for office when he’s older and doesn’t forget his easy to digest approach to attacking big issues.

Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR championship in November. The Rochester Hills native is now the first Michigander to win the Sprint Cup Championship.

Keselowski clinched the title when fellow title contender Jimmie Johnson pulled out of the season finale because of a parts failure.

Here’s a tweet for Brad Keselowski: NASCAR champion.

Roger Penske must like the sound of that, too. The championship is the first for longtime NASCAR owner Roger Penske.

The kid who stole the show at the season-opening Daytona 500 ended the year under the biggest spotlight of them all Sunday, beating five-time champion Jimmie Johnson to deliver the first Sprint Cup championship to Penske Racing.

Arts, Beats and Eats, now situated in Royal Oak, continued its’ successful run and brought thousands into the small city to enjoy great music, creative artists and some fine eats!

Let’s hope that 2012 is also the year that began the trend in rising real estate prices.

After several years of depressed real estate prices; Home sales and prices both rose across metro Detroit in June, according to the Farmington Hills real estate information provider Realcomp II Ltd. Sales in the region as a whole were 6,491 homes and condos in June, up 5.3 percent from 6,163 a year earlier.

The region’s median sale price also advanced, by 21.4 percent, to $85,000 from $70,000 a year earlier. The median sales price is the highest in Oakland County since 2008 and the highest for Wayne County since 2007.

Homes appear to be selling more quickly as well, with the average number of days on the market for homes declining to 81 days from 90 days a year earlier.

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Let us know what you think was one of the better stories from Michigan in 2012 …