The year gone by was fast, it was furious, it was enthralling. In other words, it delivered exactly what we'd hoped for. Here, we take a look at the moments and matches that will live on long after 2011 has ridden off into the sunset.
In this, the first of two parts, we look at the big talking points from the from the opening six months of the year.
January: Djokovic lays down the gauntlet in Australia
When Novak Djokovic landed in Melbourne, few could have predicted what was to come. Sure, the Serbian had just won the Davis Cup in December 2010, but he was considered a mere dark horse for the title at Melbourne Park, with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal expected to duke it out for the umpteenth time.
Well, the tennis world was in for a shock. David Ferrer took care of Nadal, while Djokovic took care of Federer himself with a straight-sets bashing before thrashing Andy Murray in straight sets to win his second Grand Slam.
It was the beginning of one of the most remarkable runs in recent tennis history.
Djokovic did not lose a match until the semi-finals of the French Open in June, and by the time he had added Wimbledon and the US Open to his trophy haul, his win-loss record stood at 66-2.
February: Rodgers leads Packers to Super Bowl XLV
When the Green Bay Packers met the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl, it was a clash between two of the most successful sides in NFL history.
It was little surprise then, that it was one of the most eagerly-anticipated Super Bowls in recent memory. Fans from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania flocked to the Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas and were treated to a rousing encounter. The Steelers went down 14-0 before cutting the deficit to 28-25 with seven minutes left.
It was not to be their day though, as Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers orchestrated things magnificently - completing 24 of 39 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns to hand Mike McCarthy's men a slice of history.
March: Political unrest KOs Bahrain Grand Prix
After months without Formula One action, fans were salivating at the prospect of the season-opener at Bahrain.
It was not to be. Political unrest and civic strife in the country put all thoughts of sport to the back of people's minds, and quite rightly, the race was called off.
"When you hear of people losing their lives, this is a tragedy," said Mark Webber.
"It's probably not the best time to go there for a sporting event.
"They have bigger things, bigger priorities."
Webber was spot on, and the FIA did the right thing by calling it off. Eventually the F1 season started in Melbourne, Australia later in the month and after months of trying to find a slot for it, supremo Bernie Ecclestone was forced to scrap the race from the 2011 calendar.
April: India conquer the world
It was the moment a country of 1.2 billion had been waiting for an age. Nearly 28 years had passed from the time Mohinder Amarnath trapped Michael Holding leg before wicket to win India the Cricket World Cup in 1983 until Mahendra Singh Dhoni smote Nuwan Kulasekara over long-on to bring home cricket's biggest prize for the second time on April 2, 2011.
In 28 years, youngsters had grayed, grown men had become grandfathers and an entire generation had come of age. India had changed drastically in every way, but one. The craving for the World Cup had remained as strong. Scrap that - it had turned from a longing into a national obsession.
That is why that night at the Wankhede will go down as one of the most delirious in India's history. A nation celebrated for its diversity celebrated in unison once again.
It's only a game? The events of April 2 proved it was so much more.
May: Pacquiao continues to be Top Dog
The world's most popular boxer rose to the occasion yet again - outpointing "Sugar" Shane Mosley in Las Vegas to retain his WBO welterweight title and add to his legend.
The Mosley camp had been in bullish mood prior to the fight, claiming they had found the answer to the Pacman puzzle.
"You know, like in school, when they'd give you an answer to a problem you'd been having a tough time with. The answer is so simple you feel stupid," said Mosley's trainer Naazim Richardson.
"I understand this is a legendary fighter, but how didn't people see this?" he continued. "[Pacquiao's] speed is incredible, we got that. But if a bullet misses you, it's harmless."
Well, the bullets didn't miss their mark and even though it wasn't the Filipino's best fight, he did enough to beat his ageing opponent. Pacquiao would go on to beat Juan Manuel Marquez in a far more controversial fight in November - and continue to be considered the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet at the moment.
June: Li Na makes Asia proud
Zero. That's exactly the number of Asian players who had one a Grand Slam singles title prior to Li Na's historic triumph at Roland Garros on June 4, 2011. For a continent of 3.8 billion strong, it was a galling record.
But Li's 6-4 7-6 triumph over defending champion Francesca Schiavone righted that wrong to send an entire continent into raptures. After sinking to her knees in elation, the 29-year-old said: "Today is a dream come true. When I was a young player, I wanted be a grand slam champion. People were saying I'm getting old. So this is a dream come true for an old woman."
Li Na has blazed a trail. Now can other Asian stars follow? We certainly hope so.
June: The Ulsterman arrives
Following Tiger Woods' spectacular fall from grace, the golfing world had been stuck in limbo. For 18 months, fans had been hankering for a new hero to get behind and their prayers were finally answered in the form of a 22-year-old Northern Irishman.
McIlroy had been earmarked from glory from his teens, but after numerous close finishes, including that infamous meltdown at the Augusta Masters in April, observers were wondering if the prodigy would actually be able to take the step up to the big time.
McIlroy laid all doubts to rest with a barnstorming eight-stroke win at the US Open, shattering record after record in the process. For the critics, it was a fitting riposte. For the fans, it was a new champion to root for.
"To get my first major championship out of the way quite early on in my career, especially after what's happened the last couple of months, feels great," said the champion.
"Now I'm just looking forward to putting myself in the picture for hopefully many more."
With his major demons banished, there is no doubt he will.
June: Heat give in to Nowitzki beat
We all love an underdog story, and in the Dallas Mavericks we found one to root for. Going into the 2011 NBA Finals, the Mavs had been expected to be mere bystanders as LeBron James and his teammates were anointed kings.
Dirk Nowitzki was singing from a different hymn sheet though - the power forward had almost single-handedly dragged his side into the finals and he didn't stop there, snatching the headlines from the Holy Trinity of James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade to take the Mavs to their first ever NBA title and land the Finals MVP gong in the process.
Meanwhile, the wait for that elusive ring goes on for the King.