Top Sports Moments of 2017

Joseph Ehmann, Sports Editor

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What a ride its been for every major sports category this year.

Everything from the past years led up to all the excitement and there are still pieces falling in place for some soon to be biggest rivalries in the respective sports categories.

With the Clemson University rolling over the University of Alabama Crimson Tide in the beginning of the year in an exhilarating 35-31 comeback.

The NFL had a roller coaster year, in which during an all-but-decided final game, suddenly the New England Patriots score 25 unanswered points against the Atlanta Falcons for another Super Bowl title.

Let’s also not forget the Cavs-Warriors Trilogy with Superstar Forward Kevin Durant “splashing” the game winning three over Lebron James. Hard to compare Durant to a “cupcake” now that KD is a champion.

These are two different things, right, Russell Westbrook?

And the “fan-favorite” Los Angeles Dodgers NOT winning the World Series still is leaving ripples in the MLB.

But to start with the Clemson and Alabama, there needs to be a 3rd meeting between the two College juggernauts before talks of rivalry are heard. Although it’s all but assured that there is one in the mix already.

With both colleges showcasing big talents over the years, Clemson showing off Deshaun Watson and Kelly Bryant while Alabama sticks with quarterback Jalen Hurts who’s become a standout QB in the SEC West.

If you want to see the third meeting of these two teams, they play in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, so don’t miss it.

Moving on to the pro version of football, the 16-17 season for the NFL was a great one with rookies emerging as elite players, teams exceeding and meeting expectations.

The rookies that surprised everyone was the Dallas duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott. Dak started his first season game September 11th totaling 227 yards in the loss to the Redskins.

After clinching the top seed in their respective conference Prescott was a Pro-Bowl selection and the NFL rookie Offensive Player of the Year. Elliot dominated the league as a running back taking the title of rushing yards leader.

This amazing rookie season happened despite the raiders failing to fulfill a Super Bowl appearance after an amazing season, of the Falcons epically failing to close out the super bowl to the undeserving Patriots and Tom Brady.

Going to a more deserving championship, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are making some type of NBA history in every season and especially the post season and the finals.

With their Trilogy being defined by a block by LeBron James against Andre Iguodala very late in the fourth quarter of the 2016 NBA finals to secure the win and Kyrie Irving dropping the sharpest dagger, against back to back MVP Stephen Curry, in NBA history to capitalize the first ever 3-1 comeback in the NBA Finals.

All this leading to the Kevin Durant trade in the 2017 offseason to the Golden State Warriors shocking the NBA world and causing one of the biggest rifts between two players and all but assure another Golden State championship. Of course, the Warriors rode an easy wave into the playoffs making an NBA best 14 game win streak and beating the Cavaliers in five games claiming their second ring in three years and getting Kevin Durant a NBA Finals MVP.

With what was looking to be the most dominant Super Team ever in NBA history the 2017 offseason boasted many trade surprising everybody including the Chris Paul and Paul George trades surprising teams everywhere with the most notable one being Victor Oladipo to the Indiana Pacers or Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves. All this because Kevin Durant went to the Warriors.

With the season not even halfway over, it’s already turning out to be a great and is foreshadowing to be one of the best seasons ever.

While sports everywhere are thriving, off the courts and fields, the real world and its problems are invading what used to be escapism.

Though he never played a down or got picked up by an NFL team, it is undeniable that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the most written about player this year. His 2016-2017 season protest to kneel during the national anthem sparked debate among players, fans, team owners and even President Trump.

 

Still breaking sports news included the fate of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers team, following allegations of sexual harassment and racial insults by the team’s founding owner, Jerry Richardson. Richardson said he will sell the team at the end of the team’s season. Already, hip-hop mogul and businessman Sean “Diddy” Combs has expressed interest in buying the team. Along with Combs, three different people with Bay Area ties, Warriors guard Stephen Curry, former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and Kaepernick separately have said they’d like to buy-in to become a team owner.

In addition to the teams themselves, the way sports teams will be covered this year, likely will change next year.

This week, ESPN President John Skipper abruptly resigned citing his substance addiction. Skipper’s exit followed ESPN’s decision to lay off more than 100 employees capping off a year of firings and forced retirements.

Then, just as the #METOO anti-sexual harassment movement brought down Richardson, sexual misconduct claimed many on-air and behind-the-scenes personnel at ESPN.

After a year of crazy sports events and things piling up one after another it’d come to no surprise if something else major happened with the dwindling days of 2017.

Happy New Year. Good luck to your teams.

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