Review of the year in sports

Review of the year in sports
December 28
02:00 2017

The 2017 sports year is coming to a close.  This year we have seen a number of classic sporting events that will live in memory for years to come.  After some thought about the year, I decided to do a recap of some of the champions that were crowned this year.

There would be no way to compile a list of all of the champions from every sport, so this column will focus on major sports along with some collegiate achievements.  I felt the best way to go about it was to start from the beginning of the year and proceed forward, so lets get started.

January kicked the sports calendar off with a good start.  In college football, the Clemson Tigers avenged their previous year’s loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Championship game with a last-second touchdown.  Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson dominated the game with 420 yards passing while also earning offensive MVP honors.

A few weeks later, the Austrialian Open, the first tennis major of the year, crowned Roger Federer and Serena Williams as champions.  Federer won his 18th major and first since 2012 while Williams defeated her sister Venusto become the all-time leader in major titles for female players in the open era with 23, surpassing Steffi Graf.  To make her feat even more momentus, she accomplished it while being pregnant.

The theatrics did not stop once February came along.  On Feb. 5, the Atlanta Falcons looked to be well on their way to their first Super Bowl win, leading by 25 points in the second half.  That was until Tom Brady and the Patriots decided to overcome the largest Super Bowl deficit in history to come back and win 34-28 after taking the Falcons into overtime.

February was also the month we saw Kurt Busch win his first Daytona 500.  For the purposes of this article, March was not a major month for finishes but was the start of some important tournaments.

In April we saw PGA veteran Sergio Garcia win his first major tournament when he beat Justin Rose in a sudden death playoff to win The Masters.  The North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball team, affectionately known as the “Redeem Team,” cut down the nets to win the championship.  On the women’s side the South Carolina Gamecocks were victorious.

Kevin Durant won his first NBA Championship in June as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The PGA Tour saw another first-time winner when American golfer Brooks Koepka won the US Open.  Sydney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins topped the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Finals.  The back-to-back champs won the title in six games and “Sid the Kid” won the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP). 

Federer captured his eighth Wimbledon title in July, surpassing Pete Samprass as the all-time leader in Wimbledon championships.  Later in the month golf superstar Jordan Spieth won the Open Championship leading from wire to wire, the second time he has done so in a major.

Golf saw yet another first-time major winner in August as Justin Thomas captured the PGA Championship.  August also gave us all the spectacle of a fight between Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor.  Of course there was no official title up for grabs but the fight was entertaining and was definitely worth a mention.

The fight was more competitive than I expected due to Mayweather using a rope a dope technique  in the early rounds but once McGregor began to fatigue he began his onslaught and dispatched McGregor in the 10 round.  In the process, Mayweather surpassed boxing great Rocky Marciano for most fights without a defeat or tie at 50-0.

Baseball’s World Series began toward the end of October but game seven was not played until Nov. 1.  The Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in a thrilling seven game series.  The Astros were one of the best teams in the league all season.  It was refreshing to see them win as they were one of the worst teams in the league less than five years ago.  Cinderella stories are always great to see.

This year was great for all sports.  There were many first-time winners and dynasties like the Patriots that continued to win.  As an avid sports fan, having years such as this makes it all worthwhile.  One can only hope we have a good mixture of parity, first-time winners, continued greatness and intrigue in the championships of 2018.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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