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Top Sports Stories from 2017

Published: Monday, Jan 1st 2018, 8:01pm

by: Stephen Safinuk (@Safimod)

As 2017 drew to a close last night, I thought it would be prudent to put together my list of top sports stories from the 2017 calendar year. These are in no particular order.

Champions: Football season was full of exciting comebacks, and great underdog stories. Whether it was Clemson’s last second victory over Alabama for the NCAA Championship, or New England’s comeback from 28-3, we were treated to great games in every football title game. Add in the great wins by the Astros, Argos, and Toronto FC, and we had some fun championship games/series this year.

This year’s major North American Sports Champions were:

1)      NFL: New England Patriots  (again)

2)      NBA: Golden State Warriors (again)

3)      NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins (again)

4)      CFL: Toronto Argos (17th Grey Cup in team history)

5)      MLB: Houston Astros (1st in their history)

6)      MLS: Toronto FC (1st in their history)

Toronto Argos: Going from not having a GM/HC to open free agency, to winning the Grey Cup over the Calgary Stampeders in Ottawa in November, you couldn’t have asked for a much better story for a market that needs to continue to grow.

Mayweather vs McGregor: A long awaited battle between one of the best boxers of all time (Mayweather) and the UFC star (McGregor) finally took place in 2017, and it was actually worth the wait. What shocked me the most with this fight was that McGregor looked like he belonged in the boxing ring at times. Later in 2017, the UFC would begin plans to move into boxing in the future.

Take A Knee Movement: When Colin Kaepernick took a knee in 2016, he started a movement that only grew in 2017. In week 3 of the NFL season over 200 NFL players took a knee during the US Anthem to protest racial inequality/police brutality in the United States. While Colin Kaepernick was not in the NFL in 2017, he was still arguably the most influential football player in 2017.

Lavar Ball: What really needs to be said? Give this guy an audience and a microphone and watch hilarity unsue.

Russia banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics:  Due to doping scandals from past Olympics, the IOC banned Russia from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics. While their athletes may participate under the Olympic flag, the Russian flag will not be flown during the opening or closing ceremonies, nor will their anthem be played during medal ceremonies.

No NHL players in the Olympics: Speaking of the Winter Olympics, the NHL confirmed that they would not be allowing their players to suit up for their respective countries at the Olympics in South Korea.

Duron Carter: From released by Montreal in 2016, back to his position as bonafide CFL star in 2017 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Whether it was his amazing catch versus Toronto, or his pick 6 versus Calgary, all he did was make plays. He seemed to have found a place that allowed his personality to flourish, as he quickly became a fan favourite in Riderville. Let’s not forget him buying tickets to a movie for Rider fans in Toronto during the playoffs.

Georges St Pierre’s return: After a four year hiatus, GSP returned to fight Michael Bisping for the UFC Middleweight championship. GSP would win the fight via submission in round 3, to become only the 4th person in UFC history to win titles in multiple divisions. 31 days later, GSP vacated his belt due to health concerns (Colitis), as he didn’t want to hold up the middleweight division until he recovered.

 

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