2017 has been a whirlwind in the world of sports. People have gotten fired. Teams have won their first championship, and we even had a person released from prison. That’s why we had to put together a list of our Top 10 Sports Stories of 2017.
1. NFL Players take a knee.
What started as a protest started by former San Francisco 49er quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, spread throughout the NFL. After some remarks made by the President of the United States, other NFL players began to take a knee during the national anthem in protest, and in support of Kaepernick. This caused some NFL fans to protest the games until owners made the players stand during the national anthem. At this point, it is still not required for NFL players to stand during the national anthem, and some players still have decided to continue taking a knee.
2. JJ Watt and his relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey.
On August 17th Houston, TX would experience one of the worst natural disasters to hit the state. Hurricane Harvey came in and brought tremendous damage and loss to so many. Celebrities all over started to send money and donate to charities. But JJ Watt went above and beyond. He put the city of Houston on his back and decided to start a relief fund. He raised over $37 million to help those in need.
3. The drama of Ezekiel Elliot’s suspension.
He was suspended. Then he wasn’t. He was suspended. Then he wasn’t. He was suspended again, and then he wasn’t again. The final time he was suspended, Elliot decided to drop his appeal and serve the full suspension. This was such a big deal in the NFL, not just to opponents of the Cowboys but fantasy football owners all over the world! Dallas will have Elliot back in Week 16 when the play the Seattle Seahawks.
4. O.J. Simpson Released from Prison.
Super Bowl Champion and Heisman Trophy winner OJ Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison, after being arrested for armed robbery. He was granted parole on July 31, 2013 and released on October 1, 2017 after serving 9 years.
5. Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather.
For what seemed like eternity, people were talking about the fight of the year against these two. Undefeated boxing champion “Money” Mayweather came out of retirement just to train for this fight. This was a new atmosphere for MMA world champion McGregor who had never boxed before. Mayweather defeated McGregor by TKO in the 10th round. This was said to be one of the biggest payouts for a fight. Mayweather earned over $300,000,000 and McGregor earned over $100,000,000.
6. LaVar Ball Saga
From the moment his oldest son, Lonzo Ball declared for the draft, LaVar Ball has been the talk of the sports world. Whether it’s talking about what the Lakers need to do better, or removing his youngest sons out of school to play ball over seas, he is making headlining news. At this point, he doesn’t rely on the fame from his son in the NBA because he has his own following. Ball went from talking about what the President should and shouldn’t do behind closed doors, to actually tweeting and getting a response from the President. He truly has made his mark on sports, and everyone is wondering what he will do next.
7. Miami Dolphins’ coach caught on tape allegedly snorting cocaine.
No one was ready for the video that was released by a Vegas model. She claimed she and Dolphins’ coach Chris Foerster were dating and that she wanted to expose the inequalities in the system. This was a complete shock to everyone in the sports community, especially the Miami Dolphins team. He immediately resigned after the video was released, and has not confirmed or denied his involvement with the model.
8. College Basketball bribe scheme.
Another story that seemed to wake up the sports world was when a federal investigation, involving college basketball coaches and an Adidas executive was brought to light. Four NCAA basketball coaches and an Adidas executive were charged. The biggest school involved was the University of Louisville where Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino was the talk of the town. As more and more information was leaked, the University had no choice but to suspend Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich. Days later, Pitino was officially released by the University of Louisville.
9. Houston Astros winning the world series for the first time.
Since the team was established in 1962, the Astros had never won the World Series until this year. In a matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers that would go to a game 7, the Astros pulled it out. Some believed that it was destiny because of the 2014 Sports Illustrated story with George Springer predicting a 2017 World Series Title. Destiny or not, Houston was well overdue for a title and the city had a well-deserved celebration.
10.Russia Banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics.
International Olympic Committee brought down the hammer on Russia when they decided to ban the country from participating in the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This came from a three-year investigation that had confirmed a large number of Russian athletes were engaged in doping at major international sports competitions. Russian athletes that were not found guilty of doping can still participate in the 2018 Winter Games, but they must do so in neutral uniforms. They will be identified as “Olympic Athletes from Russia”.
2017 like past years, was very interesting to say the least. I wonder what 2018 will have in store for us. Will the Wizards bring a National Championship to the nation’s capital?