These lists are always subjective, but here are what I see as the Top Sports Moments of 2017:
11. Boxing vs UFC
Floyd Money Mayweather, the boxer, faced off and outlasted Conor McGregor, the UFC champion, in an epic fight that went exactly how everyone expected it would.
For the first time since 1986, the US Men’s National Team failed to qualify for the World Cup.
A disappointing loss to Trinidad and Tobago capped off a poor showing by the US Men under coach Bruce Arena, who was promptly fired.
9. Aaron Judge
The New York Yankees weren’t supposed to do anything this year, as they were in a “rebuilding process”. But Home Run Derby champion Aaron Judge helped turn them around, breaking the record for most home runs by a rookie, and leading the American League in homers. He would also win the Rookie of the Year Award.
Before the year was out, the National League home run leader and MVP, Giancarlo Stanton, would head to the Bronx to try and team up for a World Series.
I spoke a bit about Judge earlier this year.
8. The Masters
Sergio Garcia picked up his first Green Jacket, and first major championship win, at Augusta National.
7. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook may have been ditched by Kevin Durant, but he showed that he is the true star in Oklahoma City.
Westbrook won the MVP Award in a season that saw him average a triple-double (in Points, Rebounds, and Assists), and beat Oscar Robertson’s 55-year-old record of 41 triple-doubles in a season.
6. Clemson takes the Championship
Scoring in the final seconds was the theme of 2017, and Clemson started it off with a Touchdown to beat Alabama for the NCAA Championship.
5. NHL and NBA
The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, over the surprising Nashville Predators, and the Golden State Warriors won another championship over the Cleveland Cavaliers (deja vu), and Durant took home the MVP award.
4. The Opens
The Williams sisters have been fighting for Championships for years, and before Serena went on maternity leave, missing the rest of the 2017 Opens, she beat up on Venus for the Australian Open.
Meanwhile, at the French Open, Rafael Nadal won his 10th Open, becoming the first man to win double-digits.
And then to top it all off the US Women made up the final four at the US Open, even without Serena, as Sloane Stephens beat Madison Keys for the title.
3. Auto Racing
Kurt Busch won his first Daytona 500, but I think the bigger story was his crew chief, Tony Gibson. Gibson has been around the pits since the 1980s, but this was his first Daytona 500 win in what turned out to be his final season on the road.
Martin Truex Jr. would win the Monster Energy Cup on the year, which was Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final one on the track.
Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, Takuma Sato won the 101st Indy 500.
2. Super Bowl Epic Comeback
Down 28-3 the New England Patriots showed why they are the Dynasty that’s been ruling the NFL for the last 16 years, coming back and beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in Overtime of Super Bowl LI.
1. Astros Win the World Series
The Houston Astros winning the World Series for the first time in franchise history should be enough to have them on this list, as they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in 7 Games.
But it was Game 5 that makes this the best sports moment of the year.
The Top 2 pitchers started this game, and both got roughed up early. And this game was back and forth the whole way.
The Astros were down 4-0 going into the bottom of the fourth, before tying it at 4 in that inning. Los Angeles scored 3 runs in the fifth, and the Astros got them back in the bottom of the inning.
Los Angeles took an 8-7 lead in the 7th, and Houston took their first lead in the bottom of that inning, scoring four and going up 11-8.
But after trading runs in the 8th, Los Angeles scored 3 more in the ninth, sending the game to extra innings, and the Astros finished it off in the 10th, winning 13-12.
See the video and read all about it here.