Crazy comebacks, first titles highlight 2017 in sports

Because this is the last print issue of 2017, The Observer’s sports staff decided to look back and highlight the top moments of the year. Look for Beyond the Arc to return in 2018, covering even more sports topics from around the country. The conversation has been lightly edited.

Eddie Kerekes, Sports Editor: What will you remember from 2017 in sports? The Super Bowl comeback? The Golden State Warriors finishing off one of the best seasons ever? The Houston Astros winning their first World Series? Any other random events I’m missing?

Andrew Ford, Staff Reporter: I think at the top of the list is the Falcons’ blown 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl. It’s just hard to forget something like that. Likewise, I think Clemson University’s NCAA championship win over the University of Alabama was a tremendous football game to watch. But for me, going to the Indians’ 22nd straight win was something that I’ll never forget (even though I am a Yankees fan, and it was nice to see their resurgence this year).

Sanjay Annigeri, Staff Reporter: I agree with Andrew that Clemson beating Alabama and the Super Bowl were some top moments of 2017. The moment that really stood out to me was the Astros winning the first World Series title ever in franchise history. It really brought the whole city together and brought me back to the 2005 World Series and the Killer B’s (Craig Biggio, Lance Berkman and Jeff Bagwell).

Jacob Rayyan, Staff Reporter: I thought the Super Bowl was the most defining moment, at least for me. Definitely one of the greatest games of football I have ever seen in my life. I also thought the World Series was great, although that’s just because I love baseball.

Shounak Bose, Web Editor: I think we should take the time to appreciate not just the games and championships, but the amazing plays that led to them. For example, the Astros didn’t just bring a much deserved title to Houston, they did so by winning one of the closest and most exciting World Series I’ve ever seen. Games 2 and 5 were particularly exhilarating by showcasing several clutch home runs and lead changes. My favorite moment was Astros second baseman Jose Altuve’s game tying three-run home run against Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda in Game 5. I loved it when the announcers paused afterward and all you could hear was the crowd going crazy and the Astros’ train whistle in the background.

Similarly, in the Super Bowl, my favorite moment was Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman’s insane catch against the Falcons with less than two-and-a-half minutes left in the fourth quarter. That catch was instrumental in the Patriots’ final game tying drive, and they might not have made the comeback without it.

Kerekes: Going back to what Andrew said, one of the top moments was Jay Bruce’s walk-off single in extra innings to lengthen the Indians’ winning streak to 22 games. It was the first time the team faced any sort of adversity during the streak, and all of the baseball world was watching. Quite amazing to see Bruce, a late-season trade acquisition, come in clutch for the team. Unfortunately, the season ended much too early, and though flags fly forever, the memories of the streak will be nearly as long lasting.