17. NBA Championship: King James Bows to Durant & Company
The 2017 NBA Championship was a showdown of two dominant NBA franchises: the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lebron James, former Cavs player Kyrie Irving, and more star players stacked up on the Cavs bench. On the Warriors bench, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green created a dominant part of the starting lineup. During Game 1, the Warriors swept the Cavs 113-91. The results were similar for Game 2, leading Cavs fans to scratch their heads and create frown lines. When Game 3 also went to Durant & Co., the NBA Finals looked to be a bust. However, the Cavs pulled out a win in Game 4, keeping momentum moving into Game 5. The Cavs fell to the Warriors in Game 5 with a final score of 129-120.
The Warriors won their fifth franchise championship due to the leadership of Durant and Curry. Durant scored 39 points in Game 5, and Curry held up with 34 points. Though James was not quiet with an astounding 41 points, it wasn’t enough to make the NBA Finals a fighting series. The Warriors won on their home court Oracle Arena.
Get tickets to see both teams duke it out against this year with differing lineups and a legacy to maintain.
16. Beyoncé’s Twins
The Internet just about broke when Beyoncé finally announced her twins with an over-the-top pregnancy photo shoot. Months later, she gave birth to Rumi and Sir Carter in June, weeks before her husband JAY-Z’s 4:44album release. Talk about PR. Beyoncé’s African American female superstar status is cemented, and the social media hype around her new children is just another example showing her influence. Rumi and Sir Carter join older sister Blue Ivy in the now five-person family.
There’s no doubt: that family slays no matter what they’re focused on. Beyoncé’s baby bump was the talk of the year.
15. New England Patriots Are A Fourth Quarter Team (And Super Bowl Champions)
It was one of the most spectacular and shocking ends to a Super Bowl game. After Lady Gaga put down her mic, the New England Patriots showed up for the end of Super Bowl LI with a point to prove. The Atlanta Falcons were up 21-3 at the end of the first half, making little progress to change the difference by the end of the third quarter (28-9). However, the Patriots surged with 19 points in the fourth quarter, tying the game 28-28 to send it into overtime. The Pats pulled out 6 points in OT to win Super Bowl LI 34-28.
No matter how you feel about the franchise or QB Tom Brady, that immense comeback cannot be underestimated. It truly defined athletic intensity and talent, as Brady led his team to yet another Super Bowl title. Falcons fans were left in disbelief at the GOAT and his team of Super Bowl Champions.
14. Adele Pours A Glass Of Lemonade
Adele won Album of the Year in addition to several other Grammys during the 2017 Grammy Awards. She released 25 after years away from the spotlight due to stage fight and a desire to live a peaceful, day-to-day life. 25 crashed the charts, bringing the deep, powerful vocal range of Adele to the forefront similarly to 21. Beyoncé also released a stunning album in 2016 nominated for Album of the Year. Lemonade includes the attitude that Beyoncé wields like a weapon in addition to a social compass and raw exorcism of her marital struggles. This includes JAY-Z’s infidelities. The mixture exemplified a powerful celebrity who also suffers the woes of average human conflict and African American womanhood. Beyoncé also celebrates her culture and heritage, raising up the African American community around her.
It is for these reasons that the beauty of 25 did not live up to Lemonade for many reviewers. Adele seemed to agree, dedicating her entire speech to Beyoncé and Lemonade. It was a moment of communal female respect in an industry of competition.
13. Solar Eclipse
…Otherwise known as the day everyone decided to stare at the sun with weird glasses. The solar eclipse was one universal, special time when the world gathered together in fields, in parking lots, and all across the country to watch moon sneak in front of the sun. Warning: without special glasses witnessing a solar eclipse can cause eye damage. Hence the special, funky glasses everyone was adorning. In some parts of the world, the world became dark during the eclipse. Other parts just saw a slight dim in the average light during the day. No matter the eclipse’s effect, it truly brought together the country for a moment in a special natural event that demonstrates how awesome nature can be.
12. Floyd Mayweather Shows Conor McGregor Who Boxes Best
It’s known as “The Money Fight.” Floyd Mayweather Jr., a boxing legend, agreed to come out of retirement to fight Conor McGregor, a flashy, successful MMA fighter. McGregor had never boxed professionally in his life, and he challenged Money Mayweather to a fight like no other. Many critics believed there was no real value in the fight, as the two come from separate training backgrounds and don’t match up as good opponents. Nonetheless, the fight lived up to its “Money Fight” title. Mayweather kept his undefeated record, and both walked away with bigger checks than one could fathom. Late August 2017 saw “The Monday Fight” go down in history.
11. Harry Styles Is Now A Rockstar
Harry Styles is a member for the British boy band One Direction who began his solo career in 2017. In March, he released his first solo single “Sign of the Times” that demonstrated a major stray from the clean, pop sound of his boy band days. Styles The Solo Artist draws inspiration from ‘60s-‘80s rock, from David Bowie to the Beatles to The Rolling Stones. His debut, self-titled album was released in May among a flurry of attention. His Saturday Night Live debut solo performance matched his rocker talent, and a new rockstar was born. Though the shoes of the greats are certainly a few sizes bigger than Styles’s, the talent and swagger is there. Styles embarked on an intimate fall tour at smaller venues throughout the country. In 2018, he will begin a major stadium tour with country artist Kacey Musgraves as his opening act.
10. Hamilton Announces National Tour
Hamilton is a record-breaking musical that delves into the life of Alexander Hamilton. The creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, created the musical with a diverse cast and unique vantage point of one of the Founding Fathers. After years of sold-out Broadway shows, Hamilton is touring the U.S. indefinitely. There are dates in most major cities in the country. This includes a new promise by Miranda to bring Hamilton to Puerto Rico in 2019 as a way to raise funds after the hurricane devastation this year. Miranda does just that; he combines his awareness, social and political standings, and overall theatrical intelligence in his career path. Hamilton’s National Tour will bring the story to so many more people in order to further share Hamilton's Broadway legacy.
9. A Seven-Game World Series
This year’s World Series saw the Houston Astros play against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It will also go down as one of the most iconic World Series in history. The Astros eventually won the World Series 4-3 in Game 7, leading to yet an end to another team’s drought (Cub’s 2016 World Series win). The Dodgers won the first game of the Series 3-1, and it looked inevitable that the Dodgers would walk away with the World Series Champion title. Then, the Astros surged in Game 2, winning 7-6 in an epic showdown. The Astros continued to plug forward in Game 3 winning 5-3. However, the Dodgers battled in Game 4 and won 6-2. Game 5 was the most notable game of the Series, as ten innings led to a major showdown with homers galore. The Astros pulled out a 13-12 victory, but it would be a game that both teams would look back on as the Game of the Series. Game 6 evened out the Series with a 3-1 win for the Dodgers. The Astros won Game 7 5-1 on November 1st. Astros’ player George Springer was a leading force all season, and that didn’t change for the playoffs. He ended the Series with 5 homers, tying a record. In Game 7, Springer was a major asset with a two-run homer to push the Astros to their World Series Champion status. All in all, the 2017 World Series left baseball fans with a reaffirmed appreciation for America’s favorite pastime.
8. Geno Auriemma’s 1000th Career Win
Geno Auriemma is the Head Coach of the UCONN Women’s Basketball team. For anyone familiar with college basketball, the UCONN Women are a talented squad. But frankly, “talented” isn't remotely good enough to describe the legacy of UCONN Women’s Basketball. With eleven National Championships and winning streaks that surpass all other sports, the team is as iconic as they are intimidating. Auriemma is the mastermind behind the legacy. After beginning to coach the team in the ‘80s, Auriemma transformed the UCONN Women’s Basketball program into the dynasty it is today. Auriemma also finished an eight-year term at the U.S. National Team’s Head Coach, winning the gold medal in 2012 and 2016. In 2017, Coach Auriemma achieved his 1,000th career win at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. During the Women’s Holiday Showcase that featured UCONN vs. Oklahoma, UCONN easily won the game 88-64. It was a major milestone for an iconic figure in all of sports, collegiate or professional.
7. Ben Platt’s Casted Arm and Tony-Winning Role
Ben Platt was the lead in the Tony-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen. After leaving his role at the end of 2017, the musical had skyrocketed in popularity. Platt’s acting talent combined with the musical’s success quickly made Dear Evan Hansen a hotspot on Broadway. Platt left his lead role in November, replaced by Noah Galvin. Though Platt might not be in the musical, Dear Evan Hansen still soars with its updated cast. The musical is about a boy who bullies Evan Hansen and commits suicide. After this death, his parents find a fake note among their son’s belongings that makes them believe Evan and their son were actually friends. Evan plays along with this theory instead of admitting their son was his tormentor. The effects to follow delve into high school in the modern age with social media at the forefront. Dear Evan Hansen will be a millennial classic years down the line, pulling on heartstrings while telling the story of fitting in at high school in 2017.
6. A Royal Engagement
Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, an American who will be wed the Prince of England in 2018. Like any major royal news, the excitement flooded the entire world. Prince Harry used to be one of the world’s most eligible bachelors, and his decision to settle down now marks both children as taken men. Much like the addition of children to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s family, the positive news is welcomed in a time of disagreement and unrest. The Monarchy’s beloved traditions continue to represent a fairytale life for those who wish to believe in it.
5. Taylor Swift Doesn’t Give A Damn ‘Bout Her Bad reputation
Taylor Swift released her new album reputation in November 2017. To say that it created shockwaves in the music industry would be to discredit its ferocious attack on pop music and media culture as a whole. While Swift remains in the boundaries of standard pop, using Caribbean backbeats and EDM sequences, her lyrics are pointed. “Look What You Made Me Do” is the lead single off of reputation. After it was released in August, the song made many reviewers ponder what exactly Swift’s new trajectory would be. The song fought back against the haters and placed blame on others instead of herself for her public image downfall. It seemed petty and tired and confused. “…Ready For It?” followed with its attempt at hip-hop. Both seemed flat for a Swift three years in the making who survived feuds with fellow celebrities and overall media scrutiny. “Gorgeous” and “Call It What You Want” were the album’s last two singles before the album release. As the singles continued to drop, Swift seemed to soften. At the end, there is a love story fighting against all odds of the outside world. One thing is for certain: the old Taylor, with her doe eyes and candy-cane outlook, is no longer. Instead, a cynical, rougher Swift remains who represents many twentysomething girls who are fighting a battle with the world to discover their happiness. For its blips, mistakes, and give-no-fucks attitude, ‘reputation’ and the New Swift are here to stay.
4. Frozen: The Musical Begins Previews
Frozen is a 2013 Disney movie that quickly became Disney’s latest sensation. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel starred as the voices for Elsa and Anna, respectively. The sisters are separated at a young age due to Elsa’s magical, icy powers. When Anna goes to find her estranged sister in Elsa’s ice palace, the adventure truly begins. Frozen now has taken its story of family, love, and loyalty to the stage! Frozen: The Musical is the newest sensation to Broadway. The musical previewed in Denver in 2017, marking the beginning of the latest Disney musical installment. Frozen: The Musical will officially begin on Broadway during the thematically-frigid month of February 2018. The hype is freezing, and you want to be there to see the hit Disney movie come to life!
3. Venus Williams Reaches Wimbledon Final At Age 37
Venus Williams is sisters with Serena Williams. The Williams sisters have built a tennis dynasty in the female division and all across the tennis world. After countless wins and trophies, Venus and Serena have consistently commandeered top spots in women’s tennis. Serena stopped playing recently to have her child. Venus took a turn in the spotlight in 2017. Though she did not walk away with a Wimbledon win or major 1st place finish, Venus proved something that many athletes’ careers don’t allow for: age is just a number. At age 37, Venus reached the Wimbledon final. This is a record for women’s tennis and proves just how talented the tennis player is. Women’s sports are often over-dominated in the news by their male counterpart sport, but the Williams sisters have helped women’s tennis gain a recognizable foothold in sports media. Congrats to Venus’s 2017 successes that reinforces that “Playing like a girl” is compliment.
2. A Reminder to “Be Humble:” Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.
Kendrick Lamar released his new album DAMN. in 2017. This album follows the critically-acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly that dives into hood culture from his hometown, Compton, as well as racial tensions in America. DAMN. strays a little towards pop in comparison to TBAP, but it still carries a political message. DAMN.includes clips from FOX News discussing the influence of hip-hop music on African Americans. In addition, Lamar shares an anecdote interweaving his father’s life with his Top Dawg Entertainment record label executive’s. The balance is personal yet outward-facing. DAMN. reasserted Lamar’s reign as King Kendrick in hip-hop. From the twangy, radio-moldable “HUMBLE.” to “DUCKWORTH.,” Lamar plays with R&B and pop influences without losing his hard hip-hop sound and thematic relevance. It certainly is a shining moment in 2017 music.
1. The Human Spirit In A World Of Hurricanes, Concert Bombings, and **** Hitting the Fan
2017 has been a rollercoaster to say the least. From the Las Vegas shooting and Ariana Grande concert bombing to Hurricane Irma and Harvey, the world can seem like a terrifying place. However, no matter the dark moment or tragedy, every situation demonstrated good people willing to help out in a time of need. From celebrity disaster relief fundraisers to the silent police and firefighter heroes, there are many people out there looking to contribute good to the world. Happy 2018, and remember...
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Written by Jenna
The Launchpad Blog is written and made possible by our team members at Ticket Galaxy. Each contributing writer shares their passion for the sports, music and entertainment industry.
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