As always, it's the end of the year, and around these parts, that means we reflect, award, and close the year with two signature posts, beginning with this one. Of course, the other being the traditional and biggest post of the year, the 12th Annual Dome Pondering Year in Review (look for it very soon!).
With all of that said, I'll ponder on some of the most fascinating things to me in the crazy year that was 2017. And what a weird and crazy year it has been!
10. Giancarlo Stanton - This one came late in the year, but for a Yankee fan like myself, it went from a pipe dream, to an interesting possibility, to a reality. And now, ironically, it's just downright unreal to think about. Stanton being a Yankee this year encapsulates everything that was his final year in Miami and that historical run, and the possibility that could be in him being in pinstripes this season.
9. Carmelo-less Knicks - For years, the debate went on about Carmelo as a New York Knickerbocker, and it finally came to an end when he was shipped to Oklahoma City. The fascinating part is now post-trade, and examining the difference in the Knicks organization and team without Carmelo on board.
8. Gun Control/Terrorism/Immigration - Watching all three of these topics blend in various happenings and discussions this year was interesting, fascinating, and yes, partly sad. Ultimately, what we got was that white men got passes on mass shootings (aka NOT terrorism) and others were labeled as such, thus amplifying immigration mongering that blames and targets underrepresented groups. All three topics are now politicized to the point where they are branded for the usual identity politics we see in our nation.
7. Writing My Wrongs - I read a lot of interesting and great books this year, but the one that stood out was this gem by Shakor Senghor on his childhood and his time in prison. The memoir chronicles and gives an honest window into how the system fails young black men in America, and how it continues to do so with the lack of prison reformation.
6. Get Out - It took me a while, but I finally got around to the amazing film by Jordan Peele, viewing it earlier this month. Get Out - whatever genre you want to classify it as - is a great film that touches on so many things, yet still is entertaining and insanely hilarious. Great, great, great film.
5. News Channels - In a hyper-politicized year - and really, our new reality - 24-hour news cycles and channels were the complete embarrassment of the year. Yes, all of them. CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all distributed their version of "News", with all of them blaming others, or the "mainstream media" as the culprit. Ironically, all of them are indeed that mainstream media they blame.
4. Taking a Knee - I think enough has been said about this all year. But what still fascinates me is how those against the protest managed to change the narrative to that of disrespecting the flag rather than discussing inequality in America. That's the sad - and true - part of this.
3. Aaron Judge - I've been a huge Judge fan (no pun intended) since the Yankees drafted him out of Fresno State. Whether it be Frank Thomas, Richie Sexson, Giancarlo Stanton (go figure), and now Judge, I've always identified and related to the larger baseball players - being 6'5" myself.
Of course, Judge broke out this year, and watching his rise was absolutely awesome. And how about that Home Run Derby?! Absolutely awesome! Every at-bat of his was fantastic and must-see television. Judge and Stanton next year should be VERY enticing baseball. I can't wait until Spring Training. Regardless, his rookie year of 2017 is unforgettable.
2. President Donald Trump - For the third year in a row, Trump makes this DP10 Fascinating list. After all, how can he not? Love him or hate him, the man consumed 2017. I'll just say this, for the entire year, Trump has either provided me with absolute fear, or absolute comedy. And that was literally EVERY DAY. It's a really weird and awkward combination, but it's where we are in the world.
1. White Privilege and Supremacy - Charlottesville, Alabama, Roy Moore, the new GOP Tax Bill, and so much more. The rise of this thinking from the under belly of America found it's platform and is now once again in the very conscience of America.