Words by JON CLARKE
2017 has been quite the year. Roger Moore died, there’s been record-breaking hurricanes and earthquakes around the world, and Britain triggered article 50 that will see us become the first country to leave the EU. But we don’t want to bog you down with politics and weather warnings, so below we’ve compiled a list of the top five crucial things 2017 taught us...
1. Roger Federer isn’t human
Roger Federer. The epitome of sportsmanship. The symbol of super cool elegance on the tennis court. Does the man ever break into a sweat? It doesn’t seem so. Federer turned 36 this year which, by the standards of tennis, is considered pretty darn old. Yet he continues to be a beacon of excellence, winning both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (for a record 8th time) in 2017.
By skipping the clay court season entirely, Federer proved that he is a master tactician when it comes to preserving his body for the competitions he thrives in. Of course, his long time rival, Rafa Nadal, was left to take the French Open trophy (and also won the US Open) - though he is some 5 years younger than the Swiss maestro.
Federer (pictured above) won a record 8th Wimbledon title in 2017.
Whatever you think of Roger, he’s truly defied his age this year and deserves incredible recognition for doing so. The man is not human.
2. Shock horror: unbeaten boxing legend beats boxing novice
One of the biggest spectacles of 2017 was the boxing match between retired veteran Floyd Mayweather Jr. and MMA star Conor McGregor. There were two camps leading up to this fight: the camp that billed it as boxing vs. MMA and hero-worshipped McGregor so much that they thought he stood a chance; and the camp that viewed it as an absolute farce and circus spectacle that was damaging to both sports.
Whichever side you were on, the fight was stratospheric from a commercial point of view. With over $660million taken in PPV revenue, the fight became the most betted on sporting event of all time and saw McGregor and Mayweather take home $400million between them (split 75:25 in Mayweather’s favour).
McGregor (left) did a brilliant promotional job of making people think he stood a chance against Mayweather (right).
For any boxing enthusiast, the fight went pretty much like clockwork. Mayweather appeared to carry McGregor for a number of rounds - probably in a vague attempt to give the crowd some value for money (pay-per-view charges were an eye-watering $100 each).
And what did we learn from it? Well absolutely nothing, apart from the fact that people will buy spectacle over genuine competition. Oh and if a boxer with a professional record of 0-0-0 fights a boxer with a professional record of 49-0-0, then he will lose. Big shock.
3. It wasn’t a joke, Donald Trump is actually the US President
A few crazy things happened in 2016. Many legends died, Britain left the EU, oh and Donald Trump somehow became the 45th President of America. The reason this is in our 2017 highlight reel though is to confirm the fact that it wasn’t a nightmare. It is reality. On the 20th of January this year, Trump did get inaugurated into the White House.
Donald Trump (above) officially became the 45th President of America.
The very same man that said these two things:
“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything….Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.”
Yea so, erm, not quite as eloquent as Obama is he? It’s scary to think such a man is in charge of the most powerful country in the world.
You can find more outrageous Donald Trump quotes here.
4. Neymar confirms there’s too much money in football
Back in July, Neymar Jr. made the biggest transfer in history, moving from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a gargantuan £198 million. To put that into perspective that’s:
- 3.5 Zinedine Zidanes
- 5.5 Gianluigi Buffons
- 4 Ronaldos (the Brazilian one)
Neymar is earning £28 million per year. That works out at £550,000 per week. £3,200 per hour. £1 per second. Since joining, Neymar has scored 17 times in 19 appearances for PSG which, admittedly, is an incredible strike rate. However, this means that PSG have literally paid just shy of £12 million per goal so far - and that doesn’t even take into account his wages.
Neymar (above) signed for PSG, smashing the previous transfer record by over £100 million.
It was spoken of as the ‘transfer to change everything’, as £20 million players became £50 million players. Players like Kyle Walker suddenly cost £55 million.
Do you remember when £55 million bought you Kaka? Those were the days.
5. Love is bigger than anything in its way
In a horrendous and vile act of terrorism, 120 people were injured and 22 people were killed on the 22nd of May in 2017, moments after attending an Ariana Grande concert. Many of those victims were children, who had just experienced the dream of watching one of their idols perform. The attack sent shockwaves around the world, and an entire nation quickly came together to support the families that were affected.
Ariana Grande herself was quick to act, as she organised a reactive benefit concert to raise funds - one that saw the likes of Robbie Williams, Chris Martin and Liam Gallagher all take to the stage and honour those who were lost.
The One Love benefit concert arranged by Ariana Grande was a sell-out success.
The people of Manchester held tribute after tribute for the victims, each done in its own unique and powerful way. Whether it was tattoos of the Manchester bee, or poems read out by rockstars, an entire city paid beautiful respects to those that died.
If there was one thing 2017 taught us, above anything else, it’s that love and unity will always prevail.