Welcome to the first ever PSF Athlete of the year/ year in review show ever. 2017 is rounding to a close so here are my picks for players, teams, and games of the year. Along with the PSF staffs pick for Athlete of the year. Enjoy.
Championship team of the year: New England Patriots
You could argue the Warriors, Astros, or even the Penguins, but that would completely disrespect one of the greatest championship comebacks of all time. 28-3 will go into the sports history books in infamy, similar to the 3-1 collapse of the Golden State Warriors of just a few years ago. Tom Brady’s legacy, Julian Edelman’s catch, James White’s career game… these are just a few moments from this game that will be remembered for a lifetime. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the championship team of the year, hell, it might be the championship team of the century!
Sport of the year: Baseball
Coming from me, frankly, this is shocking. I’m just not a huge baseball guy but that has certainly changed this year. While some purist fans will argue that the game is changing for the worse, the next generation of fans will get the most exciting offensive baseball in the history of the sport. Home runs were up across Major League Baseball this year. The league has seemingly become more power-oriented, with more players going boom or bust than we’ve ever seen before. While some argue that this is bad for the sport, I would argue it makes the game more exciting to watch. I firmly believe the home runs record will be broken in the next four years flat, by one of the league’s best like Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge. So why not give baseball a shot this year? Watch some moon shots in the process!
Players of the year
NFL: Tom Brady
It’s hard to argue anyone else. Brady has revolutionized modern day athletic training and lifestyle choices as we know them. He continues to be a top performer even at age 40. There seems to be no drop off and absolutely zero gradual decline. I would argue he’s even gotten better as he ages. He has truly solidified himself as the greatest football player of all time, and he’s still chasing more. Why not? He may become the greatest athlete of all time.
NBA: Kevin Durant
For as much hate as Kevin Durant has received over the last few years, he is the NBA player of the year for just that reason. He is perhaps the face of the sport right now. While Lebron James will always remain the King, KD has made a run for the crown. While he didn’t have the stats of a Russell Westbrook, Durant was still the key component that pushed the Warriors over the mountain and to another ring. KD won this award for one simple reason. Even if you don’t watch the NBA you know the name: Kevin Durant, snake, traitor, cupcake, Finals MVP, and quite possibly – the next face of the NBA.
NHL: Connor McDavid
Has Connor McDavid set the league on fire this season? Not yet. This award pertains to last season though, a season where McDavid scored 30 goals and put up 70 assists for a grand total of 100 points. On top of that, he won the league MVP and took a playoff destitute team to the brink of making the Western Conference Finals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. McDavid has become the next face of the NHL. Crosby may have won the championship, but McDavid has defined the NHL’s next generation of player. Flashy, fast, fun, and impossible to slow down.
MLB: Aaron Judge
Part of what made baseball the sport of the year, the emergence of the face of the sport. Aaron Judge quickly became the face of the Yankees and rejuvenated a franchise that had been largely dormant over the last few years. Judge brought the perfect mix of power and constant buzz-factor every time he stepped to the plate, and respect for the game so crotchety old baseball writers could root for him as well. Judge was on a historic pace through the first half of the season and had one of the greatest Home Run Derby performances of all time. Even though Judge slowed down over the span of the second half he remained a major staple of the MLB landscape. Judge might just be the next Jeter.
PSF Athlete of the Year: Russell Westbrook
This really wasn’t close. The members of the PSF staff all voted on their favorite athlete of the year based on performance. Westbrook was chosen by sixty three percent of the staff and received 20 of 32 votes. The next closest? Tom Brady with just 7 votes. Westbrook had the best season a point guard has ever had. Breaking the record for the most triple-doubles in a season and being only the second player in NBA history to average a triple double over an entire season. These weren’t just 10-10-10 nights either. Westbrook posted the highest scoring triple-double in NBA history (57 points), put up a career-high 22 assists in a triple-double, and posted a career-high 58 points. It’s hard to argue for anyone else on the candidate list after what Russ did last year.
2017 was a great year for sports. We can’t wait to keep you tuned here at PSF for 2018, here’s to an awesome sports year! Stay tuned!