As the year comes to a close, we are all faced with the usual plethora of year-end lists compiling everything from “Best TV Shows” to “Best T-Shirt fabrics.”

Subjective by nature, these lists have the power to spur discussion, cause arguments, and in no known cases ever, change minds. In my case, they almost always seem to just alert me, as I get older and thus more disenfranchised from all things trendy and cool, of the things I missed. (Top Ten “Paw Patrol” episodes though, I have that one on lockdown).

Nonetheless, I may have missed the boat on making my own list but as I read more and more of them this year, I have found myself asking the same question:

“If I were to make a list of something, what would my criteria be?”

That of course led to a list, but not just any list.

It’s my 2017 list of people and stuff!

I thought I’d keep it simple and limit it to the topics that I cover the most on this blog (Sports / Media / Some News), but as is customary of my writing, I started the same way I did with my Astros World Series Home Run Rankings article – by trying to concoct a scientific formula.

Of course, as I tried to generalize the formula over various topics, my formula became more and more convoluted, and my head almost exploded. Ultimately I trashed the concept and instead came up with some general categories for people and things in 2017.

Simple enough?

Hope so.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: I am fully aware that there are a litany of topics in news and entertainment that could be mentioned as “significant” in 2017 most notably the political climate and the stain of rampant sexual harassment in Hollywood. However, one of the goals of my blog is to provide a lighthearted and thoughtful arena for discussion and reflection and so I’ve chosen to avoid some of these topics for no other reason than they just bum me out. What is more, delving into some of these issues creates a potential, public battleground on which I’m not currently prepared for or equipped to fight).

If I Absolutely Needed a Hit in 2017:

The Foo Fighters

The Foo Fighters released their 9th album, “Concrete and Gold” and reminded us all that they were one of the last remaining truly great Rock bands not only on the charts but in the public’s consciousness.

Case and Point:

There is nothing more refreshing than a legendary group of self-aware and funny musicians. The Guitar Center bit at the end of the Carpool Karaoke video is outstanding.

As for frontman, Dave Grohl, who has been famous for more than 20 years, he has settled into his “I Kinda Just Do What I Want” phase. Recently, he took a turn as guest host for Jimmy Kimmel on the Halloween episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, and performed admirably. He told good jokes, held his own as an interviewer and even did a Metallica / Frozen mash-up with Kristen Bell all while dressed as David Letterman – an unbelievable hat tip to one of Grohl’s (and Kimmel’s) heroes.

Lastly, the Foo Fighters still know how to keep the hits coming and in all of their self awareness, always give the fans what they. See their performance on the SNL Christmas Episode.

Pixar’s Coco

You thought I’d go Star Wars here.

Nope. I’m going with “Coco.”

Since “A Bug’s Life,” few studios have consistently cranked out iconic entertainment better than Pixar Studios.

Not only did this film tick all my boxes but it achieved the seemingly impossible task of dazzling the masses while honoring the Hispanic culture in its depiction.

The movie focuses on Miguel, a Mexican boy with a prodigious gift and hunger for music. Forced to hide his gift because of how music seemingly tore his family apart when his great grandfather deserted his great grandmother and his grandmother (Coco) to pursue a music career, Miguel crosses over into the underworld after he strums the guitar of the legendary De La Cruz. In the underworld, he meets his dead ancestors and discovers that his musical talents have the power to alter well…eternity.

Hilarity, tragedy, and poignancy ensue.

The core elements of the Pixar formula (Family and Fun) are present in this movie and are executed with the highest precision. My wife and I took our 3 year old to see it and he was enthralled and we were sobbing by the end of it.

Jose Altuve

If you’re thinking, “Tyson made this category just so he could include Jose Altuve,” you’d be right. I included him third to build suspense and maybe not give it away too quickly.

If there’s an MVP of 2017 that isn’t a family member of mine, it’s Jose, and yes, I checked HARD to see if we were at least distant cousins.

Forget his height for a second, because even if Jose Altuve were 6’3″ instead of 5’6″, what he does at the plate is still impressive and almost other-worldly.

Statistically and awards-wise, he has one of the best track records to date (3 batting titles in 4 years, 4-time Silver Slugger, 5-time All-Star, 2017 MVP, WORLD SERIES CHAMPION) but it’s his consistency and his approach that make him deadly.

The first thing to notice is well…the first pitch.

He is incredible on the first pitch.

This video is from 2016 but it holds today. Altuve hit .449 on first pitches (62 hits, 10 HR, 26 RBI’s) in 2017.

Also impressive are his late inning heroics.

  • .441 (3 HR’s, 10 RBI’s) in “Late and Close” games
  • .500 (3 HR’s, 5 RBI’s) in the 9th inning

Other stats to consider

  • Led the league in multi-hit games (4 games with 4)
  • .381 (112 hits, 15 HR, 46 RBI’s) in AWAY games
  • .342 (10 HR’s, 27 RBI’s) with two outs
  • .303 (4 HR’s, 52 RBI’s) with Runners In Scoring Position
  • .321 (5 HR’s, 5 RBI’s) when leading off an inning

As the story goes, Jose Altuve was the best player, on the best team, and led the Houston Astros to the 2017 World Series Championship

When the city of Houston needed a major win in sports to help them take their minds off of the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey, Jose Altuve came through. When the Houston Astros needed a leader and a spark, Jose Altuve came through. In a year where all of my sports teams wallowed in mediocrity or worse, Jose Altuve came through.

If you need a hit in any situation, Jose Altuve is your guy.

Honorable Mention:

  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Star Wars: Last Jedi

If I Absolutely Needed a Break in 2017

Netflix

Consider what they were and what they did.

  • They pivoted (to much chagrin at the time) from being a DVD mail-out service to what their name actually described, a streaming media service.
  • They were the only company for almost 10 years, with the bandwidth to house any and all licensed content from anyone and everyone. Huge movie studios and tv studios, not believing this to be a threat to their very existence, handed over massive chunks of their content and Netflix gladly obliged and stocked their library.
  • They gathered data and used data to learn more, thus creating algorithms and metrics around the consumer.
  • They quietly began creating content as well as signing exclusive deals with artists and filmmakers so that they would be prepared if the studios ever caught wind and removed their content.

Now, Netflix has the market cornered, is firmly entrenched into the lexicon of media, and has sent TV and movie studios back into their war rooms quivering, wondering what to do and how to react to their own shortsightedness.

Of note, Fox and Disney recently merged. The reasons are numerous in scope but one cannot help but think that the major play here was to provide a streaming service alternative stocked with exclusive Fox and Disney content not available on Netflix (which they recently pulled). Netflix appears unphased.

Rarely do we get a playbook for how to position oneself in the market perfectly.

On a personal note, I lived on Netflix this year which consistently and regular just put things in front of me that I actually was interested in seeing.

You want to see the Tyson Netflix Algorithm result?

Cooking and Crime.

Bear in mind I just ripped off every episode of “Chef’s Table”, “Punisher”, “Mindhunter,” and threw in “Zodiac.”

Still kinda scary.

Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency

Let’s face it. The majority of the world will never have access to the inside information and tips that allow for getting in on the ground floor of something huge before the bubble builds, but we actually could have seen this one coming.

Whether it was from watching “Mr. Robot” or from just reading the news, desperate times not only call for desperate measures but often times they unearth world-changing ingenuity.

Bitcoin actually emerged 10 years ago but reached notoriety recently as global markets began to become less confident and stable amidst the overall tension in the world and the financial market.

Stability was at a premium and risk was at a minimum.

As always though, a small band of individuals zigged while the rest of the world zagged and created a groundswell the results of which we are seeing now – with people adopting late and mortgaging all of their holdings to go all in on Bitcoin.

For the sake of humanity and those weary and desperate souls jumping in now, this bubble better not burst.

Honorable Mention:

  • Uber and Lyft coming back to Austin, Texas
  • “Alexa” and / or “Hey Google”
  • Amazon buying Whole Foods

 

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