Warringah's Emotional Shute Shield Win
The story of Warringah in 2017 however is an amazing tale in it's own right. Having never won the Sydney first grade premiership since the club was founded in 1963 (they won the 2005 Shute Shield when it was a preseason competition) the "Rats" entered 2017 as premiership favourites alongside 2016 premiers Norths, yet their start to the season was rather lackluster and they found themselves mired in the middle of the table.
June 10th would change everything when 5th grade player Lachlan Ward collapsed in a match at Pittwater Park and would never get up again. The outpouring of grief and support from the rugby community in Sydney and beyond was overwhelming and it triggered the Rats first grade side to break that elusive premiership drought.
From their poignant return to rugby on June 24th against Penrith the Rats would only drop one more game throughout the campaign as they rocketed to 3rd on table.
After a satisfying semi final win over arch rival Manly they faced defending premiers Norths on Grand Final day in front of a lockout crowd at North Sydney Oval estimated to be around 17'000. On a beautiful August afternoon the Rats and Shoremen played out a classic grand final with Warringah prevailing 30-25 to claim their first ever premiership.
Fittingly the five points that were the difference were scored by Lachlan Ward's brother Sam who then lifted the Shute Shield high with a framed picture of his late brother in tow.
It was an afternoon that will never be forgotten by those who were lucky enough to be there.
Bryce Cotton's 45 point grand final showcase
Thats exactly what Bryce Cotton did in 2017 as he torched the Illawarra Hawks in an GF MVP performance to seal the Wildcats back to back championship quest.
His arrival in January came at a time where the Wildcats looked set to miss the playoffs for the first time in 31 years, Cotton's immediate impact garnered the interest of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks who offered him a 10 day trial contract but Cotton rejected the offer to stay in Perth.
His Game 3 performance will long live in the Wildcats storied folklore, Cotton re-signed for the Cats this season and hasn't missed a beat in helping the Wildcats to the top of the standings.
Cotton and the Cats are well on track to repeat the heroics of last season as the Wildcats look for the first three-peat in club history
tom Brady's Opus - from 3-28 to superbowl legends
With 8:31 left in the 3rd Quarter of Super Bowl 51 it certainly didn't seem like he would, at least not this year.
But that's when legends emerge to make history, and boy did Brady ever do that on an unforgettable night in Houston.
Yes the Atlanta Falcons blew several chances to put the game to bed but the way Brady led his offense around the field was a work of art. Yet even as the final quarter started it was still a 28-9 deficit.
Then it happened, Brady to Amendola, Julian Edelman's miracle catch, White scores a 1 yard TD run, 28-28.
For the first time in Super Bowl history overtime would be required, but as soon as the Patriots elected to receive after winning the coin toss there was only one ending to this story.
Brady leads his team down the field, James White runs it in and history is written. 34-28 and the Patriots dynasty had its finest hour.
New England led the Super Bowl for a total of 0 seconds and dating back to 1940 teams leading by 17 or more points after three quarters in playoff games were 133–0, that stat is now 133-1.
PNG's greatest day
The events of September 24th proved to me at least that Port Moresby should host an NRL game in the next five years, and an NRL team in the next ten.
The Hunters in their fourth QLD Cup campaign finished as minor premiers and made the grand final against the Sunshine Coast Falcons who are aligned with NRL premiers Melbourne Storm.
Trailing 10-6 with 90 seconds to go Willie Minoga got a hand on captain Ase Boas' grubber kick to put his side level next to the posts.
The conversion was successful and the nation of PNG watching on television went into delirium. Hunters players were openly balling their eyes out as the Hunters pulled off an achievement that would have been thought impossible five years ago.
The Hunters returned home to a heroes welcome with the Queensland Cup in tow, even though they were well beaten by Penrith on NRL Grand Final day the Hunters achievement was ultimately a precursor to the spectacular results that were to come in the World Cup a month later.
Jack Riewoldt - Premiership Winner by day, Rock Star by night
Dustin Martin proving himself as the truth, Brendon Gale and Matthew Richardson's tears, a Riewoldt finally playing in a premiership team, the problem child of the AFL finally getting it together and ending the eternal torture of one of the league's most passionate fanbases.
But seriously, Jack Riewoldt got up on stage with the Killers at the postgame concert on the G and belted out Mr. Brightside! Is it legal for someone to have a great a day as Jack Riewoldt did on September 30th?
Cancel the future because Jack Riewoldt just won at life.
It is a moment that will be forever etched in footy and MCG lore and will ensure the Killers always have strong record sales in Melbourne (good luck to whoever the 2018 GF entertainment is to try and top their efforts, the AFL should just pony up the cash and book the Killers through till 2020)