Luke DeCock

2017: The year in 12 columns

My view from press row at the tip of North Carolina’s national semifinal against Oregon at the Final Four in Glendale, Ariz.
My view from press row at the tip of North Carolina’s national semifinal against Oregon at the Final Four in Glendale, Ariz.

In preparing for a year-in-review talk I was invited to give last week at the Durham Sports Club’s Christmas party, I went through pretty much everything I had written in 2017 and then put together a 23-minute slide show that was a whirlwind tour of the year that was in sports in the Triangle.

But digging through those columns reminded me of several events and moments I had forgotten, and it struck me that a (limited) selection might be enjoyed by others as well. These aren’t the 12 best or the 12 most-read or any grouping like that, although some fall into both categories. They’re just 12 that I thought represented my year, and by extension our year, of sports here.

Among columns that didn’t make this cut: Catching up with former ACC referee Ron Cherry, N.C. State’s win over Arizona in the Bahamas, Archie Miller, the Hurricanes’ offseason moves and anything HB2-related (and there was a lot of that).

But these 12 do offer a few snapshots into the year that was. And thanks, as always, for reading, in 2017 and beyond.

Chris Seward

February 23: Roy Cooper, NC’s Caniac in Chief, is a homegrown hockey fan

Ethan Hyman

March 11: Even as interloper, ACC tournament finds its city footing

Chuck Liddy

March 12: After all these years, Duke still manages to surprise its coach

Ethan Hyman

April 3: For the Tar Heels, mission accomplished

Mark Zaleski AP

May 25: Battle lines between UNC, NCAA never drawn more sharply

Ethan Hyman

August 1: NCAA wants to punish NC State basketball freshman for ... going to class?

RAL_ Virginia Tech East Carolina Football (2) (1)
Karl B DeBlaker AP

September 16: East Carolina summons old magic before new reality inevitably intrudes

Chris Seward

October 5: Hurricanes choose co-captains, which is the same as having no captain

UNC-Chapel Hill officials, from left to right: Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham, former secretary Deborah Crowder, basketball coach Roy Williams, women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell, former football coach Larry Fedora and outgoing chancellor Carol Folt. N&O file photos

October 13: After punting UNC case, NCAA exposed as powerless, obsolete

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Ethan Hyman

October 18: With deportation looming, a Raleigh boxer finds himself in the fight of his life

1996 News & Observer archive pho

November 1: To read Caulton Tudor was a pleasure. To know him, a privilege.

Chris Seward

November 4: Like Saturday’s full moon, N.C. State’s season a promise unfulfilled

Sports columnist Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, @LukeDeCock