The Man Page: 2016 – What to Take and What to Leave

2017 could not have come soon enough. For many of us, the 12 months that were 2016 brought some of the worst pain and sufferings we have known for a while.

The worst mass shooting in United States history. Some of the worst social divides we have seen in decades. Entirely too many high-profile deaths, many marking the ends of some of the most influential lives we have ever known.

But it would be unfair to judge a year on its shortcomings and not acknowledge the many triumphs we all enjoyed last year.

Here’s to 2016’s highlights, the moments we cherish and carry with us. As for the rest? Leave it in the past.

Take: The Rio Summer Olympics

The Rio Games, by all indications, was headed quickly toward the “leave” category in early 2016, as security and virus concerns cast a cloud over the event. But looking back, the 2016 Summer Olympics shone through as a source of light in an uncertain international hour. Sure, the games had their share of missteps, but as it should, the Olympics served as further proof that athletes and citizens alike from countries across the world share far more than a competitive nature. Olympic events give us hope for worldwide cooperation. Let’s take that with us moving forward.

Leave: The iPhone 7

I am team Apple through and through, but enough is enough. The newest iPhone model seems to sacrifice technological advancement for wow-factor publicity. Eliminating the headphone jack for promoting yet another Apple product seems vain. Smartphones, in general, seem to have very few avenues for continued improvement, but this one was a miss. Keep your trusted cord headphones and your iPhone 6 and hold out for what 2017 has in store.

Take: Adele

Even though her latest album, 25, released in late 2015, 2016 has been the year of Adele. Multiple songs from the album have circulated worldwide on top charts, and the Adele Live 2016 tour has brought smiles to sold-out arenas from Ireland to Los Angeles. Nothing could make 2017 more exciting than more Adele.

Leave: The NFL

An unpopular opinion, I know, but let’s put this sport to bed. The NFL experienced a sizeable dip in popularity early in the 2016 season, and despite a resurgence following the presidential election, the sport of football is simply archaic. Research continues to prove that its players are sacrificing their bodies and minds for entertainment purposes. In 50 years we’ll look back and say “I can’t believe we over thought that was OK.”

Take: The Cubs!

What brings Americans together more than a 100-year curse? The Cubs enjoyed a special season throughout 2016—from April into November—but the eight-day World Series between Chicago and Cleveland may very well go down as one of baseball’s most important milestones. Families held their breath with each pitch and even the most casual baseball fan tuned in to see history in the making.

Leave: Superhero Movies

The genre, of course, extends well beyond 2016, but please, can we move on? Both Marvel and D.C. Comics have attempted to capitalize on the popularity of superheroes movies with extensive plot lines and entire universes played out over the course of a dozen or so movies. I don’t say this often, but in the case of many comic book characters, the original was better. Leave it alone.

As we enter 2017 with a clean slate and a fresh start, there’s no doubt the next year will bring its own set of highs and lows. But without the bad, how do we appreciate the good? Here’s hoping 2017 treats us well.