Hadfield: Predicting (correctly) everything that will happen in sports in the next year or so
LeBron James had jury duty this week. He wasn’t selected, but he was present, fulfilling his civic duty. Twitter told me so. This, believe it or not, was an actual item on SportsCenter’s rundown. That’s not a typo, and while I’d love to say it’s “remarkable,” or “pathetic,” or somewhere in between, in today’s news cycle, this meets the criteria.
And that leads me to this new periodic feature, the column you are about to consume, that my friend and I came up with: Seven Events That Will Most Definitely, Maybe, Probably, Could Happen In Sports (we’re work shopping the title, but it’s otherwise known by its popular acronym, SETWMDMPCHIS). Why give away my secrets? Well, that’s easy.Because crazy, unrealistic theories are more fun to read about than facts and statistics. Because, at some point, the world decided that snark and cynicism should usurp wit and critical thinking. And because, dear readers, every now and then (meaning that awful dead period where football hasn’t started, and baseball is plodding through summer), a fledgling sports columnist needs to just let loose and TELL IT LIKE IT IS.
So, go to Vegas, book it. Then, make it rain. But always – and I mean always – remember, YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST. So without further adieu, here’s what will definitely happen in the sports world over the next few years. You’re welcome.
After being forced to sit out next season for lending his John Hancock out in exchange for some GUAP, and also because the NCAA is the worst and has only made a kajillion dollars off his likeness, embattled Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel will enter the NFL draft and realize his professional destiny as a cross between Tim Couch and Marc Sanchez. For three seasons he will start for a Los Angeles-based franchise (That’s also happening. Sorry, Jacksonville Jaguars fans … all seven of you.), and flame out after posting a career 1:3 touchdown to interception ratio. But fear not, before being cut, he will be enthralled in an immensely entertaining relationship with Miley Cyrus. We’re talking matching tattoos, the works. All told, by 2015 his nickname, “Johnny Football,” will have as much relevance as “Linsanity.”
Why this will almost definitely, maybe happen: Because hyperbole in athletic ability is a scary proposition; this is especially the case when cool nicknames are involved. Write that down.
Keith Olbermann, who recently completed a hero’s journey of sorts, going from ESPN to Fox to MSNBC to Current TV and all the way back to ESPN, will transform from pompous genius to America’s sweetheart after he undresses Skip Bayless in a debate and exposes the heinous, Lucifer-esque “talking head” the “First Take” host really is, and how it’s killing sports journalism. Then, ESPN will fire him.
Why this will almost definitely, maybe happen: Because ratings. Just like Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Ratings. That’s all.
Tyler Seguin will score 38 goals next season. Sports talk radio, as a whole, will be frothing at the mouth, and take the opportunity to question Claude Julien’s coaching style, and ultimately call for his firing for the third consecutive year.
Why this will almost definitely, maybe happen: Because tradition, you guys. Let me ask you something: if you don’t have tradition, what do you have? Speaking of which, God, I love watching the Lions play on Thanksgiving! Nothing more uplifting than checking in on America’s most depressing city, Detroit, and another team full of 5-11 potential! Mmhmmm, pass the gravy!
Tim Tebow will perform so well in one of the fourth quarters of an upcoming preseason game, that it will make everyone – even myself, who loathed the move – think to themselves, “What are the chances that a team, like the Patriots, and a polarizing athlete/humanitarian/soon-to-be Senator, like Tim Tebow, could make this work?” at which point, he will be cut.
Why this will almost definitely, maybe happen: because this whole idea is insane. And while watching “Dumb and Dumber” for the 1,209th time on TBS over the weekend, I thought of Tebow as Jim Carrey, upon being told there was a one in a million chance he’d end up with his dream girl, jovially retorted, “So, YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE!”
TMZ will release a text message with a 4:37 a.m. time stamp that was sent to Wes Welker from none other than Tom Brady’s phone. It will read: “I miss you. Hell, I miss us. Together, 4ever. Come back? Text, y or n.”
Why this will almost definitely, maybe happen: Because the fact Tom Brady almost carried Reche Caldwell, a 20-pound overweight Corey Dillon, and the rest of the 2006 Patriots team to the brink of a Super Bowl, doesn’t mean he enjoyed the uphill battle.
A week later, a similar text will be released from Bill Belichick to Welker: “I said sum things I didn’t mean, u said sum things you didn’t mean. Mistakes happ – wait a min.? You said you ‘endured’ me? WHAT, YOU LIL — EFF YOU. I MADE YOU.”
Why this will almost definitely, maybe happen: Because Bill Belichick doesn’t bow down to anyone. Not even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Remember Goodell’s post-SpyGate comments in Peter King’s profile in 2011? “I was given assurances that (Belichick) would tell his side of the story. He went out and stonewalled the press. I feel like I was deceived.” It’s The Hoodie’s World – you, me, and your dog are just living in it.
The Celtics will win too many games to have a real shot at the number one pick in next year’s NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins. Which stings. But not as much as it will sting while watching the Nets. Paul Pierce will be beloved in Brooklyn, deliver an incredible, throwback season that no one saw coming (only everyone sees it coming), and gracefully return, as a Net, to an eager crowd at The Garden, and pull an Anti-Roger Clemens – meaning we will miss him (even more).
Why this will almost definitely, maybe happen: Because, who are we kidding, the bouncy balls never go our way (See Durant, Kevin; Duncan, Tim), and because of Paul Pierce’s emotional rollercoaster ride in Boston – from the immaturity issues at the start, to the stabbing, to becoming champion, to becoming a disposable asset – was everything that’s great and awful about sports.