Image Via Ezra Shaw, Getty
Happy New Year, everyone! I honestly love this time of year. Everyone has made their resolutions and are genuinely interested in bettering themselves, at least for the first three weeks or so. No matter what happened during the previous calendar ( Let’s never speak of 2016 again), January 1st is greeted with such hope and optimism. In that spirit, here are five things I want to see in 2017.
Dallas-New England Superbowl
This one will come as a surprise to those who know me personally and those who have ever read this blog. It is no secret I am not a fan of either of these teams. So why would I want to see these two face off in the game of the year? Simple: I think it would make for the best game. As much as I hate them, objectively, These two squads have been the best teams in their conferences all season and we could expect a high scoring contest. I loathe both squads, so I would have no dog in the fight and could just enjoy the fact one of these teams, probably the Cowboys, will come up short (spite FTW).
Blue-Blood Final Four
We’re approaching the halfway point of the College Basketball season and the field is open. That said, one thing is clear: The traditional powers of Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, UNC and Kansas are good. Not only are they good, they’re extremely fun to watch…and they have been even more fun when they have faced one another. All of these teams have met at least one of the other four teams, two in the case of Kentucky. The results:
Kansas beats Duke 77-75. Frank Mason game winner
UCLA beats Kentucky 97-92. UCLA ends UK’s 42-game home win streak
Kentucky beats UNC 103-100. Malik Monk drops 47, Justin Jackson gets 34
All three epic contests. All five teams feature future pros, have championship pedigree and large fan bases. We’ll get to see Kansas travel to UK for the Big 12-SEC Challenge and of course see UNC & Duke square off at least twice in conference, but I want to higher stakes. We need to see four of these teams in Phoenix.
Russell Westbrook Average a Triple-Double
Okay, I’ll admit it: I wasn’t always a fan. I was a member of that ” Russ needs to defer to Kevin Durant more often” crowd for way too long. To my credit, I saw the error of my ways before Scott Brooks was axed, but still thought of Westbrook’s play as problematic at times.
This past summer rattled my brain, as I saw Durant cave in game six of the Western Conference Finals then bolt to the team he choked against. This killed me. I wanted to see a Golden State-Oklahoma City rivalry blossom over the next 3-5 years. As a consolation, however, we did get to see something special: Russell Westbrook completely unhinged.
As of December 31st, Westbrook is averaging 31, 10 & 10. The last time someone average that…I’m gonna say it was Oscar Robertson, wait…
Yup. Oscar way back during the 1961-1962. This is something I thought I would never see. This is my, and I’ll guess your, best chance to witness the feat. Who doesn’t want to see that?
Kobe and His Stans
I miss Kobe and his fans. Seriously. Especially his fans. I miss my adversaries. Yeah, I still get the occasional ridiculous meme on Facebook or the stats without context, but it’s not the same. I need Kobe to become involved in media, make shady remarks about current players, something.
I have been trying to become a fan of Baseball for the past three seasons, to no avail. I have a feeling this is the year though. The difference being Game 7 of the World Series. It was a momentous event, even for a non-fan such as myself. I have no illusions that I won’t get that kind of magic anytime soon, but I was finally shown how compelling the sport can be, and I want more.
I’ve been somewhat intuitive about the course of recent calendar years. If you adhere to my clairvoyance (because why wouldn’t you?), there’s reason to be excited. I have a good feeling about 2017. Hey, we’re already getting a Alabama-Clemson rematch & another Cavs-Warriors Finals is looking like a safe bet. The glass is half full already.