For some folks, 2010 was a very good year, particularly in the world of sports.
Especially if you were the Saints (of the New Orleans variety, although those of the LDS faith certainly were blessed, too). Or the Lakers (of the Los Angeles variety — and the Bonneville High girls soccer squad, too). Or the Giants (from the West Coast, right around San Francisco, rather than the East Coast, right around New York).
And for some other folks — Brett Favre, Tiger Woods and Dallas Cowboys' fans, among others — 2010 was downright disappointing, a year that can best be forgotten now that it's in the rear-view mirror.
But what will 2011 bring?
Well, it's time to look into our crystal basketball and predict what we wish would, could — and, in some cases should — happen during the New Year:
January: Cam Newton accounts for over 400 yards of total offense, but the Auburn Tigers still lose the BCS National Championship Game to the Oregon Ducks in a 42-41 thriller. Newton's performance is overshadowed when his father, Cecil, is arrested for trying to sell unauthorized, miniature replicas of the Heisman Trophy — complete with his son's signature engraved on them — outside the stadium at Glendale, Ariz.
February: Despite struggling at times when his long, flowing locks repeatedly obscure his vision, Tom Brady leads the New England Patriots to a 27-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XLV (which, of course, translated from Roman numerals means 40-something). With his team's fourth Super Bowl triumph since 2002, Patriots coach Bill Belichick vows to go out and buy a brand new hoodie which doesn't look like something worn by a homeless person or a low-budget boxer training for a fight. ... Jazz star Deron Williams, with 20 points and 10 assists, further helps establish himself as the NBA's best point guard by being named MVP of the annual All-Star Game.
March: BYU's All-American guard, Jimmer Fredette, puts up a pair of eye-popping performances to lead the Cougars to a spot in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. It is BYU's best postseason showing in 30 years, since a guy named Danny Ainge led the Cougars to the Elite Eight in 1981. ... NFL owners, at an impasse with the NFL Players Association on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, announce a players' lockout until a new CBA can be reached. Millions of NFL fans around the country collectively groan and go into a deep, dark funk.
April: Tiger Woods takes a two-shot lead into the final round of The Masters, and most golf fans figure that Tiger, again playing at his red-shirt-on-Sunday best, will be unbeatable on the last day of a major tournament. But Phil Mickelson, wearing a pink shirt in honor of his wife's and his mother's battles with breast cancer, rallies to win the championship by a single stroke when Woods bogeys the last hole — much to the dismay of a gallery filled with his former girlfriends.
May: In a grueling seven-game series, the Jazz eliminate the defending NBA champion L.A. Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals. Utah's much-maligned rookie, Gordon Hayward, clinches Game 7 with a clutch pair of free throws, sending Lakers coach Phil Jackson off into retirement — minus the smug smile he's normally worn on his face for the last couple of decades. ... The Utah Grizzlies hockey team, the Beehive State's "other" (and occasionally forgotten) professional sports franchise, wins the ECHL championship.
June: The Jazz shock the world by winning the franchise's first NBA championship with a stunning five-game series victory over the Miami Heat, whose star player and reigning league MVP, LeBron James, struggles through a pitiful Game 5 performance and suffers a postgame meltdown after enduring endless, derisive chants of "Long live what King?" at EnergySolutions Arena. ... Tom Brady finally gets a haircut and auctions his shorn locks to adoring fans as a fund-raiser for Bill Belichick's foundation for the homeless, many of whom wear slightly used hoodies formerly worn by the Patriots' coach.
July: The Jazz draft Fredette, BYU's stellar shooting guard, with their first-round pick, and Jazz G.M. Kevin O'Connor tells delighted draft-day fans, "I hope you're still cheering two years from now." ... NBA owners, unable to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NBA Players Association, announce an anticipated and dreaded lockout will be in place for the start of the 2011-12 season. ... The Salt Lake Bees host what will forever be remembered as "The Mother of all Triple-A All-Star Games" at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
August: Brett Favre expresses an interest in returning to the NFL for another season. However, no NFL teams express an interest in Favre. ... Real Salt Lake continues its unprecedented winning streak at Rio Tinto Stadium, where RSL is not only undefeated this season but has announced plans for stadium expansion to accommodate overflow crowds which have shattered Major League Soccer attendance records.
September: With new BYU offensive coordinator Brandon Doman masterminding a brilliant game plan, sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps leads the Cougars to a 31-27 victory over rival Utah. The game's outcome is somewhat marred, however, when several over-zealous BYU fans throw cups of caffeine-free cola on Utah coach Kyle Whittingham's feisty wife, Jamie, at LaVell Edwards Stadium. (Heaven help them if Kyle ever catches them). ... Due to the NFL player' lockout, the league decides to try and start the 2011 season with its version of "The Replacements." However, despite great speculation and public outcry, Keanu Reeves will not be playing quarterback in Washington — and neither will Donovan McNabb.
October: Utah's football team notches its first Pac-12 victory and gains a small measure of revenge by beating Washington, coached by former BYU quarterback Steve Sarkisian, in a dandy 27-24 duel at Rice-Eccles Stadium, where Ute quarterback Jordan Wynn shows he's fully recovered from the shoulder surgery that sidelined him at the end of last season. ... NBA owners reach an 11th-hour agreement with the Players Association on a new CBA, thus giving the Jazz an opportunity to defend their league title.
November: BYU finishes its first season of football independence with an 8-4 record and is invited to play in the inaugural Green Jell-O Bowl in New York, near the famous Jell-O Museum. ... Utah also finishes a very respectable 8-4 in its first season of Pac-12 play. Ironically, the Utes are headed for the Holiday Bowl in San Diego — a postseason game Utah never got to play in during the 20 years that the Western Athletic Conference, of which Utah was a longtime member, sent its champion or second-place team to play in. ... Real Salt Lake captures the MLS Cup for the second time in three years by defeating the rival Colorado Rapids, the league's 2010 champion, for the title.8 comments on this story
December: With reigning champions in the NBA, MLS and ECHL, Utah is crowned as the sports mecca of the U.S. — despite objections from New York, Los Angeles and every other major city in America. ... Thanks to a resurgent football program guided by Gary Andersen and a perennially stellar basketball program under the direction of Stew Morrill, Utah State is invited to join the Mountain West Conference. ... With the loss of two more schools to other conferences, the WAC announces plans to add Northwest Nazarene and IUPUI — Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis — or more commonly called "Ooohy Poohy" — in 2012 after Weber State graciously declines an invitation. ... NFL fans band together and announce they'll boycott the 2012 season after being forced to sit through a bad, real-life sequel to "The Replacements" in 2011.
Ah, yes, in the immortal words of Craig Bolerjack, we'd better "buckle up" because it's gonna be a great year.
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