Let’s be honest. Most of those New Year’s resolutions we make last about as long as it takes for you to fall in love with Christmas leftovers and suddenly discover that the drive to the gym became a little longer than it was the day you signed up for a membership. Similarly, these pinky-promised resolutions may fall just short of their tall tasks in exchange for other desires. Here’s a list of what ten figures and organizations in the sports world might be thinking about during or after the holidays.
10. New Orleans Hornets, (er, I mean) New Orleans Pelicans – “After exploring any small trace of thought and perspective that some call common sense, we will not change the team name to the Pelicans.”
What? Did they say… Pelicans? Although some are squawking at the ridiculous name change that seems likely to take place for the basketball franchise, a pelican isn’t the worst ornithological species that could’ve been chosen. Some pelicans can be aggressive, and there have even been reports of attacks on humans (FYI: don’t put your head next to them just to get a picture). It could’ve been worse. How about the penguins? When was the last time you saw one of those wild mascots in Pittsburgh? How about the doves? Those slightly ferocious creatures would at least justify any team having alternate all-white uniforms.
9. Roger Goodell – “Although we continue to grasp at straws in order to create an image of safety so that we can save our behinds from legal issues, I will not eliminate kickoffs from the game of football. Sigh.”
It’s time for Goodell to stop being hypocritical. He says he wants to improve safety, but he also wants to extend the regular season to 18 games. He had that week where he tried to suspend Ed Reed for an accidental hit to the head (it was reduced to a fine after appeal). Now he’s suggesting that the number of playoff teams be increased. It’s time to stop threatening to change essential parts of the game, including wanting to eliminate kickoffs. The kickoff return can be one of the most exciting plays in a game. Look at how Devin Hester and some others have made a name for themselves and changed many games’ outcomes on special teams. We won’t even get into the complications of not being able to perform onside kicks. There is no way to take injuries and collisions out of the sport, but there are ways to make the game safer without ruining what is good about the great game of football.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers – “Maybe we should try to be a little smarter with our money this year (OK, probably not).”
You’d think that the Dodgers’ spending on players and their team alone could have pulled the economy out of its recession a couple years ago. Magic Johnson and the ownership team seemed determined to make this team competitive. It should help do that, but given the Dodgers’ results down the stretch of last year’s regular season end, it could also be a failure. Of course it’s worth a try, and Dodgers’ fans should be excited that the team’s owners are trying, but if it doesn’t work out (See 2012 Miami Marlins), then the Dodgers’ owners will be wishing they made a resolution to be more fiscally responsible.
7. NHL Owners and Players – “We will try to get our negotiation process unfrozen before the start of the 2013-2014 NHL season.”
The 2012 holidays will not be a festive time for hockey fanatics as the lockout continues. It has been announced that more games have been canceled through December 30. I know fans that are still holding on for hope, but that ice is getting thinner and the skates are still deep on each side. The fans deserve better to say the least.
6. R.A. Dickey – “I will show fans and baseball that 2012 was not a fluke.”
Whether Dickey will be able to prove this to the New York Mets’ fans or those of another team remains to be seen with the Mets currently exploring the trade market for the 38-year-old ace. The 2012 National League Cy Young award winner had a season for the ages as he used his knuckleball to float to the top of the Mets rotation and the MLB elite pitching ranks. After battling through adversity throughout his career, it’s hard not to root for this fan-favorite player.
5. Tiger Woods – “I will win my 15 th major championship this year.”
No matter what your personal feelings are for the guy, you have to admit that the game of golf just isn’t the same without Tiger in contention in the biggest tournaments. One day, golf will have to cope with the greatest golfer (and possibly athlete of any sport) of our era no longer being able to compete at the highest level, but for now he is still capable of being the best in the world, and he showed that multiple times in 2012. However, the major championship drought continued despite a mostly successful season. As he’s said before, though, the only wins that are truly meaningful to him now are the majors. Maybe it’s time to go see LeBron’s sport psychologist, Eldrick.
4. New England Patriots – “We will not lose to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl…again.”
The playoff scenarios are setting up nicely for some teams in the NFL, and the Patriots are undoubtedly the hottest team in the league right now after winning seven straight games with four being by 28 points or more. The Giants are not even a lock for the playoffs yet, but everyone around the league knows that the defending Super Bowl champions are one of the most dangerous teams to face when the money’s on the table. We probably won’t see a repeat of last season’s championship, but the Patriots might have some extra motivation to not lose for a third time in six years if that other team is led by Eli Manning.
3. Michael Jordan – “I will find the fountain of youth.”
“Michael Jordan to come out of retirement to play for his Charlotte Bobcats.” Could you imagine it? OK, maybe he’s slightly past his prime and can’t fool his body to think that it’s 1999 again. So, let’s not throw a party yet. You know that he’s dreamed about it. Maybe that dream didn’t involve playing for the Bobcats, but it involved him returning to play the game he could never stay away from nonetheless. I wouldn’t count on seeing the number 23 knocking down buzzer beaters again, but Bobcats fans (many of whom want to return to the Hornets moniker coincidentally) would certainly welcome any help right about now. It would make most feel better if he just made some wiser front office decisions.
2. Floyd Mayweather (while rubbing chin after watching the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight) – “I think me and Manny might be able to work something out to get in the ring this year.”
Some experts speculate that the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is even more unlikely now after “Pacman” lost by knock out to Marquez on December 8. For those who speculate on the side that Mayweather has been avoiding the fight to protect his undefeated record, this may signal a future change of heart. Either way, one thing remains true. The longer the fight of this century is put off, the less alluring it becomes. Maybe they’re just trying to wait for the sponsorship money to pile up. Bengay and Viagra might be willing to pitch in for some ring ads if they wait much longer (See Michael Jordan coming out of retirement).
1. Rex Ryan – “I will stick my foot in my mouth more often. Not for fun or due to regret like usual, but in order to prevent me from saying something I can’t back up later on.”
For all the positives that the other “Sexy Rexy” (not Rex Grossman) has brought to himself and those around him with his committed weight loss (last year’s New Year’s resolution?) and his confidence in his team, there are the equally annoying negatives that come with him being the mouthpiece of the Jets in the country’s biggest media whirlpool. Indeed, the Dennis Rodman-Carmen Electra-like marriage (Yes, they were really married… for a few days) that is him and Tim Tebow has probably been the biggest headache to every American sports fan who has watched any news coverage of sports in 2012. The mistress, Mark Sanchez, has been plodding along poorly while many fans and reporters question when Ryan and Tebow would finally legitimize the relationship and send “the Sanchize” to the pine. However, if the Jets end up missing the playoffs, then all corners of this strange love triangle may end up going separate directions anyways.