With a new year upon us, instead of reflecting upon 2011, we’d like to gaze into our crystal ball and give you a glimpse of what the 2012 sports landscape could very well look like (along with a few good humored stretches of our imagination as well).
Super Bowl Champion: With the high flying, gunslinger offenses officially taking over the NFL, this may be the last chance for a vestige of old school football to rise up and claim the title. While sticking with aerial assaults that the Red Baron himself would be envious of may be the safe bet, we feel like this season has San Francisco written all over it. With a solid run game and top-notch defense/special teams, the Niners only need and Eli Manning-esque performance out of previously career under achiever Alex Smith.
NHL Champ/NBA Champ:Just a quick and dirty opinion on these two, as each sport could easily turn into an entire column itself. The NHL will regain
contact with its northern roots, as we predict that a Canadian team will surely win the cup this year. And a promise to all my readers, if the Winnipeg Jets make it to the playoffs, I’ll give you a legitimate explanation as to why I think their logo is in the top five in all of sport.
As far as the hard court goes, I like OK City to win it this year. MJ and Pippen argued all the time, and I think that the joke will ultimately be on the media when the Thunder take this shortened season by storm (ha, see what I did there).
Random prediction #1: Minnesota Women’s Hockey will win the National Championship this year, held in Duluth, MN. The Lady Gophers are currently 10-3 and have some big series coming up, but this team is ready to win and is headlined by a premier scorer Amanda Kessel, and an absolutely terrific net-minder in Nora Raaty.
March Madness: More good news for Minnesotan’s, the Gophers are definitely going to snag a bid to the Big Dance. I can’t give you a prediction yet (the bracket holds to much weight) but I’ll post an official pick closer to March.
Random Prediction #2: After a stellar performance against RG3 and the Baylor Bears, Washington Huskies’ QB Keith “Straight Outta Compton” Price will be a nice under the radar pick for Heisman.
World Series: With super powers forming on opposite ends of the country, we’re not buying the hype on either Anaheim or Miami (or those uniforms, except the orange ones). Who do we like? It’s conceivable that the Brewers get Prince Fielder back and hit their stride after Braun returns. Also don’t sleep on Atlanta, Boston or Detroit.
Random Prediction #3: No matter how much Mel Kiper Jr. drools over the Cardinal QB, Andrew Luck will not be the best signal caller selected in the upcoming draft.
Some quick Minnesota Sports Predictions for the upcoming year:
Minnesota Wild:After I mentioned that all Wild fans want for Christmas is for people to stop talking about how well the Wild are doing, they went into an
absolute tailspin. So, I’m going to change things up a bit, I don’t think the Wild even make it to the playoffs this year (wink-wink).
Minnesota Timberwolves: The NBA Rookie of the Year award is coming out of the Twin Cities this season. Either Rubio or Williams will take this, because at some point this season, the Timberwolves are going to realize these guys are the future and their minutes should increase.
Minnesota Twins: Not many great things on the horizon for the Twins, except I predict that Ben Revere will either become the very solid player he has the potential to be, or he’ll fall off the face of the earth. Also, don’t expect Justin Morneau to be on the roster after the trade deadline.
Los Angeles Vikings: The LA Vikes will position themselves for another season with a high draft pick, and take hometown QB Matt Barkley in the 2013 draft to be the future of the franchise. Meanwhile, future back up Christian Ponder will start dating Kim Kardashian, and the Vikings marketing staff will send DE Jared Allen down to the Chinese Theater in full denim get-up to sell tickets along side Superman, Elvis, and the rest of that motley crew.
Random Prediction #4: The Golden Gopher football team will be bowl eligible next season, and win said bowl. Get some Coach Kill!
And finally, in a way to allow my readers to feel a deeper connection to myself and my writing, I’d like to wish you all a happy and healthy 2012, and will give you a sample into two of my resolutions, one personal and one sports related.
-Like everybody else in America, I’m planning on getting in shape, and for real. If any of my readers have any advice, scroll down and shoot me an email.
-Attend at least one event of each sport at the University of Minnesota. I’ve seen everything so far this year, save Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics, Track and Field, Softball, Baseball, Swimming and Diving, and Tennis.
Happy New Year! And if you’re a believer in the Mayan prophecy, enjoy the last 11 months and 21 days of existence!
Eric Melch is a senior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Sports Management; he is the Sports Editor of Secret Laboratory. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Eric grew up near Madison, Wisconsin, spending his entire life in Big 10 country. His love of literature and sports has naturally led him to write about his passion, something he has done for the past six years and most recently at The Two Point Diversion. Eric currently works as a promotions assistant with Gopher Sports Marketing, and hopes to continue his career in college athletics.
E-mail Mr. Melch at firstname.lastname@example.org.