Happy New Year! We're less than a week into 2012, which means my only reminders of 2011 are an unpaid NHL GameCenter bill and a couple of soon-to-be untagged Facebook albums.
I hope this year gets off to a solid start because, if you believe a certain 5,000-year old calendar, it’s the last one we’re going to get.
The Maya-predicted apocalypse is supposed to happen in less than 12 months (although if they had the power to end the world, they should have done it before Apocalypto came out). I’m not ready to start singing early-'80s R.E.M. songs yet, but just in case, here are a few 2012 predictions I hope will come true before the earth’s December explosion:
LSU wins the BCS national championship by two touchdowns. Unhinged Crimson Tide fan Harvey “The Anti-Lorax” Updyke responds by attempting to poison an actual honeybadger. Updyke, who had apparently never seen a honeybadger, is survived by his children, Crimson and Bear, and 26,000 Alabama hats.
During Denver’s playoff game with Pittsburgh, Broncos fans chant "Tebow!" three times in rapid succession, inadvertently opening a portal to the underworld. Sunday’s AFC wild-card winner? Irony.
Novak Djokovic kicks off another record-setting ATP season with his second straight Australian Open title. With his fifth Grand Slam, the world No. 1 finally becomes well-known enough that spellcheck stops putting a red line under his name.
Nippon-Ham Fighters pitcher Yu Darvish is signed by the Texas Rangers and has a Rookie of the Year-caliber season, although Tampa Bay will represent the American League in the World Series. They will win in seven games over the Cincinnati Reds.
Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia expresses an interest in playing for the Nippon Ham Fighters, until learning no actual ham is involved.
Kim Kardashian quietly and briefly marries every other player on the New Jersey Nets. In an attempt to lose his title as the Most Hated Player in the NBA, Kris Humphries joins Dancing with the Stars. America falls for him after his playful fan dance, until it’s revealed he paid Soleil Moon Frye to take a spill during her final episode pasodoble.
John Daly runs into Tonya Harding at a Gatlinburg-area Hooters. Literally runs into her, with his RV. Instead of getting his insurance information, she challenges him to a Pay-Per-View boxing match. Harding KO's him in the first round and, after being revived with a carton of unfiltered Marlboros, he proposes. The two are married in late March.
Another Butler- or VCU-style underdog emerges during this year’s Final Four. It will not be Butler or VCU. It won’t be the University of Phoenix either, but writing that on your least favorite coworker’s bracket is strongly encouraged.
The Tiger Woods Comeback Tour kicks off with a one stroke win at the Masters. He contends through the early summer until he tears his rotator cuff with an extra violent fist pump. Bleary-eyed and depressed after another injury, he’s caught in an iPhone video making a pass at Adam Scott’s long putter.
After scoring 14 points — a two year high — Tim Duncan attempts a smile. His head immediately explodes, Scanners style.
New Cubs GM Theo Epstein holds his final preseason press conference in a gorilla costume. New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine holds his in a Theo Epstein costume. No one notices, as Boston reporters are still frantically writing page 1-A features about fried chicken.
A second trailer for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit is released. Smaug looks exactly like Rob Ryan.
A 37-year-old Derek Jeter publically clashes with the Yankees, who want to move him to the outfield. 40-year-old Jorge Posada is moved to way, way outfield. GM Brian Cashman says Posada "went to that really nice farm upstate, where he has plenty of room to run and play with Scruffy, your old beagle."
The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls face off in what proves to be the most entertaining Eastern Conference final in recent memory, overshadowing the actual Finals. That Heat-Thunder matchup is co-broadcast on the Weather Channel since, as a spokesperson said, "Those were our things first." Jim Cantore is brought in to cover the game, since anything involving LeBron has the potential to be a disaster.
After the Heat win, all those LeBron jokes are sent to the same farm where Jorge Posada lives.
A red-eyed and out of shape Michael Phelps fails to win a single gold at the London Olympics. He shrugs, dedicates his silvers to his trainer Ganja Dwarf and eats an entire bag of Fritos during the medal ceremony.
Unbelievably, the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks face each other in the second straight Stanley Cup finals. Nervous about a repeat riot, Vancouver city officials play Adele’s "Someone Like You" after each game while handing out condolence Slankets.
Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are two seconds into a tight 100-meter final when coverage is interrupted to announce what Pippa Middleton is wearing.
Tiger Woods goes through a TMZ-covered split with the long putter. It immediately rebounds by marrying Kris Humphries.
After losing the entire starting five to the NBA draft, Kentucky’s Midnight Madness is just John Calipari sitting crosslegged at center court, singing softly to himself. It sounds like Adele.
A Cubs beat reporter spends two weeks in the hospital after attempting to get a postgame quote from the monkey enclosure at the Brookfield Zoo. "Theo," he says from the back of an ambulance. "I thought that one was Theo."
Tim Tebow has his first encounter with law enforcement when he’s stopped for driving alone in the HOV lane. "When you see only one passenger," Tebow tells the officer "That’s when He drives my 4-Runner." Tebow is let go with a warning.
Star magazine tries to out Alex Rodriguez in a high stakes underground Words With Friends ring. The Yankees release a statement denying his involvement since "We all know Alex doesn’t have any friends."
Venus and Serena Williams return to championship form, with wins at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, respectively. They make it through an entire WTA season without being overshadowed by their on-court fashion choices. (ZOMG! LOL!)
Jeff Fisher is named coach of the St. Louis Rams. His wraparound sunglasses replace Jim Caldwell in Indianapolis. Of the three of them, the glasses will have the better record.
Andy Roddick storms out of a press conference after being asked why he stormed out of his last press conference. Lacoste drops him as a spokesman, explaining that he must’ve misunderstood what the label "Gel Douche" means.
Hipsters ditch their ironic NBA jerseys in favor of ironic NASCAR fire suits. The trend ends when a twentysomething in a Kevin Harvick suit is pulled out of his car and beaten by Kyle Busch.
A recently re-divorced John Daly interrupts the John Deere Classic by throwing hot dogs at himself. He is immediately devoured by CC Sabathia.
Duke coach said that after winning his second gold medal in men's basketball would be his Team USA finale. That may not be the case anymore.
Czech Tomas Berdych snapped a run of 11 consecutive defeats by world number one Novak Djokovic to reach the semi-finals of the Rome Masters before Rafa Nadal was stretched to the limit against David Ferrer on Friday.
The Week in Sports Pictures
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
When athletes and celebs get together
A look at the many links between sports and Hollywood stars.