Local sports predictions for 2011
- Blog Post by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson
- December 31, 2010 - 6:46 AM
To suggest that 2010 was an interesting sports year -- at least locally -- is like calling Milwaukee the drunkest city in America, saying that Hugh Hefner needs to take Viagra, or that Doc Brown never ages in the Back to the Future movies.
In other words, it would be stating the obvious.
Brett Favre broke hearts. There were coaching changes, postseason failings, and regular-season ineptitude. We saw a beautiful new baseball ballpark open, and the can-do-no-wrong hometown hero sign the fourth-largest contract in baseball history. We even experienced Wolves VP of basketball operations David Kahn get fined $50,000 for talking about Michael Beasley's former love of the wacky tobacco.
With 2010 drawing to a close, I wonder what might 2011 bring.
In no particular order, here are some guesses:
• Bert Blyleven will finally (and rightfully) enter the Hall of Fame. Foolishly, Jack Morris will not.
• The Gophers football team will score a meaningful victory. The more people I talk to, the more I hear about what a great hire Jerry Kill was. With Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska at TCF Bank Stadium, Kill will find a way to win one of those three true rivalry games.
• After saving a ton of money by hiring Kill, Maturi finds a way to get basketball coach Tubby Smith the practice facility he was promised years ago.
• Smith, in his fourth year with the Gophers, finally will win an NCAA tournament game.
• Smith will be wooed by a couple of ACC schools, and at least one NBA team (Charlotte?).
• Former Gophers recruiting coordinator Dan Berezowitz will somehow continue to berate local reporters.
• The Gophers hockey team will unfathomably miss the NCAA tournament for a third consecutive year.
• Leslie Frazier will be named Vikings head coach.
• Ray Edwards, among others, will be a former Viking.
• The Vikings draft a quarterback in the first round -- either Arkansas' Ryan Mallet, Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, or Washington's Jake Locker.
• The VIkings play the 2011 home season -- because there will be no lockout -- at TCF Bank Stadium.
• The Legislature will reach agreement on a new Vikings stadium bill.
• The Twins will not be as bad as many fans think -- still lots of time to make moves this offseason -- but won't win the A.L. Central.
• Wild TV analyst Mike Greenlay will blame the officials for at least one loss.
• Wild coach Todd Richards, whether deserving or not, will be the scapegoat for a non-playoff season.
• Forward Andrew Brunette, among others, will leave during free agency.
• Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer, and Sebastian Telfair all become ex-Wolves.
• Ricky Rubio won't be with the Wolves -- yet.
• Ted Robinson and Bob Kurtz will do a great job on the Twins radio broadcasts.
• JJ Hardy will have significantly better numbers than Alexi Casilla.
• Pam Borton will struggle mightily, but Maturi won't cut the chord.
• In spite of a horrific performance on Thursday night vs. Stanford, UCONN's Maya Moore will be the Lynx top pick in the WNBA draft.
• A prominent local sports anchor will plagiarize verbatim Jon Krawczynski's work again.
We can look back on these predictions a year from now -- I promise to not hop into Jake Nyberg's DeLorean and travel back in time to ensure 100% accuracy -- so list your local sports prognostications for 2011 below.
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