2016: My Bold Predictions

2015 has come and gone, and 2016 is here to stay. Well, until next year. With that, speculation abounds as to what will happen this year, how everything will play out. Most of the stuff will be absolutely insane. Even the things that appear sane right now will appear insane come December 31st 2016. So I’m going to be beyond sane in this crystal ball of mine. I’m not going insane, just beyond the standard mold (like I won’t pick the 76ers to win the NBA Finals this season.) So, these are my bold predictions for the year of 2016 (in chronological order)

1/4/2016: Jason Garrett is fired as the coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Now this isn’t incredibly bold, but people have been starting to speculate that his job’s safe. I don’t think so. Jerry Jones is notoriously impatient, and with the large amount of struggles on offense without Tony Romo and a limited Dez Bryant I don’t see how Garrett keeps his job with the boss he has.

1/11: If you consider it a bold prediction, the Alabama Crimson Tide defeat the Clemson Tigers 31-21 in the College Football Championship.

1/12: Chip Kelly is named the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. I sincerely think this is the job Chip is going to get, not the Titans. The Browns are in all regards a better team than the Titans, and require less of a build than the Titans. It’s a better job, and with a quarterback with the same kind of skill set that Chip is good with, it’s a match made in heaven (hell?).

1/13: One day after the Browns “surprisingly” nab Chip, the NFL announces that only the Chargers and Raiders are being allowed to move to Los Angeles. The Rams stay in St. Louis.

1/17: The Washington Redskins upset the Carolina Panthers in the Divisional Round. Remember in my playoff predictions how I said the Redskins had that 2007 and 2011 New York Giants feel? In these bold predictions they go full 2007/2011 Giants and make it to the NFC Championship, where they’ll beat the Cardinals en route to a date with the Patriots in Super Bowl 50.

2/4: The Washington Redskins upset the New England Patriots 27-24 on a last second interception on the goal line. Julian Edelman drops a potential touchdown two plays before the interception. Kirk Cousins is named Super Bowl MVP.

Sometime in March: Ronda Rousey challenges Holly Holm to a rematch. The match is scheduled for October.

Sometime in March: Michigan State defeats Kentucky for the Men’s College Basketball Championship.

4/9: The Golden State Warriors defeat the Memphis Grizzlies for an NBA record 73rd victory and become “the best NBA team ever”. They finish the regular season 74-8.

4/28: The Tennessee Titans pick Joey Bosa from Ohio State with the first pick of the NFL Draft. Paxton Lynch is the first quarterback picked (5th by the 49ers)

5/22: The NHL Finals between the Florida Panthers and the Los Angeles Kings begins with a 2-0 win for the Panthers.

6/1: The NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Indiana Pacers begins with a Pacers win, 107-106.

6/2: The Florida Panthers win the NHL Finals for the first time in franchise history 4 games to 2 over the LA Kings.

6/17: The Indiana Pacers upset the Golden State Warriors on a last second buzzer beater to win Game 7 of the NBA Finals to take home the Championship.

Sometime in July: The Washington Wizards sign Kevin Durant to a five year multi-million dollar deal.

8/6: Tony Dungy, Terrell Owens and John Lynch are among the six players/coaches inducted into the Pro-Football Hall of Fame.

8/10: The USA comes second overall in the Olympics behind China. The US Mens Basketball and Womens Basketball teams do claim the gold in Rio.

8/24: FIFA acknowledges bribery by Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. Qatar is stripped from hosting the World Cup and replaced by Canada. Sites are Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Hamilton, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, and London (Ontario).

9/8: The NFL season begins with the Washington Redskins against the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately those who watched it gouged their eyes out due to the reintroduction of the “Color Rush”. Detroit wins 17-10.

9/11: Tom Brady starts the beginning of a down year (for him) by throwing an interception against the Jets on the first play of the first game of the season. The Patriots lose 24-13.

10/2: The MLB Season ends (is this really that bold a prediction?) with the Houston Astros as the Number 1 seed in the American League (there it is).

10/4: The Minnesota Twins win their Wild Card game against the Yankees, allowing them to advance to the playoffs where they upset the Astros and the Royals to make it to the MLB Championship against the Chicago Cubs.

10/13: The NHL Season starts between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings. Chicago wins 3-0.

10/23: Ronda Rousey defeats Holly Holm in a knockout 31 seconds into the first round, avenging her loss last year.

10/25: The NBA season tips off between the Indiana Pacers and the Washington Wizards. The Wizards win the game 87-80.

10/30: The first meeting between the Chargers and Raiders since they moved to Los Angeles occurs. The LA Raiders win 31-10.

10/31: The Chicago Cubs win the Pennant for the first time since 1908.

11/6: Halfway through the NFL’s season, there are three unbeatens left (Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets) and one winless team left (San Francisco 49ers).

11/8: The NFL announces that it’s no longer doing “Color Rush” Thursday nights, and everybody breathes a collective sigh of relief.

11/24: The Detroit Lions are the first NFL team to clinch a playoff berth.

12/4: The last CFP Rankings are released, with #1 Alabama, #2 Oregon, #3 Michigan, and #4 Kansas State.

12/4: Lions lose their first game of the regular season, there are no unbeaten teams left.

12/18: The Chiefs and Jets clinch an AFC Wild Card bye.

12/25: New England clinches a Wild Card berth despite the struggles of Tom Brady. The sixth seed is still up for grabs between the Bills, Jaguars and Raiders. Jets clinch #1 seed.

12/25: Rematch between the Warriors and Pacers. Warriors win 99-87.

12/31: Alabama defeats Kansas State 24-20. Oregon defeats Michigan 37-31.

11:59 pm 12/31: Canada declares war on the United States for electing Trump and conquers everything. All sporting events are cancelled in 2017 except for Canadian Football, hockey and curling.

And finally we reach 2017. What an eventful 2016. While none of this may come to pass (especially that last prediction. Trump for President? Bah.), I look forward to reviewing what I got right and wrong, and then making predictions for 2017. I hope we are all prepared for our eventual Canadian overlords.

2016: My Bold Predictions

Where The Chips May Fall: My Thought on The Firing of Chip Kelly

I was originally going to post something about the NFL Playoffs and how I thought everything was going to fall up into the Divisional Round. The Philadelphia Eagles had different plans for me tonight with their firing of Chip Kelly. That doesn’t mean I won’t my playoff preview, I’ll probably end up doing it tomorrow. But oh man did this really come out of nowhere. Where to begin?

I think we have to start with the firing itself. It’s not entirely surprising, considering the dumpster fire that the Eagles season has been. Losing back to back games with 40+ points dropped on them each of those games and with nearly 40 dumped on them during Saturday’s matchup against the Redskins it was pretty much inevitable. Except I can think of coaches that have had bad seasons like this before after doing well in previous seasons being given another chance. The difference between them and Chip is that Chip Kelly had just gotten control of trading and cutting players that he felt necessary a mere ten months ago. And, rather inadvertently, gutted this Eagles team in the process. Whether gutting the team and starting from scratch was his plan or that he thought he was upgrading is not something I know nor something I can speculate on. In essence his downfall is rooted in his Pyrrhic victory. Kelly the GM, as so many people have said already, killed Kelly the coach. But what happens next?

For the Eagles, it’s back to the drawing board. And as much as Eagles fans will hate to hear this, it’s going to be painful for a couple of years. Unless they can get the right combination of coaches and they can pick up the right players in free agency, I don’t expect this franchise to see the light of the playoffs until the 2018-2019 season. The next coach has to be at least decent though in order for that to happen, and even that’s stretching it if they make poor choices in their players. Take it from a Buccaneers and Bills fan. Going back to the drawing board is always painful and always results in short term struggles. Beyond the 2018 season? Nobody can really have a good idea of what happens beyond that point. Maybe the Eagles get a great head coach and draft the next Tom Brady and become the next dynasty. Maybe the Eagles pick a terrible head coach and draft the next Ryan Leaf and go on a playoff drought. There’s no way of telling what happens, only that in three years you’ll know whether your next coach was a success or failure.

As for the Chip Kelly, I think he’s likely going to be on another NFL team by the end of January. There’s speculation the Titans might grab him because he has ties to Marcus Mariota, but I’m thinking that the Cleveland Browns in particular might come a callin’, especially because of Johnny Manzeil. Chip Kelly did particularly well with quarterbacks like Manziel during college and even his first season with the Eagles. The rather listless Browns offense could use an invigoration from Chip. The San Francisco 49ers, depending on the patience of their owner with Jim Tomsula, might go after Chip Kelly as well. After all, you could do worse (like Joe Philbin). There’s also the (small) chance he could land back in college football for a season or so. If say (for example) the Dallas Cowboys fire Jason Garrett and choose Art Briles from Baylor to be their next coach, Chip Kelly could easily land that job no questions asked. Realistically speaking though the best chance he has of being a head coach next year is in the NFL.

In the end Chip Kelly is probably the winner in the big picture. Unless the unimaginable happens and he doesn’t get an NFL job within the next two years, he’s the obvious short term winner in this arrangement. He gets to go to greener pastures where the future is brighter than in Philadelphia. But, in an NFL where making the playoffs is hard, the Eagles are back to square one, a place they weren’t when they fired Andy Reid nearly three years ago.

Where The Chips May Fall: My Thought on The Firing of Chip Kelly