One year ago, I gave you my predictions for the year ahead, and for years to come. How did I do? Let’s take a look:
- The year in sports is a massive disappointment. Not really. I predicted a Dolphins-Vikings Super Bowl, and we did get one team that wasn’t exactly a “name” team, and the Steelers kinda sorta pulled the same trick they did three years before, though not quite as surprising. But who would have guessed that the Vikings would have actually been a name team by the end of the year? Or that we’d get a Super Bowl that people were hailing as the best ever one year after Patriots-Giants? The national championship game in college basketball did go back to being a laugher, but while North Carolina didn’t go undefeated, far from losing in the Final Four, they won the whole thing. Neither the Cavs nor Spurs made the NBA Finals, and LeBron to the Knicks is still a very real possibility, but the new hot idea is teaming LeBron and Dwayne Wade somewhere. The Stanley Cup Finals turned out to be Red Wings-Pens again, and America tuned in as much as they ever do for hockey, but if it’s Red Wings-Pens a third time I think we will start to tune out. Philadelphia made the World Series again, and the Red Sox lost in the first round, but far from not making the ALCS, the Yankees won the whole thing.
- Tiger Woods did indeed fail to win a major, though he didn’t miss much time, but no one could have predicted what happened to him by year’s end. Jimmie Johnson did indeed win another Sprint Cup in a laugher – NASCAR really needs to review the Chase idea to see if there’s something about the structure of the Chase that Jimmie is exploiting. But far from not making a major final, Roger Federer made every major final, and won twice. There were five undefeated college football teams at season’s end, not three after Week 4, but I picked two of them – but I sure as hell didn’t pick what happened to USC this season, and while it was a down year for mid-majors in general, we got two BCS busters and the closest any mid-major team has yet gotten to making the national championship game. The Arena League, who I may have had in mind when I predicted one league would completely cancel a season, folded entirely, but MLS seems strong as ever, and the IRL isn’t cutting back at all, even adding a title sponsor. But NASCAR may well pass it backwards anyway… and the UFC certainly attracted a lot of attention for UFC 100. These are stories to watch for the next decade.
- We don’t know what’s happening with the Olympics or NHL contracts, but we do know they won’t be in Chicago. Rio won’t be all bad for American television, but still.
- “The Saints challenge for the NFC South” indeed! “The Lions are at least respectable”… not so much, though I will say right now that the Browns or Raiders will make the playoffs in the 2010 season. Brett Favre did retire, but then he unretired again, but the Jets hold their own playoff destiny in their own hands. Matt Cassel joined the Chiefs and Super Bowl contenders they are not, but it’s still too early to say he (and thus, Tom Brady) was entirely a creation of Bill Belichick. (Wasn’t he injury-rattled this year?) The Pats are back in the AFC East driver’s seat, the Cowboys are in the playoffs, have shook off the December blues, and could take the division, and Vince Young is officially Tennessee’s quarterback of the future.
- I actually made three different predictions for the year in politics. Sadly, the first one seems to be the closest to coming to pass. Troops aren’t even entirely out of Iraq yet, though we have stopped paying attention to it. Most of Obama’s stimulus plans are gimmicky (Cash for Clunkers, anyone?) and don’t provide enough PR boost. The politics of the last eight years don’t change and in fact get worse, because they involve cultural factors bigger than any politician, and can only be changed by the people taking part in it – us. (In retrospect, Obamamania is a symptom of a persistent problem the Left has these days, of assuming that if we just elect enough right-thinking politicians, everything will be hunky-dory. It blinds the Left to politics’ limitations and to other avenues to change, which led the Right to beat them at what used to be their own game this year with the tea parties and town halls, as well as the reasons why electing the right politicians can be so hard.) The Left still loves Obama, though some people don’t find him leftist enough, and the tea partiers don’t find many in their own party rightist enough, which scares me in terms of what the politics of the next decade will be like. I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions per se, but mine is to try to do something to change the state of politics in this country before it’s too late. Interestingly, the tea partiers and people like Glenn Beck make Ron Paul’s views more mainstream, while the GOP base still defends what Bush did as president, so my “fascist-anarchist” GOP prediction isn’t far off.
- The Internet’s metamorphosis this year basically amounts to the rise of Twitter; it doesn’t seem to be benefiting from the recession as much as I thought, though the rest of my prediction may yet come to pass this year.
- Because of that, webcomics haven’t exploded yet, though we may yet see a new golden age in this coming decade. Sandsday won’t be part of it though, and I still intend to revisit my State of Webcomics Address.
- The people who read my webcomics criticism, including what amounts to semi-big names in webcomics, like it, but there aren’t enough of them. I didn’t really do much to attract new audiences to politics other than the Sandsday global warming series. I’m effectively repeating this point for the coming year.