x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

We can be sure as to what will not happen in 2012 sports scene

Mike Tierney: Leading off our second annual look ahead: no owner lockouts or player strikes. For more non-happenings in American sports, read on.

Mike Tierney predicts that LeBron James will prove he is not so big-headed when, after winning the All-Star game MVP award, he asks it be divided into separate and equal-sized pieces for his posse.
Mike Tierney predicts that LeBron James will prove he is not so big-headed when, after winning the All-Star game MVP award, he asks it be divided into separate and equal-sized pieces for his posse.

We awakened on Sunday to a new year. It carries great anticipation, if only because 2012 will be abbreviated, with no 2013 to follow.

So say the experts who interpret the Mayan calendar as predicting that our planet will sign off for good on December 21, a Friday.

Let us hope the Mayans' forecast is a few days premature so we can squeeze in another NFL weekend.

Americans will elect a new (or old) president this year, which is important since his duties include greeting teams that have won sports championships when they visit the White House.

Between handshakes, the president will work toward world peace.

May he have the same good fortune as the professional sports leagues, none of which has a labour agreement set to expire for a while.

Thus, leading off our second annual look ahead at what will not occur in the coming year: no owner lockouts or player strikes.

For more non-happenings in American sports, read on.

January: Tim Tebow does not become the worst quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. (Your distinction is safe, Trent Dilfer.) … Green Bay do not return to defend their title after several key players pull hamstrings doing their Lambeau Leaps in their first home play-off game.

February: Drew Brees does not throw for 1,000 yards in the New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl win over the Baltimore Ravens, only 487 … LeBron James, MVP of the NBA All-Star game, does not request that the trophy be carved into 38 pieces, one for each member of his posse.

March: NBA owners do not vote to stage games with a "running clock", which was considered to accommodate players spent from the exhausting schedule … The Indianapolis Colts do not pass around a collection plate to raise the US$28 million (Dh103m) needed to pay Peyton Manning, their quarterback, his contract bonus, opting instead to operate an overpriced souvenir stand at the Indy 500.

April: Despite global warming, the NHL does not start the post-season a month earlier even though it cannot keep the rinks frozen … The Colts do not ask Manning for a loan to cover the contract of the quarterback Andrew Luck, the No 1 draft pick - because Manning offers to donate the money himself.

May: Kobe Bryant does not make the NBA finals, Los Angeles having been eliminated by Los Angeles. (What, you never heard of the Clippers?)

June: David Stern, the NBA Commissioner, does not award the championship trophy to himself when the league-owned Hornets - after acquiring Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Kevin Love for draft picks in the 2018 to 2022 seasons - sweep Miami ... Tiger Woods does not win the US Open after Adam Scott's caddie, Steve Williams, coughs "traitor" under his breath during a potential tying putt on the 72nd hole, causing Woods to flinch.

July: Though weary of too many 1-0 games, Bud Selig, the baseball commissioner, elects not to reduce the number of balls for a walk to three and increase the number of strikes for a strikeout to four … Swimmer Michael Phelps does not depart for the Olympics in London with two empty suitcases to pack all the medals he could win.

August: Phelps does not return to the US after the Olympics because he cannot afford the baggage fees to haul home all of the medals he won.

September: The Colts do not alternate Manning and Luck on each play. Just each series … Serena and Venus Williams, the injury-prone sisters, do not default to each other by simultaneously withdrawing from the US Open finals. (Venus beats Serena to the punch by two minutes.)

October: Major league baseball, after abandoning its eight-team play-offs, does not spontaneously combust by expanding to 10 games. (It does, however, postpone games when three stadiums are struck by lightning) … Tebow is not waived by the Broncos, who instead trade him to the Colts as a third-stringer for the rights to Andrew Luck's unborn child.

November: Bud Selig does not extend the World Series to Thanksgiving Eve, while conceding that global warming makes it a possibility next year … The Brewers, whom Selig once owned, do not win the Series even after he lifts Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension for a positive drug test by claiming the Milwaukee slugger's samples got mixed up with leftovers from Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds.

December: Drew Brees does not say to his teammates, when he breaks his own single-season passing record: "This time, it was all me. You guys had nothing to do with it" … The president-elect does not say to the nation: "All of those campaign promises I made? Hey, the world is ending soon, so forget about them."

 

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