A new year brings new betting opportunities
December 29, 2015 3:01 AM
by Mark Mayer
Just a few days from 2016 and a personal milestone – 40 years of sports writing – I was the Howard Cosell of my kindergarten class. In other words, I got pulled out a lot.
We’re not about looking back, but straight ahead. Our five-tool collection of writers will step in the batter’s box and take their swings at what they expect to see over the next 52 weeks.
There may be some home runs, a few singles and perhaps a strikeout or two. No matter, it’s the love of the game that attracts us plus the challenge ahead to bring GT readers our best.
As for me, I’ll offer a few personalities who should remain at the top of the headlines and what could lie ahead.
Jennifer Lopez: I hear she no longer wants to be called J-Lo and perhaps Jenny In The Hood is behind her as well. What’s ahead is a huge 2016 with that megadeal at Planet Hollywood, a new TV show with Ray Liotta and closure to her “American Idol” success.
Las Vegas Arena: You build it, they may come. Our chips are in on the city landing a team in the NHL for 2017-18. At least we know George Strait is a whale of a first booking.
Ronda Rousey: Ronda’s depressed right now over losing to Holly Holm, but she’ll re-emerge feistier than ever. She’s still the face of UFC and not a bad one at that.
GGG: That’s Golovkin to fight fans and boxing’s savior with the alleged retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr. A huge pay-per-view win over Canelo in September will highlight his year.
Tiger Woods: The intimidation factor gone, as well as his back and driver, Tiger is more likely to add another blonde rather than a major. If El Tigre has anything left in the tank, he’ll show for the Masters and contend.
Bryce Harper/Kris Bryant: Now with an MVP (Harper) and Rookie of the Year (Bryant) under their belts, it’s time for the Vegas boys to reach the next level. Too bad Bryce won’t be playing for the World Series favorite Chicago Cubs this season.
Serena Williams: To dominate women’s tennis in parts of three decades and still look smashing is truly remarkable. And so is that “Sports Illustrated” cover. If Serena stays healthy and drama free, she should win at least two more majors. Australia and the French are her toughest tests, Wimbledon her easiest.
Triple Crown: They do seem to come in bunches. Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed in the ‘70’s. Another American Pharoah emerging this year wouldn’t surprise me.
Cubbies: Except for the elimination of ISIS, not much could top a World Series appearance and title after more than 100 years of the goat. In my lifetime as a sports fan, that would be a walkoff, especially if the opponent for Chicago is Boston, adding more legend to Fenway and Wrigley.
New York Islanders: A Stanley Cup for the first year in Brooklyn. Nathans dogs, crinkled fries and the orange ade on me. Hoping for a playoff matchup with the Rangers.
Happy New Year y’all and a toast to Mom and Dad in heaven.
Encore: Lest I forget, the hiring of Will Muschamp sinks South Carolina football in 2016 to its lowest level since my freshman year when we joined the Confederacy. Just kidding, but you get the point.