On Sunday in Minneapolis, the Bears will end a lost season with a third consecutive victory started by a third different quarterback — a footnote most of us soon will forget.
One night later in Indianapolis, Alabama will beat Georgia for the second time in a little more than a month — an ordeal that will haunt Bulldogs fans until merely the end of time.
And on Feb. 13 in Inglewood, California, guess who’s going to hold the Super Bowl trophy up high for all the world to see? The Cowboys’ Dak Prescott, that’s who. What, you were expecting Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes? Not this time, bub.
Look, I can go on.
Bulls closer extraordinaire DeMar DeRozan will start the All-Star Game on Feb. 20 in Cleveland, but he won’t finish it. Oh, he might be out on the floor, but he’ll have to watch like the rest of us as bigger superstars with bigger egos take all the biggest shots.
The Cubs (at the Reds) and White Sox (against the Twins) will open their seasons March 31, as scheduled, though the lockout will have turned spring training into kind of a jumbled mess.
The Bulls will be at the United Center when the NBA playoffs commence April 16, the Blackhawks will be in dentists’ chairs when the NHL playoffs get going May 2 and — double-spoiler alert — the Warriors and Maple Leafs eventually will be the last teams standing in those leagues.
The Cowboys winning it all for the first time since 1996 won’t be anything compared with the Leafs ending a drought that goes back to 1967, but maybe some of you hosers knew that already.
What’s with all the predictions? It’s that time of year is all. What some see as a blank sports slate, others recognize as a precious opportunity to climb far out on a ledge with 12 months’ worth of utterly useless, inevitably humiliating and maybe even occasionally accurate conjecture.
If having 2022 vision is wrong, I don’t want to be right. A bunch of you don’t, either, as I learned after inviting folks on Twitter and Facebook to spit into the wind along with me.
‘‘DePaul men’s basketball will be dancing in March,’’ @Mike_PiFF03 declared.
Oh, will it now?
‘‘Bulls make the Finals but lose in six,’’ @RayJOrtega offered.
Bummer of an ending, but what a run it’s going to be!
‘‘Ryan Pace makes a bad hire for Bears head coach, then trades up for a wide receiver who fails, all while not addressing the offensive line,’’ Jim wrote, sparing no detail. ‘‘And the Bears go 6-11.’’
For the second season in a row, on the off chance I was wrong about Justin Fields and the Bears beating the Vikings in the finale Sunday. (Don’t worry, I wasn’t.)
Meanwhile, I’m definitely right about Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks and White Sox slugger Eloy Jimenez making it to Dodger Stadium as first-time All-Stars on July 19. And also about Cubs first baseman Frank “The Tank” Schwindel homering into the corn, a la Tim Anderson, for a walk-off winner in the MLB “Field of Dreams” game Aug. 11 in Dyersville, Iowa.
What, too random? Too silly? Like you should talk.
‘‘The Bears rehire Lovie Smith as head coach,’’ @jakepowers actually put out there. ‘‘Up is down and down is up.’’
‘‘Following an NBA Finals loss to Golden State,’’ @jabressler began perfectly reasonably, ‘‘Kevin Durant exercises the player option in his contract and signs with the Bulls.’’
Fun to think about, anyway, as is this bit of clairvoyance from @ChiCity_Smitty: ‘‘Lucas Giolito gets an extension, and the Sox sign Kris Bryant — the first $100 million-plus contracts in franchise history.’’
But this is my column, and I’m here to tell you that Northwestern — sláinte! — will start next season with a victory against Nebraska on Aug. 27 in Dublin, Ireland. And just wait for the buzz Oct. 1, when Bret Bielema takes Illinois to his old stomping grounds in Madison, Wisconsin, and wins. Alas, Marcus Freeman and Notre Dame will take a disappointing ‘‘L’’ on Sept. 3 at the young coach’s alma mater, Ohio State.
Listen, don’t blame me. I’m just the messenger.
Will the Sox still be alive when the American League Division Series begin Oct. 6? Sure, they will.
Tell you what, let’s let what’s left of the year be a surprise.
We somehow got this far without mentioning COVID-19. No, it hasn’t ruined the new sports year yet. Will it? How the hell should I know? I’m not even a real soothsayer, let alone an epidemiologist.
But that’s the thing about predictions: Sometimes, they’re right on the money; other times, they’re trash. Either way, you get to reach out and remind me that I’m an idiot. And won’t that be nice?
Consider it my gift to you. Really, it was nothing.