October is the best time to be a sports fan. Football is hitting its mid-season stride, baseball is entering the playoffs, hockey is getting started and with the looming NBA lockout, my stocks in privatized prisons are about to go through the roof. For many of us, the next few months will be full of drama, come-from-behind victories and insane bouts of drunkenness that somehow always end with some idiot (most likely you) challenging everyone in the bar or (if you’re a NASCAR fan) trailer park to a fight.
There will be lots of shocks and surprises the next few months, but the one constant you can count on will be the endless barrage of half-baked predictions being barked out on sports radio stations across the country. The people who call their local sports show absolutely know who’ll win the Super Bowl, how to fix the offense, and why LeBron James will never win a championship. And they will announce their predictions in a tone so self-righteous you’d think they had single handedly solved the riddle of cold fusion (and no, NASCAR fan, cold fusion has nothing to do with beer or putting a puppy in momma’s icebox “just to see”).
Of course, when Monday rolls around all those callers’ predictions will have been proven not only wrong, but fucking retarded. In their defense, these fantasy-league playing Nostradamuses will at least have the balls to call back to explain that the officials—and not the seven turnovers—were to blame for their team’s 35-point half-time deficit.
Personally, I love call-in sports radio shows. They provide all the screaming, insults and conspiracy theories of a family reunion, minus the threat of Aunt Barbara’s Burger & Mac casserole (and seriously, what the hell is that stuff?). And as an added bonus, no one gets knifed in the kidneys—and let me apologize once again to my cousin Ricky. Truly, it wasn’t personal.
The best thing about sports radio is that we all know the callers come in two basic categories. The first? The “could-have-been-a-contender” ex-jocks still steaming over their Pop Warner failures. The second? The 300-pound lard factories who lack the stamina to play basketball on the PS3 let alone on a real, asphalt court. You know who I’m talking about, right?
For that guy, football is a game you play with the cat, hockey is what you do before spitting, and soccer is a form of spousal abuse. And I mean that NASCAR fan. Punching the missy is a crime. I don’t care how hard you work to put that aluminum roof above her head, you can’t keep turning dinner into an episode of C.O.P.S. just because the PBR is warm.
Still, anyone can predict the outcome of a particular game or season. Statistically speaking, even the most clueless sports fan will occasionally guess correctly. So, those with half a brain can accurately predict nearly 50 percent of what will actually occur—this statistical percentage, by the way, was empirically derived from my ass, which is where all my statistics are pulled from.
That said, I plan to one-up all those sports-radio clairvoyants. Who’s going to win the game? Who will be MVP? Those questions are for lightweights. No, ladies and gents, I’ll go further by predicting the sporting-related events no one else can. That’s right, over the next few paragraphs (and roughly 8,793 Tweets) I’ll provide you with the sports predictions that matter.
And just so you know, my predictions are right on the money 87 percent of the time.
Prediction—With Peyton Manning out for the year, the Indianapolis Colts will finish 0-18, achieving a first in NFL history by miraculously finding a way to lose more games than they actually play.
Prediction—America will mourn the passing of a decades-old mainstay of professional sports when the Goodyear Blimp is replaced, later this year, by Barry Bonds’ head. And while Bonds has been retired from baseball for years, his head is bigger than ever. No shit, look out your window.
Prediction—Dale Earnhardt, Jr., in one of the final NASCAR races of the season, will be bumped from behind, causing his car to spin around several times. The car will be fine, but Earnhardt, dizzy from the encounter and lacking a proper sense of direction, will begin racing backwards around the track. Millions of fans watching from both the stands and from home will see, for the very first time, a right turn.
Collectively, they will all smack themselves in the forehead, pull up their pants, and go get a job.
Prediction—America’s love for Major League Soccer will explode when almost two people show up for one of the scheduled games. The added revenue will allow the sport to increase its advertising to word of mouth.
Prediction—The NHL will pull off one of the best, most competitive seasons in the sport’s history. The battle for the Stanley Cup will produce one of the most exciting playoff seasons ever. The winner? Who gives a crap? It’s hockey. There’s football on somewhere.
Prediction—Lance Armstrong will announce that while he’s still retired from cycling, his one remaining testicle is not. After winning a Tour de France qualifying race in mid-March, the testicle will be accused of doping by other cyclists, reporters and, oddly enough, Jose Canseco. While blood tests will be negative, Lance’s “boy” will continue to be dogged by rumors it’s benefiting from performance-enhancing drugs.
In the end, Lance’s testicle will win the Tour de France, marking the first time in over a decade the race was one by someone who wasn’t a total dick.
Prediction—At its last big event of the year, the UFC, inspired by the military’s suspension of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, will officially come out of the closet.
Prediction—After the Yankees lose the World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks, again, Hank Steinbrenner will spend more money rebuilding his club than America spent rebuilding New Orleans.
Prediction—Tom Brady will retire from football to join the cast of The Real Housewives of Miami. Sadly, Brady won’t be a huge hit with television viewers, as he’ll spend most of his time combing his hair, walking Gisele’s three Pomeranians, and texting Justin Bieber.
Prediction—The NBA will end its lockout by announcing a few dramatic changes. For starters, we’ll see a new 50-game season. While this will be detrimental to team revenues, it will reduce fan boredom to little more than “most of the time.”
To make up for lost revenue, $6 beers will be replaced by $8 beers, and $5 hot dogs will be replaced by $8 beers. They will also, according to Commissioner David Stern, be selling beer.
The NBA’s most dramatic change, however, will be its decision to replace its iconoclastic silhouette of Jerry West dribbling the ball with a bong.
In the NBA’s first commercial of the season, Clippers forward Blake Griffin will slam a flaming basketball through a ring of purple smoke. In the background, two children, scratching at their arms and wiping powder from their nose, will turn to each other and say: “It’s gotta be the pipe.”
Prediction—To bring fans back to the sport after an ugly, decades-long lack of complete interest, the NHL will offer season ticket holders complimentary lap dances and happy endings.
Okay, this isn’t exactly a prediction, but rather some friendly advice for the NHL. Yeah, it’s a cheap trick and largely illegal, but at least ESPN will have a reason to start airing your games again.
Prediction—Endzone celebrations will reach a new low when New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Eighty-Five spikes the ball, drops his pants and pulls a golden egg out of his ass. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, will miss the moment as he’ll spend the entire game in the restroom scrubbing his hands with a Brillo pad.
Prediction—After an amazing season, the Buffalo Bills will find themselves one last drive away from finally winning a Super Bowl and justifying its fans everlasting loyalty. The drive will be stopped short, however—not by the Bills’ opponent, but by the end of both the Mayan calendar and life as we know it.
Final Prediction—Tomorrow, someone will call a sports talk radio show for the first time. When he gets on the air, the pressure of the moment will be so great he won’t be able to speak. Before the host hangs up on the caller, listeners will be exposed to three seconds of silence.
Those three seconds will be packed with more insight and wisdom than the sports show will offer its audience the rest of the year.