2008 Review: What I Got Really, Terribly Wrong, and a Few Things I Nailed
A year of sports has gone by, which means I've had a year of opinions, stances, and predictions. After a run-in with Clemson Nation two months ago when I wrongly put Oliver Purnell on the hot seat, I made it clear I'd own up to any mistakes I've made.
Many main-stream-media members ride their high horse and won't admit their mistakes (I'm looking at you T.J. Simers).
So this my attempt to own up to all my wrong-doings.
First and foremost, Oliver Purnell, you aren't on the hot seat. You never were, you never have been. Why in the world I ever put you on the hot seat, I don't know. Actually, I do. Never rely on preview magazines for all your background. Usually I use them as a start and then hit the Internet up for more background, but for that article, I didn't have the time.
Take my advice wisely. DO NOT rely solely on preview magazines for your information. They are bad news...because you'll end up like me.
Next up is Memphis basketball. I decried for months you would win the NCAA Tournament and that your free-throw troubles wouldn't be your downfall. For the entire season, trips to the charity stripe never cost the Tigers a game. But the National Championship game was a different story. Missed free throw after missed free throw ultimately led to my misjudgement being turned into this:
Hmmm, what's next in what I screwed up in 2008. Oh wait, remember when the Phillies traded for Joe Blanton? Well, you probably remember that, but I'm guessing you don't remember my reaction. I was not a happy camper the Phillies gave up some of their best prospects for a pitcher that I thought was a waste of space.
Well Mr. Blanton decided he was going to be impossible to beat down the stretch and even hit a home run in a playoff game.
Back to the hard courts for my next mistake. I labeled Georgetown a top 30-35 team, but certainly not a top 10 or even top 25 team. Well, after the Hoyas restored "Hoya Paranoia" with a win over second ranked UConn in the Big East opener, John Thompson III's team appears to be much better than I pegged them to be. Whoops.
In football, I argued for weeks that the Eagles, if healthy, would compete with the Cowboys for the conference title and ultimately go to the Super Bowl (again if healthy). I thought for sure the Eagles could win at least 11 games and the Cowboys would do the same.
Considering the Eagles knocked the Cowboys out of the playoffs in a regular season game that was essentially a playoff game, I'm going to go ahead and say I was pretty wrong.
I also thought for sure New England was going to win the Super Bowl. My Bad.
Onto baseball again. After the ridiculously hot starts Chase Utley, David Wright, and Derek Lee, I declared the MVP race essentially closed. I thought for sure as long those three consistently put up good numbers, and their teams performed, the MVP would come from one of those three.
Well those three trailed off a little, one team choked, and Albert Pujols emerged as the real MVP of the league (though Ryan Howard has some legitimate beef with that).
Finally from the diamond, before the season began, I thought the Phillies would be battling it out for the N.L. East title with the Braves. I figured the Mets would be good, but the real competition was going to be from Atlanta. A gaggle of injuries later and the Braves were sinking to the bottom of the league quite quickly.
I also said the 76ers would win 50 games this year. There's still a lot of time left, but I'm still going to go with an oops on this one.
I didn't get everything wrong. If I did, I probably should be considering a different profession. So what did I get right?
I pretty much nailed my first three bold predictions for the Eagles. Reggie Brown didn't catch 40 balls for the Eagles this year and has likely played his last regular-season game for the Birds.
Out of homerism, I picked the Phillies to win the World Series (then again, almost no one picked them before the postseason started, so I'll take pride in that call).
I said Syracuse would be much improved on the hardwood this year and contend for a conference title.
I pencilled in Davidson's upset of Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament and the Wildcats run through the NCAA Tournament.
I thought for sure South Alabama didn't deserve to be the NCAA Tournament for its lack of quality of wins, despite their gaudy record. Butler railed South Alabama pretty badly in the first round.
In early August, about two weeks into his stint with the Dodgers, I said Manny Ramirez deserved serious consideration for the MVP award. Commenters disagreed big time. But Manny finished fourth in the voting, just one vote behind Ryan Braun for third. Point me!
So here's to 2009, one more year of dumb predictions, idiotic statements, and a few gut calls that miraculously went right. Happy New Year to everyone.
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