15 Last-Minute End-of-the-Year Sports Wishes for 2015

Amber Lee@@BlamberrSports Lists Lead WriterDecember 1, 2015

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 14: Quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Browns warms up on the field prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror and the holiday season now officially upon us, 2016 will be here in the blink of an eye. But before it comes time to ring in the new year, and we all get busy making and breaking those resolutions, there are still a few matters left to address in 2015. 

The aforementioned matters include unfinished business, ongoing drama, hopes for the immediate future and a few things just too depressing to carry over into the new year. Basically, we’re talking about 15 things that should be done today to ensure a better tomorrow. 

15. Let Terrell Owens finally let it go 

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 30:  Former NFL star Terrell Owens speaks during a Hawthorn Hawks AFL media opportunity at Gosch's Paddock on January 30, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. The Hawks hosted former NFL star Terrell Owens who is in town for the Ul
Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Maybe he really thinks he can be a contributing wide receiver in the league at age 41, or maybe he just needs the money, but it’s time to let Terrell Owens in on what the rest of us have known since 2010—his NFL career is over.

At some point, the Patriots are going to have to start grabbing dudes walking by Gillette Stadium to fill out their injury-plagued roster, and even they have expressed zero interest in T.O.’s services.

Being inducted into the Hall of Fame will have to suffice. 

14. Let Derrick Rose finally find his game 

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls warms up prior to the game against the Golden State Warriors on November 20, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloa
Noah Graham/Getty Images

Bulls point guard Derrick Rose experienced a meteoric rise to stardom during his first three seasons in the NBA, but all that came to a halt when he suffered a torn ACL during the first round of the 2011 playoffs. 

Ever since, Rose’s presence in Chicago’s lineup has been sporadic at best. He just can’t seem to get the injury bug out of his system, and recently he’s been putting up career-low numbers when he is on the court. 

13. Let the men dance 

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 22:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers dances The Dab as he warms up during their game against the Washington Redskins at Bank of America Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 44-16.  (Ph
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Despite the ongoing chorus of complainers lamenting how “soft” the NFL has become, the fact is that the game remains physically and mentally grueling for the players, many of whom literally put their lives on the line when they take the field each week. 

These guys work hard, grinding through injuries that mount throughout the season, and playing in increasingly unforgiving elements. So why is it that so many people blow a collective gasket any time a guy stops to smell the roses?

It's ridiculous. We enjoy the game, so let them do the same. 

12. Let Kevin Durant spare us a "Decision" 

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Western Conference walks on stage prior to the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle
Elsa/Getty Images

Kevin Durant is the best. The free-agency frenzy that grips the latter part of every season and much of the offseason is the worst. 

Maybe it’s unreasonable to expect KD to forgo the drama and end the suspense about his future now, be it in Oklahoma City or elsewhere, but that’s still our wish. 

11. Let everything come together for the CFP 

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 17:  College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy presented by Dr Pepper is seen at Tiger Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

For some reason, the collective sports world has a knee-jerk reflex to favor chaos and mayhem over things coming together in an orderly fashion. When it comes to something such as the College Football Playoff, that probably has something to do with the fact that only four schools actually qualify for the real postseason, while 121 do not. 

While the “my team didn’t make it, so screw everyone else!” philosophy may be what comes naturally to most of us, that doesn’t mean it’s the best. The CFP will never be perfect, neither in its current four-team format nor with a potential expansion down the line, but it’s a step in the right direction. Let’s try to enjoy that fact rather than be so nihilistic. 

10. Let Rex Ryan make the mistake of hiring Rob Ryan 

CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 14:  Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets meets with his twin brother, Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan of the Cleveland Browns when the Cleveland Browns host the New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 14, 2010 in Cle
Al Pereira/Getty Images

With his first stint as a head coach ending in spectacular crash-and-burn fashion with the Jets, and his tenure with the Bills off to a shaky start, it’s fair (if not a bit too forgiving) to say the jury is still out on the abilities of Rex Ryan to lead an NFL franchise from the sideline. 

The same cannot be said of his brother Rob, whose ongoing employment (until recently) as a defensive coordinator has served as a living monument to the power and peril of nepotism in sports. When it comes to the Brothers Ryan and their overall lack of success, one must wonder how many chances they'd get if they weren't the Sons Ryan. 

That being said, even if you think Rex probably shouldn't have a job and Rob definitely shouldn't have a job, there's no denying the irresistible allure of the spectacle that would be created by the two of them finally coming together on the same staff. Sorry, Buffalo, but we're prepared to sacrifice you all for our own amusement. 

9. Let Drake not be everywhere 

TORONTO, CANADA - NOVEMBER 25:  Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri and Drake before the game between the Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers  on November 25, 2015 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User e
Ron Turenne/Getty Images

As Americans, we've looked the other way for going on at least three generations of Canada unleashing some of its most irritating entertainers across our borders. And, with the exception of the occasional hockey player who is good enough to play in the NHL or the occasional football player who (for talent reasons or character issues) isn't good enough to play in the NFL, this almost never goes the other way.

Honestly, it won't even let Lindsay Lohan and Chris Brown visit its country, but somehow we're saddled with the likes of Pamela Anderson and Justin Bieber for all eternity. The Canadian export making the biggest impact on American sports is, of course, Drake. Every time your mom's favorite "rap person" appears at a sporting event, here or abroad, somewhere a bandwagon gets its wheels.  

One of our greatest wishes this holiday season is for Drake to make like a Tupac (or Elvis) urban legend and disappear for at least a year. At which point, should he decide to return, he's welcome to do so in hologram form. 

8. Let the Browns catch a break 

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 14: Quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Browns warms up on the field prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Ever since the Browns returned to Cleveland via expansion in 1999, it's been like the all-humiliation channel. Sure, it was funny for a while, a long while, but it completely jumped the shark on comedy about two years ago. Now, it's starting to get upsetting.

The new era of sadness began in earnest in 2012 when the team was acquired by Jimmy Haslam, a supershady billionaire who had to sell his ownership shares in the Steelers as the result of the purchase. Since then, Haslam has burned through coaches and general managers at such a rapid rate that even the late, great Al Davis is looking up in alarm. (Stop it, you know Al would've loved that joke.)

Making matters worse is Haslam taking first-round draft advice from drifters, which is how the Browns ended up with Johnny Manziel as the third-string quarterback. Manziel's ongoing antics recently brought a Browns fan to tears on the radio—it was the last straw. Please God, for the love of all that is good and holy, leave Russell Wilson to his own devices in December. Let this damn Browns team catch one break.

7. Let someone sign David Price already 

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 12:  David Price #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in relief in the fifth inning agaisnt the Texas Rangers in game four of the American League Division Series at Globe Life Park in Arlington on October 12, 2015 in Arlington, Tex
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ever since the Royals were named World Series champions in November, the race has been on to see which MLB team would have the honor of overpaying free-agent pitcher David Price with $50 million and five more years than he's worth. According to sources close to Price himself (per Peter Gammons, h/t Hardball Talk), the decision will come down to more than just money.

Like, for instance, how long a team is willing to pay him that money after his paycheck far eclipses his talent. Hopefully, the Red Sox will do us all a favor and sign him to the 10-year, $200 million deal destined to make every list of the worst contracts in sports for the next decade, sooner rather than later. 

6. Let all the athletes follow in the footsteps of Ryan Fitzpatrick 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 29:  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets walks off the field with his children after their 38-20 win against the Miami Dolphin at MetLife Stadium on November 29, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello
Al Bello/Getty Images

First of all, this has absolutely nothing to do with Ryan Fitzpatrick having matriculated at Harvard, perhaps the NFL's most guarded secret—seriously, did you know he went to Harvard? So did Jeremy Lin! You're welcome for a little A-plus trivia to regale your friends and family with at the holiday gatherings that coincide with your own particular set of religious beliefs, or lack thereof, as the case may be.

Anyway, back on track! The positive example to which we are referring is Fitzpatrick's recent decision to reduce his beard from a Rutherford B. Hayes down to a much more reasonable Ulysses S. Grant. The aggressive/oppressive beard has run its course...and then some. We're looking at you, Eric Weddle and James Harden! You're much more than the total sum of your facial hair. 

5. Let the Color Rush die 

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 19:  Ryan Davis #59, Jared Odrick #75 and Andre Branch #90 of the Jacksonville Jaguars encourage the crowd during a game against the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field on November 19, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida.  Jacksonvill
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In November, the NFL reached an impressive new level of absurdity when it was forced to issue a public apology to a minority group that was seriously overlooked in whatever internal vetting and design process is responsible for the atrocious Nike Money Grab Color Rush jerseys.

The minority group is, of course, the 4.5 percent of the global population that is colorblind. Wide-scale boobery/buffoonery like this is just business as usual for Roger Goodell— it's likely nothing beyond profit projections were considered. But you really have to question the wisdom of making the jerseys as aggressively ugly as possible.

Sure, it seems to be working well enough for the Steelers and their bumblebee monstrosities, but most teams don't have decades of goodwill stockpiled to help move even the most objectionable merch. 

4 (A). Let the Warriors lose 

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 27:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors walks up upcourt during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 27, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Warriors defeated the
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As of December 1, the reigning world champion Warriors are 18-0 and continue to rewrite the NBA record books with each consecutive victory. Exhilarating as riding their unblemished wave of success may be, every day Golden State remains unbeaten, the weight of expectations resting atop the shoulders of Stephen Curry and Co. increases ever so slightly. 

The burden from one game to the next is barely noticeable, but the total weight can become damaging. Plus, it's already getting annoying. Unlike the 16-game schedule of the NFL that makes perfection possible, if not plausible, an 82-game schedule is perfection-prohibitive. So let's just end it now so we can start talking about something else already!

4 (B). Let the 76ers win 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Jahlil Okafor, Richaun Holmes and J.P. Tokoto poses for a portrat at a press conference after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2015 NBA draft on June 27, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ack
David Dow/Getty Images

Ugh, something else such as the 76ers, who are the bizarro Warriors, currently chilling in the basement's basement at 0-18.

Philadelphia is in the midst of such a painful rebuild with the Sixers (and Phillies...and will soon be starting from scratch with the Eagles...yikes) that you can see why Jahlil Okafor has recently been busted for speeding (probably out of the city), underage drinking and brawling with America’s most dangerous animal—an angry Bostonian

Okafor and this Sixers team desperately need a win. 

3. Let Chip Kelly and the Eagles move on 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 22:  Head coach Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles watches play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field on November 22, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

With Les Miles staying put at LSU and USC having just named Clay Helton the permanent successor to Steve Sarkisian, there is no longer an easy out for Chip Kelly and the Eagles. Kelly leaving Philadelphia to return to the college ranks, which is where he belongs forevermore, would've allowed both sides to save a certain amount of face if the theoretical job was with a top program.

An opportunity Kelly couldn't pass on, especially after his own personal fire sale of some of the team's most talented players ended all too predictably—in smoldering rubble—would've allowed the Eagles brass to vilify the departing Kelly in an attempt to deflect building fan anger over a franchise-sinking mistake that never should've been made. 

At this point, the only possible way to make the situation worse is to let the lack of an easy out prevent the team from making a change in Philly. The Chip Kelly experiment was a failure, and it's time to call time of death on this sucker.

2. Let Kobe Bryant get a few final wins 

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 29: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers hides his face inside his jersey after throwing an errand pass to a teammate during the second half of the basketball game against Indiana Pacers at Staples Center November 29, 2015,
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Aging Lakers star Kobe Bryant recently surprised the sports world by announcing the current season would be his last, mercifully putting an end to something that should've ended at least two years ago. And in true Kobe fashion, he managed to make an already surprising event even more surprising by delivering the message in a way that no other player could get away with—via poem.

The last couple of seasons have been nothing but a series of increasingly low lows for Bryant as he almost single-handedly sunk the Lakers with his bloated salary and inability to get along with anyone. Now that he has finally gained some semblance of self-awareness, it would be nice to see him punctuate what has been a season of career lows with a few high notes.  

1. Let Peyton Manning be inspired by Kobe Bryant 

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos crouches on the sidelines during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on November 15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Much like Kobe Bryant had been in previous years, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is defiant to those (see: everyone with eyes) who would rather see him walk away than continue to beat a dead horse.

He's already lost his starting job, likely for good, to Brock Osweiler. Does Manning really want to potentially end up backing up someone such as Brian Hoyer in Houston? He's had too epic a career to end it with so many indignities. 

The writing is on the wall. Let's just hope Manning will look up and read it.


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