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Friday, December 31, 2010

Fearless Predictions for 2011

Rather than look back this week, I will look forward to the coming year of track and field and road running. Few realize I combine the powers of Nostradomus and Ed Glosser,Trivial Psychic. So on with the fearless predictions for 2011...

A previously undistinguished athlete will win a medal at an international championship, and then be surrounded by quite credible accusations of doping and/or questionable gender identity. S/he may or may not be found to be in violation of the rules. You can bank on this.

The London 2012 Organizing Committee will release a glaringly obvious promotional toy: the Paula Radcliffe bobblehead doll. Shockingly, it will be an even bigger bomb than the Brussels Sprouts Whopper.

Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt will race two or three times, with gigantic hype surrounding each meeting. Neither athlete will sweep the series. ESPN will grudgingly mention the races once or twice, then immediately return to sniffing Kobe Bryant's jock.

The Doug Logan / USATF lawsuit will actually go to court, resulting in embarrassment to both parties. Court documents and testimony will reveal that several USATF board members have committed huge abuses of power. In the best traditions of Jim Traficant, Kwame Kilpatrick and Rod Blagojevich, they will refuse to resign, causing sponsors to consider withdrawing and the USOC to consider de-certifying USATF.

The most popular celebrity running the New York City Marathon will turn out to be Jimmy "The Rent Is Too Damn High" McMillan. The national exposure, as well as Toni Reavis' enthusiastic announcing, will momentarily make his poll numbers for the 2012 presidential election higher than those of Haley "Boss Hogg" Barbour. He will be the flavor of the week for DC pundits, only to be discarded the following week in favor of some other idiot.

An American distance runner will have a huge breakthrough and win a medal at the World Championships. However, none but Bernard Lagat will have any chance at a gold medal.

Wallace Spearmon will accept Chris Johnson's challenge and the two will race at 50 meters. Spearmon will be so far ahead that he'll actually turn around and point and laugh at Johnson before the finish.

The IOC will open bidding for US television rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games. Upon opening the sealed bids, the organization will e-mail the four network heads with the question "You do know we were looking for the HIGHEST bid, right?"

College track coaches will continue to argue about qualifying mechanics to the NCAA Outdoor Championships while remaining ignorant to their sport's ever-increasing irrelevance. No one will realize why the decidedly below-average Drake Bulldogs and Penn Quakers track programs are on solid financial grounds.

At the Boston Marathon, Ryan Hall will be borne on the wings of second place.

A thrower will dominate his or her event, going undefeated and putting up distances not seen in a decade or two. His/her biological passport will indicate it's all-natural. Only Afonse Juck, Martin Bingisser and yours truly will even know his/her name, and the thrower in question won't get a single vote in any Athlete of the Year ranking.

Someone on a message board will become enraged over a trivial occurrence, perceiving it as an insult.

A major corporation will realize that track fans are the perfect well-educated, younger than average, financially secure, broadly diverse and tremendously loyal niche market, carpetbomb us with advertising, and single-handedly end the recession. The rest of Madison Avenue will either smack their foreheads in disbelief of their own ignorance or get a similar dope slap from their bosses, and hundreds of other corporations will follow suit. There will be so much money flowing into track that the USA Running Circuit will be mistaken for a traveling Player's Ball.

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