Forecasting 2013 in Sports

By Don Wade

2013 Sports Forecast by the numbers: 1. The Grizzlies swing a deal before the trade deadline but are fined by the NBA when, out of habit, they try to trade O.J. Mayo.

2. The Memphis Airport is invited to join the Big East.

3. Alabama beats Notre Dame, 30-22, to win a second straight national title and give the SEC its seventh straight national championship. Nick Saban, almost cracking a smile, says, “We’re gonna take 24 minutes to enjoy this one and then get back to make coaching at Auburn and Tennessee a living hell.”

4. Tiger Woods announces he will play in the FESJC – just as soon as Elvis plays in FedExForum.

5. The Memphis Tigers win at Tennessee on Jan. 4, win the C-USA regular-season title, but get tripped up during the C-USA Tournament in Tulsa and spend Selection Sunday sweating. Josh Pastner says, “I’m telling you, Conference USA is a good league. Well, pretty good. Not bad. OK, not horrendous. Look, there are worse leagues. I can’t think of any right now, but they’re out there, man!”

6. The NFL votes to expand the playoffs, adding the “Romo Round.”

7. Lance Armstrong offers a “new” theory: flaxseed oil.

8. ESPN introduces the TV show “Sports Screech!” but pulls the show when producers realize they already have that with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith on “First Take.”

9. At a blackjack table and sitting on 20, a man tells the dealer, “Hit me.” That man is Les Miles.

10. Tony Allen and Rudy Gay make a New Year’s resolution: Tony quits uncontested layups and Rudy gives up uncontested dunks.

11. A Home Depot in Sheboygan, Wis., is invited to join the Big East.

12. Saying, “I’m going to play the quarterback that gives us the best chance to win,” Jets coach Rex Ryan names Vinny Testaverde his 2013 starter.

13. On the “NBA on TNT” set, Charles Barkley correctly predicts that there will be more solar eclipses this year (2) than times Kobe passes on a fast break.

14. In February, Lane Kiffin sees his shadow – meaning that in Tennessee he’s still less likable than a rodent.

15. During the NBA offseason, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook join “The View.”

16. Having been rewarded by the New Orleans Saints with a five-year $38 million contract extension AFTER Bountygate, Sean Payton takes the next logical step: He enters politics.

Don Wade’s column appears weekly in The Daily News and The Memphis News. He and Jon Albright host the “Jon & Don Show” on Sports 56 AM and 87.7 FM from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.