As 2016 draws to a close and 2017 is right in front of us, we are inundated with the expected, and mostly predictable lists of New Year’s resolutions. I’m not into the New Year’s resolution thing; I feel if making a change or reaching a goal is important enough to you, you will start the process today instead of waiting until January 1. This aversion to resolutions however, does not mean I don’t want to see some changes in 2017. Toward that end, here is my list of wishes that will make this a much happier new year.
We want to see lots more of this for UK Football. A dancing Boom is a happy Boom!Photo: Andrew Bishop, CameronMillsRadio.com
First, my list of UK-related wishes:
I want to see more success for Kentucky Football. The 2016 season was all but dead in the water after 2 games, but Coach Mark Stoops and his staff managed to stage an epic turnaround, finishing the regular season 7-5, with 4 SEC wins and the signature win over then-#11 Louisville. Since the win at Louisville, the Cats have seen more high-level recruits commit to the Big Blue, and all signs point to an equally successful campaign in 2017.
For Kentucky Basketball, I want what every other member of the BBN wants: National Championship Banner #9. No further explanation necessary.
In 112 seasons, UK Basketball had but 1 player hit the elusive triple-double. So far in 2016, we’ve had this happen twice (De’Aaron Fox and Isaiah Briscoe). I’d be perfectly fine with seeing that list grow this year.
For Rupp Arena, now that we have the glorious Lexi (the luxurious scoreboard), new music, and on-court “hosts,” let’s get rid of that annoying “Woooo” cheer that started to emerge at the beginning of this season. Until our Cats are involved in WWE on the court, that cheer has no place in the hallowed halls of Rupp.
For Mitch Barnhart, my wish is that he continues to find resources to further the development of all UK sports (new baseball field, tennis center, and more Rupp Arena upgrades). I would also like to see fans truly appreciate all the great things he has done for UK Athletics during his tenure. Seriously, folks, what Mitch has done is nothing short of remarkable and deserves our appreciation and respect.
Mitch Barnhart’s support of Coach Mark Stoops was proven to be well-deserved. Photo: Andrew Bishop, CameronMillsRadio.com
Next up, my list of wishes for sports fans everywhere:
Can we eliminate some of these ridiculous pre-season polls? Why have any football polls prior to at least week 3 of the season? And basketball? Any poll prior to January 1 is simply meaningless. Let teams show what they really have before anointing anyone “#1” in their sport.
While we’re at it, we could also eliminate all pre-season awards. Is this a by-product of the “participation ribbon generation” when we’re giving someone a trophy for not having done anything yet?
In a perfect world, I’d like to see those sideline reporters eliminated completely. However, I don’t want to start a massive rush at the unemployment line, so I’m willing to compromise. Let’s keep those reporters, but make them leave the coaches alone. It’s bad enough to see them chase after a coach headed to the locker room at halftime, but some reporters actually try to ask coaches questions during the game. Enough, already.
Speaking of reporters, my wish for them is to broaden their horizons and vocabularies and eliminate their overdone (and sometimes, silly) chatter. Quit telling us a game will be won by “the team that wants it more.” Let’s also stop with the “he’s giving 110%” stuff. Besides being cliché, it’s also impossible to do. 100% is all you can give. If you’re giving more than you were before, you obviously weren’t giving it all you had in the first place.
No more GOAT stuff. None. Other than a topic for debate between fans, is it really necessary to constantly deem someone the “Greatest of All Time”? Besides being mostly arbitrary, it’s also the source of many online arguments, more than a few of which turn downright nasty. Don’t believe me? Get on Twitter and say Michael Jordan isn’t “the GOAT.” Just remember, I warned you!
Pat Summit was just one of a long list of greats we lost in 2016
So there you have my list of light-hearted wishes for the new year. But I would be remiss if I didn’t include at least a few serious hopes for 2017. Again, these are not resolutions, but I would like to think most of us share these hopes:
OK 2017, don’t try to outdo 2016 and take more beloved celebrities and sports legends from us. We lost Prince, George Michael, David Bowie, Pat Summitt, Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Craig Sager, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, and that’s just a very short list.
We could also use far fewer acts of terrorism and other acts of senseless violence. The world needs to understand that black lives matter, blue lives matter, white lives matter, brown, orange, yellow, green and purple lives matter. We all need to be more loving of our fellow-man, more tolerant of our differences, and far slower to anger.
The world needs more random acts of kindness. It costs nothing to give a stranger a smile, hold a door open for someone or shovel snow off an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk. Focusing on helping others more than serving yourself always brings good things.
May the New Year bring you nothing but good things for you and yours!