Tis the season…for looking back at the highlights of the year that has just passed. That’s too easy. What about looking ahead? Time to pull out the ‘ol Crystal Ball…
Jan. 7th, Miami: Alabama’s Nick Saban wins his fourth national title with a lackluster 16-12 win over Notre Dame in the second-to-last BCS National Championship game. The game features one touchdown – a defensive score by the Tide – and seven field goals. The teams combine to punt 21 times. ‘Bama placekicker Jeremy Shelley, who didn’t miss a kick all season, is named the game’s MVP.
Feb. 3rd, New Orleans: The San Francisco 49’ers complete a hard fought run through the play-offs with a 26-23 win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVII. The Pats become the fourth franchise to lose back-to-back Super Bowls (the organization’s fifth Super Bowl loss) while the win gives the 49’er franchise its sixth Lombardi Trophy.
Feb. 13th, Indianapolis: One week after Texas A&M signs 40 recruits to letters of intent, the NCAA announces a crackdown on the practice of “oversigning” that’s been so prevalent in the Southeastern Conference. The NCAA decides that all schools must adhere to the 25 scholarships-per-year limit (with exceptions made only for documented cases of players leaving school early) and the rule of having only 85 scholarship players on the roster at any given time, rather than just at the start of fall camp. Later in the day, Saban announces he’s leaving Alabama to take over as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
March 17th, Indianapolis: Selection Sunday is special in Colorado. Denver University, Colorado State and the University of Colorado all get bids to the NCAA tournament. Including Wyoming, the Mountain West Conference places five of it’s nine teams in the field. The Pac 12 Conference lands three bids.
April 1st, Milwaukee: The Colorado Rockies defeat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 on Opening Day behind seven strong innings from starting pitcher Jeff Francis, giving new Manager Walt Weiss a win in his managerial debut.
April 8th, Atlanta: Ohio State captures it’s second National Championship in Men’s Basketball – it’s first in more than 50 years – with a thrilling 86-84 win over Duke. Creighton and Kansas complete the Final Four.
April 25th, New York: The Denver Broncos select defensive lineman Sylvester Williams of North Carolina with their first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. The Broncos also grab RB Rex Burkhead from Nebraska, who turned heads at the NFL Scouting Combine, in the fourth round.
June 3rd, Oklahoma City: A sterling play-off run for the Denver Nuggets ends with a 112-105 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. The Nuggets had ousted the San Antonio Spurs while the Thunder had beaten the Los Angeles Lakers to reach the semi finals. The Thunder go on to defeat the Miami Heat in six games to capture the NBA title.
July 16th, New York: Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who hits a home run and a double to lead the National League to a 6-2 win over the American League, is named MVP of the Major League All-Star game.
July 30th, Denver: After listening to trade offers, the Rockies announce that they will not be trading either Tulowitzki or outfielder Carlos Gonzales at the trade deadline, even though they trail San Francisco by 12 games in the NL West. The budget-be-damned Los Angeles Dodgers, who sit 10 games back of the Giants, had been the most aggressive in pursuit of both Rockies stars.
Aug. 31st, Denver: Colorado State makes it two in a row over CU with a 33-28 win in an entertaining Rocky Mountain Showdown. The game marks the debut of the Buff’s new “pistol” offense, which churns out 432 yards of total offense but also commits five turnovers.
Oct. 30th, Toronto: The Washington Nationals defeat the Toronto Blue Jays in six games to win the 2013 World Series. Stephen Strasburg, who won 22 games and will go on to be named NL Cy Young winner, dominates in both of his Series starts and is named MVP.
Dec. 8th, Denver: Peyton Manning throws for 356 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Broncos to a 36-27 win over the San Diego Chargers to clinch a third straight AFC West Division title. The Broncos, who lost in the conference title game the year before, go on to lock up the top seed in the upcoming play-offs.
Then we do this all over again for 2014…