Volume 94, Issue 58

Friday, January 5, 2001


Party just starting for ballers

Second half brings new challenges - Hockey team enters new year undefeated

2001's fearless forecast

2001's fearless forecast

Sporting Sense
By Ryan Dixon

Sports Editor

The sporting year of 2000 was highlighted by a subway series, a grocery bagger turned Super Bowl MVP and a Tiger that nobody could tame. What will the world of sports do for an encore? Let's take a look into the crystal ball:

–First things first, the National Hockey League can not help but be better simply because of the return of Mario Lemieux. Besides making Jaromir Jagr a shoe-in to come back and win the scoring title, #66 could make the Penguins contenders, if he can convince Craig Patrick to find a real goalie.

-While we're on the topic of owner/players, why not get Wayne Gretzky back in the game. Phoenix might even be able to win a play-off series with the Great One in the line-up

-The Rams may have not been able to hold up their end of the bargain when it comes to a SuperBowl rematch, but don't worry about the Tennessee Titans. They are poised to claim the big game with a victory over, lets say Minnesota.

–Twelve and oh so fine. The Western Mustangs men's hockey team is carrying an undefeated regular season record into the new year and something tells me they may be able to run the table and keep the goose egg in the loss column. This team did not beat teams in the first half, they demolished them.

–$252 million is approaching the GNP of some countries on this earth. How can Texas Rangers fans ever expect to see full value for what their team is paying shortstop Alex Rodriguez. Want to know something, he is not even the best player available at his position. Derek Jeter is a big time post-season performer and has three World Series rings – enough said.

–Tiger Woods will give everyone a thrill by threatening to win the Grand Slam of golf in one season. After taking the Masters, US and British Opens by a combined total of 35 strokes, Woods will just fall short at the PGA Championship by one shot. Who will be the brave soul that tames the Tiger you ask? Why Canada's own Mike Weir of course.

–Toronto, New Jersey, Dallas and Colorado will form the final four in the NHL play-offs. The Cup will once again find its way to Colorado, but not before a tough six game battle with the Devils.

After winning the cup, Colorado will take the customary trip to the White House. After captain Joe Sakic makes a speech about how much the Avalanche feel privileged to present the cup at the White House, new President George W. Bush will respond 'It sure is shiny!'

–The Yankee dynasty will finally be derailed. Their cross town rivals, the Mets, will land big game pitcher David Wells from the Blue Jays and that will be enough to put them over the top in the subway series rematch with the Yanks

–The Toronto Raptors should come on strong in the second half and might be good for a play-off upset if Vince Carter can display the same heroics in the play-offs that he delivers on a regular basis during the season.

–Sports fans everywhere will continue to get poorer and fatter, as ticket prices continue to rise and alcohol remains a mainstay at any sporting event.

Let the games begin.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000