Whew! That was close, but the world did not end Dec. 21 as predicted by the Mayan calendar! So, dear readers, I hope y'all-that's Louisiana for "you all"-had the merriest of Christmases ... and that the coming year will be your luckiest '13.
Of course, 2013 will be lucky for some and not so lucky for others. I'm pretty sure I won't win the Mega Millions lottery, but hey, you never know! As always, there will be many surprises-some good, some bad and some ugly. And that is almost always true in the sports world, year in and year out.
So after Santa Claus climbed back into the sleigh and headed back to the North Pole with Rudolph's red nose leading the way, I got out my crystal ball, put on my head wrap and took a long look down highway 2013. As always, there were some surprises and some ho-hummers.
The Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl, defeating the Houston Texans, 31-21, in the New Orleans Superdome and setting a record-for the lowest Super Bowl television ratings in decades.
The Buffalo Bills make their former quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly an offer he can't refuse; he comes out of retirement to return as the team's starting quarterback, replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick, who decided to go back to Harvard and get a master's degree in accuracy.
The entire National Hockey League season is canceled. Shortly thereafter, both the owners and the players' union announce, "Well, I guess we showed them!"
Notre Dame defeats Alabama, 38-17, in the BCS championship game. Afterward, when ND coach Brian Kelly is asked how the Fighting Irish were able to pull off the upset, he says, "Well, my guess is our players were better at reading our playbook than the 'Bama guys were at reading theirs."
Alabama football coach Nick Saban vows to have his university's first female president, Judy Bonner, fired when she complains that he is making roughly $5 million a year to coach a team and she makes less than half that for running the entire university. He says to the media, "You tell me: What's more important in Division I, reading, writing, arithmetic, or football?"
Jay Thomas, the new football coach at Northwestern State U. of Louisiana, my alma mater, installs the historic single-wing offense and the Demons go 12-0 because nobody else can figure out how to stop an offense that has four running backs in the backfield.
The Oklahoma City Thunder defeats the Miami Heat in six games to win the NBA championship. LeBron James sets an NBA record by taking six steps to the basket after he stops dribbling the ball and doesn't get called for traveling.
Despite starting way back in the pack, Danica Patrick wins the Daytona 500. Three days later, world-class skier Lindsey Vonn announces she will leave the slopes and take up what she calls "real racing."
The USGA and the Royal and Ancient decide to reverse their 2012 ruling and allow continued use of belly putters. At the same time, in an effort to make the game more competitive for non-belly putters, the two ruling gods of golf change the diameter of the golf cup from 4.25 inches to 3.5 inches, beginning immediately.
Rory McIlroy wins his second consecutive PGA Championship with a record score on the Oak Hill East Course, becoming the only player in modern history to shoot 17 over par for 72 holes and win a major. Asked why the scores were so high, McIlroy says, "The ball would barely fit into the hole."
The New York Yankees finish third in the American League East with an 81-81 record, and owner Hal Steinbrenner reacts by firing everybody on the payroll, from manager Joe Girardi to the guy who vacuumed the locker room. And yes, that includes Derek Jeter. "Why would you cut Jeter?" the media ask over and over. "Look, I'm just doing what my dad would do if he were still here," Steinbrenner responds.
Tennis star Andy Roddick comes out of retirement to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon tournaments, and the sports world is astounded. He is asked over and over, "How in the world were you able to do that, Andy?" And finally he confesses: "Well, I decided to grunt loudly every time I hit the ball, like the women. And it worked!"
And finally, my crystal ball actually looked at me and smiled, then told me that the LPGA tournament at Locust Hill Country Club will stay here and remain a major championship indefinitely. Let's hope it's right on!
Happy new year!
Rick Woodson's column appears each Thursday on the Rochester Business Journal website at www.rbjdaily.com. His book, "Words of Woodson," is available at www.authorhouse.com/bookstore. Listen to his weekly program, "The Golf Tee," at 9 a.m. Sunday on WHTK-AM 1280 and FM 107.12/28/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.