Like most other folks, my bracket is garbage. I had Michigan State winning it all and Kentucky in the final four. This NCAA tournament has made both fans and analyst look quite foolish. I thought it may be fun to write about some of the other ridiculous sports opinions/predictions I have had over the years. I ended up looking real stupid on all of these. When it comes to sports though, not many people admit they were wrong. So, enjoy this.
- When they were drafted, I thought Robert Griffin III would have a better career than Andrew Luck. After a promising start, RG3 has just found a new home in Cleveland after riding the bench in DC for most of the last two years. Luck has led the Colts to the playoffs every year that he has been healthy. He has never had a great supporting cast either.
- I was sure Montee Ball would be the next great NFL running back. The NCAA’s all-time TD leader, Ball was drafted to my Broncos in 2013. With the numbers he put up at Wisconsin, I thought he would be great at next level. I am well aware that numbers do not always translate to the big time. His lack of speed really hurt him in the NFL and he could not stay healthy. He was released less than two years after being drafted and is now out of football. Ball appeared in the Broncos Super Bowl loss to Seattle.
- I bought in to Josh McDaniels as an NFL head coach. Speaking of the Broncos, When Mike Shanahan was fired after the 2008 season, new coach Josh McDaniels instantly rubbed everyone the wrong way and obliterated the roster of all the decent players. Despite that, he and the Broncos started the ’09 season 6-0. I was all in. I was convinced he was a mad genius. I even bought a hoodie similar to the one McDaniels sported on the sidelines. The Broncos missed the playoffs in ‘09 and would win just 5 more games in the rest of McDaniels tenure. He was fired midway through the 2010 season and has not sniffed a head coaching gig since, and rightly so. Obviously, the Broncos organization has fully recovered from the damage the Belichick understudy did.
- I thought A.J. Green would fall flat on his face with the Bengals. This was never a question of talent for me. It was question of fit. The Bengals have taken chances on questionable character guys before. Some before Green, some after. We are talking about guys like Adam Jones, Chris Henry, Odell Thurman, Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and Vontaze Burfict. They have had mixed results. By the time they Green was drafted fourth overall in 2011, this reputation was firmly entrenched. The star wide out had missed time at Georgia for getting improper benefits. This turned out to be insignificant. However, I was nervous about a player with any kind of red flag at all going to the Bengals. Green proved me wrong by becoming an instant impact player and is now one of the best receivers in the league.
- I mocked the Buck Showalter hiring. I am so happy that this is on the list. As a long suffering Orioles fan, I was less than thrilled when Buck Showalter took over the club as manager during the 2010 season. I just did not see how the 50+ year old who had been out of the game for 4 years would turn around more than a decade of losing. All he has done is post a 458-409 record with a division title and two playoff appearances. He has the O’s on a streak of three straight non losing seasons. When you consider the Orioles posted nothing but losing seasons from 1998-2011, that is a huge deal. He has given me a winner to cheer for in baseball, something I never thought I would have. Again, I am so glad I was wrong. Thank you Buck.
- I wrote off Serena Williams… Twice. I still wonder why I was so stupid. The first time was at the start of 2007. Serena played just four events in 2006. She showed up to the “07 Aussie Open overweight, unseeded, and ranked 81 in the world. She won the event, demolishing top seed Maria Sharapova in the final. Five years later, Serena had not won a major since Wimbledon 2010 and had just suffered the only major opening round defeat of her career at the 2012 French Open. Pushing 30 and dealing with the many injuries that come with a long career, I did not see another run of dominance for her. She hired a new coach during this time. Since then, she has won 8 of 14 majors played and Olympic gold in singles and doubles. What a fool I was.
Well there you have it folks. The dumbest sports predictions/opinions I have ever had. I was not alone on these, but unlike most, I am willing to eat the crow.