Jan 302003
Authors: Jon Ackerman

Predictions are sometimes about as accurate as Ozzy Osbourne playing darts, Homer Simpson playing the roadside Olympics after Moe’s and me playing beer pong after playing beer pong.

Yet we seek them as often as we do an American Idol, a filthy-rich spouse and a reason to party. They make for irrelevant conversation – why they’re so much a part of sports – and we can’t get enough of them.

For example, what is the point of coming out with brackets in January for the men’s NCAA Tournament? Aside from some scribe not having enough college basketball reporting to do, it allows those knowledgeable of the subject to rant incessantly until a better topic comes up.

It works. One of my roommates told me about some guy with ESPN making out a tournament bracket, placing teams where they would be if the season ended today. The guy had Utah as a No. 5 seed and Kansas a No. 7 seed. The discrepancy allowed my roommate and I to come up with countless reasons why we know way more about Mountain West basketball than this guy, until a better topic came up: what was for lunch.

Now, I’ve never heard of this guy who came up with the seeds, but you see, sometimes it doesn’t even matter who the source may be. We just want someone’s opinion on what will happen, considering seeing the future is a power only a select few of us claim to have.

Yet we do think other people could have the power. For example, on Wednesday, CSU head football coach Sonny Lubick will announce his recruiting class of 2003. As sure as smokers getting cancer, he will be asked one or all of these questions:

“How does this class compare to others?”

“Who will make the most impact next year?”

“Why do you stay at CSU when you would have a whole lot easier time recruiting if you went to one of the many ‘power conference’ schools that have extended offers?”

You see, right there, I make my point. Here I am trying to talk about sports, and I can’t even go one column without making predictions. But by no means do I think I have visions of what’s to come (other than when I see girls at a bar hitting on the football team), yet it makes for a conversation piece when I act like I do.

And it fills the sports pages, TV shows, radio spots and Web sites of our superpower-less nation.

Boy, don’t I feel as cool as Winterfresh when I say the CSU men’s hoops team this year will be as similar to last year’s squad as a dentist’s office and the dumpster behind a fraternity house – and then it happens. And I feel like a million bucks when I spout off that Marcus Houston should ram it up a hippie’s ass by transferring to CSU – and then it happens.

Granted, though, I felt as dumb as Winona Rider after I said Shannon Sharpe returning to Denver was the best thing to happen to us since free samples at breweries because he’ll put Brian Griese in his place – and then things didn’t go the way I hoped. And I was ready to spend the night with my toilet after I came up with some drinking game for last year’s Super Bowl that made you drink 14 times every time New England scored against St. Louis because I thought St. Louis would score as often as Wilt Chamberlain – and then things didn’t go the way I hoped.

But hey, you win some and you lose some. Without predictions, you don’t have sports.

And without sports, you don’t have people that can cause entire cities to stand up and cheer as often as the audience at President Bush’s State of the Union address.

Jon is a senior journalism major and the Collegian sports editor.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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