There are some great hopes for 2011 in terms of sports, and among them is the wish that Cleveland would get a real winning franchise. In the interim, move over Nostradamus. Here are some predictions of what could happen in the sports world in 2011 (Disclaimer: note these are predictions and not necessarily true or completely representative of the views of the writer):
n Brett Favre, cleared of sexual harassment, retires from the NFL and returns to play in the home opener for the Detroit Tigers before being sent down to play the remainder of the baseball season for the Toledo Mud Hens. (Hey, it worked for Michael Jordan.)
n The BCS says the heck with it all and goes to a real playoff system with a lot fewer than 70 teams going to no-name bowls - and the biggies waive the stipulation that competing institutions must buy omore than 17,000 tickets even though they're earning $17 million for just showing up on the field.
n The philanthropist who bought almost 8,000 tickets to help the hopeless Buffalo Bills avoid a blackout bribes NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to settle with the players union and avoid a lockout to the 2011-12 season.
n Tiffin University and Heidelberg become NCAA II and III national champions in all sports.
n Calvert and Columbian become OHSAA state champions in all sports.
n The NBA bans tattoos and strange haircuts.
n Any athlete who used performance enhancement or recreational drugs, lied to their coach, lied to their mama, gambled on sports, or killed anyone is banned from all record books and Hall of Fame nominations. (But, it's still okay for your daddy to sell you out to the highest bidder.)
n Caster Semenya, the world-class sprinter from South Africa, is declared a man, after all.
n Look Who's Talking: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf can't hide their jealousy when Drew Brees and Lindsay Vonn make an amazing super-athletic baby a month behind the birth of super-athlete baby No. 1 between Michael Phelps and Venus Williams.
n Maya Moore scores 42 points to avenge UConn's loss to Stanford in the regular season, but loses to Xavier in the NCAA women's championship game.
n Butler's men's team finally wins it all at the NCAA basketball tournament.
n The city of Cleveland mourns as the Miami Heat battle to win the NBA crown, but recovers when the Browns win their first three games of the season.
Yes indeed, amazing sport feats are bound to happen in 2011, but let's also remember some of the events that shaped 2010. First of all, "Rest in Peace" and goodbye George Steinbrenner. You went out with a bang at the age of 80 after serving as the most beloved and most hated owner of the Yankees.
"RIP" to other notorious sport figures that died in 2010. Bye-bye Bob Feller, 7-foot-6 Manute Bol, Dorothy Kamenshek (the inspiration for the movie "A League of Their Own"), Nodar Kumaritashvili (Olympic luger from the country of Georgia who fatally crashed in a trial run), Dandy Don Meredith, Merlin Olson, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Sparky Anderson and the infamous John Wooden.
2010 did leave the world with plenty of other interesting and entertaining memories.
n Remember the summer of vuvuzelas? Those annoying bee-buzzing South African horns heard during the World Cup even trickled down to Major League Baseball in a failed promotion that had umpires and players on the Marlins and Rays teams wearing ear plugs.
n Le-Decision caused a monstrous Cleveland outcry culminating in one nasty note from one angry owner.
n Yeardly Love, a player on the fifth-ranked University of Virginia women's lacrosse team, was murdered by her former boyfriend who played for the men's lacrosse team, then ranked first in the nation. Ironically, Duke's men's team surfaced from a 2006 gang-rape scandal to defeat Virginia in the semifinals en route to becoming the 2010 men's national champions.
n Brees lifted the humble Saints over Peyton Manning and the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV to continue the healing process for the city of New Orleans. Unfortunately, New Orleans and Indianapolis are out of this year's playoffs after both lost a first-round wild-card game last week.
n USA and Canadian hockey helped the IOC score a TV-rating bonanza during the men's Olympic gold medal hockey game in Vancouver. The Canadian women's hockey team also had a bit of extra media attention when photos surfaced of the team's post-game celebration with cigars, beer and bottles of champagne on the ice rink. Unfortunately, Marie-Philip Poulin who scored both goals over Team USA, was only 18 years old - meaning, underage.
n Butler reminded the world a little dog can have a big bite when competing in the finals of the NCAA men's basketball championships. There were 11 lead changes until mighty Duke ousted tiny Butler in a 61-59 win what was the closest margin of victory in a final game in 21 years.
n Bobby Cox retired (okay, so I'm a big Braves fan).
n Tiger Woods went on a tailspin after the media caught wind of his infidelities with ex-wife Elin Nordegren who won a $110 million divorce settlement a few months ago. Even weeks of sex addition counseling couldn't help Tiger regain his focus on the golf course. 2010 was a year without a PGA Tour win for the first time since he turned pro in 1996.
n The Big Ten disappointed with its divisional "Leaders and Legends" idea, but scored big in a year of massive conference restructuring affecting the Pac-10 and Big 12 (which might become the little 10).
Other 2010 memories included Rick Pitino's extortion trial over a table-sex incident at an Italian eatery; Reggie Bush handing over the Heisman Trophy; and Big-Ben's nightclub "sex-capade" with a 20-year old who didn't welcome the big advances. Yep, 2010 didn't fail to entertain and 2011 can be just as interesting for sports fans everywhere.
Stay tuned next month for more inspiring and amazing sport stories from our small community in northwest Ohio to around the globe.
Bonnie Tiell is Tiffin University's faculty representative to the NCAA.