2018 is here, and along with it a frustrating period of time when I keep writing “17” in lines asking for the date. Everyone knows that you’re supposed to orally publish a set of goals – most of which will remain unaccomplished – and label them as your New Year’s Resolutions.
Now, we sports fans have a vast array of responsibilities. We have to align our schedules with team schedules, keep up with beat writers, purchase gear produced by the same companies that sponsor our favorite athletes, comment the goat emoji in any social media post regarding Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan and yes, Denzel Washington. Not to mention our social responsibility as members of the human race to heckle Charles Barkley’s golf swing.
Most of the time, we’re pretty good about keeping up to date in sports. But since the opportunity has arisen, how about we all focus our efforts on becoming better sports fans in the future? I’ll tell you what, to get us all started out, I’ll give you my 2018 New Year’s Sports Resolutions.
My first resolution for 2K18 is to use the phrase “2K18” as little as possible, as replacing the “0” with a “K” literally saves no characters in writing and in speech. Well, it definitely doesn’t save anyone from embarrassment.
My second resolution is to make time to watch more live golf. Last summer, days passed during which I could hear the couch delicately whispering in my ear with the passing of the breeze, only to be forgotten. Forgotten, that is, until I would forlornly watch final round highlights on Instagram at bedtime Sunday night, serving as a reminder that some mistakes repeated are as neglectful as committing to a pair of socks that keep falling down your heel on a day with much walking.
Following that dramatic bit, I hereby resolve to advocate for less yelling into TVs. Whether it’s myself or others, I’m committing to pointing out that regardless of vocal volume, the players, coaches, referees and announcers can’t hear what I or anyone else say. Frankly, even if they could hear us, do you really think they’d pay any attention to a bunch of La-Z-Boy Warriors telling them, sports professionals, how to do their jobs?
That brings me swiftly into my next resolution, which is to give officials, referees and umpires a little bit more breathing room in 2018. Let’s be real for a second; as mentioned earlier, how naive are sports fans to think they have a better idea of how to officiate a game than professional officials? Sure, refs are going to get calls wrong here and there. But I’d love to see 98 percent of people who yell and complain about refs put on their own striped shirt and officiate a nationally televised game. NCAA basketball veteran referee Ted Valentine has recently commented that he’s considering retirement after a recent ruckus following his decision to turn his back to North Carolina’s Joel Berry II to avoid an unpleasant dialogue. If folks aren’t careful, we’re going to yell so much at refs, that we’re going to yell too much, and the good ones will leave, leaving us with sub-par officiating.
Moving on, my next New Year’s Resolution is going to be to once more be a bigger supporter of the Detroit Pistons. I have to admit, I’ve been very bandwagon-y about the Pistons in the past decade or a little more. Ever since the championship era of 2003-2005, I’ve fallen off the train. However, they’re proving this year that they again are a team worth watching. Ranked sixth in the East and having beat each of the top five West teams, the Pistons are looking to once again make the playoffs.
Last but not least, my final resolution is to root even harder against Everybody, because naturally, it’s Everybody vs. Detroit. The painful irony that the Lions would have made the playoffs had it not been for the debacle that was the end of the Detroit vs Atlanta game has set deep into my soul that the Detroit Lions do indeed need to overcome challenges that other professional sports organizations do not. Now I’m not saying that there’s some committee that is out to get the Detroit Lions, but I am saying that the Lions fall victim to some of the poorest written rules in any sport ever. So, we gather our resolve to fend off Everybody, an evil force that lurks in the shadows, only showing itself in the despised faces of injustice, inequality and pure detestation. Let’s fight so that the likes of Steve Mariucci, Rod, Jim Schwartz and now Jim Caldwell may not have fallen in vain.
So, 2018, bring it on. We’re ready for you. Give us your best shot. We sports fans have a new year of competition to rally behind, new reasons to bust out pizza and chip dip and the glimmering hope that 2018 might be our team’s year.