The first day of 2020 brings the culmination of 2019 for many college football programs, while the new beginnings of baseball spring training have to wait a couple of weeks. In a few days the Clemson Tigers will meet the LSU Tigers in the National Championship Game, while the Detroit Tigers, fresh of Lou Whitaker once again not getting the call from Cooperstown, are staring a long and arduous rebuild in the face.
What about Tiger Woods, you ask? Every year, I get a little older, and 2020 is the year I will turn 30, but I’m still not old enough to care about golf. Maybe next year.
The Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars will play the first NHL Winter Classic of the twenties in The Cotton Bowl, signaling to anyone who hasn’t paid attention for the last twenty years that hockey has arrived in the American south.
The New England Patriots find themselves playing on Wild Card Weekend for the first time since January 2010. I was already intermittently writing on the Internet by then. I was a sophomore transfer student at Fitchburg State College (they became Fitchburg State University later that year), and I will not link to my posts from back then. I’m positive they were bad.
The Celtics and Bruins are both playing well and both squads are very easy to like. The Red Sox have a lot of players I love, but ownership has a real knack of knocking down all the good will built up by winning the World Series in record time.
I know I shouldn’t complain too much–John Henry, for all his flaws, is exponentially better than the Yawkeys–but I cannot help but think even thinking about trading Mookie Betts and not signing him to an extension is precisely the kind of thing that will kick off another lengthy title drought. We already knew the Sox were good at winning the World Series in the first 18 years of a century.
The Red Sox and Patriots are the most successful teams in their respective sports in the 21st Century, which is why you see people freaking out over a 12-4 season where the Pats have to play in the first round, and a winning season in which the Sox miss the postseason. But the Red Sox seem so much more chaotic in their year-to-year operations and plan. I have no reason to believe Robert Kraft wouldn’t be as bad as Henry (or worse, given his personal life) if he hadn’t hired Bill Belichick. That’s the difference.
I’m trying a new thing in 2020 where I write more casually and hopefully more frequently as a result. In 2019, I resolved to read more, and I did, but my writing suffered for it. In 2020, I’m trying to find a better balance.