Doug Wolter: Crystal ball says a better 2021 is ahead

Should we stop the world because we want to get off? No way. Let’s just have a better 2021. With that in mind, I have gazed into the crystal ball that we keep in a dusty corner here in the basement of our Globe building, and I’m predicting the following:

Doug Wolter

I don’t know much, but I know there are lots of us anxious to put 2020 in the past. We’ve had it up to here with COVID-19, with the insane divisions sweeping our country, and with all the other nameless trouble this ludicrous, preposterous, absurd year has caused.

It hasn’t quite wrecked sports, but it’s come close. The professional game plays to nearly empty stadiums and to similarly reduced fan interest due, in part, to an increased politicization. Meanwhile, games get canceled because of the need to quarantine.

Locally, hundreds of high school events have been called off for virus fears. Whole seasons have started, stopped, started again, and stopped again.

Should we stop the world because we want to get off? No way. Let’s just have a better 2021. With that in mind, I have gazed into the crystal ball that we keep in a dusty corner here in the basement of our Globe building, and I’m predicting the following:

  • An end to partisanship in Washington. No, really. I, too, at one time thought the chances of that happening next year were one in 5 to the 10th power, but the crystal ball doesn’t lie. In 2021, Democrats and Republicans will begin talking nice to each other. They’ll become so friendly and collegial after they kick Joe Biden to the side, Donald Trump and Kamala Harris agree to act as co-presidents. All disagreements (which will be rare) are decided by a coin flip.

  • Tired of listening to incessant complaints from the small-enrollment schools throughout the state, the Minnesota State High School League drops its demand that rural districts pay higher fees to offset the League’s serious budget shortfalls. Instead, all of the MSHSL’s costs will be shifted to Edina, Eden Prairie, Burnsville, Anoka and Minnetonka.

  • Minnesota West head women’s basketball coach Rosalie Hayenga-Hostikka, who makes a New Year’s resolution never to shout at an official during a game, fails to make good on her vow in the first two minutes of the season opener.

  • Minnesota high school winter athletic action gets underway in mid-January, and no games are postponed or canceled through the rest of February and March. The state wrestling tournament is conducted without a hitch, and amazingly, Globe sports editor Doug Wolter covers it without getting a high ankle sprain from jumping on the soft, loose mats.

  • The Edgerton Southwest Christian Eagles, still smarting from their perfect 2019-2020 boys basketball campaign that ended with the cancellation of the state tournament, won’t get to play in the state tournament like they wanted to. But the Minnesota State High School League will finally recognize their greatness and award them with the actual Class A championship trophy. The ceremony will take place in the SWC gymnasium on March 27 and ESPN will provide a camera crew. Just one problem: Head coach Jamie Pap is allowed only two minutes for his speech.

  • During a two-week period in April, no new COVID-19 cases are reported anywhere in the United States. A massive mask-burning party takes place in Wichita, Kansas, which numbers in the millions.

  • People start reading newspapers again and stop getting all their news from Facebook and Twitter. Go figure.

  • The Sibley-Ocheyedan High School girls and boys basketball teams complete remarkable twin seasons just one year after the boys went 1-21 and two years after the girls went 0-22. Girls head coach Steven Kellen is named the national Coach of the Year by The Associated Press.

  • Upgrades and renovations on the baseball field at Minnesota West are finally complete, ushering in a Renaissance of spring and summer ball that Worthington hasn’t seen since the days the sport was played on old Buss Field.

  • The Minnesota West Bluejays football season begins on schedule with the influx of five freshmen who were recruited heavily by Division I schools. Head coach Jeff Linder doesn’t stop grinning until November.

  • The new turf and ambiance at Trojan Field in Worthington is such a great hit, the Minnesota Vikings ask to play a regular season game there against the Chicago Bears. WHS athletic director Josh Dale agrees to the request but insists that the team contribute $4,000 toward the school’s booster club. The Vikings happily agree.

  • The Worthington Trojans boys soccer team, still not recovered from losing the 2020 Region 2A championship game 1-0 in overtime, upset favored Mankato West 6-0 in the 2021 finale. All’s well that ends well.

  • In keeping with the desire to eliminate all silliness associated with 2020, the International Olympic Committee reverses its Dec. 7, 2020 decision to make breakdancing an official Olympic sport. In the future, anyone caught breakdancing at any Olympic venue will be fined $200 and be made to showcase the sport on the ice during -- that is, during -- an Olympic hockey match.

  • Finally, the 2021-2022 winter sports year begins, and nobody even mentions 2020. It didn’t really happen, did it? Must have just been a bad dream.

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