Doug Wolter: Will 2022 get even weirder? Get ready for a zany new year
If you think 2021 was weird, just wait till you get a taste of 2022. Here are my predictions:
People have been constantly telling us 2021 was a bad year. Well, maybe so and maybe not so.
Sure, things got truly zany in Washington D.C., and growing wokeism had a lot of us scratching our heads and wondering why up suddenly means down and down suddenly means up. And then, of course, there was that virus still hanging around.
But we don’t have to let ourselves be distracted from living our lives the way we deem best. Life is and will always be what you make of it.
Even so, if you think 2021 was weird, just wait till you get a taste of 2022. Here are my predictions:
The Alabama Crimson Tide wins another national college championship. Yes, that’s not particularly weird, is it. But, boy, am I getting sick of Alabama winning so much! Can’t we just put them in the NFL -- in New England’s division?
The Minnesota Vikings fail to qualify for the playoffs. Mike Zimmer is fired and the team takes a quarterback in the first round who is judged by most analysts to have been a fourth-round prospect.
Bob Purcell’s beloved Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl. Bob, the longtime wrestling coach and men’s athletic director at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, declares a school holiday only to remember that he doesn’t have that authority. So he decorates his and all the coaches’ rooms with Rams paraphernalia and sleeps in his office, with the lights on, staring at a poster of Roman Gabriel on the ceiling.
The Worthington High School gymnastics team qualifies for its eighth consecutive state tournament. (Face it: If I wanted to shock my readers, I might predict that they don’t make it. But the Trojans have become so dominant in this part of the state, I don’t see how they can miss.)
Redbird Field in Luverne and the Island Park baseball field in Windom are added to the National Register of Historic Places. Fans flock to have their photographs taken at the historic ball fields. In August, Island Park is re-named Field of Dreams II.
College football approves another 12 bowl games for 2022, increasing the total to 55. Some of the new bowl titles are: the “One More the Road Bowl”, the “Why Not Another Bowl Bowl”, the “International Good Will Bowl Presented by the National Basketball Association and the Communist Party of China”, the “Bowl for the Sake of a Bowl Bowl”, and the “Losers are Winners Too Bowl,” which invites the two worst Division I teams because those are the only teams that are left to play.
The Minnesota State High School League finally fixes its terribly-conceived website.
A large, unexpected and anonymous monetary gift is donated to the District 518 school district for the purpose of expanding the press box at Trojan Field.
The Minnesota Twins get some much-needed pitching in the offseason and battle the resurgent Detroit Tigers for the Central Division championship. But because of a bitter and lengthy work stoppage, just a handful of fans really care. In October, the World Series can be seen only on YouTube.
With all the outstanding southwest Minnesota high school cross country athletes meeting at the annual Worthington Turkey Trot race, cars filled with spectators along the highway next to the old Prairie View Golf Course (where the meet is run) literally stretch for two and a half miles. Seventy-five golf carts are needed to move fans to the event. When asked to comment on the incredible lure of cross country, WHS head coach Cory Smidt responds simply (as he always does), “It’s all about the kids.”
Not only does the Worthington Trojans boys soccer team qualify for the state tournament for the second year in a row, but the WHS girls team -- tossing away years and years of frustration -- completes a winning year. You go, girls.
Worthington High School girls basketball coach Eric Lindner, searching for ways to protect his aggressive Trojan players from injuries, sends in a request to the MSHSL that he be allowed to equip them with armor.
The Marshall Tigers, for so long dominant in football and boys basketball, lose more than they win in 2022 in both sports. Rival coaches in the Big South Conference get together to offer condolences along with a tiny plastic violin.
LeBron James sustains a major injury, ending his NBA career suddenly. League officials hunker down with player reps for the rest of the year wringing their hands and wondering how the league can possibly go on.
The 35-second shot clock mandated for Minnesota high school basketball for the 2023-24 season suddenly becomes a 10-second shot clock. An explanation is given that it’s easier to count down from 10 than from 35, thereby minimizing confusion.