With another Christmas behind us and a new year fast approaching, I thought I might share my sports wish list for 2013.
1. A Warrior-Wildcat district final. This season it may be more likely than at any time in recent memory. The Warriors are rolling right now, while the Wildcats are struggling, but the young Wildcats will improve as the season goes on and I believe they will be playing their best ball down the stretch when it counts the most.
I’ve been around a while but I don’t ever remember both teams making it to the regional tournament in the same season. What a treat it would be for local basketball fans!
2. That Kentucky will get its act together and the Cards will get Gorgui Dieng back in time to make another run to the Final Four. Maybe this year the draw will allow them to meet in the championship game!
3. While we’re at it, how about a Lady Card-Lady Cat matchup in the Final Four? Both teams are highly ranked and the Cats put on a stunning comeback in their regular season meeting. Wouldn’t it be great to see a rematch on college basketball’s biggest stage?
4. That Henry County’s youthful athletic teams will fare much better in the year to come as they gain experience and strength.
5. That the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team will begin to play the way their coach, Jurgen Klinsmann used to for the Germans. The team only lost two games in 2012 but they did not inspire a lot of confidence in their fan base with some ugly wins over teams like Antigua and Barbados and one particularly ugly loss to Jamaica.
Hopefully they will begin to play some exciting football… er … soccer and sail through the next qualification stage for the World Cup.
6. While we’re on soccer. That more Americans will begin to understand and appreciate the skill and athleticism of world-class soccer.
7. Okay enough self-indulgence in soccer. Let’s get back to ‘Merican football. That Mark Stoops is truly the savior of UK football that most Big Blue fans are predicting. Based on the play of this year’s team, it will take a miracle worker to turn things around quickly in Commonwealth Stadium.
8. That Charlie Strong leads the Cards to another high national ranking and BCS bowl and then stuns the world by stating that he will never leave Louisville for another job.
9. That fans (parents) will let the coaches coach and be there as a support system for the teenagers. Badmouthing the coach is not a good way to be a support system for the team. It tends to rip them apart from the outside in.
10. That sportsmanship and good behavior will reign supreme throughout the sporting world from the professional ranks to youth leagues. No parent fights at little league games, no trash talking in high school games, no brawls ala Cincinnati-Xavier on the college level and no high profile pros on the crime pages of the newspaper.
Hey, I can dream can’t I? After all, that’s what a wish list is all about isn’t it?