For some of us, 2015 was a year of fulfillment, consistency and hope. For the rest, it served unpredictable dishes with sides of indifferent mediocrity, crushing despair and lukewarm-bordering-on-cold broccoli. That’s not to say that lukewarm-bordering-on-cold broccoli is necessarily bad, but it definitely could’ve been better.
No matter the feeling of leaving 2015 in the cracked rear view, a new calendar is upon us. With it comes so many more opportunities for change, inspiring moments in sports, reasons to believe, heartbreaking losses and chances to leave your friends hanging by staying in on a weekend night because you don’t want to deal with it. We at TwH get that. In that spirit, we gathered around our digital campfire and threw darts into our brains trying to pinpoint some of what we think may come to fruition in the coming year. Don’t quote us on this.
Brian Kraker: The Baltimore Ravens are the comeback team of 2016. Hear me out, the Ravens needed 19 players to hit season ending IR (including their quarterback, running back, two best receivers, two best tight ends, and their best linebacker) to give John Harbaugh his first losing season in the NFL. They lost 8 games by 8 points or less and their expected W-L according to Pro Football Reference is 5.8-9.2, meaning they’ve slightly outplayed their 5-10 record. They just won a game with Ryan “I missed the team flight so I booked a coach ticket to Miami” Mallet. Oh, and they’ll have 4 games against the NFC East. I’m officially on the Ravens bandwagon.
Hamilton tickets replace the bitcoin as the most popular form of underground currency.
The same agent that helped publish Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, produces a play titled Waiting for Godot 2: What Took You So Long?
Katy Perry lays down a diss track about Taylor Swift titled “Shake THIS Off.” Perry v Swift is so hot people forget Drake v Meek Mill ever happened.
Jeff Fisher goes 8-8.
The Cubs win the World Series over the Athletics in 5.
An actual hoverboard is invented, but we can’t name it as such due to copyright laws, opening up a wormhole into the 6th dimension where it’s revealed Donald Trump is just two 4th graders standing on top of one another saying racist shit they overheard their dad say.
Tyler Lauletta: Kanye West releases SWISH during the first weekend of March Madness. The album contains several references to Steph Curry, but exclusively to his time at Davidson. Some will be confused, but we will understand. There will also be one line aimed at Drake that goes something like, “Whatchu tryin to rap for? If you gonna rep your city, keep your references to the Raptors.”
Dario Saric will finally come stateside to play for the Sixers. He will boast an average line of 12/8/8 before blowing out his elbow while ice-skating 33 games into the season.
Leo will win the Oscar for his performance in The Revenant. The Internet will at first be overjoyed, but that joy will become played out so quickly that hottakes will arise about how Matt Damon and Tom Hardy were robbed. Leo winning the Oscar memes will be extremely insufferable.
USA Rugby will shock the world at the Olympic games in Rio to win the bronze after losing in the semifinal on a last-second try by New Zealand.
A supposed version of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin by Wu-Tang Clan will be released to the public by an unnamed source. No one will know if it is the actual album, and members of Wu-Tang will deny that it is. It will receive low to middling reviews.
Jose Mourinho will coach in the United States, either for the Men’s National Team or an up-and-coming MLS squad.
Meek Mill will propose to Nicki Minaj. I have no prediction on how it will go, other than that Drake will decide against writing a diss track about it.
The Sixers will finish the season with less than 10 wins while Philadelphia continues to #TrustTheProcess. When they draft Ben Simmons first overall, the past five seasons will finally feel worthwhile.
Jon Gruden will join the Philadelphia Eagles as Head Coach.
Patrick Masterson: It starts with a promise. It always does, these things, because that’s the game – you promise because you’re asked to promise, because you’re required to promise, because you’re contractually bound to promise, to a promise, to your promise. An aim, an achievement, a variant of polished metal, a trophy, a number, a better future. It all happens thereafter: Eight months, five continents, 18 races, 34 or so riders, four manufacturers, one champion. We’ll watch, too, across eight timezones, getting up in the middle of the night or the crack of dawn or lounging about the house midday, just to stay on top of the action as it unfolds. Week after week, we’ll marvel at the spectacular passes, the reckless suggestions, the breathtaking arrogance of youth. We’ll see the limits of human understanding with the technological hand he and his team were dealt. He finishes, or he doesn’t. We’ll never know, one week to the next, because we’re not clairvoyants, and he’s not a metronome. He’s an Italian, 18 years old, racing motorcycles at the sharp end of MotoGP’s smallest class. It means the same thing in perpetuity: He remains a frustrating mystery we’re all collectively trying to solve in real time, an erratic enigma in the storied tradition of the riders who came before him, a riddle whose chosen number’s digits reversed mean the same, a tautology of 21st century sport. It ends as it started, a man aglow in the promise of what could be.
The mystery, the enigma, the riddle, the promise. In 2016, it bears the same name: Enea Bastianini.
Rory Masterson: On our way to global self-destruction, we’re bound to have a good time while continuing to waste energy on frivolous pursuits. Speaking of which, the Peyton Manning PED investigation will likely dominate the first four months of sports headlines. Anyone who has ever featured in a commercial with Manning will receive a court summons and testify as to his activities on-set. Scientists will analyze just what exactly is in Papa John’s pizza; Papa John himself will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection but ultimately crawl out, covered in marinara sauce, unharmed.
Rob Gronkowski’s Party Ship becomes a sad ship following the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to the Carolina Panthers. Gronk and Cam Newton are filmed doing a coordinated dance routine on the ship, set to Adele. A letter to the editor appears in The Charlotte Observer from a concerned slice of apple pie criticizing Newton’s presence on a cruise ship in the offseason.
The “hoverboard” industry continues its cancerous expansion, culminating in a disparaging encyclical from Pope Francis despite Church interest in the devices as evangelical tools. J.R. Smith rolls his own pulpit.
Honestly, all I want is for Frank Ocean to release Boys Don’t Cry and for Kristaps Porzingis not to get injured.
Cavs beat the Warriors in six.
Jordy McKever: Kendrick Lamar will win the Song Of The Year Grammy for “Alright,” making a lot of people really uncomfortable because being black and proud be such a thing that the goddamn Recording Academy will recognize it (Disclosure: “Alright” is my personal Song of the Year for 2015. I’m a qualified person to speak on this matter because I pay $10/month for music streaming and I listened to somewhere around 432,438,952,342,390 songs this year). And let’s be clear, we’re not totally sure that the Recording Academy recognizes that black people exist. Kendrick winning means that some really uncomfortable white people will have to talk about how black people are still triumphing all over, even with seemingly everything stacked against us. I’d pay money to see Bill O’Reilly have to talk about black excellence, man.
Nick Saban will leave Alabama to coach the Philadelphia Eagles. I actually think the move makes logical sense. Saban wasn’t the problem in Miami (right?), and the stresses of putting up with people in Alabama can’t be something that he enjoys. The Eagles need something totally different from Chip Kelly. As a result of Saban leaving Tuscaloosa, the Tide will snag Dabo Swinney from Clemson.
In closing, here are some predictions from my wife: The Gamecocks will go to the Cotton Bowl, the HGH was actually for Eli Manning, and Ray Tanner will leave his wife for Will Muschamp (Their bromance is weird, man).
Jill Pellegrini: My 2016 prediction is basically that Trump gets on the ballot, and we get nuked.
James Vasiliou: Donald J. Trump snags the 2016 Republican nomination atop a mountain of other “losers” formerly known as Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, blob fish Ted Cruz and the insufferable, “Aw shucks” Alex P. Keaton of the group, Jeb Bush. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, gets the nod as the Democratic frontrunner despite transforming into a sentient dashiki.
After Clinton’s nomination, an unused campaign video leaks from Bernie Sanders’ camp, the premise for which was Jerry Stiller and Sanders having coffee together to present Bernie’s platform. They never get past arguing about whether or not the air conditioning was too cold in the coffee shop. It was revealed that Killer Mike replaced Stiller in a later video, which the campaign eventually used in 2015.
Kanye keeps telling people that Swish is dropping, but it never sees the light of day. He’s suspiciously all over every piece of trash that Travi$ Scott releases in the same year.
Drake and Taylor Swift meet at a housewarming party at Swift’s new condo in Toronto. The two talk about working together, a guise for a much more sinister mental chess match of who will vamp the other. Their conversation ends with an agreement for each to fuse their atoms together.
VICE publishes a screed in the middle of the year telling people: “No, really, we were serious about ‘the hipster’ being dead.” They espouse the health benefits of eating dangerously terrible fast food in the same article.
Prince gets a Snapchat account. Its activity is sporadic, and the posts range wildly from shopping for mustard to doing impressions of Dev Hynes.
Everyone actually likes Ben Affleck as Batman. “Affleck’s Bostonian Dark Knight is a much needed break from Christian Bale’s performance,” writes the New York Times‘ Wesley Morris, “which was a bit of acting defined by a voice that was either desperately in need of a lozenge or raking clams.”
Frank Ocean releases Boys Don’t Cry. It’s an album full of covers of The Cure. Pitchfork gives it a 7.5.