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What I want for 2009

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By Dan Johnson

How’s this for a resolution?

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.

Now, I have nothing against anyone that sets out to do something personally rewarding come Jan. 1, but for me, I’ve never subscribed to the belief that I’m going to radically alter the way I live my life by the turn of a calendar page.

I’ve always been a goal-setter and do believe that striving toward something is important; I just don’t make a list of goals Dec. 31 and expect them to start coming to fruition a day later. Often, my goals aren’t set until much later in the year, or in other cases, aren’t set at all and personal milestones (like my buying a home in 2008) can be hit without a concrete date set in mind.

One thing I do like to do every year though is to take a look ahead at what the next 12 months will be like in the world of sports. For this year, I’d like to see:

• The New York Giants repeat as Super Bowl champions. Sure, they’ve hit a couple of bumps in the road over the past month, but seeing the Giants defeat Carolina with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs on the line gives me all the confidence I need in the G-Men. Broncos fans, you’re going to have wait another month before you can have Giants defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo. I think he’s going to be pretty busy devising ways to stop the Eagles, Panthers and Ravens (yep, you read that right) over the next four weeks.

• Syracuse’s men’s basketball team to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. The Orange just missed out on the Big Dance the past two years, something that just doesn’t happen under Jim Boeheim’s watch. The Orange have a deep team this year and provided they can survive the ultra-deep Big East Conference schedule, they should be primed to make a little noise come March.

(If you’re wondering why all this talk about New York, I’m a New York native. Now, back to the forecast.)

A local team to win a state championship (I’m looking at you, Chatfield baseball). We had several near-misses in football, leaving the Evergreen gymnastics team as the lone state title winner in the fall. The winter sledding looks tough for area hoops teams (although look for a couple of wrestlers from Conifer to shine come Feb.), so it’ll be up to the spring sports to deliver the goods. The Chargers made a run to the state semifinals a year ago and return a bevy of talent in 2009. This team reminds me an awful lot of the Columbine team that took home the state title in 2006.

• ESPN get back to more actual news reporting. It seems to me that the self-professed “Worldwide Leader in Sports” focuses too much of its resources on reporting rumor and gossip, and less on actual news. We don’t need multiple hours worth of coverage debating on whether Brett Favre is going to retire or not. Give me more hockey highlights, more basketball highlights (there are teams other than the Cavaliers, Lakers and Celtics in the NBA) and throw in more MMA and “other” college sports such as volleyball, lacrosse and soccer.

• More story ideas from you, the reader, about local cyclists, runners, triathletes, skiers, snowboarders or any other athlete competing in sports outside of the ones we cover during the prep seasons. I know there’s a lot of active people in our community, many of whom are likely excelling at their sport of choice. Give me a call or send me an e-mail and let me know about their story.

We’ll see in coming months what 2009 has in store for us. I hope it’s one that a year from now, when we look back on it, it will be a year we were happy to have experienced.