Twenty-Sixteen has been a cursed year; just look at all of the celebrities who have died in the last 364 days! Here’s a closer look at how our local teams fared and who were the winners and losers, at least from our point of view.
Local Success, Until it Counted
To local sports teams, 2016 was a very good year when it came to regular season results, at least for most of them. The Rangers finished with 95 wins – the most in the American League. The Stars earned 109 points – tops in the Western Conference last April. And the Cowboys’ 13 wins as 2017 comes to a close are tied with the Patriots for most in the entire NFL. The Mavericks? Well, not so much. But no one’s perfect.
Unfortunately for the Rangers and Stars, the playoffs had other ideas. Texas took their 95 wins and flushed them down the toilet in expedited fashion vs. the Blue Jays; the Division Series hadn’t been 24 hours old and it was already over thanks to pitching failure. The Stars kept coming back on the Blues but ended up leaving with a whimper at a home Game Seven. Let’s hope the Cowboys have some better luck. Thank goodness their playoff games come in a different year.
Twenty-sixteen wasn’t all bad for everyone. Dak Prescott certainly is at the top of the list of people who benefited greatly. If I had told you that the Cowboys would be 13-2 with Tony Romo on its roster this season, you’d have thunk it was he that had the great year. No one saw this coming; maybe not even Dak.
Jeff Banister should have won the AL Manager of the Year award for the second consecutive season. But that never happens. Clearly he was deserving, maybe more than last year’s honor. Jon Daniels has made some good moves as GM, but hiring Banister has to be near the top.
Desoto, Tex. native Von Miller proved that local guys can do some good, winning Super Bowl MVP honors for the Broncos. “Strip Sack Miller” went on to be the newest darling of commercials in the off-season, giving Peyton Manning a run for his money in that category. He even looked good on Dancing with the Stars.
Mark Cuban, your inability to draft any players for your NBA roster is coming back to haunt you. Seriously, name one player drafted in the Cuban era that has been a substantial contributor to the Mavericks. Josh Howard is the closest you will get, followed by Justin Anderson on the current roster. By the way Mark, politics do not mix with sports.
Take your pick – Charlie Strong or the University of Texas. Both were losers in 2016. I like Charlie, I really do. He’s a good man. But I could have coached the Horns vs. Kansas, called run plays on every offensive down, and beaten the Jayhawks. That one still amazes me. Texas then went out and bought the latest flavor of the year in Tom Herman, who is as consistent as a roller coaster on Coney Island. Good thing Navy, SMU and Memphis aren’t on Texas’ schedule. But OU is, so maybe they’ll be OK.
Texas A&M football fans are cursed. I know; I’m one of them. No power-five program does less with more than my dear ole Texas Aggies. Only the UCLA Bruins come close (but no cigar). No, we have that market cornered. We own September and October. Then November hits. Hard. So instead of spending upwards of $30 million to change out a head coach and staff, we’ll save our money and get the same inconsistency from the 2011 Flavor of the Year. Think Kevin Sumlin misses Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans? I know I do. I’m thinking of renewing my season seats again but prefer to say I’m buying season tickets for halftime and the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. We’re undefeated still. So we got that going for us.
Reverse Barometer Bold Predictions for 2017
- The Cowboys will win a tight playoff game vs. Green Bay, but get upended by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game. New England over Atlanta in the Super Bowl.
- Tony Romo will end up a Denver Bronco in the off-season.
- The Cowboys make a big move on defense in a draft day trade, acquiring Ndamukong Suh from the Dolphins.
- The race between the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros will be an epic battle all summer, with the Astros coming out on top.
- The Mavericks will catch no luck in the NBA Draft Lottery and come away with a decent player, but no game-breaker to build around.
- Dirk will retire after the season.
- The Stars will miss the playoffs by two points in the standings.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets will win the Stanley Cup.
- Tom Herman will go 7-5 and go on to win the Texas Bowl in his first season in Austin.
- Kevin Sumlin will go 6-6 in College Station and will be fired just after Thanksgiving. The new coach – Chad Morris.
- Alabama will finally lose a game, yet still win the SEC.
- Next year’s CFP finalists: Michigan, Florida State, Bama, USC.
- Golden State will win the NBA title, but get tested by the Rockets in the Western Finals.
- The Cubs will repeat as NL champs but get beaten by the Houston Astros in the World Series.