We are currently suffering through the most boring stretch of the year in the sports calendar. The NHL’s free agency “frenzy” provided about an hour or two of entertainment, and the World Cup of Hockey is still two months away. Looking to baseball, Madison Bumgarner was not allowed to participate in the home run derby, and we aren’t close enough to the trade deadline for anything big to happen. To top it all off, the NBA Summer League just concluded, and the fact that it’s worth mentioning should signify how dry the last couple of weeks have been.
It’s during times like these that sports writers must step-up and offer their readers something creative, preventing them from going into sports-depression or, worse, ignoring sports altogether. One of the most common tacks for football writers is to come up with a list of gutsy, courageous predictions for the upcoming season. But I already did that! So what now?
Ever since I turned your world upside down by listing 12 statistically unlikely things that will definitely happen, you’ve probably been in search of terra firma. Allow me to cure the problem I caused with a list of 12 statistical certainties that will absolutely come to pass. If my previous predictions were “bold,” these are downright cowardly, but they should re-instill your faith in the status quo.
Here is my list of predictions that can’t possibly go wrong.
12 Not-So Bold Predictions
1. The Browns do not win the Super Bowl
Odds it happens: 1/100
The Cavaliers snapped the championship drought, and the Indians are leading the AL, but Cleveland’s magical year will come to a halt when the Browns remind us just how bad they are. Good Luck with RGIII, though.
2. Someone mentions Deflategate
Odds it happens: 1/1,000
I recently spoke with my aunt, who knows nothing about football, and she brought up Deflategate. She was able to tell me that Tom Brady has now dropped his case and will serve the four-game suspension. It’s gone too far.
Wait, is it actually over?
3. Pittsburgh scores a lot of points
Odds it happens: 1/9
The Steelers ranked third in total yards, and fourth in points scored last season. Le’Veon Bell is healthy, and they signed athletic tight end Ladarius Green in the offseason. They also have this guy named Antonio Brown, I think he’s supposed to be pretty good.
The absence of Martavis Bryant won’t stop Ben Roethlisberger and the offense from putting a lot of points on the board.
4. Aaron Rodgers makes some incredible throw that makes us say, “Wow”
Odds it happens: 1/75
The man is amazing.
5. Inebriated members of Bills Mafia do something that you wouldn’t
Odds it happens: 1/99
These odds will vary based on the reader. But, if you are a reasonable person, then the odds seen above should be about right.
If you are a member of Bills Mafia, then ignore my headline and please continue entertaining us all. Maybe get rid of the flaming tables, though; someone is going to get seriously hurt. There needs to be a designated mother present at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Serious question: is life insurance more expensive if you’re a member of Bills Mafia?
6. Jimmy Garoppolo is not Tom Brady
Odds it happens: 1/15
This works in both the literal sense – his name name is Jimmy Garoppolo, not Tom Brady – and the figurative sense – he’s not a four-time Super Bowl champion, nor does he possess Brady’s poise and supreme ability in the quick-game.
7. Washington continues to ignore how crude and offensive its team name is
Odds it happens: 1/25
I really don’t get it. Does Dan Snyder lack the necessary education to understand how offensive his team’s name is, or does he just not care that it’s racist?
8. Cam Newton exasperates his haters with some new touchdown dance
Odds it happens: 1/30
Has there ever been such a heated battle between traditionalists and modernists? The youth of today love Cam’s exuberance, while anyone born before 1986 celebrated like it was 1999 when Von Miller roughed him up in the Super Bowl.
I’m thrilled that Newton has vowed to discontinue the dabbing, but I’m sure whatever he does next will irritate many.
9. The NFL MVP is a quarterback
Odds it happens: 1/4
Eight of the last nine winners have been quarterbacks, and the stats don’t get much better for non-quarterbacks if we continue looking back. It’s a pretty safe bet.
This may be the least certain of today’s predictions, though, as Adrian Peterson and Le’Veon Bell could both put together solid cases.
10. Geno Smith is not that MVP-winning quarterback
Odds it happens: 1/500
This may be the most certain of today’s predictions. Conventional wisdom says there are only two ways to turn the ball over, the classic interception and fumble. I think the revolutionary Smith can come up with more.
Does anyone doubt that Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte are begging Jets management to re-up Ryan Fitzpatrick?
11. The Cowboys win more than four games
Odds it happens: 1/8
Their four wins last season were the fewest for the franchise since 1989. Tony Romo has recovered from the shoulder injury that caused him to miss 12 games in 2015, and he has a bevy of weapons around him.
Romo has never lost more than eight games in any regular season, and even rookie Dak Prescott could win more than four games behind that offensive line.
12. No team wins 15 games in the regular season
Odds it happens: 1/150
Since 1978, when the league expanded the regular season schedule from 14 to 16 games, only seven teams have won 15 or more games.
The Panthers accomplished the feat last season, but odds are heavily against any team matching that win total in 2016.
Photo Credit: Kidbs (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.