The Crystal Ball of My Sports Teams

While watching my Broncos get their gluteus maximus annihilated by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl Sunday night some of my friends in the social media world decided it would be alright to remind me of some things in regard to being a Bronco fan.

As I have previously mentioned some again reminded of the “karma” of having previously rooted against Peyton Manning most of his career. Others also wanted to remind me Manning’s only Super Bowl win was as an Indianapolis Colt and the Broncos have yet to win one with #18 as its quarterback as Elway had planned to do the last two seasons.

This was mostly them blowing off steam because they were fans of one of the 30 teams wishing to be in the Broncos position in the first place. As I replied to them I’ll take my team getting to the big game seven times since 1978 over just twice since the Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1984.

To help my friends out for the rest of 2014 I decided I would take a look at the crystal ball of all my sports teams. Let’s take a look at what they’ll possibly post on my Facebook wall or tweet to me from now until the end of the year.

February: Well the Broncos began the month losing to the Seahawks – no real reason to recollect those gory details. The college basketball season begins to wind down. The Butler Bulldogs, who looked decent at time during the non-conference part of the schedule, have struggled in the new Big East this season. I came into the season with low expectations especially with the loss of Coach Stevens to the Boston Celtics and the wrist injury suffered by Roosevelt Jones. I thought possibly middle of the pack, but some tough losses in January have the Bulldogs in the basement of the conference. The thing you have to admire about Butler is the team has been in almost every game. They really haven’t got blown out and shown they can play in the conference. Unlike the previous seasons the Bulldogs can’t seem to find the breaks to go their way when needed.

March: The Bulldogs will fall at some point in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden when its played March 12-15. The season most likely will be over at that point. Selection Sunday will be held March 16. After the selection show on CBS several of my mainly IU basketball friends – which the Hoosiers by the skin of their chinny chin chin make the tournament – will comment “I’m looking at my brackets Rueff. I don’t see to see your beloved BUTLER. Ha! Guess this is what happens when you go to play ‘Big Boy Basketball.'” It would be great if IU wins its first round game and then faces say St. Louis in the round of 32. I would love nothing more than to see former player and assistant coach Jim Crews blow the Hoosiers out by about 15-20 points. The great thing about IU fans I don’t have to ever worry about writing anything to them after a loss. They do a good enough job wanting to fire Tom Crean after every defeat and sometimes a miraculous win. Besides I have no room to write anything because Butler did not make the tournament.

I don’t even make it out of the month of March and I’ll have to deal with my Cardinal friends as the Reds and Cardinals open the season with a series at Great American Ballpark. The Reds do have a new manager this year after firing Dusty Baker. Maybe there will be a new attitude in the Reds’ clubhouse. One can only hope. It’s around June in series with the Cardinals where I usually beat them all to the punch of “The Reds season was over on this date after a series loss to the Cardinals. And Please Cardinal fans/friends don’t patronize us Reds fans/friends by saying this weekend was a preview of the NLCS – there’s A LOT wrong with this Reds team before that can even be a thought. The Cardinals just once again exploited it this weekend.” Hopefully I won’t be writing that after the first series of the season but who knows it’s just the life of being a Reds fan.

April: If it’s not bad enough the Reds opened the season with the Cardinals after a three-game series with the Metropolitans the Reds again will face the Cardinals in a three-game set. Can you say “glutton for punishment.” To make it even more interesting that series will be played right in the middle of Masters week. I am huge Phil Mickelson fan. Several reasons – I like his non conservative-Maverick style approach to the game and he went to Arizona State – that’s two of many. Speaking of ASU – I think Phil accidentally popped into the New Year’s Eve party I attended there in 1991 and I somehow came away with a Yankees hat. Actually I’m not sure if he did or not – I had already played way too many games of “sink the biz” when the beer got poured over my head and I went looking for a hat to wear and found the Yankee hat pinned up on a wall.

Anyway, this is supposed to be “The Year of the Phil” as Mickelson is supposed to be playing some of his best golf in years. The new driver hasn’t translated into it. Of course it may not be the driver but as one golfer said in SI.com this week – his lower body action which could contribute to failure with his ability off the tee box. The Masters will head into the final round. Lefty will be right in the heap of things and somehow this year Tiger Woods will make a roaring comeback instead of being in the lead this time around. Around the 15th or 16th hole Mickelson will do some drastic to keep the lead and it will eventually cost him another green jacket and Tiger will win. Thus on my wall and tweets my friends will make the comments about Phil once again choking and not doing the right thing in order to either maintain the lead or win.

May: The Pacers will be knee deep into the NBA playoffs. Hopefully with home-court advantage and possibly taking out the Miami Heat and getting to The Finals for the first time since 2000. It’s always nice during the month of May in Indianapolis when you have the Pacers and the Racers – the Indy 500 – going on at the same time. Just hoping the Eastern Conference Finals are in Miami that weekend instead of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Reds again play the Cardinals in a series and if the season isn’t a disaster by then because of the previous two series against St. Louis the Reds begin a six-game West Coast Road trip. As I always say at some point in the season – “west coast road trips – where good Reds’ season somehow go to die.”

June: If things go right and the NBA conspiracy theories are wrong the Pacers will be in The Finals. The Reds hopefully are having a better than expected year and battling with the Cardinals for the lead in the NL Central. A three-game series at Wrigley could help in maybe kick-starting a winning streak before another west coast road trip begins at the end of the month.

Lefty also will be playing in the US Open at Pinehurst. Maybe this is the year things go right on the final day of the only major Mickelson has never won on the course where it seems he plays his best for this tournament and he gets the career grand slam.

July: The Reds reach the All Star break of the season most likely somewhat in striking distance of the Cardinals. The best part of the month my two favorite baseball teams will clash in a three-game series as the Reds play the Yankees. If things workout right maybe I can go to New York and see a game. It would be really cool if I could go and watch all three games in person especially if Derek Jeter has stayed healthy and is playing.

August: There’s another three-game series with the Cardinals. Can only hope either the Reds are looking to extend the lead in the NL Central or trying to catch and take over first place from the Cardinals with this series at Busch. If it goes bad I best be ready for the few obnoxious Cardinals with the “We own the Reds” posts

Mickelson will lead going into the 17th of the PGA Championship and somehow find a way to triple bogey and let Tiger come from behind again for the win – as he did at The Masters. My Tiger friends have a field day.

September: Two more series with the Cardinals – if the Pirates stayed hot from last year could the final series of the season could be one where the Reds need it to clinch a playoff spot? Fortunately I don’t know many Pirate fans. Unfortunately if it comes to that and the Bucs win and keep the Reds from the playoffs not only will I hear it from Cardinal fans but for some reason the Cub fans will feel the need to chime in as well – and they’ll finish in last place again the NL Central.

Of course September means the beginning of another football season. Possibly the Broncos could open the season on either Sunday night or Monday night against the Indianapolis Colts. If the Broncos haven’t fixed the defense it could be a repeat of last season’s Oct. 20 game here in Indianapolis. If that’s the case then I must be ready to hear it from the Colts friends per usual about how Irsay made the right choice in cutting PFM and then drafting Andrew Luck. Oh yeah, forgot too about the “karma” comments which will run rampant as well.

October: The Broncos continue with one of the toughest schedules in the National Football League. The Reds don’t make the playoffs. The Cardinals get to the World Series – lose a tough six-game series to the Tigers, Yankees or Red Sox. Cardinal friends will boast of getting to the World Series again – good for them. Some though will comment “Where were your Reds, Rueff?” Maybe on the 25th anniversary of the last World Series win the Reds will make the playoffs and win a playoff series.

November: Broncos seem to be playing for their playoff lives already during November.

My favorite college football team – Northwestern – has two games against Indiana schools – Notre Dame and Purdue. The Wildcats beat the Fightin’ Irish on Nov. 15 to celebrate my birthday a day early. I again don’t say anything as several of my Notre Dame friends – much like my IU friends (sometimes actually the same) are quick to wanting Brian Kelly fired for losing to Northwestern. Unfortunately I get tickets for the Purdue game and per usual when I go to Ross Ade Stadium to watch the Wildcats they find a way to lose to the Boilermakers late in the game. The Boilermaker friends per usual are cogenial with their comments about the game. Northwestern now must win the next weekend against Illinois for any chance of a bowl game.

College basketball season begins – not really sure what to make of Butler. Hopefully the Bulldogs will get better ramping up to the Big East play and not peak during the non conference part of the schedule.

December: Broncos are on the brink of not making the playoffs. The bandwagon in Indy continues to dwindle – the Colts have already locked up the AFC South and look to secure the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Poor Andrew Luck though. He has a 500-yard-plus, seven-touchdown game against Jacksonville at Lucas Oil Stadium and again the radio broadcasters for the Colts network say during the post-game “It was like Peyton Manning was out on the field today leading the Colts offense. Once Andrew Luck throws a 600-yard, 10 touchdown game then we’ll stop with the referencing of No. 18.”

Middle of the month – all week on my Facebook and Twitter the IU fans have come out about how bad the Hoosiers are FINALLY going to beat Butler at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Fortunately the game is not at the Assembly Hall and there will be no chance of the students rushing the court to celebrate the program’s inferiority complex of Butler. Friends will talk all week about how Butler will once again learn from “big brother” and that IU is back as the premier program in the state.

Yogi will hit a key 3-pointer – much like he did in the game two years ago when Butler upset then No. 1 Indiana. Brandon Miller will call a timeout. As the teams head to their respective huddles Yogi pounds his chest and again exclaims to the Bulldog players “This is my city!”

This game will go one of two ways – either IU wins by 10-15 points or somehow the Bulldogs pull it out in another overtime thriller. If it’s the latter the IU fans will make all the usual excuses about why Butler won and that once again Tom Crean should be immediately fired. “Well that’s OK if Butler won, we still have BANNERS.” If the Hoosiers win – “well Tom Crean is the greatest coach in the world.” “He did a masterful job. Butler just isn’t ready for Big Boy Basketball.” “Your Dawgs aren’t so tough now are they Rueff” “Yogi! Yogi! Yogi!” “Butler should go back to playing in the ICAC” Oh wait they won’t say that one – IU fan probably doesn’t know the history of Butler basketball and the fact the Bulldogs used to play in the former Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference with NAIA and NCAA Division III schools.

Northwestern wins some weedeater sponsor bowl on New Year’s Eve.

The Broncos needing a win get some help from Kansas City as the Chiefs play prevent defense with their second stringers allowing Peyton Manning to throw for 600 yards and nine touchdowns. The Broncos get the No. 6 seed. The Colts falter down the stretch in December and drop to the No. 3. Again settingup my nightmare scenario. Guess I best be prepared to hear about the how Peyton will have only won one Super Bowl and that with the Colts and “karma” again for rooting against the Colts and Manning since they arrived in Indy in 1984.

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