Wishful Thinking

If only these things would happen in 2004.

It's a New Year. Like most of you (but not Lute Olson), I'm getting older. I'm tired of greeting new years and hoping that good stuff is going to happen. This year, I'm going to insist that things happen. I'm going to sit in my chair, make sure all the newspapers are out of reach, turn off the TV and think REAL HARD to see to it that these things (and more) will happen:

Jan. 1: USC beats Michigan in the Rose Bowl, 84-3, scoring on their first 12 possessions. Coach Pete Carroll empties his bench in the second quarter, but the Trojans just keep on scoring. The final touchdown is scored by a Cal Tech guy who thought that sneaking into a uniform and standing on the sidelines would be a better prank than screwing with the scoreboard like the geeks usually do.

Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr says, "Boy, I can see why they're the No. 1 team in the country. No wait, that's only in the polls and in the minds of every fan in America. The BCS has them third."

Jan. 4: LSU beats Oklahoma, 6-3, in overtime in the so-called "national championship" game.

Jan. 5: LSU is named USA Today's national champion in the coaches' poll. They receive one first-place vote as every other coach in America abstains in protest.

In the same edition, there is a story about how the phrase "The BCS system works" has now officially become the biggest lie in America, supplanting "There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we're going to find them" and "I won't (behave selfishly at the conclusion of a connubial act)."

Feb. 3: As the political season heats up, stories of scandal begin to bubble to the surface. In a series of copycat stories based on the revelation that dead redneck Strom Thurmond had fathered a child with the family's underage black maid, it is reported that Bill O'Reilly has a love child who actually tells the truth; Rush Limbaugh has a son who does not take drugs and isn't facing criminal prosecution; and George W. Bush has a secret child who can spell and do math in her head.

May 1: With his team having lost in the first round again, Rasheed Wallace of the Portland Trail Blazers walks away from the game, renouncing his contract. Wallace caused a firestorm of controversy when he said that the NBA drafts so many teenagers because the league wants "dumb-ass niggers who don't know any better" so they can control the players. Wallace also said just because he gets paid $17 million a year doesn't mean that his bosses can tell him what to do.

By mid-June, Wallace is out of money and gets arrested when he tries to sell four tons of marijuana back to his dealer for 20 cents on the dollar. The deal falls through because Wallace brings Damon Stoudamire along and the drug dealer just knows that something stupid is about to happen.

By mid-July, Wallace is working as a greeter at a suburban Portland Wal-Mart, trying to raise money for his defense fund. His boss, a divorced mother of three with really badly dyed red hair, gets to tell him what to do.

July 14: Kobe Bryant finally goes on trial. Having never gone to college, he admits on the stand that he really didn't know that there was a difference between "innocent" and "not guilty."

He says, "Really, Your Honor, at all those press conferences where I kept admitting that I had cheated on my wife but then proclaimed my innocence, I didn't know that the two were mutually exclusive." (Although he doesn't really talk like that.) "What I'd like to say is that I'm not guilty of raping that young woman. But innocent? No, I'm not."

July 20: As suggested in the Tucson Weekly back in December, Karl Rove does indeed schedule the start of Saddam Hussein's trial to coincide with the Democratic National Convention. But it sort of backfires when Saddam calls, as his first character witness, Ronald Reagan. This angers Sean Hannity so much, he squeals like a little bitch. No wait; he always does that.

July 26: Visitors to Athens for the Summer Olympics can't help but notice that all of the statues of goddesses seem to look like Jennie Finch. It turns out not to be a confirmation of the suspicions of teenage boys (and way too many 40-something guys), but rather just another really clever Nike campaign.

Aug. 31: The University of Arizona football program begins the Mike Stoops era with a home game against NAU. When NAU's Philo Sanchez runs the opening kick-off back for a touchdown, two UA fans, crazy from the heat and humidity, begin chanting, "Bring back John Mackovic!" They are severely beaten about the head and neck by fans carrying those really annoying inflatable noisemakers (they call them "Stoops sticks") that were provided by a local radio station.

Oct. 22: The Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago Cubs in the World Series, finally erasing the almost-century-old Curse of the Bambino. The very next day, Bostonians go back to beating their wives, getting stupid drunk and talking funny.

Oct. 31: Rumors spread that the Democratic National Committee has pictures of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with a goat. And a really ugly goat at that. Republicans scramble to make sure that there isn't a repeat of Florida 2000.

Nov. 3: Lightning strikes again. The count in Florida has a margin of 12 votes and the Electoral College hangs in the balance. Hundreds of angry black voters, who all seem to look like Strom Thurmond, protest that they were denied the right to vote. The U.S. Supreme Court, with Antonin Scalia surprisingly providing the deciding vote, sides with the protesters and hands the White House to John Kerry.

OK, so maybe I peeked at the TV once or twice while I was mapping this out. But, it could happen.