September 17, 2008

Stepping Out on a Limb with Predictions

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For better or worse, we’re back in upstate New York. That fact only really hit me earlier today when I walked out of the gym at Teagle to be greeted by the snowbank sitting outside Lynah Rink, a chillingly bizarre indicator that winter is closer than we’d all like to believe. Also, is it really time to get line numbers for hockey tickets already? Autumn has arrived with the speed of a Usain Bolt race, and in the spirit of prematurity, I’ve decided to go ahead and pull a DeSean Jackson for this first column. Here’s a sampling of some of the great moments that will occur in the sports world, both on the Hill and beyond, this fall semester:

1. Ford becomes the most accurate quarterback in school history.
Senior quarterback Nathan Ford continues to climb the career passing charts. Despite battling injuries in the latter half of last season, overcoming the questionable pass defense of Bucknell this Saturday — and playing on the newly installed FieldTurf at Schoellkopf — will lead to a renewed confidence that should rejuvenate the veteran player, allowing him to overtake Mike Hood (1996-98) as the Red QB with the highest career completion percentage all-time. At .599 already, Ford only needs to bump that number up 0.08 to claim the No. 1 spot. If only my outlook for the rest of the football team were as positive …

2. The Mets win the wild card.
OK, calling this great is a stretch, but in the wake of last year’s meltdown, I’ll take what I can get from the Amazins. Though I will say this much: dropping five runs to the Nationals and losing to Atlanta — in mid-September — means that even if the Mets do take the NL East, they don’t deserve to advance past the divisionals. The Mets appear headed down the same path they were a year ago, but assuming Jerry Manuel gets them back in line they will at least win the wild card.

(Addendum: Calling these last few losses inconvenient is like saying Phelps did pretty well in Beijing. It’s worse than making the Big Red Sports passes separate from our Cornell cards).

3. The men’s hockey team sweeps its first games at home.
This one I thought up along with Mitch Alva, the cowbell guy. After dropping its first three games to Princeton, Quinnipiac and Colgate on the road, the hockey team, emboldened by a particularly fiery Mike Schafer ’86, will come back to beat Colgate at Lynah, as well as picking up four points with a win over Harvard on Friday (whose goalie is out for the season) and a blowout over Dartmouth on Saturday. This will still probably only manage to place them third in the ECAC but will make for a great weekend nonetheless.

4. A team from New York finally ends the Patriots’ stranglehold on the AFC East.
Remember when you first found out Cornell accepted you? Imagine it was also on your birthday — and you had just met Maria Sharapova earlier in the afternoon — and you would get a feeling as to the level of joy Jets fans experienced when we found out Tom Brady was done for the season. Hey, if we can’t get a little magic from Lavaranues Coles this season, maybe we can rely on the Bills this year to end the reign. Never thought the day would come when I would say that one.

5. My apartmentmate and I win seven games of beer pong this semester.
This estimate is a little generous. I just wanted to go with the lucky number.

Of course, you’re all more than welcome to contact me if you strongly disagree on any of the above points of contention, and I’ll do my best to try and change your mind (that is, unless you think we have it in us to win more than seven games of pong). Some of my predictions may be a little less than likely, but then again, so is seeing snow in Sept.