Man, am I (known for being) a sucker for a good tier list. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’ve written one this year… just kidding, my 17 page manifesto on coaching replacements for Ewing was an absolute banger.
With finals fast approaching, and the seasons of any sports that I’m at all educated in beginning to wind down, I thought it would be a fun (albeit humbling) exercise to look back on some of my worst sports takes from the past academic year. Without further adieu, let’s get on to reminding ourselves that no matter how much sports content we consume, it will never, ever be enough.
Tier 1: Burn it. Now.
#1.) Marquette Men’s Basketball being bad…at basketball:
I’m so embarrassed this ever happened, given all the hours of college basketball I’ve watched. That’s it. End of story.
In my BIG EAST men’s preview I ranked the Golden Eagles 10th out of 11 teams, only above DePaul. To head coach Shaka Smart, I’m deeply sorry. I never should’ve doubted you. It won’t happen again, I promise. As a result of this promise, I pledge to never put your team any lower than fourth in all conference predictions I make moving forward for the rest of my life, no matter how good or bad (especially bad) the roster looks on paper. To Tyler Kolek, you accomplished much more than I thought possible, and although Michigan State’s AJ Hoggard, Tyson Walker, and Jaden Akins may have put you in a straight jacket in March Madness, I will be a firm #kolekbeliever moving forward. Picking Marquette to be bad at basketball was, without a doubt, the worst prediction I made this year. Well…actually, I’ll let you be the judge of that.
#2.) The Toronto Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals:
At least they…*checks notes* made the play-in.
In the Voices’ preseason NBA playoffs predictions I made the (now regrettable) pick of a Bucks versus Raptors conference final. I thought the field from the East was lackluster outside of a Celtics team ripe with the potential for off-the-court chemistry problems. I bought the Scottie Barnes hype and believed in the Raptors’ deep veteran core. I was wrong on all fronts. Womp, womp.
Tier 2: It was an April Fools’ joke, I swear.
#3.) Villanova Men’s Basketball still being the class of the conference:
I swear to god I know basketball. Please believe me. Please.
Even with the benefit of hindsight, I think this one is somewhat defensible. Justin Moore is an all-conference level player, and anyone who watched Cam Whitmore play with Team USA’s U18 squad during the summer would have agreed he was bound for stardom. The Wildcats finished .500 in conference play, which was far worse than I predicted. However, as I acknowledged in my predictions, injuries loomed large—larger than I anticipated. Regardless, I knew the risks and I still did it anyway. (Minus extra points here because I believed in Nova, an inherently unholy take.)
#4.) Tom Brady wouldn’t tear apart his marriage just to go 8-10:
Turns out, he did just that.
I won’t hang my head too low for this; it was a pretty common take. I unofficially had the Buccaneers coming out of the NFC to be runner-up in the Super Bowl. Instead, Brady and Tampa made the Wild Card round, but only on the technicality that they belonged to the historically weak NFC South. I’m still not sure how they blew it that badly with a roster that loaded.
#5.) The Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA Finals:
Welcome to the other half of my awful Eastern Conference Finals’ predictions. This one is on me, yes, but how could I have predicted the absolute choke job the Bucks have done this play-offs?
#6.) Cocks by 90:
I stand by picking South Carolina women’s basketball to win it all this past year, as they were the most dominant team in basketball regardless of level or gender for the vast majority of the season. However, picking them, or any team for that matter, to win by 90 in the National Championship of my bracket is absolute hubris. In conclusion, I jinxed them. Sorry, Jo.
Tier 3: Honorable Mentions
#7.) 2021 Michigan Football was a fluke:
Much like Jay Willams, perhaps I should stay in my lane; me as an MSU fan, and Williams as someone…not qualified to be a basketball head coach. I’m sorry Blake Corum, J.J. McCarthy, and most of all (and most begrudgingly) Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines finally found some grit, it seems.
#8.) Detroit Sports are on the come up:
Yeah, no. Except for you, Detroit Lions, and America’s eccentric uncle Dan Campbell. Some may call Campbell a madman, others a gimmick, but at the end of the day the Lions have the eighth best Super Bowl odds for next season.
#9.) The rest of my preseason NBA playoff predictions:
#10.) My 2 a.m. Lau conspiracy theory that Ewing was actually a genuinely good head coach:
Note to self: my brain is no good after finishing 17 pages of Intro to Psychology essay writing. I made a spreadsheet and everything.
Bonus bad take:
#11.) “My hip is fine, I can run through this.” – Surgery No. 2 at the end of May y’all ✌️.
i’m sorry too, ben
It’s gonna be ok, Jo