By Kevin York
As 2012 draws to a close today, I thought it would be fun to look back at the most popular stories of 2012. This will be a different look back than you’ll see from other sports sites today though. Instead of reviewing the most popular sports stories of the year, I’m going to provide a slightly different look back at the year by listing the ten most popular Couchletes stories of 2012.
As for what will happen in 2013, I’m going to approach that a little differently as well. My day job is as a consultant in the tech PR and social media industry. Every year at this time there are hundreds of articles and blog posts published providing predictions on the coming year. These predictions come from the media, vendors and industry pundits and typically range from the obvious (like if I were to say the Miami Heat will make the playoffs) to the ridiculous (if I were to say there’s an infant in Kansas that will become the best baseball player ever). In an ode to my ‘real’ job, I’m going to make some predictions of my own. They won’t be a cop out like the Heat making the playoffs and won’t quite be of the totally ridiculous nature, but I’m going to have some fun with them.
Most Popular Stories of 2012 (the most viewed Couchletes posts):
1. Dear Roger Goodell (written September 25)
2. Dear Kevin (September 11)
3. Choose Me as Your Fantasy Football Commissioner (October 5)
4. The Seattle Seahawks: Top of the League or Overrated? (October 17)
5. NFL Week 3: The Couchletes Pick ‘Em (September 19)
6. College Football Reform (December 5)
7. NFL Week 4: The Couchletes Pick ‘Em (September 27)
8. RE: Dear Kevin (September 11)
9. New Roster Acquisitions (September 18)
tie – 10. 2012 NFL Season Preview (August 31)
tie – 10. The Hypocrisy of the NCAA and a Missed Opportunity for Change (July 23)
tie – 10. The Overabundance of Superman in American Sports (October 3)
What Will Happen in 2013 (My far-fetched, but maybe not too far-fetched predictions)
— Norv Turner, offensive coordinator of the Jets and former Chargers head coach, will transform the Jets into one of the most potent offenses in the league behind pro bowl second year quarterback (and former RG3 backup) Kirk Cousins.
–The Green Bay Packers will finish the 2013 season with a 15-1 record, powered by one of the league’s best offenses and its very best defense built by new defensive coordinator and former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith.
–The Kansas City Chiefs will finish 9-7 under new head coach and former 49er offensive coordinator Greg Roman. The Chiefs will be led by Roman’s handpicked starting quarterback, a man that will lead the league in completion percentage and QBR, Alex Smith.
–The Philadelphia Eagles will win the NFC East and go 11-5 under new head coach and former San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
–The San Francisco 49ers, with new offensive and defensive coordinators, will stumble to an 8-8 record in a hotly competitive NFC West featuring new league powerhouse Seattle, wild card contender St. Louis and the surprising Arizona Cardinals, much improved under new head coach Andy Reid. Media will start questioning Jim Harbaugh’s performance now without former coordinators Greg Roman and Vic Fangio.
–With injuries sidelining Steve Nash and Pau Gasol for the 2013 NBA playoffs, Dwight Howard will be looked upon to step up and help Kobe Bryant lead the Lakers to the Finals. Bryant will do his part, averaging 41 points in the playoffs, but Howard will shrink in the spotlight, averaging only 8 points and 8 rebounds in a first round exit. After the season, the Lakers will not attempt to resign the center, leading him to sign with one of the only teams to show interest in him. Howard, now stuck with both attitude and performance baggage, will begin the 2013-2014 season suiting up for the Toronto Raptors.
–After falling short of his quest to win his sixth NBA title with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant, sensing his time fading, will demand a trade out of Tinseltown. He’ll suit up for the 2013-2014 season with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli beside him in San Antonio.
–Baseball’s east coast bias will now shift west with the league’s new big money teams, the Dodgers and Angels, garnering lots of media attention. Both will fail to make the playoffs and watch a smaller market World Series from their living room couches as the Reds beat the A’s.
–NHL owners, after the complete cancellation of the 2012-2013 season, will finally realize that Gary Bettman is the worst commissioner in all of sports and relieve him of his duties. He will be replaced by David Stern, fresh off his retirement as NBA commissioner. League revenue and television ratings will soar to all time highs in the 2013-2014 season.
–Tiger Woods will finish outside the top ten in the Masters and fail to make the cut at the US Open, prompting him to retire and begin pitching Rory McIlroy to let him serve as his caddy under the belief that carrying McIlroy’s bag when he wins a major can count toward Tiger’s career total and propel him past Jack Nicklaus’ record of eighteen major wins.