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Idle Thoughts- A Sports Wish List for 2011.

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I’m not one to share my opinion, but since you asked, I hope that…

  • …the NHL’s Winter Classic goes off without any major rain issues.  The start time has been moved to 8pm for Saturday night.  If weather is not a problem, I expect it to be the best WC of the four. It may not be the score fest the Blackhawks & Red Wings staged in 2009, but Crosby vs. Ovechkin will do the game justice. 
  • That Mike Haywood can do what Dave Wannstedt could not and win a Big East title outright and take Pitt to a BCS game.  The chances of this are about .01%, given the fact he was just arrested for domestic abuse at his home in South Bend, Indiana on Friday.  Is Steve Pederson hiding in a closet right about now?
  • That Jamie Dixon can take Pitt basketball to the Final Four.  For all the ‘talk’ that Pitt is a basketball school, I have yet to really see it.  The hoops program has gained a measure of success in recent years, but has not delivered the goods completely.  Dixon has a real shot this year and there can be no excuses if he does not get the Panthers to Reliant Stadium in Houston. 
  • That Joe Paterno will retire already.  And for his wife Sue to talk some sense into her husband.  Really, do 84-year-old people act like this?  Petty, selfish behavior is normally set aside for the 20 something crowd.  Get a grip Joe, it’s over and you need to gracefully step aside and allow somebody on your staff to take over.  Not that you would think of anybody else at this point besides yourself.
  • That the Pirates would matter in baseball again. 
  • That Bill Stewart finds peace in knowing he did a good job in his three seasons at WVU, replacing a man who left under less than pleasant conditions.  You were pushed out and the only consolation prize for that will be your Million dollar salary to do little around the Athletic office. 
  • That the BCS blows up and a playoff in college football becomes a reality. 
  • That the Steelers get one more shot at the New England Patriots this season.
  • That Dave Wannstedt knows he is not hated for failing to win an outright Big East Championship during his six seasons as Pitt’s head football coach.  It was never really in the cards to begin with and most everybody knew that. 
  • That the Big East looks at Central Florida and not Villanova as a suitable 10th football member.  The Knights bring so much more to the table than Villanova could ever.  They create a natural rival for South Florida, add additional recruiting territory in the state for Pitt & other Big East schools to mine.  They finished with 11 wins in 2010, the most of all the D-1 programs in the Sunshine state this year. 
  • That Roger Goodell realizes that he needs to make NFL Officials full-time employees.  Seriously, what a joke this is.  Your league makes gobs of money Roger, you can afford to bring on a few more employees that do an important job all the time on a regular basis. 
  • That the Miami Heat never win an NBA title as long as the most over-hyped, overrated, self-serving athlete in pro-sports plays for them.  Lebron James, you will never win the big one because you lack one thing…the heart of a champion. 
  • That Brett Favre plays for another 10 years.  You know he’s going to try people! 
  • That people stop telling me NASCAR is still relevant.
  • That we can finally stop talking about how great the U Conn Women’s basketball winning streak is.  If there is a record that is less relevent, please fill me in.
  • That Pitt & Penn State decide to play in football again. 
  • And that you arrogant, Penn State backers who say Pitt isn’t your biggest rival get a grip.  You played Pitt 96 times since 1893.   Who else comes close?  Ask Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa or any of your other Big 10 brethren who their rival is…I bet none of them say its you. 
  • That I can continue to write for this site, host shows and do updates on The Fan in Pittsburgh.  After being out of the ‘business’ for nine years, I have found this outlet to be a blessing.  The feedback from you fans…the good, bad and ugly, means a great deal.  I wish all of you reading this a happy, blessed 2011.

John Phillips is the author of this article.  When he’s not base jumping off of  tall structures across the globe, Phillips finds time to work as a talk-show host & sports update anchor for Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.  Listen to JP on New Years Night as he talks Winter Classic, College Football & More starting at 10pm.

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