Getting ahead of the game

What will happen in sports in 2007 is anybody's guess

January 01, 2007|By JOHN EISENBERG

Almost exactly a year ago, shortly after the Ravens had completed the 2005 NFL season with a 6-10 record, club owner Steve Bisciotti said he thought the team could rebound and make the playoffs in 2006.

"I heard some commentator say the San Diego Chargers were the best team not to make the playoffs this season, but I think we have as good a chance as San Diego of being back [in the playoffs] next season," Bisciotti said.

A lot of people thought he was still recovering from however he had celebrated New Year's Eve.

But Bisciotti was onto something and then some; both the Ravens and Chargers have, in fact, had strong seasons and are near the top of the playoff mix.

That's the way it goes with trying to look ahead in sports. Sometimes, you look so smart, it's eerie. Other times, you look like a dunderhead.

As 2007 begins, you might want to try making your own predictions for the coming year. It's a risky proposition guaranteed to cast you in an unflattering light at times, but you also might get a big one right, like Bisciotti did. Then you get to brag (unlike Bisciotti, who has yet to crow).

To help you, we've provided a crib sheet containing our staffers' best guesses about what to look for in 2007 in everything from lacrosse to horse racing to baseball to football.

Some of it is simple. The sun will rise in the west if Cal Ripken Jr. isn't elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.

But will the year also bring another Kentucky Derby winner with Maryland connections? A better season from the Orioles? A local lacrosse champion? A trip to the Sweet 16 for Gary Williams' Terps?

A trip to the Super Bowl for the Ravens?

Go ahead, write down a few predictions, stash them in a drawer somewhere and get them out at the end of the year.

You might get lucky and look as smart as Bisciotti with one of your guesses. Or you might quietly recycle the paper and pretend you never tried.

Double-dare ya.

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