We’re already more than a week into 2011, no time for dilly dallying. Here are my predictions for the year ranging from the sports world, to the entertainment world, to politics, to the universe of E Dagger. Join me, won’t you?

1. John Elway as a Broncos executive will be an unmitigated disaster

As savvy, improvisational, and poised as Elway was as quarterback on the field for the Broncos, I have minimal confidence in his ability to quarterback this franchise back to glory. Before he was hired, I remember reading report after report about how Elway didn’t want to lock himself into the grind of football executivehood. By all accounts, NFL personnel work a relentless schedule for reasons I don’t fully understand.

Everyone seems to think running an NFL franchise complexity-wise is akin to crafting a strategic nuclear defensive initiative, when in reality, this is merely football. It’s a finite universe with more resources and talented people ready to service that universe than virtually any other industry.

In a recent article, Gregg Easterbrook details bloated college athletic programs. About Ohio State University, he says: “Now factor in the size of Ohio State’s student body compared to the football roster. All those coaches and mysterious ‘associate directors of football operations’ mean that in football, Ohio State has a 1-to-5 ratio of staff to students: while in English, the staff-to-student ratio is 1-to-280. Divide the latter by the former. In staffing terms, Ohio State treats football as 56 times more important than it does English.”

In the NFL, this ratio is probably even closer to 1-to-1, and that’s only taking into account people directly involved in the football operational side. Yet, all you ever hear about is head coaches sleeping in their offices, executives working insane 80 hour work weeks, and so on. This is a sport that has bought into its own hype and believes itself to be the most important entity in the entire country. At times it’s hard to argue because NFL television ratings continue to rise and show no signs of slowing down.

However, due to its continued success and more and more people striving to get a piece of that action, football team employees will continue to find new ways to dissect the minutia of every aspect of the game to the point where Merrill Hoge is on ESPN using a telestrator diagramming the pre-game catering spread and how that affects performance in the Cover 2 defense while 5 million people sit at home watching NFL Sunday Countdown enthralled.

How’s this relate to Elway? With his multitude of other business interests, enjoyment of post-career lifestyle, high likelihood of screwing up his unparalleled legacy in Denver, and the unpleasantness of dealing with the press all the time, there’s no way this job suits him. I’m guessing he flops spectacularly and we all regret his taking the job in the first place.

2. My predictions for other sports will flop spectacularly

The Colorado Rockies will finally win the National League West over the awful Arizona Diamondbacks, the shockingly mediocre San Diego Padres, the fumbling Los Angeles Dodgers, and the seemingly inexorable San Francisco Giants. They will win their divisional round series against the Brewers, and lose to the goddamn Philadelphia Phillies and their unstoppable pitching rotation. My hatred for the Phillies will only grow.

The Colorado Avalanche will advance to the 2nd round of the playoffs and lose to, I don’t know, the Ducks. Attendance will finally rebound, and the Avalanche marketing team gets its head out of its ass and learns to promote its players.

The Nuggets will trade Carmelo finally, and I can stop devoting any time to keeping the Nuggets in my consciousness for at least a couple of years.

The Rapids will, uh, play soccer in Commerce City some more.

The UFC Champions at the end of 2011 will be as follows: Heavyweight – Junior Dos Santos; Light Heavyweight – Jonny Bones Jones; Middleweight – Anderson Silva; Welterweight – Georges St. Pierre; Lightweight – Anthony Pettis; Featherweight – Jose Aldo; Bantamweight – Miguel Angel Torres.

3. I will have the same job at the end of 2011 as I have now

After a profoundly weird 2010 that saw me leave my old gig where I was spinning my wheels and make a foray into an industry full of douche bags, only for that to unequivocally suck and return unceremoniously to the old place as an hourly employee; a year that saw me pick up a couple of paid writing gigs; a year where I tried for six months to get hired at a new place where in the interim I brought them in as a client at my old place all while they knew I was trying to get hired at the new place; and finally culminating in my grateful hire at the new gig, this year will be much less weird and much more comfortable.

I hate uncertainty, and I think 2010 fulfilled my quota of it for the next 5-30 years. That is, until Lady E and I decide to have children, in which case, I’m going to have to find a new coping mechanism lest my head explode.

4. I will finally quit smoking for good this year.

Mostly I don’t even enjoy smoking anymore, but they don’t call it an addiction for nothing. The thing that keeps me smoking is that a cigarette sometimes is just the exact perfect thing for a particular moment in time. There are moments where nothing tastes better, feels better, or gives your brain the gentle psychological cunnilingus it needs better than that well-timed cigarette. Only smokers understand this. If you don’t, well, you’re actually much better off overall, so bully for you.

Anyway, enough’s enough. I’m going to be 30 this year, and smoking is young person’s pursuit. Much beyond 30, and you just look sad and unable to control yourself. This will be the year it ends permanently.

Although when I’m like 80, look out. Because that’s when I turn into an unholy cross between Burgess Meredith from Grumpier Old Men and Alan Arkin from Little Miss Sunshine. It’ll be cigarettes, booze, bacon and little vials of heroin I keep in my fanny pack. Lady E and I actually have agreed to this (she’ll be like it too), which I’m sure makes our future children just thrilled to pieces.

5. Roku (and devices like it) will gain popularity as traditional cable subscriptions dwindle

Over the holidays, we got together with family friends as we always do. One of our friends is an entrepreneur who has successfully struck out on his own with several different endeavors ranging from live event marketing companies to creating spicy, pickled green beans. He’s always got something new cooking, which is one of the things that makes hanging out with him so fun. It then seems only natural that he is an early adopter of new technology. He had a Tivo in like 1996. When a paradigm shifter comes along, this guy eats it up.

He told me over Christmas about how he’s ridding himself of his cable subscription and his DVR in favor of Roku which has the capability of streaming Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video On Demand, Pandora, Vimeo, UFC, MLB.TV, and more. It costs as little as $60, and costs only the subscriptions to the services listed above. He’s most excited about no longer being subservient to the schedules of the networks (even with the power of time shifting) and having EVERYTHING available all the time.

This is where I become wary. I already have Comcast On Demand, Netflix Instant Queue, and a big shelf of DVDs I never watch that I have available all the time. I basically never use any of these because, and this is how lazy I am, the act of choosing something that I have to sit down and watch is an extra decision point I don’t want to make. It’s like now that I’ve chosen it, I’m betrothed to it and have to see it all the way through and pay attention. It’s like taking on an assignment.

I am a passive television watcher of the highest order. I’ll watch Adam Richman take down Mt. Nachismo on the Ann Arbor episode of Man V. Food whenever it’s on. Why? Because it’s there. This is how I got sucked into Flight of the Navigator last weekend, which Lady E justifiably hated me for. If I have to make a decision about what to watch, then I’m solely responsible for this irredeemably slothful and ridiculous choice. I actually have to press a button to engage my appalling languor. I much prefer the satisfaction of blaming the networks for my 50th viewing of Three Men and a Baby when I should be working out or unloading the dishwasher.

And since people actually have no idea what they want, I suspect Roku will take off with the unintended consequence of being a huge boon for network television and advertisers. You have to keep your rabbit ears for local news and sporting events. Local news doesn’t work on the internet yet, and no one wants to watch a sporting event that’s happening anytime but the present. An hour after a game’s over, I officially have no interest in ever watching it from start to finish. And since Hulu inserts commercials into its programs, this will allow content providers to start doing more targeted marketing again, and the advertising industry will continue and thrive once again.

I suspect people will become paralyzed by too many choices and will defer to the networks in order to avoid having to make a decision, and the big four will rebound nicely, as will their ad sales.

*It’s entirely possible I’m in the minority in relating to television this way, and I recognize that. But still, having too many choices grossly inhibits decision making, and given the sheer amount of decisions you probably make at work, raising your child, or if you’re in college determining that tricky alcohol/sleep/video games time algorithm, adding even more when you’re supposed to be relaxing seems counterintuitive to enjoyment.

 

6. Bill Hader will be the next breakout star of SNL

Hader is consistently the best part of SNL. His rubber face, spot-on impressions, and ability to steal a scene with only a moment to do so will catapult him to superstardom the same way SNL did it for Will Ferrell.

His impressions are not only very technically proficient, they all have a slant on them too. In his appearance as John Boehner in this week’s Weekend Update, Kristen Wiig as Nancy Pelosi pushed his buttons to get him to cry. Instead of the standard Andy Samberg style childish sob, Hader took it a different direction and had Boehner cry like Bert Lahr as The Cowardly Lion. It was perfect as it took a marginally funny joke and pushed it to another level considering The Cowardly Lion has one of the five funniest cries in the history of cinema.

The other reason Hader will become a star: good karma. In a podcast with Bill Simmons, he revealed that the movie Hot Rod was inspired by great cinema from the ‘80s. Most notably: Rad. I have a huge man crush on Bill Hader.

7. Lee S. Hart and I will get drunk in the parking lot of JC Penney and thoroughly enjoy The Hangover 2.

We will not enjoy the movie as much on repeat viewings.

8. Extra Space Storage commercials will become the next viral video craze

And you can help make this one come true right now. Check out some of the most delightfully weird storage facility commercials you’ve ever seen. You can find them below. Doooo iiiiit.

Comets (When you think of space, do you think of the moon, rocket ships, and astro comets bombing through the heavens? I don’t…)

Tornado (Eat Eggo waffles and watch VHS copies of Cool Runnings…)

Celebrity (J. Thurston Rockefeller Meowington IV…)

Holiday (Fa la la la la Extra Space Storage!)

9. CJS Regular Dzayson will win Food Sex or Cars 2011.

Since Keithage is not eligible to participate this year, my money is on Dzayson who continues to get funnier every time I see him. This ever-rising comedy acumen will propel him to the top of the CJS heap this year, and he’ll secure himself a guest spot in 2012. Also, look for CassieB and Keithage to have their guest spots very soon.

10. One of two things will happen to the Tea Party members elected in 2010:

1) The system, strong as it is, will win once again and the formerly indignant tea partiers will realize what an awesome gig being an elected representative is, and they’ll become career politicians just like virtually everyone else who’s ever been to Washington. Nothing in Washington will appreciably change.

2) The tea partiers will do an exceptionally shitty job of adapting to Washington, show no adaptability whatsoever, disgrace their districts, and everyone will suddenly realize, “Wait, we elected this nitwit? Let’s get someone in there who knows what the fuck they’re doing.” An establishment candidate will run against the tea partier and win. Nothing in Washington will appreciably change.

Just like nothing will appreciably change at CJS this year. We’ll be here with 1-2 posts per week, Derby coverage in May, Food Sex or Cars in November, and a look back to cap it all off.

Have a wonderful 2011, everyone. Hart’s here Thursday with his 2011 predictions.

Until then…

edagger@crujonessociety.com