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By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's early January and that can mean only one thing: great college football games.

OK, that's no longer the case (too much money involved), but at least we have our resolutions. Things we say we're going to do that we never seem to end up doing.

So, if we can't do them, maybe some other folks can. With that in mind, let's offer up some New Year's cheer and resolutions for folks in the sports world (plus a few I'll throw in for myself).

To the NHL and ESPN, you should resolve to, well, let's do this in order:

The NHL: Resolve to settle your labor strife and get your season going. Any kind of season. What you have now is nothing and you're losing ground.

It's hard to lose ground when you have nothing, but you're doing it. Play some games and try and get your fans back. Let another season melt away and the hole you've already been digging is going to become a crater you might not be able to get out of.

To ESPN: Resolve to somehow get the NHL back on your network. And when you do, don't count the league as a second-class citizen the way you've done since you stopped showing pro hockey a few years back.

We get it, you have the NBA on your airwaves. How do we know? Because you jam it down our throat all day, every day. In reality, what you're doing is driving us away.

Oh, and also resolve to go a little easier on the soccer, oops, futbol scores.

We know you're now showing Premiere League soccer games and scores. Excuse my yawn, but I'm not sure I can take the excitement of too many more 1-0 thrillers.

I resolve to stop laughing each time the FOX football announcers tell me how great the Cotton Bowl is going to be. Now fellas, not to be a cynic, but if that game - No. 9 Oklahoma versus No. 11 Texas A&M - was on ESPN and not FOX, would you be gushing so much about it?

"Hey fans, the winner of this one could be ranked as high as No. 8. Yippee. And we have Johnny Football. Yippee. You know, he's the guy who shouldn't have won the Heisman? It's going to be great."

OK, maybe I won't be able to stop laughing. One resolution down the tubes already.

To Jon Gruden, the, umm, resolve to come out of the broadcast booth and get back on the sideline.

Jon, you're going to have a zillion offers and a zillion blank checks shoved in front of you. Do yourself a favor and take one.

Your Buccaneers' teams did nothing after winning the Super Bowl for six years before you got canned. Luckily for you, nobody seems to remember that. They only remember that you won a Super Bowl the year after replacing Tony Dungy.

Take advantage of that fact now. Even if you take over a new team and flop, you'll have millions of dollars and you can still go back to broadcasting when you're done.

To Tiger Woods: the resolve to play like the Tiger of old on the weekend at the majors. Tiger, old fella, not that you're running out of time to catch Jack, but you're not getting any younger, either.

You do the Tiger of old thing great on Thursday and Friday, but Saturday and Sunday have been a, Golden Bear for you. (Sorry about the Golden Bear joke, but I couldn't resist).

To LeBron: The resolve to keep doing what you're doing. Dude, you're winning back the public after really putting yourself behind the eight ball a few years back.

Win another title and do it this year. Go back-to-back and be cool about it and we'll come around to you even more.

That's some resolve that would last more than 365 days.

Oh, Happy New Year.



Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several newspapers in the Philadelphia area for more than 25 years.

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