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Scott Ostler

Silly Forecast? You Don't Have to Wait for 1986, Just Read On

December 31, 1985|SCOTT OSTLER

I bet you were wondering when I would reveal my psychic predictions for 1986. How did I know you were wondering? I just know, that's all.

The newspapers you read while waiting in the grocery check-out line always feature psychic predictions. However, these papers not only ignore sports for the most part, but they deal in silly, ridiculous predictions, stuff like "Don Johnson of Miami Vice will volunteer for a dangerous U.S. space mission."

Let's get serious. Here's what will happen in 1986:

Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins will volunteer for a dangerous U.S. space mission.

The Cubbies will finally win a league championship. Bowing to network pressure, team management will install lights at Wrigley Field. Bowing to further network pressure to update their embarrassingly old-fashioned ballpark, the Cubs will install a dome over Wrigley Field and cover the outfield walls with AstroIvy.

Veteran quarterback Jim Plunkett will announce he's making yet another thrilling comeback, and the Raiders will dub their 1986 title drive "Plunkey IV."

In pro hockey, there will be a growing concern among owners that too much finesse is creeping into the game. A new rule will be instituted. In order to score, the offensive player must carry the puck into the goal net personally, in his teeth.

At the Indy 500, there will be no serious injuries or fatalities. However, some purist fans will object to the new format, where the drivers sit in the grandstands and drive their cars via remote control.

The Rams will coax George Blanda out of retirement to play quarterback. Asked why the Rams got Blanda, team owner Georgia Frontiere will explain: "Because Clint Eastwood wasn't available."

Jerry Buss will have installed in the Forum ceiling 17,505 tiny, high-powered sprinkler nozzles, one directed at each seat. The nozzles will automatically soak anyone who ignores the Forum's new no-smoking policy.

Wade Boggs, who due to superstition eats chicken before every game, will launch a nationwide fad among young ballplayers when he goes 5 for 5 after accidentally swallowing a large wad of chewin' tobacco during batting practice.

In Rocky V (skip to next paragraph if you don't want to see how the movie ends), Rocky will avenge our humiliating loss to Australia in the last America's Cup yacht race. In a rematch with the Aussies, the wind will die but deckhand Rocky will leap overboard into shark-infested waters and tow the American boat across the finish line.

Sports will contribute to a breakthrough in home decorating. An Angel fan will accidentally discover that the cheese-like substance poured over nachos by ballgame vendors, if ladled onto a floor and allowed to cool and congeal, is more colorful and durable than linoleum, and can be re-heated and used as party dip.

Because of a shortage of announcers, John Madden will be assigned to provide color commentary for a golf tournament. Madden will be positioned at the 18th green. The first golfer to reach that hole, Jack Nicklaus, will 17-putt the green.

Encouraged by the positive viewer response to Madden's colorful golf coverage, Madden's network next will assign Big John to cover bowling. "POW! Kee-RASH! Did'ja hear those PINS?!!"

Pedro Guerrero will get off to a slow start at the plate. He will complain to Tom Lasorda that the pressure of having to concentrate on defense in left field is taking his mind too much off his hitting. Guerrero will plead to be allowed to play a less demanding defensive position--pitcher.

Rod Carew will retire from baseball and open a singles bar.

The high-five and low-five will become passe. The truly cool jocks will start using the no-five. Touchdown-scorers and home run hitters will go totally unacknowledged by teammates, who will turn away and pretend they didn't even notice the heroic deed.

President Reagan will telephone his good wishes to the winners' locker room in New Orleans Jan. 26. But he'll dial the wrong number and wind up congratulating Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw for winning the Super Bowl.

Scientists will intercept electronic messages from another solar system. Once decoded, the transmissions will turn out to sports scores that are 73 billion light years old. Las Vegas bookies will quickly establish a betting line, but the bookies will take a bath when the Zargz upset Plorq, 9 4/17 to 6 pi.

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