Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 2, 2006, Herald Journal / Enterprise Dispatch

Happy new year could be happier

By Matt Kane

Since the early hours of Sunday morning when champaign glasses were raised as the ball dropped on Time Square people have been wishing each other a ‘Happy New Year.”

But will it be?

And what will it take to make 2006 happy?

Why a resolutions, of course.

Webster defines a resolution as a formal expression of opinion, will or intent voted by an official body or assembled group.

The only official body voting on my own resolution is the one I strap by belt around every morning. And it’s voting – no doubt unanimously – that my New Year’s resolution is to watch less and play more. Sports that is.

It is my job to watch and document games, which requires a lot of sitting in a press box and then in front of a computer screen, so I can’t knock the watching part out of my regimine altogether.

So I will make a deal with my offical body and work on the playing more.

In high school I was a three sport athlete, moving from the football field to the hockey rink and finally ending up on the baseball diamond – now that I think of it, I did a lot of watching then too – and I vow to get back in the game this year.

I don’t know about full contact football – although my friends do like to practice fumble drills in the living room – so that might be off the resolution list, but while it’s winter and the ground is still frozen it’s time to lace up the Bauers again and show my skills as a human Zamboni.

And when the birds start chirping and the snow melts I plan on swining a Louisville Slugger and battling the Mendoza line in the Crow River Valley League.

I suppose I can try to get in shape before my storied combacks begin, but its much easier to pass on by that treadmill and weight bench every morning en route to the shower.

I suppose I better start doing something though, I’m starting to look like a sports writer.

Oh, but wait, there are some good bowl games on this week, I better start my resolution next week.

There are a few others whom I feel should set some goals for 2006.

The NHL.

After a year’s absence due to a money dispute, rinks around the league have been carrying the painted message “Thanks Fans” on the ice, but the message seems only verbal.

A true ‘thanks’ would have been lowering ticket prices.

A trip to St. Paul for a Minnesota Wild game requires a second mortgage these days.

I propose that the NHL declares a New Year’s resolution mandating that the dollar amount a team can charge for it’s best tickets cannot excede the number of wins the team had the previous season.

If the Wild end up winning 42 games this season, $42 will be the top ticket price for the 2006-07 season.

Also, the league must put its games on a television station people actually get.

This resolution can also be applied to the NBA.

Terry Ryan’s New Year’s resolution should be to acquire some talented players with a future instead of guys who were good – not even great – five years ago.
Luis Castillo, Rondell White and Tony Bautista?

Come on, does anyone remember Brett Boone, Roberto Kelly and Dave Hollins?

The Minnesota Twins: Where good players go to die.

For fans of the Twins and Major League Baseball, we all need to make a New Year’s resolution to not get bored during the 2006 season when one-run games are 3-2 and not 10-9, and the league leading home run hitters finish with 40 instead of 60.

If baseball’s new steroid and drug policy is truly carried through, we can expect the league’s home run clout to turn into home run kraut. The Germans should appreciate that reference this time of year.

Individual resolutions

Rafael Palmeiro: To quit lying.

Terrell Owen: To quit talking.

Drew Rosenhaus: To quit talking for Terrell Owens.

Fred Smoot: To pay for all future boat trips with cash.

Brett Favre: To quit playing football.

Lance Armstrong: To wear baggy, cargo shorts from now on.

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