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Sports Column: What could 2021 possibly have that’s worse than this?

This is the weekend when journalists across the country offer up one of three varieties of columns — a look back at the year that was, their New Year’s resolutions, or silly and fun predictions for what next year might hold.

We in the business call these “evergreen” topics that we can pump out a week or two ahead of time and then take the holidays off.

Unfortunately, I burned the first idea last week. The second mostly involves “wear a mask and dodge COVID-19 particles like Peter LaFleur dodging a dodgeball.” And the third … well, are there really any goofy and bizarre things left to predict that we didn’t see in 2020?

We’re entering 2021 — or 2020 won, as it were — and its surreal version of reality. To quote Clark Griswold in “Christmas Vacation,” the great holiday movie classic, “Worse!? How can it get any worse!? Look around you! We’re at the threshold of hell!”

The United States government basically acknowledged the existence of aliens in 2020 and we barely noticed. Are there really any surprises that could drop out of the sky at this point that would stun us?

In hindsight, maybe we should have seen this coming. The signs of the apocalypse were all there from the sports world over the past 10 or 15 years. The Cubs and Indians played each other in a World Series not that long ago, and the Red Sox became a dynasty. The Saints won a Super Bowl. Mississippi State was ranked No. 1 in the country in football for a few weeks.

Clearly, some deals with the Devil were made and the bills all came due on March 11, 2020.

The insanity almost makes me want to root for some normalcy in 2021. People are tired of Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State dominating the College Football Playoff. I take it as a good sign.

Can LeBron James lead the Lakers to another championship? Maybe the Yankees can win the World Series? Please?

Bottom line, after the utter chaos of 2020, we’re all jittery and on edge. We need a nice, calm sea to navigate in 2021. Perhaps it can start with the sports world.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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