Philadelphia Inquirer - January 1, 1980

So what else is new for ’80?


By Bill Lyon, Inquirer Staff Writer


Things that will happen in 1980, guaranteed....


Pete Rose will hit.300. At least.


Billy Martin will punch someone.


Jimmy Connors will do something obnoxious.


Muhammad Ali will talk about coming out of retirement.


Steve Carlton won't open his mouth and Howard Cosell won't shut his.


Jimmy the Fraud, er, Greek, will continue to be wrong more often than he is right.


There will be rumors that Wilt Chamberlain is returning to basketball... all of them started by Wilt Chamberlain.


People will keep forgetting that Larry Holmes is the WBC heavyweight champion. Or is it the WBA?


Jack Nicklaus will turn 40, will be reminded of it several hundred times, will be written off, and then he will win the Masters and everyone will shut up.


Gordie Howe will say, ahh, what the hell, and play one more season.


Tracy Austin will be described as a "veteran." Tracy Austin is 17 years old.


Most people who go to a hockey game will never actually see the puck go into the net.


Steelers will win


Everyone will root for Houston but Pittsburgh will win the AFC, and then absolutely destroy either Tampa Bay or Los Angeles in the Super Bowl.


TV will continue to show those promos of Dr. J dunking and Darryl Dawkins shattering backboards... and the 76ers still will not win the championship.


Nolan Ryan will pitch another no-hitter, come down with a sore arm, and be through for the season before July.


Tony Franklin will kick a 65-yard field goal. Several hundred kids will break their bare toes trying to imitate Tony Franklin.


The Flyers will finally lose a game, oh, say, around Feb. 27. They also will win the Stanley Cup.


The Phillies will not win their division.


Harold Carmichael will catch a pass in each of the Eagles' 16 regular-season games, extending his streak to 128.


Bill Walton will not play a game, will retire and sign on as a consultant for Dr. Scholl.


Undefeated again


Bear Bryant will moan that this, honestly, really is the year he runs out of talent. Alabama will go undefeated.


c the Ohio State quarterback, will win the Heisman Trophy. Woody Hayes will say that he was only kidding when he said all those nasty things about the forward pass.


The Boston Marathon will be limited to the first 50,000 entrants.


Philadelphia and Boston will continue to be the two best sports towns in the country.


They will continue to promote soccer as the coming sport, and the games still won't draw flies.


Women's pro basketball will succumb to the same fate as pro indoor team tennis and pro indoor lacrosse.


The Indianapolis 500 will draw 300,000 spectators. Seventeen of them will actually know who won the race. A week later, 16 will have forgotten.


The biggest rip-off in sports will be the mint juleps at the Kentucky Derby.


Arnold Palmer will not win a golf tournament. Again.


'No tomorrow'


Before the seventh game of the World Series, the seventh game of the Stanley Cup and the seventh game of the NBA Championship, someone will observe, in a burst of brilliance: "There is no tomorrow."


George Allen will still be a coach without a team.


Dick Vermeil will only go home on Sunday nights.


Philadelphia fans will lead every league in booing, but for sheer lunacy, the New York crazies will still be in a league by themselves.


There will not be one single foul called in an NBA game that goes unquestioned or unprotested.



Finally, one thing that will not happen in 1980: A pro athlete, who travels for free, eats for free, is paid more in a year than most people see in a lifetime, who is pampered, catered to and has never known the quiet desperation of grinding out life one day at a time, will sigh and say: "You know, I'm really lucky."