by Troy A. Sparks
Hey, if Mikel Holt can have New Year’s wishes, then so can I. His wishes have something to do with Black America. Mines, as usual, are sports-related.
Let’s start with the Green Bay Packers. Their last regular season game is at Lambeau Field on Jan. 2 of next year against the Chicago Bears. It will either be a meaningless game if the Packers are mathematically eliminated by then, or, the rivals will be playing for the NFC North title and a playoff spot.
There’s still hope in Titletown for the postseason, but some of that determines on getting some help from other teams. Unfortunately, the way that I see it, the Packers must win the division. I wish they make the postseason.
If you thought the Super Bowl was in the horizon back in August, don’t be surprised who will exit 1265 Lambeau Av. if they don’t make the playoffs at all.
By the time the Packers’ season is over, whenever that is, we will still have time to check out the progress of the Milwaukee Bucks. Last season, we asked for a better record, and we got it. Remember, they were one game from eliminating the Atlanta Hawks in the opening round of the playoffs. The energy and excitement from Game 5 that the team brought back from Atlanta after their win and a 3-2 lead fizzled at the Bradley Center in Game 6. The Hawks tied the series and closed it out at their place.
Winning 46 regular season games was incredible, but we as fans want more. How about a Central Division title? Many people predicted that the Bucks will win the division because the dominance of the Cleveland Cavaliers diminished when LeBron James took his talents to South Beach.
There’s no need to panic, Bucks fans, because they have plenty of time to get back to .500 and produce another winning season. Was the projection of winning 50 games out of reach? I want the team to make the playoffs again and go further than the first round.
The Brewers, well, we won’t get started on them. Last winter, the Crew traded for pitching. This winter, they traded one of their future prospects for another pitcher. Prince Fielder can either play out his contract in his last season or take a pay cut with another team. An American League team can use him as a designated hitter. So let Fielder step up to the plate about four times a game and take his hacks, then go back to the dugout and sit down.
If the pitching comes around in 2011, the Brewers might have an outside chance to win the NL Central Division. If the hitting and pitching stinks, then I guess we have to wait another 10 years to make the playoffs. I really would like to see another playoff game or two at Miller Park like I did two years ago.
My wish is that MPS athletics will abandon the policy for high school basketball games at their schools. How crazy is it when you have to buy tickets in advance and locking the doors after 8 p.m.? If I want to see a boys or girls game in the City Conference, I’m out of luck because I can’t buy a ticket at the door.
Speaking of the City Conference, I think there should be an all-city postseason tournament to determine the real city champ. Chicago, Philadelphia and New York have all-city postseason tournaments.
And what’s all this back-and-forth about who’s the best summer track club in the city? Does it really matter? The Striders, Mustangs and Spartans all think they’re the best track club around. I wish they would band together as one big club.
Another wish I hope that comes true one day is to recognize the student-athletes in the City Conference in all sports on a weekly basis. Some community businesses should step up and sponsor the student-athletes. I’ll be more than happy to mention them in the Milwaukee Community Journal online and in the paper, space permitting. But since we have some disinterest among the business community, they won’t step up. These kids could be doing something negative.
Being recognized by a business sponsor as a student-athlete goes a long way for young boys and girls and help focus on their plans after high school. One day, the ball will stop bouncing, and those student-athletes will need a backup plan.
Georgetown coach, John Thompson III, give players new to the program deflated basketballs. His message, similar to the late Hank Raymonds, the former Marquette coach, is doing something with your life once the days of playing ball is over, such as getting a real job.
I think the organizers of the Fresh Coast Classic should move the tournament to a different weekend. Thanksgiving weekend is a bad time to have that tournament. Someone who went to this year’s tournament at Wisconsin Lutheran College saw about 100 people in the stands. I guess the rest of them went Christmas shopping on Black Friday.
My wish next year is for a city football team to get to the semifinals of the playoffs. I thought Riverside would pull that off in this past postseason like they did before, but blowing city teams out and falling flat on their faces in the first round made them look bad, and it was kind of a letdown for city football.
I don’t have enough space to list everything I’d like to see happen in 2011. There’s at least one more wish on my list: A Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight.
by Troy A. Sparks