January 1, 2012
In no particular order are some things I’ll be observing and commenting upon in 2012:
- Jimbo Fisher and Florida State football Happy days were here again…until there were five minutes left in the Oklahoma game. A loss in a game anticipated unlike any other in years was followed by a disappointing, yet understandable given the circumstances, loss to Clemson. That, in turn, was followed by an incomprehensible loss to Wake Forest. The season-salvaging effort proceeded acceptably until the Seminoles lost at home to UVA, thereby setting off another whole round of angst of whether Fisher will ever be able to return FSU to greatness. The angst boiled again during the first half of the Champs Sports Bowl, only to simmer down as the ‘Noles improbably rallied to defeat Notre Dame. The win, combined with the UF and Miami having an even rougher time of it than FSU, will pacify fans. Until the next loss.
- NASCAR and IndyCar Danica Patrick becomes a full-time NASCAR driver as the sport continues to recover from the popping of a bubble. Will Danica-mania further sour the core fans? In IndyCar, what should have been the beginning of a rousing revitalization of the sport begins on a sombre note. The season opens under the peculiar circumstance of the previous season’s final race being cancelled due to the in-race death of star driver Dan Wheldon. The shadow will persist through the Indy 500 as the race will be run without its defending champion.
- The 2012 elections in Florida Early into the term of Governor Rick Scott, Democrats were salivating at the prospect of running candidates against an extremely unpopular figure. Scott’s favorability ratings have since improved somewhat, rising from ‘Adolf Hitler’ levels to ‘Mussolini’. In the race for the U.S. Senate seat, Bill Nelson will be called to account for votes of the sort that didn’t exist in his 2006 re-election. In a state where everyone seems to be from somewhere else, establishment of political dynasties would seem unlikely. However, Connie Mack IV may be in position to regain the seat held by his father until 2001.
- The new era of the Jacksonville Jaguars Will Shahid Khan bring forth the sort of common-sense popular changes to the team that are common to owners who come from a self-made business background, thereby keeping NFL football in Jacksonville? Or will he merely do enough to keep the team in existence and bide his time until he moves the team to Los Angeles or St. Louis? While we may get some clues very quickly, the rumors of a team move have persisted for a decade without any indication of a final resolution.
- The 2012 hurricane season and “the Wilma streak”. Hurricane Wilma remains the last hurricane to make landfall in Florida. The dearth of landfalls in the state continues to confound a resolution of the debate over whether Florida’s hurricane history should be considered as active with abnormal periods of quiet or vice versa. Wilma also remains the last hurricane to make landfall in the United States at category 3 level. There will, of course, be another major landfalling hurricane in the United States in the future, but we cannot guarantee when. At one point, it seemed certain that Irene would be the streak-buster, but it was not to be.
- Writing Although poor planning caused me to renege on a couple of promises to do so, I will write about a few games for the 800 Games Project. ** Also, the above subjects will be commented upon in this space over the course of the year. While the promise of renewed writing has oft been unfulfilled, that will note be the case in 2012. The new-found desire *** to write will persist.
** Peculiar scheduling has also played a part in not taking the plunge. Both the Jacksonville University at FSU and Princeton at FSU games would have been natural debut pieces, had they been played on a Saturday( rather than Friday). The Princeton game would have been especially poetic, since it was at that school that I first took in a college basketball game.
*** Reading The Language Wars has played a major part in rekindling my desire to be a producer of the written word.