New Year’s Resolutions In Sports

New Warriors football coach Norm Chow

Oh, New Year’s resolutions, you’re a little bit like the groundhog. You make an anticipated appearance on the same day each year, but you’re then usually only relevant for, at most, six weeks.

Yes, most people have already given up on their New Year’s resolution by the time Groundhog Day even rolls around. Hopefully this year will be different because there are plenty of people who should be making permanent changes.

UH basketball coach Gib Arnold: “I will take the ‘Bows to the NCAA tournament and become one of the nation’s rising head coaches.”

Anyone who saw UH’s overtime win against then15th ranked Xavier Dec. 23 knows this is a real basketball team. They have chemistry, they have good interior play, shooting and aggressive defense. After some head-scratchers early in the season, Arnold showed in that game he can make great adjustments against high-caliber teams. He also displays a charisma and an obvious respect for his opponents that will keep him in his own players’ good graces. This year should be a turning point for this UH squad.

UH football coach Norm Chow: “I will return Warrior football to prominence and make a splash in our Mountain West Conference debut season.”

UH men’s basketball coach Gib Arnold. Photos courtesy UH Athletic Department

The departure of Coach Greg McMackin wasn’t met with much surprise around the football program, and the hiring of Chow will certainly provide some excitement after an injury-plagued, disappointing 2011 season. The Warriors still have some dynamic personnel, and Chow’s history of turning quarterbacks into Heisman Trophy winners will be welcome news to David Graves, who took over under center after being pressed into duty. Chow opens his UH career with a matchup at USC, where he helped transform the Trojans into a national champion.

Penn State University: “Do we really need to say it?”

In a year that has been jam-packed with college scandals, Penn State dominated the news cycle after the Jerry Sandusky abuse story broke. The horrifying allegations have forced the university, once a standard bearer for morality, to revamp its image and its personnel. Ohio State, Miami and Syracuse also had major violations or accusations, but the Penn State story trumped everything with good reason. As a PSU alum, I can’t say I disagree with the Joe Paterno firing and I’m certainly ready for the calendar to turn. (But the TicketCity Bowl? Come on.)

NBA Commissioner David Stern: “I will regain the players’ and fans’ trust after a difficult and extended offseason. I’ll probably also remember to not point my finger in Dwyane Wade’s face.”

This might be one of those resolutions that gets broken within weeks. Stern (along with the players union) bungled the lockout, but finally came to his senses in time to save the season. He then vetoed a perfectly legitimate trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the L.A. Lakers. His apparent lack of remorse for alienating players and fans is not the way he was hoping to cap his proud career.

Lakers forward Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest): “I will change my name every two months. I’ll start up again with Yo Gabba Gabba, followed by Tracy Morgan Stanley, Ron Ochocinco, Hillary Rodham Artest, Six-Piece Nugget and finally Metta Mucil.”

Here’s to hoping these and your own resolutions remain true for all of 2012.

Happy New Year!