Seven predictions for 2007

The new year is in full swing and the new semester is causing everyone’s blood-pressure to rise. Rather than stress out about textbook prices, enjoy these seven predictions for 2007.

1. Barry Bonds will be convicted of perjury.

Barry Bonds will break Hank Aaron’s career home run mark of 755 during 2007. Breaking the most hallowed record in professional sports will create a media storm not seen since the 1998 home run race. This attention will magnify the other side of Bonds’ legacy: steroids.

In the final week of 2006, a federal judge publicly released the documents related to the BALCO case. Bonds is speculated to be on the list of the test results for hundreds of major league players. Bonds’ former trainer is cooperating with authorities and the “Game of Shadows” authors appear likely to beat their rap.

None of this bodes well for Bonds. The evidence of his steroid abuse is mounting and his baseball legacy is already tarnished. He will break Aaron’s record, then face pending perjury charges in California’s 9th District Court.

2. “You” will not make a difference.

Both Time and Spin magazines named “you” as their persons of the year. “You” in this context refers to the new creative freedoms afforded to anyone with Internet access. MySpace, Facebook, You Tube and similar Web sites provide individuals with a platform to post original content or express their thoughts on any imaginable topic.

There’s a problem with the new Internet. It turns out that “you” don’t have anything to say. The vast majority of existing shared content is copyrighted material, remixed copyrighted material and amateurish crap. The next Seinfeld will not be discovered on You Tube.

3. “The Wire” will win the Emmy for best drama.

For the past five years, television’s best drama has been “The Wire.” HBO’s riveting series about life in West Baltimore has won no major awards and has scarcely been nominated. Call it “Lord of the Rings” syndrome, where that series of movies went unrecognized at awards time until its final chapter, “The Return of the King,” was released.

This will change as “The Wire’s” final season airs in 2007. Everyone from the New York Times to Rolling Stone have called “The Wire” the greatest TV show in American history. This well-written, well-acted, incredibly detailed and often heartbreaking show will finally be given its due this year.

4. Tiger Woods will win the Grand Slam.

Most professional golfers reach the pinnacle of their careers during their mid-30s. Tiger Woods just turned 31. Woods has won the four major tournaments that compose the Grand Slam multiple times. He once won them consecutively, but not all in the same year. If not for his father passing away, he would have done it last year.

Any doubt about Tiger Woods’ status of world’s greatest golfer will disappear in 2007. He will win the Grand Slam and will be named Player of the Year again. It’s time to sandblast Jack Nicklaus’ name off of the trophy and engrave Tiger’s.

5. America will unintentionally “stay the course” in Iraq.

The Global War on Terror will forever be the lynchpin of George W. Bush’s presidential legacy. His pledge of sending 21,500 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq will raise the troop level to approximately 170,000. This is too little, too late. The Multi-National Division can’t control Baghdad as is and sending the equivalent of an extra division to the Anbar Province will not curb the sectarian violence.

One solution to this is the withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq. To do so would be an admission of failure and permanently tarnish the Bush presidency. Another solution is to raise troop levels to Gen. Shinseki’s recommendation of 350,000 and win the war through military solutions. This is not currently possible for Bush, who had to scrape and fight to send additional forces to an unpopular and misguided conflict. So what will happen? The current administration will continue to suppress what resistance they can and no real changes will be made. Hey, it will all be Barak Obama’s problem in two years.

6. Apple’s iPhone will fail in the marketplace.

Apple announced the launch of their new iPhone product last Tuesday. The iPhone will sync movie, music and photo media through a device that sends and receives phone calls. While Steve Jobs claims that the iPhone will revolutionize hand-held media players, the device’s other statistics indicate otherwise. The iPhone has 16 hours of talk/standby time and only five hours of music/video time; plus it will retail for $499. For all the bells and whistles, they’re not far enough ahead of the media player pack to justify such a high retail price and limited operational time. The iPhone will not motivate average consumers to switch over when their current phones can perform many of the same features for a fraction of the price.

7. SHSU will not change its name.

In the fall semester, much was made of the proposed name change from Sam Houston State to Texas State-Huntsville. This will not happen. Consider the former Southwest Texas State. The school sitting in the shadow of UT had ample motivation to change its name. The name Southwest Texas made a university with over 25,000 students seem small and regional. For all of the whining about changing the school’s name, Texas State gave them their identity. Now, they at least sound like a big-time school, if only to themselves.

Sam Houston State University has its own identity. SHSU means something, both statewide and nationally. It’s the criminal justice university. It’s the school diverse enough to produce Dan Rather and pro-wrestler The Undertaker. The Bearkats know who they are and any attempt to change the university’s name will be met with great resistance. SHSU is not going anywhere. Don’t believe the hype.

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