Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.
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Steamboat Springs I want so many things to happen in 2008. I want all of my teams to win championships. I want the Patriots to go 0-16 next year. While those things are highly improbable -maybe a .001 percent chance - I do have some wants for the 2008 year that appear, at least on paper, more plausible.
Boise State II? There wasn't a better way to start off 2007 than the hook-and-lateral to halfback pass to Statue of Liberty. Since we still don't have a playoff system in Division I college football (Division IAA, Division II and Division III football teams all play in a playoff system, strangely enough), I'm hoping for one finish like the Boise State-Oklahoma game. If you're looking for bowl games that should be interesting - and might provide a heck of a finish - check out California-Air Force today, then Michigan-Florida and Hawaii-Georgia on New Year's Day.
An identity for the Denver Broncos. If you're a Broncos fan and you were asked what kind of team the Broncos were this year, what would you say? At times the defense played well, at times they threw it well and at times they ran it well. But the Broncos never had an identity. They were never consistent enough to be called a great defense or a great running or passing team. Here's hoping they put it together, or we might be hoping for a new head coach hiring in 2009.
Keep it on the field. From Don Imus to Pacman Jones to Michael Vick to Tim Donaghy to Sean Taylor to Barry Bonds to the Mitchell Report, sports in 2007 often made more important headlines off the field than it did on. There's no way 2008 will not have some headlines off of the field, but it seemed like 2007 went above and beyond in terms of horrible stories. Let's all hope 2008 doesn't include dog fights, indictments, grand scale performance-enhancing drug stories or Barry Bonds.
On the note of steroids and performance enhancing-substances, maybe 2008 could be the year to forgive. But first, these athletes have to start admitting it. Listen, at this point it's probably safe to assume that from the late 1990's to now, thousands of players used steroids and probably thousands more used Human Growth Hormone. This era has to be treated in its own way. Just as there was the dead ball era, this is the steroid era. If you took steroids, come out and say you did.
A 95-win season for the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies were the biggest story in Colorado during 2007. The run was magical, made baseball relevant again in Colorado and put high expectations on the 2008 season. It truly was a dream run. While the World Series turned into a huge embarrassing failure, let's all hope the Rockies can at the very least emulate last season.
Lastly, a deep run into the playoffs for the Steamboat Springs boys basketball team. If there's a group of players and coaches that deserve it, it's this year's team. Steamboat has the talent and the coaching to go as far as the team wants. It's just going to take getting those breaks at the right time.