'Tis the season to be resolute
Resolving to eat healthier, exercise more or be a better person? That's so 2011. This year, we're eschewing personal New Year's resolutions, and instead suggesting resolutions for the sports figures in our lives:
By Amanda Rykoff
Men who plan to propose: Resolve to just say no to jumbotron proposals
Unfortunately, it happens at almost every baseball game I've attended. No, not "the wave," though I've got some choice words on that topic as well. I'm talking about the dreaded jumbotron marriage proposal. It's so cliche and unoriginal. Many fans boo, and sometimes I even yell, "Just say no!" Invariably, the bride-to-be says yes. But last week at a UCLA basketball game against Richmond, one boyfriend decided to propose to his girlfriend via jumbotron at the LA Sports Arena (UCLA's home this season while Pauley Pavilion receives its much-needed renovation). What happened, according to a tweet from the L.A. Times' Baxter Holmes: the girlfriend ran away. Yup. It happened. She said no. This was one of the greatest things I've ever heard. So here's my New Year's resolution for men planning to propose to their significant others: Feel free to propose to your loved one. You can even propose at a game. Just don't do it via jumbotron.
Rex Ryan: Time to take it down a notch
I know Rex Ryan is the gift to sportswriters that keeps on giving. Every time he opens his mouth, something worth writing about comes out. Of course it's better to cover Rex than that close-mouthed Belichick guy up in New England. Fans grew to love Ryan on the 2010 season of Hard Knocks because he's unfiltered and brash. His bravado takes the focus off his players, and no doubt his players appreciate that. But we've reached the point where enough is enough. And I'm not just talking about his countless Super Bowl "guarantees." Earlier this season, the league fined Ryan $75,000 for cursing at a fan during halftime of a game against the Patriots. Just this past week, Ryan engaged in a heated war of words with Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, who reportedly yelled, "Time to shut up, fat boy!" So Rex Ryan should resolve to tone it down. Even half a notch would be appreciated.
Yankee Fans: keep calm and carry on
You didn't think I'd get through a New Year's resolution post without talking about my beloved Yankees, did you? They've been surprisingly quiet this off-season, which is actually fine with me. The team re-signed ace CC Sabathia before he opted out and have held on to their valuable young players like Jesus Montero. I like Brian Cashman's approach, but I know many fans are unhappy. Admittedly, when it comes to the Yankees, fans are distraught when the team makes the playoffs but doesn't win the World Series. The Yankees still need a legitimate No. 2 starter. And while a girl can dream, I don't think a trade of overpriced and overrated A.J. Burnett is realistic. But this team won 97 games last season. 97 games! For Yankee fans (including myself), I resolve to be calm and rational and Zen about the starting rotation. (Note: I'm sure I will keep that resolution until the second day of the season.)
By Jane McManus
Bill Belichick: The Patriots coach is like a dark cloud. A dark cloud of NFL excellence, but do you really want to make it physically thunder whenever you walk into a room? You could replace Bill Belichick's scowling face with major villains in history and it would look appropriate. Darth Vader, Chucky, Voldemort ... Fun parlor game. So Belichick should resolve to smile more. And dress better. The happiness quotient would probably jump 30 percent. Add another Super Bowl to the mix and you could rename Foxboro, Mass., "Nirvana."
Suzy Hotrod: The roller derby star should resolve to become a household name. She's getting there after her powerful appearance in ESPN Magazine's Body Issue. Hotrod's Gotham Girls won the national title, and the U.S. national team, of which Hotrod and Gotham teammate Bonnie Thunders were members, won derby's inaugural World Cup. Personalities drive emerging sports, and Hotrod and Thunders are the perfect faces to represent roller girls everywhere.
Kris Humphies: He should resolve to become better known for his game than his divorce from vapid reality spendbot Kim Kardashian. Now this may seem like a tall order, but Humphries needs to think about his legacy. Mediocre player with an epic bad romance -- like how that sounds? Didn't think so. Got to work on the jumper, son.
By Adena Andrews
NBA critics: In 2012, pundits should resolve to stop perpetuating the notion that the NBA is filled with thugs and spoiled millionaires. On Christmas Eve, Lou Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers was held at gunpoint, and instead of pressing charges on the gunman, Williams treated him to a meal at McDonald's. Does this sound characteristic of a thug? Also worth noting: Much to the chagrin of NBA grumblers, the lockout didn't cause the league to lose its fan base, as opening day gave cable television its largest Christmas audience ever. Resolve to keep it positive!
Donald Sterling: For 2012, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling should resolve to keep his mouth shut and his wallet open in order to promote the success of Lob City. As one of the NBA's most irresponsible owners -- he even heckles his own players -- Sterling doesn't deserve such an awesome team, but let's hope he realizes what a gift the basketball gods and David Stern have given him.
Eddie Curry and Charles Barkley: The new Miami Heat center lost 50 pounds, then inked a contract with the 2006 NBA champions. Chuck is the new spokesperson for Weight Watchers. Bravo to both big men for losing the weight, but now it's time to keep it off. As a fellow calorie counter, I'm inspired by them.
And the award for time best spent during the NBA lockout goes to… Deron Williams. When David Stern laid down the lockout law, D-Will was one of the first players to hop on a flight overseas. He didn't wait around to see what might become of negotiations; he created his own destiny and in turn set a trend for the rest of the league. The decision also turned out to be a lucrative one for the former Utah Jazz point guard. Williams made approximately $3 million in just 15 games with his Besiktas team in Turkey. And to top off his great lockout season, Bestikas also retired Williams' jersey. Not bad for a summer job.
Now that games are on the schedule and fans are in the stands, a conditioned Williams is on an improved New Jersey Nets squad with a bright future, as Dwight Howard has his sights set on the Garden State. With Jay-Z and Mikhail Prokhorov in the Nets' front office, Williams also probably gets all the Rocawear gear and Russian vodka he can stand. For his forward thinking and hard work, Williams gets my "nice" award.
By Sarah Spain
Ndamukong Suh should resolve to do less stomping and less excuse-making.
Dirk Nowitzki should resolve to get a haircut -- that Euro-mullet just isn't fit for a champion.
The Big East should resolve to change its name to reflect the absurd addition of teams like Boise State.
Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov should resolve to do more reality TV. After cutting his teeth on HBO's 24/7, the man needs his own show.
Michael Jordan should resolve to hire a stylist.
NBA players should resolve to stop getting tattoos. (I know I sound like an old lady but I really, really hate tats.)
Tom Brady should resolve to stop dancing at Brazilian festivals.
Tebow fans should resolve to stop treating the Broncos QB like a saint.Tebow haters should resolve to stop treating the Broncos QB like a leper.
Packers "shareholders" should resolve to stop considering themselves to be actual "owners" of the team.
Sneaker freaks should resolve to stop killing each other over Jordans.
All people everywhere, athletes included, should resolve to stop using the phrase "SMH" on Twitter and in life.
Blake Griffin should resolve to tweet more -- kid is so dang funny.
Derek Jeter should resolve to diversify his "take-home prizes."
By Melissa Jacobs
Cincinnati Bengals fans: Resolve to support your exciting rookie quarterback, rookie wideout and turnover-inducing defense. Buy tickets. Buy merchandise. Care.
Tim Tebow: Resolve to continue to win unconventionally. There is no denying your presence is good for the NFL. But as Jesus (in the form of Jason Sudeikis) advised: take the preachiness down a notch.
New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum: Start looking for a new quarterback.
Dancing with the Stars producers: Invite New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore to join your next cast so we can all be treated to more moves like this.
David Stern: Find a way to start your season on Christmas Day again. It was the first time I cared about the NBA openers since the days of Michael Jordan.
Blake Griffin: Resolve to stop slacking and dunk over two cars in this year's All-Star Game dunk competition. C'mon man.
Kobe Bryant: When you meet the next Mrs. Bryant, sign a prenup. I'm guessing we don't need to tell you that.
Boston Red Sox: Stop drinking during games. Leave that to the fans.
Hollywood: Make more sports movies. Where were you this year?