Littlefield: Sports Hope For A New Year

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Bill Littlefield wonders what's to come on sports fields in 2017. (Darin Wallentine/Getty Images)
Bill Littlefield wonders what's to come on sports fields in 2017. (Darin Wallentine/Getty Images)

I have no use for snow. Alas, for I no longer ski.

And ice is likewise fun for others, but it’s not for me.

And yet each time this time of year rolls in like pouring sleet…

It feels, I must acknowledge, like it’s something nearing neat.

Sports seasons are not seasonal; they overlap, I know,

But still, each New Year promises that somebody will go

And dazzle us with some performance never seen before,

Or seen so seldom that we’re good with seeing it once more.

Sometimes it is a goalie making supernatural saves…

A hitter slugging homers, smiling broadly as he waves

And runs around the bases, sure he’s reached the very top

Of his profession... and that all those cheers will never stop.

Perhaps it is a comeback that we never thought we’d see…

Or maybe it’s a golf ball bouncing off a helpful tree,

Colliding with a rock, a squirrel, a donkey or a mole,

And landing with a loud “ker-plunk” precisely in the hole.

Perhaps a team that hasn’t won as long as heaven knows

Will earn a big parade, and as the celebrating goes

On day and night to end the dreary decades full of flubs…

Ah, no. Forget it. That one’s happened. That would be the Cubs.

It could be that an owner, lately arrogant and rich,

Decides it’s time to change his ways quite suddenly and switch

From calling for tax subsidies and public cash as well


To paying for the stadium he wants. Ah, who can tell?

The great thing about starting fresh, or seeming to, at least,

Is that we can pretend, as hopes rise up like baking yeast,

That each New Year’s not only new but full of promise, too,

And hope that every we and they and me as well as you

Can still be filled with wonder at a moment or an act

That baffles us like fiction, even though it is a fact.

Hooray! Say I for ’17. Who knows what it will bring?

Not knowing is the point…the very essence of the thing

That’s bound to keep us watching as we have in other years

Through smiles and laughter, groans, applause, and sometimes even tears.

This segment aired on December 31, 2016.

Headshot of Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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