I am a fervent March Madness viewer but am dreading this year's NCAA basketball tournament for I fear the spectacle will be stained with controversy. I'm making my prediction based on the fact that the first two months of this year saw major scandals courtesy of the sporting world. January dawned with Lance Armstrong admitting to Oprah Winfrey that he did a really bad thing -- actually seven really bad things, one for each Tour de France title. Then along comes February and an upscale home in South Africa turns into an alleged murder scene featuring Olympic "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius.
If this disturbing pattern holds, then controversy will no doubt sully my beloved college hoops tournament since, with apologies to exhibition baseball, it is the ONLY sporting event of any significance during the third calendar month. Now, I shudder to even glance at sports headlines, fearing what March and every other month might bring. A few predictions:
North Carolina men's basketball team, cameras catch Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski mouthing, "nice one" following a Tar Heel bucket. Krzyzewski is immediately fired.
April: After saying he would never use one, Tiger Woods employs the controversial "belly putter" to win the 2013 Masters. Woods then tells Oprah he actually has been using the putter since his 2009 car accident, when ex-wife Elin Nordegren embedded it in his stomach.
May: Under mounting pressure from male drivers, NASCAR suspends Danica Patrick from stock car racing after traces of One A Day vitamins are found in her bloodstream. While the substance is deemed perfectly legal, Dale Earnhardt says, "We ain't using that stuff. Why should she?"
June: In an exclusive interview with Tennis Magazine, Rafael Nadal reveals small, NASA-designed rocket boosters have been implanted in his ailing knees, allowing him to run down every ball on the court. In a tense, five set Wimbledon final, Nadal loses to Novak Djokovic after the boosters run out of fuel and separate from his body.
July: During baseball's All Star game, Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun hits a ball completely out of New York's Citi Field and toward the East River. As Braun circles the bases, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez shinnies up the left field foul pole, leaps over the upper deck wall and makes a fully outstretched catch before landing in the Flushing Promenade. At a postgame press conference, both players maintain they are not, repeat NOT, using performance enhancing drugs.
August: As NFL training camps open, Commissioner Roger Goodell sternly reminds players that deer antler spray is a banned substance. This follows revelations that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis gored San Francisco quarterback Colin Kapernik three times during this year's Super Bowl. In a related note, former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. offers to purchase Lewis' antlers with campaign contributions.
September: The NBA season is abruptly cancelled after 90 percent of its players are found to have violated the league's stringent "no tweeting if you're actually in the game" policy.
October: Following their World Series victory, the Chicago Cubs confess to using a bounty system throughout the year. Rather than try and injure players, Cubs personnel threatened to purchase the contracts of star players on opposing teams. Faced with the prospect of playing for the Cubs, all the players developed suspicious, season-ending injuries.
November: Only four fans show up to an NHL game between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers after season ticket holders, assuming there would be yet another players vs. owners strike, did not renew their tickets during the offseason. A fight still breaks out in the stands during the third period.
December: One day after completing an undefeated season, all Washington Redskins victories are negated following President Obama's admission that he allowed drone aircraft to spy on opposing team practices. Republicans cut the entire military budget.
(Greg Schwem is a corporate stand-up comedian and author of "Text Me If You're Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad," available at http://amzn.to/schwem. Visit Greg on the web at http://www.gregschwem.com.)
Greg Schwem: Mark your calendar; a sports scandal is coming soon
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