UP NOLAN CREEK: Hits and misses
Monday, 21 January 2013 by Wayne Carpenter
Last January I decided to try something different and write a list of predictions for the coming year. Several people said they enjoyed the idea, and it was fun, even when I was wrong. I certainly don't claim to have a magic crystal ball; if I did, I would be spending the winter months in some tropical paradise after making a large fortune in the stock market. Since I am not, and 2012 has flown quickly by, I thought we should take a moment to look back to the past year and see how my predictions stacked up with what actually happened.
First of all, while I am eating a heaping helping of fried crow, I must admit my biggest miss of the year was predicting that the Aggies would not fare well in football as members of the Southeastern Conference. As a Longhorn, you don't know how much it hurts me to say it, but I was completely wrong on that one. As we all know, they did much better than almost anyone expected. I also predicted that the UMHB Crusaders would finally break through and win their first national championship in football. They had another great year but came up two games short. I also missed half of my prediction concerning the Texas Longhorns: I predicted correctly they wouldn't win the conference, and they didn't, but I was wrong in thinking Coach Mack Brown would retire at the end of the season. I suggested TCU would prove a worthy addition to the BIg XII Conference, but I never expected them to beat Texas in football. I pegged my Houston Astros to finish last, but I must admit that pick was too easy. On the other hand, I took some flack from Ranger fans for predicting the Rangers wouldn't make it back to the World Series, but even Nolan Ryan couldn't will them to victory in the playoffs.
I took a few guesses at forecasting political events last January, and I had a mixed track record there as well. I correctly predicted that Texas would still be worried about water shortages and not much action would be taken to address the problem. Also, the financial wizards on Wall Street, who had a major role in the financial meltdown, would receive bonuses in 2012 instead of being held accountable. All too true, I am sad to say. Also, I jokingly said Donald Trump would still have the worst hair and biggest ego in the public arena. I think they call that a 'gimme'. I suspected Newt Gingrich would continue to verbally reinvent himself as only Newt can, and he never failed to disappoint. I told y'all back in January that Mitt Romney would win the republican nomination for president. Of course, he was the oddsmakers' favorite, so it wasn't like I was the only one making that assumption. I also wrote that despite all his woes and low favorable ratings at the time, President Obama would likely be reelected. If it had been up to the majority of Texas voters, that wouldn't have come true, but nationally he won by an even larger margin than almost anyone expected. Speaking of Texas, I stated my opinion that Texas Governor Rick Perry had a great chance for selection as the vice-presidential running mate on the republican ticket if he could avoid what I called "cowboy boot-in-mouth syndrome." Oops. I missed out when I said a strong third-party candidate from the far right would impact the presidential race. That never materialized, but certainly the Tea Party still had a strong impact on many elections, including the Texas senate race where Ted Cruz upset the early odds on favorite, David Dewhurst.
Overall, I think it was a pretty good year for my prognostications, or maybe it's just better to be lucky than good. I hope you enjoyed this look back to the events of 2012. Since the old year is behind us, I am excited to see what interesting events occur in 2013, as I know there will be many more surprises. As for me making more predictions, I am trying to decide if I should quit while I'm slightly ahead!