With the exception of 2013, I’ve been doing this series of predictions every year on this blog. I got the idea from listening to Art Bell’s old radio shows in the 90’s when he’d allow callers one prediction each. I use his rule of not predicting terrorism or people dying, because why wish that for anyone, and I make ten of my own.
I do this in and for fun, not in an effort to be correct. But, I do occasionally make correct predictions, sometimes more than a year in advance. In my 2016 Predictions, I correctly predicted three things: Trump winning, the Cubs winning the World Series, and the Patriots winning the first Super Bowl to go to overtime after a memorable comeback, which didn’t happen until THIS year.
Looking back a year, I pretty much missed everything, except a hurricane hitting Florida, kind of. Irma, as we know, was a big enough hurricane to be felt everywhere in south and central Florida, including giving Tampa Bay its worst night of weather on September 10th and early September 11th in nearly a quarter century.
On with this year’s predictions:
- TRUMP WON’T RUN FOR RE-ELECTION IN 2020: Near the end of 2018, President Trump makes the announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2020, and that he’ll be a one-term President by his choice. He won’t elaborate as to why, but the rumor mill will be abundant with speculation. Shortly thereafter, Vice President Pence becomes the first candidate for the 2020 race, which will draw a record field.
- THE MARKET BITES BACK: The Dow passes 27,000 by April, but a bear market brings the average back down to just over 23,000 by year’s end.
- MIDTERMS A MIXED BAG: Both the Democrats and Republicans will tout midterm elections results as an asset to their respective parties. The Democrats gain ten seats in the House of Representatives, but the GOP wins back three in the Senate for a 54-46 split. The bigger story will be the continued consequences of sexual harrassment and misconduct, and the revelations continue to rock BOTH parties.
- LIGHTNING STRIKES: The NHL season will be one of the bigger stories of 2018, as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat one of the all-time Cinderella teams to win the Stanley Cup against the Las Vegas Golden Knights, an expansion team. Ratings on NBC for the series reach new highs, and there are hints as the year ends that the league may soon expand to 34 teams with new franchises in Seattle, Houston, and a second franchise in Toronto.
- HIGH AND NEW ANXIETIES: A new wave of protests hit the country over Donald Trump’s presidency, with some women taking a page from European protests (such as the Femen activist group) by doing so topless. A former webcam performing woman runs for Congress in California and wins.
- THE OLD BALL GAME: MLB announces a plan to expand to 32 teams by 2025 and drop the two-league American League and National League format. Under the proposed changes, all 32 teams play in one league, and four divisions of eight. The designed hitter is fully instituted, and the All-Star Game is changed to a draft format much like the NHL and NFL have used.
- UNLIKELY MERGER: Fox and Disney continue merger and buyout talks, with the biggest result being a Fox Sports/ESPN merger starting in 2019, and an ABC/Fox News merger in 2020.
- OTHER SPORTS PREDICTIONS: The Steelers win the Super Bowl, beating the Minnesota Vikings, the first team to host their own Big Game in Super Bowl history. The New York Yankees win the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a bit of a surprise, England wins the World Cup for the first time since 1966, but the tournament in Russia does poorly on FOX ratings wise. The Houston Rockets win the NBA title, and Vince McMahon starts up yet another version of the XFL for play in the fall of 2019, going head to head with the NFL and playing its games on Friday nights.
- ENTERTAINMENT: A quiet year in the entertainment industry, with mergers and consolidations being the recurring trend. There’s a resurgence late in the year of popular music performers over 65 doing well on tour, and surprisingly, on the Billboard pop charts. Several artists have their biggest hits since the 1980’s and 1990’s singing new material.
- ONE MORE: The most listened podcast of the year is a series that covers the 1978 Jonestown mass suicide, making industry experts wonder why such “dark” topics are so interesting and popular.
We hope the new year brings you joy, if not continued success.