The Presidential Address: Bold 2018 Predictions

“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years…” – LL ‘Ladies Love’ Cool J

Like Rip Van Winkle I have been on some sort of hiatus…no not on the top of a mountain finding spiritual enlightenment (yet I probably should)…

Not waiting in the shadows a la Shia LaBeouf, sneaking up on you with a ‘Shia Surprise’…

Not moving with my uncle and auntie in Bel Aire…though I did move back into the City of Philadelphia…

I have been setting in motion four years of bold predictions that have taken both time, money, libations of various forms and making sure that Matty D has been put in his spot or spots. It is time to dust off that keyboard and come back into the ThunderBlog Arena. So, Buckle Up Baby and Get in the Fast Lane Grandma, here are the Bold Predictions of 2018 from yours truly, JSB:

The Pittsburgh Steelers will win Supper Bowl LII in Minneapolis against your Philadelphia Eagles

We will start out strong and put it on the table, MY Pittsburgh Steelers will beat YOUR Philadelphia Eagle in a match-up in the Twin Cities on February 4th, 2018.

The Big Ben led Steelers will come into Minne on a last second field goal by Chris Boswell thanks to Juju Smith-Schuster and South Allegheny’s own Jesse James score against the New England Patriots in Foxborough. In that 27-24 win, the NFL will finally figure out what the hell a catch is and Mike Tomlin will beat ‘The Hoodie’.

The Philadelphia Eagles will come off a 18-15 win versus the Minnesota Vikings, playing spoiler to the hometown Plunders. St. Nick, Nickie Six or whatever he will be called; throws a pair of TD’s and get the Eagles – coming off a 13-3 season, tied for the team record in the regular season wins – to their first Superbowl since ’04.

Even though Number 5 will ‘Always love You (Us)’ that will not be enough for the Wentz-less birds to down the bid for 7. Like the match-up in the game, it will be the last time in the foreseeable future that these two teams tangle in the championship and the last time I will be allowed in the DeStefano Household for their annual party. Final Score 35-17 Steelers

The Pittsburgh Penguins 3-Peat and the Philadelphia Flyers make the Playoffs

Dreck…I say. This on the eve of the MY Pittsburgh Penguins, facing YOUR Philadelphia Flyers at ‘The Barn’ on January 2nd. That game will be a battle, seeing no less than one scrap and the final score will be 4-2 Pens. The Pens and Flyers are horrid this season sitting at the bottom of the Metro, Pens 41 points, Flyers 40 (as of 12/31/2017). Sidney Crosby said last week it was time for the Guinies to ‘Go on a Run’. That would be great, yet having your newly signed backup goalie Michael Leighton in the minors and suffer an injury does not help the cause.

hack

The Flyers are having an up and down season, losing 10 in a row, winning six in a row and trying to get a new stylist for Coach Dave Hackstol. I am hoping that both teams can start to get it together as the Winter Classic (EDIT: Stadium Series) gets ready to come back to Philly at the Linc in 2019.

AS I boldly stated, the Penguins will steer the ship away from the Iceberg (like our Mascot ha!!!!, only pun to be had) and make it through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Fly Guys will as well, though it will be a first-round exit by the Washington Capitals. The future looks brighter for the Flyers than the Penguins. We shall see what the 18-19 NHL Season holds…

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies both make the MLB Playoffs

We are getting bolder than that Chex-Mix in your pantry. Yes, both the 75-87 Buccos and 66-96 Phillies will make the 2018 MLB Playoffs. Under the guidance of, Long, Dark and Handsome first-year manager Gabe Kapler and iron-jawed Clint Hurdle both teams will triumphantly return to the Postseason.

Stargells-Stars

Thought both will have early exits. I can see the rebuilding process start to take place in both cities. I will make my yearly game at Citizens Bank Ballpark with my pillbox cap and enjoy crabfries as the Pirates beat the Phillies. Maybe I will get a game in back home in the Burgh…to be seen. I am hoping that this prediction shows true; summers are quite dull when baseball teams are just trying to stay in the hunt or in the hunt at all.

The Sixers make the NBA Playoffs

My least confident prediction. The Sixers are a promise of life, a promise of youth and a promise of what will be. Pittsburgheers cannot say much at all because the Pipers are not coming back. The 76ers are 16-19 as of 12/31 and Joel Embiid is still on a pitch count. If they can get him healthy, have Ben Simmons shoot more than pass and have Markelle Fultz play again…and oh yeah learn how to shoot…the team will make the postseason. I am saying, Sixth Seed. 10, 9, 8, 76ers for sure.

Fun One: We win a Broomball Championship

Newer sport for the most of us to play on a regular basis, played at night on the ice at Dilworth Park in the shadow of Billy Penn. GW, myself and some of our friends from PSL Softball are playing some Broomball.

Synopsis for those who do not know…played on ice, in sneakers, gloves, lacrosse looking sticks with a plastic end, shovel esque and you slap around a size one soccer ball. Hit it right and it flies. Yours truly is the goalie and another fun fact it sucks to get hit in the face mask with that ball!!!!! Come on out on Thursday evenings starting Jan. 11th the Broad Street Line drops you off right there.

I wish all of you a joyous and safe 2018. Make some changes, make them bold, do something for you and your loved ones. Take time for yourself and hit the shore if you can. Turn the Page as Bob Seger sings…raise a glass and say Dilly Dilly!

Agree or disagree this has been the Presidential Address, thank you for your time, God Bless these United States of American and most importantly this ThunderBlog.

I am Jarred S. Barnes and I approve this message.

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