By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
2021 was certainly an eventful year in sports. A lot of highs, a lot of lows. And as we wait for that giant pineapple to drop to usher in the New Year, we wonder: What might 2022 have in store for us? Luckily, the crystal ball I ordered from Amazon just arrived in the mail, and so I’m ready to share what I envision happening in the coming weeks and months. Here we go…
♦ In a high-scoring thriller, the Kansas City Chiefs will beat the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl LVI. CeeDee Lamb will be the game’s MVP.
♦ LeBron James will asked to be traded after the L.A. Lakers get ousted from the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
♦ The Rainbow Warrior volleyball team will not repeat as national champs, but will make the NCAA Final Four.
♦ Tiger Woods will win a PGA TOUR event in 2022, but not a major.
♦ The Golden State Warriors will beat the Brooklyn Nets, 4-1, to win the NBA championship.
♦ Current circumstances aside, the University of Hawaii football program will field a team next season.
♦ After winning the national championship, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh will return to the NFL as head coach of the New York Giants.
♦ With Dillon Gabriel at QB, the UCLA Bruins will have their best season under Chip Kelly and play in the Rose Bowl.
♦ The NCAA will explore ways to tighten its transfer portal in an attempt to reduce player movement.
♦ Aaron Rodgers to the Raiders. Derek Carr to the Redskins. Russell Wilson to the Packers. Desean Watson to Pittsburgh.
♦ In his first season as head coach, Rich Hill will lead the UH baseball team to a winning season and Top 5 Big West Conference finish.
♦ At least one former Hawaii prep volleyball standout will return to Hawaii via the NCAA transfer portal.
♦ The Winter Olympics in Beijing will take place without incident. Or interest.
♦ By the end of 2022, at least one NBA team will explore the possibility of relocating to Seattle, paving the way for the return of the Seattle SuperSonics.
♦ Erasing all doubts, Hawaii’s Max Holloway will regain the UFC featherweight crown by punishing Alexander Volkanovski en route to a unanimous decision.
♦ The New York Yankees will acquire Shohei Ohtani in a mid-season trade after the L.A. Angels are unable to negotiate a contract extension with the reigning American League MVP.
♦ Former UH star Calvin Turner Jr. will make the Las Vegas Raiders roster as a kick returner/slot receiver/wildcat QB.
♦ In his first game against Hawaii, SJSU QB Chevan Cordeiro will scan the UH defense and say, “Who are these guys?”
♦ In storybook fashion, Naomi Osaka will return to tennis and capture her first Wimbledon title.
♦ To promote his latest projects, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will return to the WWE as the host of WrestleMania 38.