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SmashMouth 01-01-2019 09:08 AM

2019 Crystal Ball: Jeff Duncan forecasts another wild year in sports
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Happy New Year, New Orleans.
In honor of the late, great Peter Finney, the legendary oracle of New Orleans sports, let’s dust off the crystal and see what 2019 portends for the world of sports.
And as Peter always advised: Do not bet the kids’ tuition money on this inside information.

LSU kicks off a banner year with a dramatic 24-23 come-from-behind victory against Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl. Cole Tracy’s 50-yard field goal as time expires proves to be the difference. … In the other traditional New Year’s Day bowls, Iowa edges Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl, Penn State whips Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl and Ohio State and Georgia whip Washington and Texas in the Rose and Sugar Bowls. … LSU linebacker Devin White announces he will forgo his final year of college eligibility and join teammate Greedy Williams by entering his name in the NFL draft. … Cameron Jordan and Michael Thomas are named to the NFL All-Pro team, making Thomas the first Saints wide receiver ever to be honored on the all-league first team. … Alabama pulls away from Notre Dame in the second half for a 31-19 victory in the CFP championship game in Santa Clara, Calif., giving Nick Saban his seventh national title… The Packers go outside the box and hire Northwestern University head coach Pat Fitzgerald to replace Mike McCarthy as head coach. …The Broncos hire Adam Gase as head coach. ... The Cleveland Browns hire Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores as head coach. ... The Arizona Cardinals hire Kansas city Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Taub as head coach. … The Tampa Bay Buccaneers interview Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen for their vacant head coaching position but hire another former Saints assistant coach, McCarthy, to become the organization’s fifth head coach in the last decade. … The Miami Dolphins hire Jim Harbaugh away from the University of Michigan. … The Colts and Chargers score road upsets of the Texans and Ravens in the AFC Wild Card playoffs. In the NFC, the Seahawks upset the Cowboys and the Bears dominate the Eagles. … Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones fires Jason Garrett two hours after the Cowboys’ playoff loss. … At its annual convention in Baton Rouge, LHSAA principals introduce a new proposal to do away with the select/non-select classifications and award participation trophies to every school in the state. The LHSAA elects Stuart Smalley as its new commissioner of competition. … Jerry Jones announces he has re-hired Garrett as head coach “after sleeping on it.” … During preparation for the NFC division playoffs, an Entergy power outage in Jefferson Parish affects Saints headquarters. Social media footage catches Saints coach Sean Payton using a pair of Andrus Peat’s cleats to destroy the fuse box on the club’s indoor practice facility. … The Sewerage and Water Board announces a boil-water advisory for the immediate area around the substation. … Three days later, the Saints crush the Seahawks 33-20 in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs before a sellout crowd at the Superdome. … In the other divisional playoff matchups, the Chiefs beat the Colts and the Patriots beat the Chargers in the AFC, while the Rams beat the Bears in the NFC divisional playoffs. … Entergy officials announce that the power outage in Jefferson Parish was caused by a stray coyote that wandered into a local substation. … Wil Lutz boots a game-winning 41-yard field goal as time expires to lift the Saints to a 33-30 come-from-behind win against the Rams in the NFC Championship Game. … The Chiefs defeat the Patriots 30-26 in the AFC Championship Game. … Betting favorite War of Will wins the Lecomte Stakes for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Amite High School teammates Ishmael Sopsher and Devonta Lee sign National Letters of Intent with LSU, giving the Tigers a Top 5 class in the nation. LSU coach Ed Orgeron rips off his shirt and lets out a celebratory bear growl at the podium at Bayou Bash. … First-time nominees Champ Bailey, Tony Gonzalez and Ed Reed headline the Class of 2019 induction class to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. … At the NFL Honors ceremony in Atlanta, Saints quarterback Drew Brees wins his first NFL Most Valuable Player award in a narrow vote over Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Aaron Donald and Mahomes win the Defensive and Offensive Player of the Year awards, with Saquan Barkely and Derwin James earning the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards. … The Saints defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 41-40 in the highest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history. Alvin Kamara is named MVP after scoring three touchdowns, one rushing, one receiving and one on returns. … The Pelicans defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 117-111 behind Anthony Davis’ 33 points and 14 rebounds to take a 30-29 record to the All-Star break. … A crowd of more than a million people line the streets of New Orleans to celebrate a second Lombardi Gras parade. … The New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board issues a boil-water advisory for the entire city of New Orleans …. Top-ranked LSU and Tulane open the 2019 college baseball season with victories against Louisiana-Monroe and George Washington… UNO opens its baseball season by taking two of three games from Michigan State. … Brad Kesolowski wins his first Daytona 500. … Davis and LeBron James each score 32 points and are named co-MVPs of the NBA All-Star Game as the West defeats the East 122-111 in the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C. … Afterward, TMZ reporters publish video footage of Davis and James having dinner together at a local Waffle House. … Tight Ten upsets even-money favorite War of Will in the Risen Star Stakes.

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