From politics to news to sports, Keith Boykin's 2014 lists.
By now, you've probably had enough of end-of-the-year lists. Everyone from Barbara Walters to Time magazine has picked their person of the year, sportsman of the year, or winner or loser of the year. Americans love lists. It's our annual ritual, apparently devised to distract us from the beginning of the coldest time of the year.
The lists start popping up in early December, well before the year has even ended, much in the same way Hollywood announces weekend box office numbers on Sunday before the weekend has ended, or news networks call presidential elections while Californians are still in line to vote. Americans are good at making lists with incomplete information. It's really just another way to make a prediction.
But anyone who announced a list during the first two weeks of December 2012 missed one of the biggest stories of that year — the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. You see, by the time you can actually compile a complete list of what happened on Dec. 31, we've already turned our attention to what's ahead in 2014. So with a nod toward the future, I've come up with my own list of totally scientific, completely accurate predictions for the upcoming year.
Let's start with politics. I predict Barack Obama will still be president in 2014. That seems a pretty safe bet, but it's important to drill into the heads of obstinate Republicans who have spent the past five years trying to obstruct him at every turn. It's time to move on, which may be why the GOP is now desperately clinging to its wild and easily deflated conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton in Benghazi.
Which brings me to my next prediction. Hillary Clinton will form a presidential exploratory committee in late 2014. She won't announce that she's running, but come on, everybody knows she's running, and everyone knows Chris Christie is the only Republican who could possibly beat her, if conservatives weren't still fuming at him for embracing President Obama after Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
And now my final political prediction is that Republicans will retain control of the House of Representatives after the November elections. That's not because Americans want them there, but largely because presidential parties typically lose ground in midterm elections and GOP state legislatures have gerrymandered their districts to prevent Democrats from being elected. This is also a pretty safe prediction considering Democrats won more House votes than Republicans did in 2012 and still couldn't win control of the chamber. As for the Senate, I'm still predicting Democrats will retain control.
Turning to sports, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Serena Williams will win a lot. Yeah, I know, she was the dominant woman's tennis player of the past year and won the French Open and U.S. Open in 2013, so everyone expects her to win anyway. But don't let it be said that I wasn't one of those people. I'm also predicting lots of Russian controversy at the Winter Olympics, Tiger Woods will finally get his stride back and win the Masters in April, and the Miami Heat will pull off a rare three-peat. Of course, I'm not ready to give up entirely on my New York Knicks, but they and pretty much the entire NBA Eastern Conference look hopeless this year. The West deserves this victory more than the East does this year. But not until LeBron James gets his third ring.
But I know you're probably wondering about my prediction for the biggest sports event of the year, the Super Bowl. Well here it is. I predict they'll never have a Super Bowl again in New York until they build a decent domed stadium. Sure, New York will serve up the best parties and unprecedented media exposure for the NFL, but fans and spectators won't like sitting out in the uncovered MetLife Stadium in 31 degree temperatures in early February. I've been to that stadium in November and it was unbearable. Try sitting out in one of those cold metal seats in the dead of winter without the promise of a Beyoncé concert and you may stop liking football.
Speaking of Beyoncé, she's my main prediction in the world of entertainment. I predict she'll make a gazillion dollars on tour with her new album. Say what you want about the pop superstar, but she's a marketing genius, even showing up at much vilified WalMart in Massachusetts a few weeks ago to promote her CD after Target refused to carry it. While Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus have to continue to come up with more and more outrageous stunts to get attention, Beyoncé just has to show up at discount store and hand out gifts, Oprah style. You get a CD! You get a CD! She wins.
And then there's the Oscars. Nominations will be announced Jan. 16 and the awards presented on March 2. Although Fruitvale Station was the best and most powerful movie I've seen all year, it looks like Hollywood might have forgotten about it. Instead, much of the Oscar buzz has focused on Twelve Years a Slave, which I predict will take home the Oscar for best picture. I'm also predicting Matthew McConaughey will narrowly beat out the talented Chiwetel Ejiofor and handsome Idris Elba for best actor thanks to McConaughey's riveting performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Actually, they're all excellent actors, so any one of them would be amazing.
And finally, I have a prediction for TV. Nobody at BET asked me to mention this, but there's a cute new show coming out called Being Mary Jane, which I think is one of the best original shows on BET I've ever seen. The talented actress Gabrielle Union plays the lead character, kind of a modern, cooler Mary Tyler Moore. I predict BET has a real hit on its hands. Oh, and I predict you might see me in it too.
Keith Boykin is a New York Times best-selling author and former White House aide to President Clinton. He attended Harvard Law School with President Barack Obama and currently serves as a TV political commentator. He writes commentary for BET.com each week.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
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