Here at the ICT Zone, we rely on a satirical and unconventional ranking system. No analysis, no subjectivity, if a lower-ranked team defeats a higher-ranked team, then the two teams automatically switch rankings. After all, you're only as good as your last game.
Far-Fetched Friday: A Year in Review
Safe spaces are important, and our Far-Fetched Friday Series allows us to get those wild sports predictions out of systems. Every fan has some prediction they are afraid to say out loud, but for us, we get to tell you guys every Friday. With that said, let's take a look back at 2020 in our Far-Fetched Friday Series.
Because some of the ones we got wrong are embarrassing, we'll start with the predictions we got right.
Perhaps one of our boldest at the time, but back in July, we predicted that the Los Angeles Clippers would miss the Western Conference Finals. At the time, not only were the Clippers one of the best teams in the Western Conference, but they were also the betting favorites for the NBA Finals. Nonetheless, we made the prediction, and two months later, the Clippers infamously lost to the Denver Nuggets in the second round after going up 3-1. It goes down as one of the biggest upsets in NBA history and, we said it here first.
The second prediction is one of the more wholesome and progressive we've had. Becky Hammon is one of the best and most qualified coaches in the NBA. She just so happens to be a woman, which makes her a trailblazer. Back on March 6th, 2020, we predicted that Becky Hammon would be the first female head coach in NBA History. Well, last night, on December 30th, almost ten months after the prediction, Becky Hammon stepped in as head coach for the San Antonio Spurs after Gregg Popovich's ejection. It was a big moment in NBA history, and hopefully, a full-time head coaching position is in her future, perhaps if the soon to be 72 years old Popovich retires soon.
Our third successful prediction of the year was back on July 1st when the conversations rose once again about the Washington football team and their former name. At the time, they were still using the controversial team name, and we predicted that they would soon have to change the name. Dating back to our NFL Power Rankings over the last few years, we had refused to use the offensive name so, when Washington came out and officially disbanded the name a few weeks after our prediction, it was a welcome change.
By the way, they still need a new name, and we gave them some fantastic ideas they should consider from that article back in July. So if someone reading this knows Daniel Snyder, tell him he can use our suggestions free of charge.
With that out of the way, let's look at our worst predictions for 2020, the Far-Fetched Predictions that proved to be just that, far-fetched.
Perhaps the most obvious was our prediction that the FA would void the season and that Liverpool FC would not get their first premier league trophy and first league trophy in 30 years. In our defense, it was March, and the world was a mess due to the early stages of the pandemic. Sports were postponed/canceled, and although Liverpool had a ridiculous 25 point lead with nine games to go, they had not yet won the league.
At the time, rumors were that some leagues would do just this and void the season, such as the Dutch league, some would award a champion based on that point in the season, and some may attempt to come back in a carefully crafted environment. Fortunately for Liverpool fans, the EPL fell into this third box, and Liverpool secured their premier league trophy on July 23rd, proving our prediction was indeed far-fetched.
Our second incorrect prediction was that Cam Newton would lead a team to the playoffs. And this was a roller coaster of a prediction. At the time we wrote this in April, we were shocked that there seemed to be no market for Cam Newton as he hovered in free agency for months as QB after QB was signed before him, even though he had by far the best resume.
Then another three months went by after our prediction, and it looked like not only would he not lead a team to the playoffs. He would not even get an opportunity to do so. But when Newton signed for the Patriots and Bill Belichick in July, it looked like our prediction was back on track, especially when the Patriots started 2 and 1, our forecast looked to be on the mark. Thennnnn the Patriots lost four games in a row and now not only are the Patriots missing the playoffs, but they are also set to finish with a losing record for the first time since 2000. Yikes.
There were a few other wrong predictions, such as saying the Trail Blazers would push the Lakers to the brink of elimination, or that the 76ers would trade either Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid this season, or our Manchester City Champions League Win prediction. But our Cam Newton and Liverpool predictions were our most incorrect.
As far as the rest, we have a long list of predictions from 2020 that extend beyond the year, so we can't list them as incorrect or correct yet. Here are those predictions if you want to check them out:
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