Friday, January 5, 2024

Insight: Peering again into my crystal ball

By Ed Pierce
Managing Editor

As is our annual tradition here at The Windham Eagle newspaper, I humbly offer my insight into the year ahead and a look back at my predictions for the past year.

This started years ago when I never missed a New Year’s Eve episode of ABC’s Nightline television program because that always featured their annual predictions show. Nightline’s host, Ted Koppel, would return the same panel every year of prognosticators including Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and former presidential speechwriter William Safire; economist Arthur Laffer, who was the so-called “architect of the 1980s supply side economics” movement; and former Sports Illustrated writer Frank Deford, the dean of American sports commentary.

For an hour on each New Year’s Eve, Koppel would steer the panel through a discussion of their ideas about the future and then each panelist would make three bold predictions for the new year after a short review of the accuracy of the panel’s previous year’s predictions. When Koppel retired from ABC in 2005, the annual New Year’s Eve prediction show ended. William Safire died of pancreatic cancer in 2009 and Frank Deford passed away at age 78 in 2017.

Two years ago, I started my New Year’s tradition by making a few annual predictions of my own.

Let’s review three of my predictions published in this column last year for 2023 and then I’ll offer five new ones for 2024:

** I predicted last year that the film “The Pale Blue Eye” starring Christian Bale would win the Academy Award for Best Picture of 2022. Cate Blanchett will win the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in “Tar” while Austin Butler will receive the Best Actor Award for his tour-de-force role in “Elvis.” The Best Director Oscar would be awarded to Sam Mendes for “Empire of Light” in an upset over Steven Spielberg for “The Fabelmans.” I was incorrect on each of these predictions. The Best Picture Award went to “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” Michelle Yeoh won best actress for that same film and Brendan Fraser won best actor for “The Whale,” while Daniel Kwan won best director for “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”

** I predicted last year that in women’s fashion, anything crocheted would be a hot commodity, including oversized tops and midi-length dresses. That was indeed the case, so put that one down in the win column for my crystal ball.

** I predicted last year that quarterback Tom Brady would be released following the end of the NFL playoffs by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and then signed again for one final season by the New England Patriots. Brady opted for retirement but did not resign with New England and has launched a broadcasting career. During a ceremony at halftime of the Patriots’ first game of the 2023 season in September, New England owner Robert Kraft said that because of Brady’s significant accomplishments with New England, he is waiving the traditional four-year required waiting period for the retired quarterback, and he will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2024 without being elected by balloting.

Here are my five new predictions for 2024 and when we revisit this end-of-year column in The Windham Eagle a year from now, let’s see how accurate my conjectures prove to be.

** Purdue will win the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament in April by defeating Houston in the championship game and the San Francisco 49ers will knock off the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl LVIII in February. The Philadelphia Phillies will win the 2024 World Series by defeating the Houston Astros. In college football, Oklahoma will return to gridiron prominence and win the national championship in an undefeated season that culminates with a decisive victory over Alabama in the NCAA title game.

** NASA will successfully launch Artemis II in November for a manned spaceflight around the moon and back as the U.S. takes its first steps to establish a scientific mission there.

** In fashion, beanie caps featuring wild designs, an array of colors and large corporate logos will be all the rage for men. As for women’s fashion, luxury jumpsuits with florals and bows will dominate the year. Ankle straps will continue to explode in popularity for women’s shoes.

** “Oppenheimer” will win the Best Picture Academy Award for 2023. “Barbie” director Greta Gerwin will take home the best director award. Paul Giamatti will win the best actor award for “The Holdovers” and Carey Mulligan will be honored as best actress for her role in “Maestro.”

** I foresee people across the world increasing their commitment to renewable energy and sustainable practices out of sheer economic necessity. As the cost of heating homes, electricity, water, and the aftermath of storms takes its toll on all of us, moving to less costly resources will drive the mindsets of millions and lead to research that yields clean, inexpensive alternatives.

Once again, I probably need to remind you that I’m certainly not in the league of Nostradamus or the distinguished celebrity Nightline panel, but as Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Wishing a Happy New Year in 2024 to one and all.

No comments:

Post a Comment