New Year's Resolutions for Our Favorite Athletes
Does anyone actually make New Year's resolutions any more?
If they do, they often fall apart. "Go to the gym six days a week" means going three times and doubling your caloric intake because you've earned it.
We've all been there, and even athletes—the primordial gods and goddesses they are—struggle to set and achieve new goals for the coming year.
With that, the following are a number of New Year's resolutions for some of the athletes I'd like to see succeed in 2014. Some are more realistic than others, but hey—it's a brave new year and time to be idealistic.
Ronda Rousey: Try New Things
Dislocating elbows is fun, but it’s time for Ronda Rousey to branch out and put someone in a Tempur-Pedic.
To date, all of Ronda Rousey’s eight matches have been decided by submission. While there’s wisdom to be mined in the old adage “It if ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the new year is all about trying new things—in this case, a win by knockout.
Let's get away from the ground-and-pound and practice putting Sara McMann into a sleeping bag. I vote for some kind of flying kick, as it pair extremely well with Guile’s theme song. Then again, everything pairs well with Guile's theme song.
Jadeveon Clowney: Slow Down
Jadeveon—JADEVEON—look me in the eye.
Two tickets in three weeks is baby town frolics. Slow your blankety-blank down. We have laws here. This isn't Florida.
Yasiel Puig: Also, Slow Down
You've been in Los Angeles the better part of a year now, Yasiel.
You should know by now that the LAPD will pull you over and search your nethers just for smelling like you've been thinking about speeding.
Even worse than Jadeveon's speeding, you were caught doing 110 with your father, mother and sister in the car. You're better than that, bud, and you know it. Let's have a safe new year.
LeBron James: Stop Hiding in Plain Sight
Embrace change, LeBron.
Your game is in full gear, but your hairline is retreating. There's nothing wrong with that—it's just nature.
There's no need to tuck that 'do under a bushel basket. Your headband fell off in sight of everyone this past year, and you played better without it.
Go baldly into this new year, or maybe try playing without the headband. Just a tip—just to see how it feels.
Jay Cutler: Show People How You Truly Feel
A lifelong introvert, it can be difficult for Jay Cutler to show people how he truly feels.
In this brave new year of 2014, however, it’s time for the Bears quarterback to come out of his shell and start showing his emotions in public and on the sidelines.
The Chicago Bears have invested their full faith in Cutler, and he owes it to them to sulk openly and with the passion of a seasoned veteran.
Lionel Messi: Stay Healthy
Do what you got to do, Lionel.
Wear groin-high compression socks. Seek out Tibetan monks skilled in the arcane arts of holistic kinesiology. Have a Turkish masseuse lather your hamstrings in evaporated milk.
Whatever it takes to keep you get your torn hammy healthy and 100 percent in 2014, go for it. The sport has missed you, and I'm sure you're doing what you can, I'm just sayin'—don't hesitate to explore alternative forms of physical therapy and/or blood magic.
Dez Bryant: 'Stay 60'
Not to be confused with the NFL's "Play 60" initiative, the "Stay 60" pledge is a resolution aimed at helping NFL players like Dez Bryant stay out of trouble and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Not only has staying on the field for all 60 minutes of the game been linked to career longevity, but it can do wonders for your public image.
Johnny Manziel: Get to the Gym
Is Johnny Manziel out of shape? No, but nourishing the pythons before the NFL combine would go a long way in preparing for his future in the league.
Manziel can throw the deep ball—he’s done it plenty of times. But the pro scouts still remain fixated on size. They walk down the line of potential prospects, their weathered blueprints of the “ideal” NFL quarterback flapping in the wind and pause when they reach Manziel.
He’s a proven playmaker, his skill set is unique beyond anything they’ve seen at the position—but does it translate?
Johnny Football isn’t your prototype of franchise quarterback greatness—a tight end with brains and a China Lake for an arm. He is, however, one of the most tantalizing gambles NFL teams have encountered in a long time.
If Manziel wants to stay healthy and thrive in the league, he’ll pump weights until it effects the price of iron overseas. He doesn’t have to be big, he just has to be stronger than scouts could’ve imagined.
Blake Griffin: Collect More Posters
It may not be physically possible, but if there's anyone who can outdo DeAndre Jordan's dunk on Brandon Knight in 2013—it's Blake Griffin.
A healthy (and attainable) resolution for Griffin is to regain his throne by throwing down the biggest dunk of 2014.
Actually, I'd settle for another "Dr. Drain" commercial. I just want to hear a butterfly sing one more time.
Mike Trout: Get the Money, Dollar Dollar Bill, Y'all
Mike Trout followed up an insanely prolific rookie season by posting a 10.4 fWAR, and he would've won MVP in the American League had it not been for Miguel Cabrera's otherwordly batting.
And the Angels received all this for $510,000. Yes, Mike Trout made just above half a million in 2013 (outside sponsorships).
Following the end of the 2014 season, the Angels stud outfielder needs to push for a big money contract extension with the franchise or consider peddling his wares elsewhere. He's earned that much.
Alex Morgan: Keep Improving All the Time
"Could my shots be more accurate?"
"Am I giving 100 percent all the time?" "
"Am I sure I'm marrying the right guy?"
These are all important questions facing Alex Morgan in 2014, and I just want to make that she's doing everything in her power to be the best Alex Morgan she can be. The new year is a time for new beginnings, and any hasty decision she made in the heat of the moment in 2013 could totally be fixed and forgotten should she wish to do so.
Or she can just keep it the way it is. I guess that's okay.
Tomas Hertl: Come Back Stronger
San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl dropped jaws when he mixed up Rangers' keeper Martin Biron with a between-the-legs shot in October.
This performance and his continued strong play on the season (15 goals, 10 assists) elevated him as a front-runner for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, but he's since undergone knee surgery to repair MCL and PCL tears suffered in a nasty collision in December.
To put it plainly, this kid is an amazing young talent, and I hope he remains focused in light of his first major setback in the league. I'll put away my handkerchief now.
Adrian Peterson: Keep Dreaming
Adrian Peterson is a dreamer, and that's what makes him so dangerous.
You know the story. Through sheer force of will, the man came back from a torn ACL and came nine hash marks away from breaking the NFL's single-season rushing record.
It's a wonderful story—and it only became juicier when All Day prophesied he'd have another 2,000 yard rushing season in 2013. He didn't make this mark, not by a long shot, but Peterson's desire to dream big and keep running is the reason he continues to average nearly 100 yards a game.
Koji Uehara: Grow the Thickest Beard on the Red Sox
Embrace the beard, Koji. Make friends with it. Romance that stone, and then ride it deep into the postseason.
Koji Uehara was the only player on the 2013 Boston Red Sox that refused to grow a playoff beard. He said he thinks giant coifs of face fur are "gross."
The Red Sox closer has dabbled in facial hair growth before, but I believe I speak for all us when I say the team can only benefit by him fully committing to the beard.
Victor Oladipo: Sing Like No One Is Watching
If you haven't heard Victor Oladipo croon, you're missing out.
The Orlando Magic rookie has pipes, and while he doesn't need to record a studio album at this juncture, any other impromptu singing he wants to do is fine by me.
My resolution is to forever leave the dank, terrible world of Twitter. But it keeps drawing me back.