2007: The year in preview (Part 1)

 This column first appeared in the Joplin Globe on December 27, 2006.

Some people spend a lot of time looking backward.

That’s why everywhere you turn this week, you’ll find news folks putting together those “Year in Review” stories. You know what I mean? The stories in which they look back at the major news events of the previous year and remind you how important those stories were. Well, to me, that’s spilt milk (to quote James Garner). That’s why I don’t do “Year in Review” stories.

Instead, I like to do “Year in Preview” stories. See, I’m a forward-thinking guy. Besides, it’s a lot easier to do a “Year in Preview” story than it is to do a “Year in Review” story.

So here we go with “2007: A Year in Preview.”

January: The year gets off to a rough start when Dick Clark, broadcasting live from New York City’s Times Square, decides to go to bed at 10:15 p.m., and Rosie O’Donnell steps in to take his place. Rosie then picks a fight with the New Year’s baby.

In politics, Democrats take control of Congress for the first time in more than a decade. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi vows that her party will soon start accepting “more dignified types of bribes.”

February: In a Valentine’s Day special on the television show “The View,” surprise guest Danny DeVito walks onto the set and throws up in Barbara Walters’ lap. Later, Rosie O’Donnell gets into a fight with Cupid.

In politics, President Bush, with an overall approval rating of 3, requests TV time for a “very important speech. Really, I mean it.” The NFL Network is the only network to agree to carry the speech.

“What the heck?” an NFL Network spokesman says. “All we had to air anyway was a replay of the 1977 Super Bowl.”

Speaking of the Super Bowl, this year,  it features a record 37 hours of commercials and no actual game. No one seems to notice.

In other sports news, major league baseball players report for spring training. In a related story, the Kansas City Royals are officially eliminated from the pennant race.

March: Britney Spears and Paris Hilton go out on the town again. The next the day, the Internet crashes around the world.

In an effort to block congressional hearings on the lead-up to the Iraq war, Republicans — in a cunning parliamentary move — vow to hold their breath until they turn blue. Also, Nancy Pelosi stirs up controversy when she is spotted in a white pantsuit before Easter. Rush Limbaugh calls the fashion faux pas a “slap in the face of our brave soldiers.”

In sports, the Kansas University basketball team, in a minor upset, loses in the first round of the NCAA tournament to a junior-high team from Ohio.

Also, Rosie O’Donnell picks a fight with Bob Knight.

April: President Bush returns to Washington, D.C., after a month-long vacation. Democratic members of Congress respond by saying, “Oh, were you gone?” Later, appearing before a congressional committee, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice admits that the entire prewar strategy on Iraq consisted of “a Ouija board and that cool 20 questions game.”

In sports, the New York Yankees, in a blockbuster deal, acquire Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. Later, a happy George Steinbrenner says: “All it cost me was the souls of my grandchildren’s grandchildren. Oh, and Derek Jeter.”

Rosie O’Donnell immediately picks a fight with Babe Ruth.

: New York Sen. Hillary Clinton finally makes it official when she announces that she “might be considering the possible formation of a committee that will determine if I will think about running for president.” In a related story, the FOX news channel announces plans to run a “docudrama” titled “Hillary: The Antichrist.”

John Kerry also announces his plans to seek the Democratic nomination. No one seems to notice.

In entertainment news, Mel Gibson announces plans to film a remake of the Barbra Streisand film “Yentl.” Gibson says his film will be much like the original, except “not so Jewish.”

In sports, the New York Yankees lose 12 games in a row. George Steinbrenner trades for the soul of Billy Martin. Then he fires him.

Later, Rosie O’Donnell gets into a bar fight with Martin.

June: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt announce that they are expecting their second child. Initial plans call for the baby to be born on Mars. Not to be outdone, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes announce that they, too, are expecting a second child. The couple say the baby will be born on Oprah’s couch.

With an approval rating of 2.7, President Bush announces plans to invade Sweden. No one seems to notice.

In sports, the Kansas City Royals reel off 22 consecutive wins and seemingly lock up a spot in the baseball playoffs. Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration confirms reports of pigs flying.

In a surprise move, Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump apologize to each other and later are seen picking a fight with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.

That’s all for part one of “2007: A Year in Preview.” We’ll look at the rest of 2007 on Friday.

Unless Rosie O’Donnell picks a fight with me.