Thursday, January 09, 2020

2020s Predictions

Welcome to 2020! Many people like to make predictions about what will happen over the upcoming year. I thought it would be fun to ask an esteemed group to make predictions about what would happen in the entire 2020s in sports, entertainment, and politics. Let's introduce the panelists:

Alan Saunders - Writer at Pittsburgh Sports Now and Pittsburgh Hockey Digest among other places. I'm not sure that anyone writes more about Pittsburgh sports than Alan.

Jim Shearer - Host of 70s 80s 90s Now on SiriusXM and the creator of the amazing Yinz Luv videos. (I’m sure it was a lot of work putting those together, but I’d love to see a return of this series.)

Josh - The founder of the oddly titled blog Josh's World. He also thinks he's better at fantasy sports than he is!

Nick - My brother. Please note that I will mock him for making some ridiculous picks below.

Jason - Friend and UVA graduate. Little known fact: Virginia has been pretty good in many college sports recently.

Heidi - Writer of The Steel Trap, the only place to go for First World Problems and to read about things overheard during the holidays.

Christine - A friend I've known from college (so only a few years ago) and  writer of the late The Adventures of ChrisMichRob in Korea.

Joe - AKA Joey Bag of Donuts. The hardest working man in podcasting.

Rich - Writer of the now late Boo's Ramblings.

Matt Grubba - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review contributor and someone else who pops up on the Pittsburgh sports scene quite often.

Sean - Writes a 15 year-old blog that you’re reading right now!

We'll start with sports questions.

What NFL team will win the most Super Bowls in the 2020s?

* Alan - Only one team won more than one Super Bowl in the 2010s -- the New England Patriots -- and the Pats entered the decade as three-time winners with a quarterback in their prime. Since there's no one else in that category, I'll say no one wins it more than once in the next 10 years. 
* Jim - Dallas Cowboys/Buffalo Bills
* Josh - I am going to make a bold prediction here and say that no team will multiple Super Bowls in the next decade. The NFL will truly have their parity wish and it will probably be the most boring decade in football history.
* Nick - Steelers
* Jason - Baltimore Ravens
* Heidi - Hopefully one that isn't filled with folks who have bizarre social media habits.
* Christine - Ravens
* Joe - I think it'll be the Patriots again. Belichick is only 67, I can see him coaching for the next 10 years easily. Tom Brady will be replaced with a newer, better QB.
* Rich - The NFC will come back to power, with San Francisco leading the charge
* Matt - My heart wants me to say the Steelers, and I do think they'll get one in the first half of the decade if they can keep the young parts on their defense together. I'm going to go with teams that have All-Pro talent already on both sides of the ball and guess the Ravens and Rams each get two, which will be the top mark.
* Sean - Kansas City Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes will lead the team to at least two titles over the next 10 years.

Will Mike Tomlin be the Steelers coach on January 1, 2030?

* Alan - Absolutely not.
* Jim - No.
* Josh - Yes, I think he has shown this year that he is a great coach who even when lacking in talent can still lead a team to wins.
* Nick - No
* Jason - No.
* Heidi - "Obviously." Not.
* Christine - Yes - he's pretty young
* Joe - No. It's amazing he has been around this long. There are dark times ahead for the Steelers after Ben retires and Tomlin won't be around for it.
* Rich - No, he'll retire before the end of the decade.
* Matt - No. As mentioned above, I think the Steelers get another in the next five years, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Tomlin bow out soon after getting another, much like Cowher did after getting his first. And when he wins another, 25% of Steelers fans still will complain about him after the first loss the next year.
* Sean - No. I think he'll retire on his on terms and go work on television.

What MLB team will win the most World Series titles in the 2020s?

* Alan - The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the best-run organizations in baseball and have an essentially unlimited payroll. A rebuilding cycle in San Francisco means you can essentially pencil them in for a playoff spot every year. Can't ask for much more than that.
* Jim - The team with the most money.
* Josh - This is a tough one. The obvious answer is the Yankees, but they did not win one the last decade, but it seems like they are going to spend enough to at least be in contention every year. The Astros are poised to win for a few more years, but who knows what happens as players get older. I doubt the Giants thought they would be as bad as they have been the past few years after winning three in this decade. So, I will take a long shot team here. I will say the Los Angeles Angels. Look, they have Trout and Rendon, so all they need is some starting pitching. If they develop, sign, trade for some, then they could be a dominant team for a few years.
* Nick - Buffalo Bisons (Sean's note: Does he think that baseball is going to expand to Buffalo and that the team will be the most successful in the 20s?)
* Jason - New York Yankees
* Heidi - Well, it won't be the Pirates.
* Christine - Yankees
* Joe - Yawn. Yankees or Cubs or Dodgers or any other large market team. Baseball's economic system is a joke and only the rich teams do well for a long time.
* Rich - Yankees continue to buy championships and take 3-4 out of the 10.
* Matt - The Yankees just went a whole decade without making the World Series for the first time since the 1910s... I hate to say it, but it looks like they have the pieces together for another run of dominance. The spoiler could be if the Astros can grab another couple before their current window closes (and I don't think it has just because Cole is gone).
* Sean - Los Angeles Dodgers. So many good young players and play in a much easier division than the AL East.

How many winning seasons will the Pirates have in the upcoming decade?

* Alan - Four. It won't be 2020, but Ben Cherington will get the team over the hump as Neal Huntington once did. Keeping them there will be harder.
* Jim - 2.5
* Josh - They will have two winning seasons. Just enough to keep fans from falling into too deep of despair, but not enough to ever be relevant.
* Nick - 2
* Jason - 3
* Heidi - Define "winning season." I am unfamiliar with the phrase when it comes to Pirates baseball.
* Christine - 3 (optimistic)
* Joe - 2. They'll have another 'run' and then have to tear it apart again like other small-market teams.
* Rich - 4, with 3 postseason appearances and 1 year of making it past the first round
* Matt - 3. They're going to be in rebuild mode for the next few years, so I'm going to say they split the last 6 years after being under .500 from 2020-23.
* Sean - 4. Drafting and development will finally show some dividends in the second half of the 2020s.

What NHL team will win the most Stanley Cups in the 2020s?

* Alan - NHL feels impossible to predict. Who would have guessed the Blues? I'll go out on a limb and pick the New Jersey Devils. Ray Shero is a good GM. Couple nice pieces to build around.
* Jim - The yet-to-play unnamed team from Seattle.
* Josh - I do not follow hockey enough to even venture a guess. I had to look up who won the most in the 2010s (Chicago Blackhawks). I feel like the Boston Bruins are always a good team, so they are my prediction.
* Nick - Penguins
* Jason - Boston Bruins
* Heidi - Pens!
* Christine - Penguins
* Joe - Washington. They have a solid organization and will survive Ovi retiring.
* Rich - Las Vegas
* Matt - No idea, but it very well could be whichever team Connor McDavid ends up on when the Oilers realize they can't afford him anymore.
* Sean - Colorado Avalanche. Nathan MacKinnon is the best young center in the NHL (not including Edmonton, but the Oilers keep trading other good players for little return).

Next, we're going to the world of entertainment.

What actor will win the most Academy Awards in the 2020s?

* Alan - Leonardo DiCaprio is only 45 somehow.
* Jim - Tie: Adam Driver and The Rock
* Josh - There are so many great actors out there. Were there any repeat winners in the last decade? If I had to put money on someone, I would go with Christian Bale, he seems to only be taking roles that allow him to really stretch his legs as an actor (kinda like Daniel Day-Lewis). So he will probably get a few more nominations over the years.
* Nick - Robin Williams, wait Hugh Downs. Yea, Hugh Downs. (Sean's note: I guess the Robin Williams thing was supposed to be funny? The Hugh Downs thing stemmed from New Year's Day 2020 when I mentioned that there were a lot of clips going around of Barbara Walters saying "This is 2020," but that there didn't seem to be any mention of Hugh Downs anywhere. Still, this answer makes no sense.)
* Jason - Adam Driver
* Heidi - Bradley Cooper
* Christine - Taron Egerton
* Joe - Tom Holland! I hate that he pulls off an American accent so well :)
* Rich - Finn Wolfard
* Matt - Christian Bale. He'll get nominated but probably won't win this year for Ford vs. Ferrari, but he's young enough that he'll probably get at least 3 or 4 roles this decade that merit consideration. (As a caveat, I think Tom Hanks has a shot at Best Supporting Actor this year, so if the question is ANY Academy Award, Hanks probably has a couple more in him after being snubbed a lot over the last decade.)
* Sean - Adam Driver. Of course, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mahershala Ali, and Michael B. Jordan aren't going anywhere.

What actress will win the most Academy Awards in the 2020s?

* Alan - I'll again say 10 unique winners.
* Jim - Amy Adams (midway through the decade we will only honor one best actor, regardless of their gender)
* Josh - I will take the safe bet here and go with Meryl Streep.
* Nick - Lisa Bonet
* Jason - Jennifer Lawrence
* Heidi - Meryl Streep
* Christine - Saoirse Ronan
* Joe - Jennifer Lawrence
* Rich - Katherine Langford
* Matt - I have not seen Little Women, nor is that sort of film my cup of tea, but I have yet to see anything I didn't love Saoirse Ronan in. Even if she doesn't win this year, on the heels of Lady Bird and Little Women, I could totally see her going on a Daniel Day-Lewis-type run where everything she does is a contender. I sure hope so, because I'd watch her read the Dublin phone book.
* Sean - Amy Adams. Of course, Emma Stone, Octoavia Spencer, and Olivia Colman aren't going anywhere.

Will Keeping Up With the Kardashians or some spin-off be an active television show at the end of the 2020s?

* Alan - One of the Kardashians or Kardashian-adjacents will still have a TV show.
* Jim - Probably.
* Josh - That is still a show? Umm, probably...
* Nick - Of course. No, I think Paris Hilton will make comeback to rival the Kardashians.
* Jason - Yes
* Heidi - Is water wet?
* Christine - No (or at least I hope not!! I think a new family will claim the spotlight.)
* Joe - Nope. Eventually people will get tired of them (I hope).
* Rich - OH GOD PLEASE NO!!!!
* Matt - No, and thank goodness for that! I do think at least one of the younger Jenner girls will still be prominent in the fashion world, and maybe Kim, too. (Though I suspect some plastic surgery might be needed to keep her, um, best assets viable.) But I really can't see someone still paying any of them for a show 10 years from now, unless we're talking via some YouTube sort of format. I mean, internet video is what got Kim famous in the first place, right Ray J?
* Sean - Sort of. They won't be on traditional TV, but a variation with one of the Jenners or Kardashian kids will be on some type of streaming service. This is kind of cheating.

Politics: Who will be President of the United States on January 1, 2030?

* Alan - I want to give a reasonable answer like Cory Booker, but who the hell would have picked Trump? So, I'm going way off the wall and picking The Rock.
* Jim - That title will no longer exist.
* Josh - Donald Trump Jr. I mean, I hope not, but I just have no faith in our electorate.
* Nick - I won’t go there. (Sean's note: Why won't you go there? You're making a guess on a blog about who will be president in 10 years. This isn't a case where you'll lose your job if you're wrong.)
* Jason - Pete Buttigeg
* Heidi - Michelle Obama
* Christine - I think it will swing back to a career politician, and hopefully someone who has a clue how to be a decent human being. No idea who the specific person will be.
* Joe - Michelle Obama
* Rich - Justin Amash
* Matt - It's probably going to be no one we've heard of at this point. If I had to guess, it will be a moderate-ish Democrat, as changing demographics are going to put the hurt on Republicans by 2028. Assuming both win their congressional races this year -- and I think they will -- PA has a couple in that mold with incumbent Rep. Conor Lamb and current PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. The Texan Castro brothers come to mind, too.
* Sean - Kamala Harris. She'll be more prepared after not doing well in 2019 and will stay relevant thanks to being a Senator from California.

Finally, what is one prediction that you have about the upcoming decade?

* Alan - We will still not have flying cars at the end of it.
* Jim - The robots are one step closer to taking over.
* Josh - I was going to try and be funny, but I really have nothing. Especially since it looks like we may be on the brink of WW3 (I don't think it will escalate that far, but according to Twitter...). Anyways, I have been thinking way too much about the automation and future of work, plus reading Dan Carlin's book, and it led me to this prediction...I think the next decade will be know as the calm before the storm. Before we can reach that Utopian society where no one works and machines do everything for us, there are a few obstacles to cross. I think the next decade will be the period future historians call the intermediate period. Probably chaotic to those people, but to us it will just seem normal.
* Nick - Major League Baseball will be forced to contract. There will only be 18 teams. (Sean's note: So baseball will contract, yet somehow there is now a team in Buffalo. Clearly, Nick did not think this through.)
* Jason - There will be no president impeached.
* Heidi - Fruitopia makes a come back.
* Christine - A bunch of Generation X will be taking over things. We've been sitting quietly by as the Boomers and Millennials have been duking it out. Our time is coming...
* Joe - Remember Google Glass? Tech glasses like that will be a big thing next decade.
* Rich - The country will finally get tired of the two-party system that continuously moves farther left or right, abandon one or both of them, and a youth movement will push a new third party into prominence. Traditional cable tv will cease to exist as online streaming becomes the new standard. Those online services will continue springing up with every major studio, and a few independents, starting their own creating an online video boom before many start folding and condensing back down to 4 or 5 major options. Finally, online shopping becomes the norm, as only specialty brick and mortar stores survive; but the post office folds and Amazon and FedEx become the major delivery services.
* Matt - As much as I hate to say it, I think the next decade will have some major, catastrophic "natural" event that will finally start get people's asses in gear about stemming climate change. All the arguments about whether humans/fossil fuels/the good Lord above are causing the change will go by the wayside, and people will start to think: "Hey, it's starting to get pretty uncomfortable here, let's do something about it."
* Sean - There will be a lot of discussion and perhaps even a vote by a state legislature or two (Alabama or Mississippi are the likely favorites) to secede.

So will any of us be correct? Sean's Ramblings just turned 15 years old, so we can all look when the blog turns 25 to see how we did. Plus, please feel free to include your own predictions in the comments section below.

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