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Ashway: The Great Dentoni’s Fearless Forecast for 2022
Denton Ashway

Face forward, friends.

Forget fading 2021 as our fearless forecaster flies feet first into 2022, feverishly flabbergasting foils and finding fault by fingering flustered fools’ foibles.

Finally, The Great Dentoni, with flamboyant flair, flicks flak, finds farcical facts, foretells fun, formulates fabrications, and faces fate while feeling faint. Your foremost 2022 forecast fiasco follows:

January: The new year finds Bulldog Nation bleary-eyed after celebrating their beloved Dawgs return to the national championship game. The destructive defense returns as Georgia disposes of Michigan, 31-10, in the Orange Bowl. Awaiting them in Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10 is their arch nemesis, Alabama, after a hard-earned, 35-31 win over Cincinnati … After 41 years of wandering through college football’s wilderness, the Dawgs finally enter its promised land with a convincing 35-20 win over the Tide. MVP Stetson Bennett asks, “What quarterback controversy?”

February: The Super Bowl descends upon Inglewood, Calif., for the improbable matchup between the Cleveland Browns and hometown Rams. Matthew Stafford has a fine evening until an inexplicable fourth-quarter interception. The Browns unleash Nick Chubb for the clinching drive to win, 31-27. On Euclid Avenue, they party like it’s 1964 … The baseball lockout continues.

March: March Madness? More like March Mellow. Baylor, Duke, Purdue, and Gonzaga, who’ve resided at the top of the polls since December, advance to the Final Four in New Orleans. In a storybook finish to a storybook career, Duke sends coach Mike Krzyzewski into retirement with his sixth national championship. “I couldn’t be prouder of these kids,” says the beaming Coach K. In the women’s final, South Carolina cops the crown, besting Stanford in overtime … The baseball lockout continues.

April: In an outrageous move, the Masters chucks tradition and replaces the slow piano with Reese Wynans’ raucous intro to “Going Down.” On the course, it’s Jon Rahm goin’ down, as he outduels Dustin Johnson head-to-head over the weekend. Rahm joins Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal as the only Spaniards to don the Green Jacket … The baseball lockout continues.

May: Defending champion Phil Mickelson, trying to succeed himself as the oldest player to win a major, fails to make the cut at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills outside Tulsa. It’s the fifth PGA, and eighth major held here, but the first in 15 years. The extensive Gil Hanse renovation proves no match for Rickie Fowler, who finally sheds the dreaded label of Best Player Never To Win A Major…The baseball lockout continues.

June: The US Open returns to historic The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. It’s the Open’s first return since 1988, when Curtis Strange won his first Open, beating Nick Faldo in an 18-hole playoff. The Country Club hosted the USGA’s first championship, the 1902 Women’s Amateur, as well as Francis Ouimet’s shocking 1913 defeat of Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. In a duel of silence and icy stares, Brooks Koepka edges Bryson DeChambeau for the title … The baseball lockout continues.

July: The British Open returns to St. Andrews, and Rory McIlroy breaks his 8-year majors schneid, waltzing to an 8-shot victory …The baseball lockout continues.

August: Finally!! Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark announce that the impasse has finally been broken. The teams rush through a fortnight of spring training, and hurriedly commence a 60-games schedule, with the playoffs expanded to 16 teams. “I don’t know how we can determine a true champion this way,” laments Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts.

September: Georgia begins the defense of its Natty with a solid win over Oregon in Atlanta. The Dawgs look elite behind a stout defense and a versatile offense led by grad student Stetson Bennett.

October: With Halloween comes the culmination of baseball’s pennant races, and the Braves claim their fifth straight division title, albeit with another asterisk … Flying under the radar and creating nary a stir, the Falcons stumble to a 4-4 record, with four losses to teams with winning records, and four wins over teams with losing records. At wit’s end, owner Arthur Blank appears on the sideline with his hair disheveled.

November: The Braves become the first team to repeat as World Series champions this millennium, as they pull out a thrilling Game 7 win over the Red Sox. “It doesn’t matter how you get here,” says Series MVP Freddie Freeman, “the feeling’s still the same!” Says manager Brian Snitker, “These guys …” shaking his head as his voice trails off.

December: The Dawgs cast the monkey off their back once and for all, defeating Alabama in the SEC championship game and securing the top seed in the College Football Playoff. Oregon, Michigan State, and Notre Dame comprise the challengers. “Ah can’t believe we aunt in theyuh. Go tiguhs!” drawls LSU coach Brian Kelly.