The economy has tanked, right? Well, apparently not in the NHL, where the Blackhawks just handed out a 12-year, multi-gajillion-dollar contract to Marian Hossa.
The deal doesn't expire until after the 2020-21 season, which has to be the longest any franchise in any sport has committed to one today's athletes. Hossa will be 42 by then.
Here are 12 things certain to happen in those dozen years:
1. Twitter becomes ancient history, replaced by Thoughter - the process by which we communicate to each other through brainwaves alone. Only 140 characters at a time, please.
2. Princess Sasha takes over the U.S. throne from King Barack.
3. In a dramatic reversal, the medical community says anabolic steroids are essential to the health and well-being of every human. Steroids replace flouride in the water we drink. Athletes are suspended for refusing to take performance-enhancing drugs. Bryce Harper, a one-time phenom who has bulked up to 255 pounds of pure muscle, becomes the first big-league ballplayer to hit 100 home runs in a season. Syringes are available in vending machines at every high school. Jose Canseco is elected MLB commissioner.
4. After democracy wins out in Iran, the country merges with Iraq. And the great nation of Iranq becomes one of our most loyal allies.
5. Led by manager Ozzie Guillen, the Cubs win their seventh World Series.
6. The Toyota Prius is declared illegal in the U.S. by Princess Sasha, who says: "Sorry, but hybrids use too much fuel."
7. Patrick Kane will be a third of the way through his 24-year contract. But he still can't grow a playoff beard.
8. Fresh out of federal prison, Rod Blagojevich wins American Idol with his flawless performance of Michael Jackson's Thriller.
9. Boise State emerges from the first-ever NCAA Division I football playoffs to win the national title. Raking in $100 million for each of their institutions, presidents from the six major conferences wonder what took them so long to blow up the BCS.
10. After ceasing to exist for six years, newspapers make a dramatic comeback because readers missed Hagar The Horrible too damn much.
11. At 95, Joe Paterno signs what Penn State is calling "perhaps his last three-year contract extension."
12. Marian Hossa is the unanimous choice as the greatest hockey player of all time and is enshrined in the sport's Hall of Fame even though he's still an active player. His presenter is Wayne Gretzky, now known merely as "The Very Good One."
The Bald Truth
With a huge victory over the mighty Buccos, the Cubs have convinced me that they'll win the vast majority of their remaining games as long as ...
++Lou Piniella gets ejected every day.
++Randy Wells can make 60 or so starts.
++The Cubs eat the rest of Alfonso Soriano's contract so Sam Fuld can be their left fielder and leadoff hitter.
++Kosuke Fukudome bats, say, .600 from here on in.
++Aramis Ramirez stays healthy through the rest of the regular season, positioning himself perfectly to go 0-for-12 in the playoffs.
The Balder Truth
As a guy who has seen a lot of Bulls games these last five years, I already miss watching Ben Gordon dribble 23 seconds off the clock before hoisting a 27-foot fadeaway.
THE BALDEST TRUTH
Last July, the Brewers pulled within a game of the Cubs going into a four-game series at Miller Park. Riding high from their recent acquisition of CC Sabathia, the Brewers were ready to send a message to Cubbieland: We're in the race to stay.
Four days and one Cubs sweep later, Bernie Brewer had to enter detox.
Flash forward to this weekend: Starting Thursday, the Cubs and Brewers will meet at Wrigley Field for a four-game series. Somehow, the Cubs have stayed in the division race, trailing the Brewers by only 3 1/2 games despite being baseball's biggest underachievers.
Another Cubs sweep and they'll be in first place (or close to it, depending upon what the Cardinals and Reds do).
But if the Brewers do in Chicago what the Cubs did in Milwaukee in July 2008 ... well, let's just say it will be open season on Gatorade coolers in the Cubbie dugout.