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A look at New Year’s vows

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I was thinking the other day about making a long list of resolutions for the new year. Problem was, I couldn't even remember the ones I made last year.

But the great part about newspaper work is you don't need a great memory for these kinds of things. All you do is look up past resolutions in the archives.

As I expected, I didn't do so well on my commitments.

I did, however, discover something interesting: I made far fewer resolutions over the years than I thought. Most years I didn't even make resolutions — at least not in print. I thought I had made a long list of resolutions last January, but not so. I only made one. In the Jan. 2, 2001, edition of the Deseret News, I wrote: "My New Year's resolution No. 1: No more blaming Greg Ostertag for all the Jazz's problems."***

***Offer excludes anyone who misses dunks or loses the ball going up.

I know. I let myself off the hook before I started.

Still, I feel a little bad about my resolution. I planned on leaving 'Tag alone but didn't. In November I quoted Jennifer Capriati on her throat infection, saying she "just felt out of it. I was delirious. In the first set I didn't even know what the score was . . . It's just bad luck. I feel like I couldn't give 100 percent."

To which I added, "Sounds like a case of the dreaded Ostertag syndrome to me."


Three weeks later, I said, "Greg Ostertag is the same as always — one game of Good Greg, five games of Greg the Terrible."

Last summer I also suggested a Margo Dydek-for-Ostertag trade.

I didn't just break my resolution. I annihilated it.

I did better on my 2000 resolutions. I listed 10 in the Jan. 6 edition and actually kept some of them. For example, I kept promises to not take the NBA too seriously and never quote a player who says "we just need to take it one game at a time." I also made good on a vow to attend more Grizzlies' games — though it took me until this year to do it.

But where I fell short was on Rick Majerus. Here was my resolution: No more Rick Majerus full-figured jokes.

Actually, I made it through the entire 2000 year without any weight jokes — which is more than I can say for Majerus. He's still getting mileage out of that crack about tossing a deck chair off the Queen Mary. But my resolve faded in 2001. Temptation overcame me and I couldn't resist. The NCAA was looking into a rumor that Majerus improperly provided cookies and milk to players during a film session.

I suggested the NCAA was nuts.

"Since when did Majerus start sharing his cookies?" I wrote.


In October, there was that item about skier Picabo Street flying a fighter jet, in which she pulled 9-G's. I compared that with riding in a roller coaster with Majerus.

Whoa! Out of bounds!

As you can see, I'm like most people. I try. Honest. Sometimes my resolutions even work. Other times I break down in the home stretch.

I've decided the answer is to make resolutions the way I did last year — with a disclaimer.

For instance, this year I promise not to mention the awful attendance at Utah football games — unless the game in question is played at Rice-Eccles Stadium. I resolve not to write a single word about Malone and Stockton getting old — unless the Jazz struggle in the first or second round of the playoffs. I won't say anything about BYU stealing Utah State's uniform color — as long as someone can show me there is actually a difference.

And I promise not to make fun of Bobby Knight's temper tantrums, even once.***

***Offer not valid in Texas, Utah, the Dominican Republic or anywhere Texas Tech plays.

There is no peace of mind like that which comes from making resolutions you can keep.

E-MAIL: rock@desnews.com