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Back to the Future

by Scott Rintoul / Vancouver Canucks
With the Canucks adding five new youngsters via the NHL draft and the team’s top prospects working out at 8 Rinks last week, projections are flying around like the summer’s first wave of mosquitoes. Everyone has an opinion on Cory Schneider’s development, Michael Grabner’s career potential, and just how long Cody Hodgson will need before he plays his first game in the NHL.

But as we construct cases for the future Hall of Fame candidacy of some prospects and mentally relegate others to a career in the minors, it’s worth noting that predictions often aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

Remember, Jason Herter was supposed to score goals by the bushel for the Canucks while Alex Burrows was never supposed to make it to the NHL.

Keeping that in mind, let’s hop in the Delorean and check out a few prognostications that didn’t exactly come to fruition over the course of the past decade.

Scott Rintoul is a host of the BMac and Rintoul show on the Team 1040 broadcaster in the mornings starting at 6am.

Send him and e-mail.
1998: How ‘bout them apples?

A year after the two Bostonians burst onto the scene with Good Will Hunting, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon both began careers as leading men in Hollywood. It’s pretty easy to argue that movie execs thought Affleck was going to be the bigger star. He was cast as the lead or co-lead in big budget productions like Armageddon, Pearl Harbour, Sum of All Fears and Daredevil between 1998 and 2003 despite displaying the ability to act well.

Damon wasn’t exactly forced to do local cable television, but films like Rounders and The Talented Mr. Ripley didn’t get near the build up that Affleck’s flicks did. At last check, Damon was doing the Bourne series, Syriana and The Departed while Affleck was… how did Gigli do again?

For a sports related situation with two top draft picks going in opposite directions, feel free to compare Peyton Manning’s career to that of Ryan Leaf.

1999: Y2K

While figuring out the perfect way to ring in the new millennium was a top priority for many in December of 1999, the real talk of the town was the Y2K bug. The common notion was that computer systems all over the world were going to crash because may systems operated on data entries that only called for the last two digits of a particular year.

Many speculated that when the year “99” changed to “00” that years of financial records, criminal histories and identities would be erased due to the computer thinking it was the year 1900 instead of 2000. Millions were spent on debugging efforts. Some people withdrew every penny they had to ensure their savings wouldn’t be lost.

And on December 31st, 1999 when the clock struck midnight… nothing happened. In fact, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal called Y2K the “biggest hoax of the century”.

Hope you were busy enjoying whatever party you were at instead of waiting for modern civilization to crash.

2000: Reality Bites

Who wants to watch a bunch of ordinary people on tv?

That was the question posed when Survivor debuted in 2000 with a cast of regular folk who decided to test their mettle against nature. When Survivor soared in the ratings, it was originally dismissed as a one-hit wonder with absolutely no staying power.

Oh, how I wish that had been the case.

Instead, television executives inserted various reality shows into as many time slots as they could for one simple reason – the average viewer can’t get enough.

Over the past eight years we’ve been bombarded with weight-loss shows, find-your-true love shows and let’s-all-live-together-in-a-house shows that seem to satiate the viewing public’s obsession with “real” conflict.

My only question: how much can they milk it?

Pretty soon we’ll be seeing So You Think You Can Lead? where a random taxpayer is chosen to run the country for a month. Hmmmm… that actually might be worth implementing south of the border until the next presidential election.

2001: Hoop Dreams and Nightmares

If you want a direct comparable from the world of sports, you need look no further than the first round of the ’01 hoops draft.

The first pick was a high school superstar who looked like even more of a “can’t miss” when Michael Jordan gave him the stamp of approval. Today, Kwame Brown’s biggest claim to fame is that Jordan selected him. After four forgettable years in Washington that included feuds with teammates and coaches in addition to repeatedly poor play, Brown was dealt to the Lakers where he continued to underachieve for the most part. Karma got Kwame a few months ago when he was traded to arguably the NBA’s worst franchise, the Memphis Grizzlies.

But while things didn’t work out too well for the first pick of the first round in ’01, the same can’t be said for the last pick of the opening round. Not only has diminutive French guard Tony Parker been instrumental in San Antonio’s 2003, 2005 and 2007 NBA championships, he’s also married to Eva Longoria.

I haven’t seen a better version of Coming to America since Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall teamed up in the late 80’s.
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