Farewell. Adieu. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to write a sports column for the Boston Globe for the last 23 years.
But this is it. Today is the last one. You won’t have Nixon or me to kick around anymore. This is my last column because according to the Mayan calendar, today is the last day in the history of the world.
This means no more flip remarks about “Doomsday Defense’’ and “the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Today is Dec. 21, 2012, and according to the Mayans, this is it. The Fat Lady is singing.
In this spirit, I need to do a little housekeeping. Perched here on the eve of destruction, with no more deadlines to meet, I have a few requests and parting shots.
This is what the end of the world means here in the sports department of the Boston Globe:
■ The Red Sox’ sellout streak will never be snapped.
■ We’ll never know if Notre Dame can beat Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide.
■ Never again will Brett Favre come out of retirement.
■ There will be no NHL season.
■ Adrian Gonzalez can’t kill any more teams.
■ Tiger Woods will never win another major.
■ Tom Menino will never step down as mayor of Boston.
■ We’ll never know if Jeff Green is any good.
■ Cubs fans are condemned to wait for all of eternity.
■ Tom Brady won’t get another chance to tie Joe Montana.
■ Floyd Mayweather Jr. retires undefeated.
■ The Celtics won’t have to worry about playing themselves into game shape.
■ Adrian Peterson doesn’t get to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record.
■ We’ll never have to hear another word about Dwight Howard.
■ Wes Welker finishes his career as a Patriot.
■ Stephen Strasburg will never pitch a postseason game.
■ Jacoby Ellsbury misses out on free agency.
■ Lance Armstrong won’t go to jail.
■ LeBron has to settle for one championship.
■ No Truck Day 2013.
On and on it goes. The Knicks finally get to say they finished in first place in the Atlantic Division. Steve Addazio gets to say he never lost a game as head football coach at Boston College. There’s going to be a frenzy to see who can fire off the last Twitter message.
At this moment, let’s all be thankful that the Sox won the World Series in 2004. It makes the end of the world thing so much more tolerable. Think about it. Had the Sox not won the World Series in 2004 (or in 2007), this week would have been one long pity party of Boston baseball narcissists bellyaching about never seeing the Sox win in their lifetime. The Sox did win. We were able to go on with our lives. And now, the end is so much sweeter.
Today would be a good day to settle the NHL lockout. Just on principle. It doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong. It’s no longer about percentages of gross revenues, or pensions or any of those things. The end of the world means the 2012-13 NHL season is officially lost. No more hockey. No more anything. It would be nice if Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr could announce a settlement before a rogue planet sends us all to the big penalty box in the sky.
It’s always good to look for silver linings at a time like this, and I have found several. We can ignore our diets and those pledges to get back into shape. The end of the world means you can eat all the ice cream you want. Push your credit cards to the max.
The Mayan apocalypse also means I don’t have to fill out my Hall of Fame ballot, the toxic document (great description by Brother Ryan) that plagues every longstanding member of the BBWAA. It means I’ll never again have to interact with Curt Schilling or Nomar Garciaparra. No more reporting to “security command” at Foxborough, or attempting to get information out of Bill Belichick.
The end is today. Tommy Heinsohn is done complaining about officials. No more boring conversations with fantasy football players. No more hideous programming from NESN. We have seen the last of Ed Hochuli. Manny Ramirez will never fail another drug test. No more fumbles for Stevan Ridley. Kevin Youkilis will never be booed at Fenway Park. No more soccer advocates telling us we need a greater appreciation of the world’s most popular sport. Larry Bird is finally free to pick up a check.
Here in the toy department, we have said and written it many times.
Finally, the cliché is the truth.
There’s no tomorrow.