Try as you might, but sports are unpredictable

What’s great about the world of sports is that a game can be broken down six ways from Sunday on paper, but until it’s played, no one actually knows what is going to happen.

Take Friday night’s boys basketball game between Howland and Niles as a classic example.

Going into the All-American Conference, American Division game at Howland, the Tigers were, record-wise, the underdog. They were 1-7 and had fallen on some hard luck in the beginning of the season with injuries and finding their stride.

Then there was Niles. The Red Dragons were off to a 6-3 start and almost pulled off a huge upset over Warren G. Harding on Dec. 29. The Dragons also had quality wins over Newton Falls and Girard.

On paper, and even in reading what the coaches had said after various games, Niles was the favorite.

Insert cliche here: That’s why you play the game. Because the final score was 80-40 in favor of the Tigers.

Four Howland players scored in double figures, including senior Brendan Cope who had a double-double of 22 points and 18 rebounds. On the other end of the grade scale was freshman Reece Bogan with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

It’s games like this that make the sports world great – anything can happen on any given night.

No one knows, not even the experts at the Tribune Chronicle, how a game is going to play out before it happens. There’s no magic ball to predict upsets or record-setting scoring nights. But that’s the magic of sports. That’s what makes sports great.

Now that the second half of basketball season is here, the games are only going to get more exciting and more unpredictable. This is why being a sports fan is great. Like Forrest Gump said, “you never know what you’re going to get.”

This week, Kobe Bryant announced after years of holding out, he was venturing on to the world of Twitter.

That’s all well and fine, but so did Mike McLain.

In Warren, Ohio, I’ll follow McLain any day of the week over the Black Mamba.

The Tribune’s veteran sports reporter, who has been covering the Cleveland Browns since 1980 and is the most tenured member of the Cleveland Browns media pool, has finally made his way onto Twitter.

His timing is perfect as the Browns are heading in to a very interesting offseason that has already been much debated and discussed on every social media site there is. Is Chip Kelly the guy? Is the deal done? Only time will tell.

To keep up to date with the Browns and McLain, follow him @MichaelMcLain2. It’s well worth the click.

McLain isn’t the only Tribune staffer to venture out to the social media, Mahoning Valley, sports world. All of the full-time friendly Tribune faces are keeping people up to date on the world of Twitter.

To follow the goings on of YSU basketball, and for anything basketball these days, follow John Vargo @jvargoTrib. For the world of wrestling, or just to see what’s on his mind, follow Joe Simon @APStylz. As for myself, I can be found @DanaSulonenTrib. During football season I kept everyone on what was going on with YSU football. Now that the winter months have hit, I’ve been keeping inside the office. I’m not a fan of the cold. But I’ll still be keeping people posted on what’s going on and what’s coming up in the Tribune sports department.

This is just one of many changes and new things that will be coming in 2013 for the Tribune Sports Department. It’s going to be a big year so stay tuned.