The worst predictions of 2016 – Chicago Tribune


From the election of Donald Trump — Donald Trump! — to the nation’s highest office, to a World Series victory for the Chicago Cubs — the Chicago Cubs! — 2016 was the year of the upset.

So it might seem unfair to single out the wannabe Nostradamuses who made fools of themselves over the last 12 months.

But that won’t stop us from doing it anyway.

Here they are, the worst predictions of 2016

Of course Trump won’t win

A Google search for “This time,” “Donald Trump” and “really done it” yields 65,500 hits.

Incorrectly predicting Trump’s imminent demise was already an old joke in December 2015, when the Onion ran with “‘This Will Be The End Of Trump’s Campaign,’ Says Increasingly Nervous Man For Seventh Time This Year.”

But nobody did it better in 2016 than syndicated columnist Garrison Keillor, whose sneery, widely read open letter to Trump, headlined “When this is over, you will have nothing that you want,” was about as wrong as it is possible to be.

‘Back to the Future’ still wrong

“Back to the Future Part II,” released in 1989, predicted the Cubs would win the World Series over Miami in 2015. Though the film was wrong about the year and opponent, that didn’t stop executive producer Frank Marshall from celebrating the prediction. “How about we almost got the Chicago Cubs victory right?!” he told Yahoo Movies last month.

Silver says ignore my math, even when it’s right

Plenty of folks failed to predict the Cubs’ glorious victory, but we’ll also single out professional prognosticator Nate Silver, who rejected the conclusion of his own eggheady algorithm, which had predicted the Cubs would win the World Series, on the grounds that “the best baseball team doesn’t win most of the time.” Then what’s the point of all your spreadsheets, Nate?!

Silver’s 538 website did score points for pointing out after Game 3 that the Cubs had less of a chance of winning than Trump did, which, given how close Game 7 was, sounds reasonable. But 538 didn’t get the election right, either. Silver was reduced to pointing out that he got it less wrong than some other pundits.

While we’re calling out other sports outlets for their misses, it’s only fair to admit that the Chicago Tribune got it at least partially wrong on eight out of 13 “bold predictions” for 2016: “The Cubs fall just short of a World Series title”; “True to his reputation as a leader of a quick turnaround, John Fox propels the Bears into the playoffs in his second season”; “With the 13th pick in the NFL draft, the Chicago Bears select Ezekiel Elliott, running back, from Ohio State”; “Unrestricted free agent Joakim Noah will re-sign with the Bulls”; “The Bulls will lose in the playoffs to LeBron James for the fifth time in the last seven postseasons”; “The Blackhawks will make a deep run in the playoffs”; “The White Sox will inch above .500 in 2016 for the first time since 2012″; and “Will Fuller will return to Notre Dame rather than opt for the NFL draft.”

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