Let 2011 be scandal-less, not scandalous

We're a dozen days into 2011, and already I have a good feeling about the upcoming year in sports. As soon as I emerge from my self-constructed ark in SoCal, I will see the sun shining. I am sure of it.

This year will be an improvement, and it's not just because 2011 has the lucky number 11 in it ... although that should be enough. And it's not just because my 2-year-old has miraculously kicked his binky addiction ... although that development has got me hollering high-pitched hallelujahs at random times (the neighbors must be scratching their heads). I have a good feeling about this sports year, because we have nowhere to go but up. Seriously. The year we left behind was less than warm and fuzzy. Let's do a quick review, in no particular order:

•  Brett Favre and Greg Oden pics ... were those really necessary?

•  Ben Roethlisberger and a Georgia bathroom.

•  Reggie-Heismanless-Bush says goodbye to some hardware (perhaps it's easier to give that one back when there is a Vince Lombardi trophy in your back pocket).

•  Cam-possibly-soon-to-be-Heismanless-Newton.

•  New York Jets' sideline knee-knockers.

•  Paul the Octopus goes to that aquatic betting tank in the sky (say it ain't so).

•  Qatar gets the 2022 World Cup.

•  LeBron and the miniseries that was "The Decision."

•  Lance and the FBI.

•  Tiger.

Enough said. Scandals abounded. And that is why I think (or hope) we all will be on our best behavior in 2011. And the world will be right again. My Los Angeles Lakers may be in a bit of a new year's funk, but do not panic (yet). Come on, we have Kobe -- whose redemption story provides a perfect example of how clouds can clear and life can get rosy again.

Once the villain, not always the villain. Fans will probably be embracing Tiger, Brett and Big Ben in a year or two, especially if winning is part of the equation. So remain optimistic. I sense blue skies, roses, rainbows and new heartwarming sports stories. Even if some of the unsavory stuff seeps into this Year of the Rabbit, the good news is that the Rabbit symbolizes "endurance." So we will be able to weather it all with grace and patience (cue the cheesy music).

Adios to the Year of the Tiger (another hallelujah). Hello Rabbits. Bring on 2011. Let the sun shine in.