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Can we handle Sooth of 2017? Here's what will happen in sports

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Sports Will What Here 2017

Peter Botte's back for a second year of gazing into his crystal ball and letting us know what happens in 2017.

Peter Botte's back for a second year of gazing into his crystal ball and letting us know what happens in 2017.

BY Peter Botte

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Saturday, December 31, 2016, 5:00 PM

Fear not, dear readers, 2017 can’t possibly be as depressing as its predecessor.

OK, perhaps it can be, but the year that just concluded definitely was a bummer on many levels.

And the sports world hardly was immune to the big-name deaths that also befell so many icons from the music and other entertainment industries.

The greats we lost from sports in 2016 spanned boxing (Muhammad Ali), golf (Arnold Palmer), baseball (Jose Fernandez, Monte Irvin and Ralph Branca), football (Dennis Byrd, Buddy Ryan, Dennis Green, Joe McKnight), hoops (Pat Summitt, Pearl Washington, Nate Thurmond), hockey (Gordie Howe, Andy Bathgate), Olympics (Bill Johnson), soccer (Johan Cruyff) and announcing (Bud Collins, Joe Garagiola, John Saunders and Craig Sager).

No one could have seen all of that coming at once, but in the maiden voyage taking over this quirky endeavor one year ago, I did hit on a few notable prognostications – calling the Cavaliers ending Cleveland’s title drought and even picking the Islanders to finally win a playoff series.

Then again, I also vowed that the Knicks and the Yankees would make the playoffs, and that A-Rod would indeed catch Babe Ruth in career home runs.

No, every day can’t be Christmas, I suppose.

With that in mind, here are a few blind stabs at what to look for on the local and national sports landscapes in 2017:

JANUARY

Celebrities everywhere wake up and exhale that 2016 finally is over. Good riddance.

Whoever wins it all, college football fans still know it’s beyond dumb that the two ”playoff” bowl games are staged on New Year’s Eve, not the traditional New Year’s Day.

Even if Jan. 1 is an NFL Sunday this year.

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens won’t be joining steroids-era commissioner Bud Selig on the Cooperstown stage this year.

Would have been entirely fitting, of course, but the PED-stained stars will receive a significant bump in Hall of Fame voting in their respective fifth years of consideration.

Derrick Rose takes the Knicks to a strange new place in 2017 ... the playoffs.

Derrick Rose takes the Knicks to a strange new place in 2017 ... the playoffs. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

To be sure, someone, somehow, also will vote for the likes of Casey Blake or Arthur Rhodes.

Without John Scott involved, nobody cares about the NHL All-Star Game again.

Tony Romo is pressed into emergency playoff service for Dallas. It ends just as you’d imagine.

FEBRUARY

Who’s ready for the third round of Giants-Patriots in Super Bowl LI in Houston?

Not Tom Brady, that’s for sure.

Sorry, Big Blue fans, it will be New England vs. Seattle again, actually.

Alex Rodriguez begins his $21 million mentoring program at spring training. He opens by showing the kids all of the top “entertainment” spots in Tampa.

A-Rod also starts his own website, vowing to drive Jeter’s out of business.

Yoenis Cespedes shows up to Port St. Lucie in a spaceship.

Tim Tebow shows up in the Popemobile.

Terry Collins shows up stinkin’ grumpy right away. Cripes.

MARCH

The good news and the bad news is that Chris Mullin, now 53, is still among the best players at St. John’s.

No more than 7 images from any single MLB game, workout, activity or event may be used (including online and on apps) while that game, activity or event is in progress.

Gary Sanchez gets off to a rough start at the plate for the Yankees, who fail to reach postseason again. (Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images)

Old No. 20 even comes off the bench to hit a buzzer-beater to upend top-ranked Villanova in the Big East tournament.

The NCAA East Regional is at the Garden this year. The over/under of times it is referred to that weekend as the Mecca of Basketball is about a trillion.

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