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2017? Bring It On! - By Mike Lynch

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2017? Bring It On!

"We're on to 2017" as Bill Belichick would say. Always wondered if he removes the rear view mirror from all of his vehicles. His focus is always on what is next and one of his pet phrases that always stuck with me is "The Price of Success Is Always Paid In Advance." With those thoughts in mind here is what would make a better 2017.

- Bring back the extra point in the NFL to the 2 yard line. Currently the kick is 33 yards as opposed to a 20 yard kick. It’s too difficult to get into the end zone and the penalty for the longer kick nullifies the work and effort to put 6 points on the board.

- A healthy Rob Gronkowski who is available for all 16 regular season games and beyond. Gronk is great to watch, he's fun off the field, he's good for the game and the region. And PLEEEEEZE Patriots do not consider trading him because he is injury prone.

- Happy Trails to Verne Lundquist and Vin Scully. The game was always their top priority. They never made it about themselves. Understated and always right on the money.

- More Salvation Army Kettle Leaps by Ezekiel Elliot of the Cowboys and no more silly talk of a possible fine from the NFL. That leap did more for Salvation Army awareness and donations than all the wonderful bell ringers.

- No more college football players skipping bowl games to preserve their health for the NFL draft. You took your school's scholarship money for tuition, room and board. You have teammates who depend on you. Do the right thing!

- For the Bruins - PLAYOFFS - spring never sprung the last two years when the ice was melted at the end of the regular season

- David Pastrnak, let’s hope the Bruins allow him continue to blossom. He is a treat to watch.

- Home Ice - Wish it was more friendly to the Bruins.

- A big man in the middle for the Celtics - a shot blocker, an intimidator who will make opponents think twice about driving to the hoop.

- Brad Stevens, please stick around for a long time and don't listen to the offers to return to college hoops.

- I hate to say this but I hope David Ortiz remains retired. He was the greatest clutch hitter in Red Sox history, fun to cover, great for the community and that’s how I want to remember him. I still remember Willie Mays trying to stretch out one final year with the Mets stumbling in the outfield. Papi went out with dignity and not many can make that claim.

- Here's a High 5 to all the moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents who drive you to the rink, field, court, pool and track. They fuel your success. Take a moment in 2017 to thank them for all their support.

- More appreciation for all the coaches who are underpaid and overworked. Despite what some parents think and express vocally, they really do have the best interests of your son or daughter as priority number one!

- More pats on the back and hugs after a tough loss or when things go wrong. If thats the worse thing that happens in a young players life, they are lucky.

- MIAA please abolish the current football playoff system. 34 teams in Eastern Massachusetts made the playoffs with losing records. Playoffs are a reward for outperforming your opponents. Make Thanksgiving games relevant again.

- May every high school athlete make it home safely after a practice, a game, school or a night out.

- Here's to every student athlete being able to look in the mirror every night, like what they see and be content they gave their best.

- Happy New Year, Bring on 2017!