The New Year is upon us, and we expect big things in 2016—both good and bad. While nobody can predict the future, there are a number of events that can be considered “safe bets” as we head into 2016. Whether it is in the world of sports, business, technology or politics, there are several outcomes that can be reasonably expected over the coming 12 months. Here is a list of 10 historic events we here at Goliath anticipate happening in 2016.
10. Tom Brady Wins Fifth Super Bowl
Anyone who has doubted Tom Brady during his career has been proven wrong. The former sixth round draft pick and back-up quarterback has defied expectations throughout his career, and he currently has four Super Bowl rings to his name—tied with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the most Super Bowl victories ever by a quarterback. In February 2016, look for Tom Brady to make history by becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to win five Super Bowls, leaving him alone at the top and cementing his legacy as the greatest signal caller ever. In the wake of the Deflategate controversy, you can bet that the chip on Tom Brady’s shoulder has never been bigger, and he will be even more motivated than usual to win it all on sports’ biggest stage once the Patriots win the AFC Championship and advance to a historic seventh Super Bowl appearance in the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era.
9. The Next Game of Thrones Book Will Be released
Fans have been screaming for a new Game of Thrones book, and author George R. R. Martin has said that he is working on a sixth installment in the series. However, to date, there has been no confirmation that the new book is completed, and a publishing date has not been announced. This is vexing for fans of the Game of Thrones books, who have been waiting since 2011 for a new novel from the author. It has been five long years since the last book, A Dance with Dragons, took the publishing world by storm, but we’re optimistic that the new book will hit shelves in time for the premiere of the new season of the Game of Thrones television series on HBO, which is scheduled to air in spring 2016. A new television series and a new book should be enough to keep Game of Thrones fans satisfied for a few months anyway.
8. Apple Will Buy a Car Company
Technology giant Apple Inc. has made it clear that their next big push is going to be the development of an electric car, with plans to have one in market and available to consumers by 2019. With this ambitious target in mind, rumors are swirling that Apple will buy a car company in 2016 to accelerate its push into the electric vehicle market. Specifically, there are rumours that Apple will buy car maker Tesla. With over $200 billion in cash on hand, the iPhone-maker has plenty of resources to absorb the purchase of a vehicle manufacturer the size of Tesla, especially with Tesla’s stock down over the past six months. The purchase of Tesla would make a lot of sense. Not only would Apple get Tesla’s automobile knowledge, but they would also gain access to the car company’s battery technology, which Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk claims can help change “the entire energy infrastructure of the world.” Wow! This purchase, or one similar to it, would suit Apple’s futurist ambitions and drive to seemingly makeover every type of technology we have.
7. Las Vegas Will Get a Professional Hockey Team
The National Hockey League is enjoying a boom presently. Riding a crest in popularity, the NHL’s annual revenues have grown from $2.2 billion in 2006 to more than $4 billion in 2014. And, naturally, this positive trend has the league looking to expand into new markets. In 2015, the NHL accepted expansion applications from Las Vegas and Quebec City. No decisions on these applications have been announced yet, but the safe bet is for the league to approve one new team to be located in Las Vegas, and for the expansion fee for this new team to be a record $500 million. The NHL is looking to add teams in the West to balance the league geography, and it wouldn’t be the first time that ice hockey has expanded to a dessert locale. Just don’t expect hockey fans in Quebec City to be happy about it.
6. There Will Be an Unprecedented Cyber Attack
Security experts have been warning for the past couple of years that it is only a matter of time before we see an unprecedented and devastating global cyber attack. Hackers, notably from China, have been stepping up their attacks in recent years, hitting computer servers at the U.S. State Department and tech giant Microsoft. Even the CIA Director had his e-mail hacked in 2015, and there was an unprecedented number of phishing scams reported this past year. Forecasters expect that there will be a coordinated and massive cyber attack this coming year. The only question is what form and how widespread the attack will be? Some cybersecurity experts anticipate that the hackers will hit a global bank or the stock exchanges. Others see the cyber attack being directed at energy infrastructure. Whatever form it ends up taking, look for a major worldwide attack in cyberspace in the very near future.
6. Golfer Tiger Woods Will Officially Call It Quits
This is probably the safest prediction on this list, but look for golfer Tiger Woods to officially retire in 2016. The once dominant golf sensation, who turned 40 on December 30th, hinted in a wide ranging interview earlier in 2015 that he is heading off into the sunset, much to the chagrin of his loyal fans who have been counting on a significant comeback, and for Woods to win one more major tournament before calling it a day. But comments this past November like “I’ve had a good run” don’t leave anyone feeling optimistic that Tiger Woods, who is coming off multiple back surgeries, will ever recapture his former glory. Saying he now spends most of his time playing video games, it seems like we are all just waiting for Tiger Woods to make his retirement from professional golf official. We expect this to happen prior to the 2016 Masters tournament.
5. A Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough Will Occur
It is the stuff of science fiction. Nuclear fusion is said to be the key to the future. Not only could it potentially solve the world’s energy needs, but it could also, possibly, lead to advanced space travel such as we see in Star Trek. And many scientists are anticipating a nuclear fusion breakthrough in 2016. While governments around the world have long tried to advance nuclear fusion with little results, the private sector and some of the world’s wealthiest investors are now throwing their capital into private sector companies that are working on developing nuclear fusion as a cheap and clean energy source. Entrepreneur billionaires such as Jeff Bezos, Paul Allen and Peter Thiel are now in the nuclear fusion game, and many scientists and financial analysts forecast a major step toward commercially viable nuclear fusion in 2016. The future is now!
4. The U.S. Election Will Produce a Historic Result One Way or Another
Whether we see Hillary Clinton as the first female President in U.S. history or real estate mogul Donald Trump elected President without ever having held elected office before, the U.S. Presidential election promises to produce a historic result one way or another in 2016. And while many people are terrified at the thought of Donald Trump in the White House, the circus show that is ‘The Donald’ rolls on, and he continues to lead the crowded race to be the Republican nomination for President as we move into 2016. And while there are questions surrounding Hillary Clinton and her qualifications for the Oval Office, she seems to be a more popular choice among American voters. Whatever the outcome, the prospect of Trump and Clinton going toe-to-toe for the Presidency is fascinating to consider. Or maybe Bernie Sanders can surprise everyone and win a spot in the White House.
3. Iceland Shocks The World at Euro 2016
Tiny Iceland, with a population of only 330,000 people, took the soccer world by storm and made history by becoming the smallest country ever to qualify for the European Championship in the world’s most popular sport. How did Iceland get there? Chalk it up to a combination of talented players, strong management and a world class development system. In fact, Iceland narrowly missed qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, and many soccer analysts expect the country to field a team in that tournament come 2018. But for now, look to Iceland to shatter expectations and make some real noise at the European Championships in 2016. How far they go remains to be seen, but we’ve seen major underdogs win this thing before. Remember Greece in 2004?
2. Robot-Driven Cars Will Hit the Road
Robot-driven cars are currently being tested on roads across North America, and most analysts expect that the first commercially available robot-driven cars will be with us by the end of 2016. In fact, some people anticipate robot-driven taxis to be on streets across the U.S. by year’s end. Referred to as “self-driving cars” within the automotive industry, these robot-driven vehicles are forecast to make big strides in 2016. The State of California is already drafting the first set of consumer rules for autonomous driving vehicles, and car maker General Motors plans to launch hands-free driving capabilities called “Super Cruise Control” in the coming months. In Japan, there is already a company called “Robot Taxi” that enables people to be shuttled around suburban Tokyo by a driverless car. It looks like robot-driven cars are already here and set to become a standard in 2016.
1. China Surpasses the U.S. at the Summer Olympics
China has emerged as a global power to rival the United States in most categories—economically, militarily, politically, and with technology and manufacturing. Now China is set on surpassing the United States in global sports with a first place showing at the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The U.S. finished in first place at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, with 46 gold medals and a total of 103 medals. China finished second with 38 gold medals and a total medal count of 88. Look for China’s athletes to up their game at the 2016 Olympics and to narrowly surpass the U.S. at the Olympics for the first time ever. It would be a historic achievement and one that would mark a changing of the guard of sorts on the international stage. A Chinese win could also lead to a reset for Team U.S.A.