Wisch Lists are for New Year’s

This weekend’s Wisch List newspaper column from The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Ill.) and The Times (Ottawa, Ill.)


By Dave Wischnowsky

Wish lists are for Christmas.

But Wisch Lists? Well, they’re for New Year’s.

And now that we’ve survived the Mayan Apocalypse without world’s end, I wanted to share with you my year-end column as we prepare to celebrate the first New Year’s Eve without Dick Clark since well, the days of the Mayan Empire.

OK, so maybe it hasn’t been quite that long. But it almost seems that way considering how Clark, who died in April at the age of 82, became as much a part of the holiday as champagne toasts and confetti after hosting his first “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” show in 1972.

ABC has broadcast the show every Dec. 31 since, except for 1999 when it was preempted by “ABC 2000 Today,” which consisted of news coverage of the milestone year hosted by Peter Jennings. However, during that broadcast, Clark still announced his signature countdown to the Millennium. He also continued to ring things in each year after suffering a massive stroke in December 2004.

This time, however, Clark won’t bring 2013 in for us, although ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” will celebrate its creator during the show on Monday. Rest in peace, Mr. Clark. Partying with only Ryan Seacrest just isn’t quite the same.

With all that said, it’s on with the column …

I Wisch Derrick Rose was back on Chicago’s basketball courts and that Jabari Parker wasn’t leaving them in favor of Duke’s.

I Wisch that in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy people were focusing as much attention on improving mental health treatment in this country as they are on tightening gun control.

I Wisch that Illinois football coach Tim Beckman was known for feasting on the competition. But, instead, he’s best known for chewing on tobacco and munching on lasagna.

I Wisch that Illini basketball coach John Groce could coach football, too.

I Wisch that Bears coach Lovie Smith was given a change of scenery in 2013. Win or lose on Sunday.

I Wisch that the Bears could trade Brian Urlacher’s and Jay Cutler’s personalities.

I Wisch I didn’t feel that Chicago’s dysfunctional Metropolitan Correctional Center – where two inmates brazenly escaped this month by shimmying down a rope made from bedsheets – is a microcosm of dysfunctional Illinois. Our tax dollars aren’t guarded much better than those prisoners.

I Wisch the Northern Illinois Huskies the best of luck in the Orange Bowl. While in Miami, I suggest people grabbing an umbrella drink at the News Café near South Beach. The people watching there is about as good as it gets.

I Wisch we had gotten a White Christmas as my parents’ place in Bourbonnais.

I Wisch that Notre Dame recognized that its expiring pseudo-membership with the Big East helped kill the conference and that its impending pseudo-membership with the ACC might do the same to that unstable league.

I Wisch that since the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra are both hiking their fares in 2013 they at least served riders snacks. Except for the CTA’s Red Line. I’d stay the “L” away from anything edible on that train.

I Wisch that Theo Epstein was giving me any reason to be interested in the 2013 Chicago Cubs. Sadly, I’ve never cared less about my favorite team.

I Wisch that “Next Year” didn’t feel like it’s a decade away.

I Wisch that every year was as great as this one, during which I was fortunate enough to take trips to San Diego, Denver, Minneapolis, Charlotte, London, Barcelona and New York with my girlfriend Debbie, and also to San Francisco, where I made her my fiancée.

I Wisch all of you a very Happy 2013.