Leibo At Large: Looking at 2023, here are some predictions

By David Leibowitz

Come year’s end, newspaper columnists traditionally look backward, chewing over the past 365 days.

“Year in review” columns bore me, because they’re too easy. Here, we look ahead, reviewing the year that has not yet happened. And 2023 promises to be an epic affair. How so?

Jan. 5 — In an attempt to upstage the swearing-in of new Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors votes 2-1 on a proclamation to install Kari Lake as “governor of Cochise County.” 

Afterward, Supervisor Tom Crosby calls the vote “a unanimous victory for truth.” Lake’s swearing-in, held at the Thirsty Lizard Bar & Grill in McNeal, is drowned out by Karaoke Night.

Feb. 11 — On the Saturday before Super Bowl LVII, the city of Glendale, home to State Farm Stadium, hosts the single pregame event that’s actually in Glendale.

“Hangin’ With Joyce,” a wienie roast in Councilwoman Joyce Clark’s backyard, draws a star-studded crowd of 11 people, including Mayor Jerry Weiers and the long snapper for the Scottsdale Community College Artichokes football team.

April 1 — Losing Arizona Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem is the victim of a nasty April Fool’s Day prank when a “Commie pinko” Amazon driver substitutes black boot polish for Finchem’s favorite “MAGA Trump Tone™” self-tanner.

Finchem immediately sends out a fundraising request asking donors to contribute money “to help him overturn this sham election and become the first African American Secretary of State in Arizona history.”

May 16 — The Arizona Coyotes lose the public vote to build an arena in Tempe despite offering city residents “free seats for life” at all home games. 

The team, which struggled to sell out 5,000-seat Mullett Arena on the ASU campus last season, announces its intentions to move to AZ Ice Peoria. Coyotes President Xavier Gutierrez promises not to disrupt the facility’s weekday morning public skate sessions, “because as a valued public partner and a fan of ice, our organization embraces a diversity of ice skaters, even if I myself cannot ice skate.”

July 4 — Columnist J.D. Hayworth celebrates Independence Day in style, writing his 1,776 consecutive column maligning “liberals,” “Ol’ Joe Biden” and the “partisan press.” 

Hayworth is honored with the first Paul Gosar Freedom Fighter Award, bestowed by the Arizona News Columnist Association. “I literally don’t know how he does it,” ANCA President David Leibowitz says. “Every week, I think he might mention his pet cat or his favorite chicken wing restaurant, but nope — politics every single time. The guy’s a  machine.”

Sept. 19 — The Arizona Diamondbacks, out of the pennant chase since May, play a Tuesday night home game against the equally wretched San Francisco Giants. 

Despite the game being promoted as Queen Creek Mayor Julia Wheatley Bobblehead Night, the announced attendance is only 374 fans. The Diamondbacks win the five-hour affair 1-0 in 14 very slow innings.

Nov. 8 — One year after Election Day 2022, Cochise County Gov. Lake files her 74th legal challenge to the results, in the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands.

Lake announces the lawsuit in a video filmed at Chuckleheads Bar in Bisbee, the official sponsor of Lake’s new podcast, “Sue Angry: America Fights Back.” Says Lake: “Donate to my legal fund today! Mama needs new shoes.”

Dec. 31 — Scouting for column material in advance of New Year’s, Leibowitz realizes 2024 will be an election year that may yet again pit Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump and will also feature new Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on the statewide ballot versus a Democrat and a Republican.

Leibowitz invests his life savings in Xanax and plots to turn off his TV for the year ahead.

Now, my friends, we begin the long wait.