"What a difference a year makes."
I'm going to make a sportswriting prediction for week one of the NFL season. I predict that at least THREE sportswriters use the cliched expression "what a difference a year makes" in articles about week one games. On Monday or Tuesday I will let you know whether this prediction is correct or not.
I'm concerned that I might be setting the bar a little low (cliche! cliche!) at only three; for all I know, dozens of sportwriters could say "what a difference a year makes" in trying to bring some insight into the NFL games. I should probably hold myself to a higher standard, like predicting which writers use this phrase (I'll take Don Banks, Len Pasquerelli, Peter King, and any number of local columnists writing about a team that won last year's opening game and lost this one, or lost last year's opening game and won this one).
If anybody wants to help look out for this phrase, by all means join me: let's find out how many sportswriters say "what a difference a year makes" to help illuminate the meaning of the games. We'll also be interested in any variations of the time, because it is not just a year that makes a difference, but a half of a game, a few hours, a day, a week, a few months, or an off-season.