Ahhh, the most wonderful time of the year! The season of giving.
Whether you light a Christmas tree or a Menorah, or perhaps circle around the Festivus Pole, you can capture the spirit of the season with a few thoughtful gifts.
After all they’ve given us over the past year, some of our friends in the sports world certainly merit some gifts of their own. Let’s see who might be getting just what they deserve:
Pete Rose: The truth, including the ability to recognize it and speak it. Why does this guy think that every time there’s a new baseball commissioner, the old lies that failed before will work now? After lying about his betting habits longer than his playing career lasted, Rose still doesn’t get it. Odds are he never will.
Falcons’ fans: A new owner. The team went 9-6-1 in 2002, its first season under the aegis of the dapper Arthur Blank. That means they were closer to reaching the Super Bowl than they are now. Heavens, even The Family Smith delivered a Super Bowl appearance. Perhaps the hiring of Stephen Cannon to handle the club’s day-to-day affairs will be enough.
Stephen Cannon: A new general manager. How did Thomas Dimitroff survive last year’s purge? It sure wasn’t his draft record. Must’ve been the hair.
Dan Quinn: Time and talent.
Matt Ryan: His lost skill set.
John Hart: A trading partner. What’s it been, two whole weeks since the last deal went down? Doesn’t he still have a few recognizable names that are moveable?
Braves fans: What more could they want after the arrival of Emilio Bonifacio? Prayers answered!
Fredi Gonzalez: An unlimited supply of name tags for use in spring training.
Shelby Miller: A moderate increase in run support.
Chicago Cubs: No, we don’t dare say it. But wouldn’t it be something? And Theo Epstein knows a little something about breaking droughts. And here’s hoping that Jason Heyward can avoid those unforgiving brick walls at Wrigley.
Cleveland: A championship. In any sport. After 51 years of waiting for the next one, there’s no reason to be picky.
Track and field: Sebastian Coe actually accomplishes his goal of cleaning up the sport. And saving it in the process.
Steve Spurrier: A standing invitation to SEC Media Days every summer. Just so we still get to know what’s dancing through that mind of his.
Mark Richt: Success at Miami. At least enough to keep the boosters happy. Of course, the chance to continue playing Paul Johnson every year isn’t a bad gift, either.
Kirby Smart: Success at Georgia. Quickly. The best way to heal the divisiveness in Bulldog Nation. Of course, Jacob Eason isn’t a bad gift, either.
Jacob Eason: Lowered expectations. Judging by the hoopla surrounding his re-commitment, the poor kid’s expected to arrive in Athens in January, and be an All-American by December. Just give the kid a chance to play before declaring him The Next Great One.
Greg McGarity: A course in public relations. Even if all the moves were the right ones, they could have been handled with much less rancor. Having Vince Dooley write a letter to all donors urging conciliation and support only highlighted the discontent.
Brian Schottenheimer: A new job, anywhere but Athens. His total lack of success as Georgia’s offensive coordinator was besmirched, hard as that is to believe, by his hasty post-season egress. Good riddance indeed.
Paul Johnson: A new offensive coordinator. Wait a minute…
Bret Bielema: A mute button. Next time you criticize Ohio State’s schedule, make sure you don’t follow-up with a loss at home to Toledo.
Blake O’Neill: The Michigan punter gets free food and drink for life in East Lansing.
Robert Nkemdiche: A few good holiday parties.
Odell Beckham, Jr: Maturity to match his talent.
Abby Wambach: A happy retirement.
Monmouth College Bench Mob: Less playing time. These guys give new meaning to the term “bench warmers.” If you haven’t seen them in inaction, you need to catch their act. They’ve even made the “Today” show. Their antics alone merit an NCAA Tournament bid.
Mark Fox: A team talented enough to beat Tech and make a little run in March.
Brian Gregory: A team talented enough to overcome a loss to Georgia and compile a winning record in conference play.
Jerry Jones: A new general manager. Wait a minute…
Mike Budzenholder: The recapture of last year’s magic. Was that as close as the Hawks will get to the NBA Finals?
Miami-Duke football officials: Lumps of coal. You clowns manufactured the biggest travesty of the entire college football season.
And to all of you loyal readers: Peace, love, and happiness, now and throughout the new year.