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The season for gifting
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Forsyth County News
Ah, yes, that most wonderful time of the year: College Bowl Season. Too bad it’s not College Playoff Season.

Nonetheless, with all the good will we can muster, here are a few gifts we’d love to bestow upon our friends in the sports world:

Bobby Cox: A gala farewell tour. Yeah, yeah, he only won one World Series. How many championships have all the other Atlanta pro teams won?

We used to dream of just being in a pennant race; Cox gave us a pennant every year. He deserves thanks for what he did this last time around, not carping about what he didn’t do. And he’ll have his kind of team next year — plenty of guys that “throw good.”

Atlanta Falcons: All together now: back-to-back winning seasons. Sunday in cold, windy, ugly New Jersey, the day after being eliminated from the playoffs, was just the type of occasion the old Falcons would have mailed it in. Not this crew. They played to the final gun, dealt a huge blow to the Jets playoff hopes, and now only the lowly Bills and hideous Bucs stand between them and that ever-elusive goal.

Paul Johnson: A vintage vinyl edition of Wet Willie’s album, Keep On Smilin’. Hey, coach, we really like the smile and sense of humor that you finally unveiled after Tech won the ACC title. Much more preferable than that ubiquitous impersonation of Mr. Grinch.

Mark Richt: A defensive coordinator. Does anyone else find it odd that this job has been open for three weeks without so much as the hint of a hire? Or is there some master plan at work that is the best kept secret since Joel Eaves hired Vince Dooley?

And here’s another thought: as the head coaching vacancies are filled without the mention of his name, might one Tommy Tuberville be interested in moving to Athens?

Willie Martinez: An autographed, first-edition copy of F. Lee Bailey’s book The Defense Never Rests.

Brian Kelly: His gift came early: his dream job, head football coach at Notre Dame. Isn’t it about time that someone named “Kelly” had that job? Since the last three coaches haven’t amused the faithful, Kelly better hope he doesn’t turn into a Weis guy.

Charlie Weis: Are you kidding me? Every day is going to be Christmas for this guy. He’s getting paid millions to do nothing. Can you imagine how many doughnuts he’ll put away over the next twelve months?

Mark Mangino: The co-starring role with Weis on the new reality show, Two Tons of Fun. The two ex-coaches tour the country in search of America’s best all-you-can-eat buffets. Ralph Friedgen looks to join them in Season Two.

Bobby Bowden: A happy retirement. You deserved a better finish.

Dallas Cowboys: A calendar that ends with November.

Ted Ligety: Good splits in Vancouver.

Adam LaRoche: An offer. Are we missing something here? Wasn’t the Braves lineup vastly improved once LaRoche joined the club last summer?
And he says he hasn’t even heard from the Braves? Hey, it was a mistake to let him go the first time. Why would Frank Wren make the same mistake again?

Atlanta Hawks: Everyone to stay healthy. Finally, they’ve recovered from the idiocy of the Pete Babcock Era and emerged as one of the better teams in the NBA. Pretty soon they might even start filling up Philips Arena. A lengthy playoff run would be great fun, and quite the novelty in these parts.

Pete Carroll: Humility. How does Emerald Bowl sound, genius? No more explaining how you manage to lose a Pac-10 game each year; now you get to explain how you lost four. Maybe the alumni will focus on that last minute touchdown pass you ordered up against hopelessly beaten UCLA. Classy.

Lane Kiffin: Full-time counsel. Has this guy ever confronted the NCAA rule book? He seems sadly reminiscent of one R. Milhous Nixon. So many accusations! So much going on! We can’t help but sense that something is amiss. I mean, once the New York Times gets on your case, all skeletons are soon exposed. Orange Pride, you bet.

Mark Fox: Hope. You know Fox. He’s the guy who replaced the guy who used to coach Georgia’s men’s basketball team. Surely he didn’t expect the actual situation to be as bleak as he found it. At least Saturday’s upset of Illinois offered that first glimmer of better days ahead.

Tiger Woods: A low profile? A lump of coal for every indiscretion? Hose? Hmm. Let’s see. He’s ruined his marriage. He’s driving sponsors away in droves. He’s on sabbatical from work. He’s become a laughingstock. Looks like he’s already getting everything he deserves.

Jonathan Babineaux: Common sense. Dude, if you’re goin’ to be tokin’ while cruisin’ up the freeway, allegedly, of course, at least make sure all your lights are operable. A current license would help, too.

Tennessee’s amateur football thieves: Common sense. Dudes, if you’re going to attempt a robbery after practice, allegedly, of course, at least change out of your UT athletic wear first. Then choose a robbery site that isn’t near campus. Choose weaponry more powerful that a pellet gun.
Use a getaway vehicle more powerful than a Toyota Prius. Use a getaway driver who isn’t a girlfriend who happened to bring along some herb for the ride. And after the big attempted heist, don’t flee right back to the freshman football player’s athletic dorm.

And to all of you faithful readers, peace, love and happiness now and throughout the New Year.