Ho, ho, ho, and a Merry Christmas to all.
You know that feeling you get when you wake up Christmas morning and run down the stairs to behold all of the glory that is that glowing tree, adorned with ornaments, tinsel and garland? There are presents neatly stacked under the green branches, wrapped in colorful paper, typically bows and tagged with the ďFrom SantaĒ line.
Itís a feeling that never fades, no matter how old you get. Sure, as Iíve aged, I donít quite have the same gusto that I used to as a little tyke ó but thatís for another column, not of the sports variety.
So with the big day upon us, you ask what I want for Christmas? Well, here are my Xmas wishes for the wide world of sports.
First and foremost, I hope to see the Cleveland Cavaliers put Dion Waiters in a box and ship him out of town via the nearest UPS store open for last minute departures. One day he wants to be a Cav, the next day he is whining and crying. Save me the grief.
We all know the Browns are not making the playoffs, so as I look to May and the NFL Draft, letís hope the football gods shine upon my hometown and bring a quarterback to Cleveland. Is that too much to ask for?
How about them Buckeyes? No, Iím not talking about those peanut butter and chocolate delicacies that tempt me about this time every year.
With an Orange Bowl matchup against the Clemson looming, I ask the jolly fat man (no, not Peter Griffin) to bring good fortunes upon Ohio State, via a route of the ACCís Tigers.
So put on your newly delivered bunny pajamas, turn on ďA Christmas Story,Ē and be careful not to shoot your eye out.
When I run down the stairs, in my footed pajamas, to see the presents under the tree, I hope to find Aaron Rodgers, laced-up and ready to win an NFC North division title against the Chicago Bears.
Too much information? Deal with it. You obviously donít like football as much as I do.
Keep in mind, this was written before the Week 16 match-up between Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers; a game the will not include Rodgers. So, if Matt Flynn is not able to take care of business, no title will be possible.
Of course, in any case, I wish for Rodgersí health. And while Iím at it, letís make Johnny Jolly healthy as well.
I also wish for good basketball.
I love the NBA, way more than anyone reading this column. And one particular issue has me worried.
I have a big problem with the length of the season. To me, it couldnít be more obvious that Christmas Day should be opening day. Before Christmas, Americans are wrapped up in football, and there is not enough attention given to basketball.
The NBA needs to take a note from the NFL, and create demand. Our countryís most popular game, football, is played for five months a year. Basketball is played for eight months.
By shortening the season, big games hold more weight, and the hard courts wonít share the spotlight with the gridiron.
Also, consider the fact that, if the NBA were starting this week; Brook Lopez, Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Derrick Rose, JaVale McGee, J.J. Redick, Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake, Marc Gasol, Amaríe Stoudemire and Raymond Felton would all be healthy.
The first three players on that list all play for the Brooklyn Nets. Thatís my team.
So, I hadnít realized a theme until this conclusion, but I only wish for health. Happy Holidays, and please have a healthy New Year.